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Everything You Need to Know for Diamond Dust

Updated: Apr 8


(Photo by 1MoreStock)

Last March, 1MoreStock hosted its second notable event in Michigan called Phoenix Down after seeing the success of its debut event, Bahamut. Both events clocked in numerous top talents from the Midwestern United States, channeling great success. Many were eager to see how 1MoreStock’s next event would play out, but no one could have expected them to enter uncharted waters.


Coming in at a B+ tier on the LumiRank, Diamond Dust boasts a staggering 353 attendees (283 of which are competing in Ultimate Singles) with notable names such as Leonardo “MKLeo” Lopez, Michael “Riddles” Kim, Samuel “Dabuz” Busby, and Ethan “SHADIC” San Miguel in attendance. Since the LumiRank’s inception, no Midwestern tournament until Diamond Dust could match the successes The Big House and Riptide consistently obtained. With Michigan taking center stage this weekend, here are the most notable storylines throughout Diamond Dust.



(Photos by Dylan Revezzo, Bekah Wong, and Darrel McCready)

Can these top players successfully invade Michigan and take the win?


For most of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the player base wrote off Corrin as nothing more than a forgotten relic from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Now, that narrative has flipped thanks mainly to the projected winner of Diamond Dust, SHADIC. Coming off his first major win at Cirque Du CFL 3 and a 2nd at Collision 2024, alongside defeating ⅗ of the LumiRank top five (Miya, Paris  “Light” Ramirez Garcia, William  “Glutonny” Belaid), winning Diamond Dust would place SHADIC comfortably in the top five players this season.


While MKLeo already has a major win under his belt, inconsistency has continued plaguing his results since the end of 2023. From the highs of 4th place at Luminosity Makes Big Moves 2024 and winning King Con to falling to 25th at GENESIS X and thirteenth place at Battle of BC 6, he has yet to find proper footing among the top echelon of talent. Diamond Dust marks Leo’s fifth consecutive LumiRank event this season, and it is up to him to silence the doubters once again and reclaim his consistency from his reign as the best in the world.


The last time Riddles won a LumiRanked event with a top 100 player in attendance was Collision 2023. Ever since then, larger tournament wins escaped him. Gourmet Bash 3 saw him place 3rd as the projected event winner but bounced back by placing 5th at Battle of BC 6. With the rise of numerous stars this season, winning Diamond Dust (especially over SHADIC) would give him the notable bracket win he has longed for since last March.


Dabuz has not had the solid start he is used to this season. The underperformances have been prevalent from a 49th at Luminosity Makes Big Moves 2024 to a 25th at GENESIS X, where his only positive performance this season was a 3rd at Cirque Du CFL 3. With a solid performance at Diamond Dust, he can claw out of his slump and reach the peaks he obtained in the middle of 2023.



(Photos by Super Smash Con, Jesse "JeJaJeJa" Valdez, Thomas Tischio, and Oakland University)

Which Michigan talents can defend against these top-level threats?


When describing the Michigan Smash scene, Angel "Onin" Mireles sits at the heart of it all. They were pivotal in putting the Great Lake State and the Midwestern United States on the map for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate; however, they have had a productive yet quiet start to the year. Collision 2024 put eyes back on the Steve prodigy, as their 3rd place finish at a supermajor, notably defeating Gavin "Tweek" Dempsey, marks their best performance thus far. Alongside a 17th at GENESIS X and winning Michigan State University's Legends III, their dominance is not unnoticed.


Previous attempts to invade Michigan have generally been futile. Since Onin debuted at 6th on the UltRank 2022, they have won 12 out of the 13 Michigan events ranked on the UltRank or LumiRank, the outlier being The Big House 10, where they still placed 3rd only losing to Riddles and Light. The point is that invaders struggle to win over Michigan when Onin is in the venue. Diamond Dust is no different, and Onin will work to defend Michigan as such.


Jesse "JeJaJeJa" Valdez shocked the world last month by becoming the first Kirby player to win a superregional with his win at Afterburner 2024. Since then, successes showered him as a 33rd at Collision 2024, and winning Revel & Roll West 1000 Days came soon after his Indiana trip. While he may be from Oregon, his stay in Michigan is thanks to being a dominant force as a player for Northwood University. Kirby matchup experience is arduous to come by for many, so expect JeJaJeJa to upset some unsuspecting players and continue to demonstrate how Planet Popstar's hero can make a stand in this meta.


If someone said that James "Zinoto" Carrington has only been to one bracket to start the year, people would be surprised, but it is true. Zinoto's 49th at GENESIS X marks his only result this year, but do not let his minimum attendance fool spectators. His inactivity has not strained his results, as a 2nd at Back to Smash 2023 and 5th at Riptide 2023 prove he stands on business. Look out for Zinoto to slip up his opponent's weekend at Diamond Dust.


After starting the year traveling across the United States, Anthony "AnthonyIsntCool" Codd returns to Michigan to defend his home turf. With a win at Get Cooked #5, 5th at Afterburner 2024 and Full Bloom 2024, and 65th at GENESIS X, he has risen so much that he has gotten 1st on the Michigan Ultimate Power Rankings for two consecutive seasons. It may not be March anymore, but if Anthony's Oakland Golden Grizzlies can beat Kentucky in March Madness, Anthony can create madness at Diamond Dust.


As for the rest of Michigan, the eSports teams at Michigan State University, Northwood University, and Oakland University look to unleash chaos at Diamond Dust. Adam "Suspect" Ismaili, Andrew "Drewish" Farrell, Daniel "Hawk" Witherspoon, Dyson "Dice" Mingo, Rodrigo "Arkdee" Arce, Callum "Cal" Gross, and Collin "Pikz" Landers have been at the top of the collegiate scene, and look to translate that success here. Outside of JeJaJeJa, Jackson "Kople" Wallace, Dylan "SoGoodPop" Wheeler, and Seth "SETHsastional" Reed have generated substantial results under Northwood University's eSports program and will not slow down anytime soon. Besides AnthonyIsntCool, Robert "Rob." Rabinowitz, Lucas "Nad79" Fehn, Austin "Spectral" Kujawa, Tristan "Triscuit" Toma, Amaan "PoisonJam" Naqvi Luan "Boomanter" Thao, and Ian "Spectre" Sellman compose all but two of Oakland University's dominant program and look to conquer Michigan State & Northwood at Diamond Dust. These colleges have some of the most stacked rosters for collegiate eSports, so seeing all these rosters take hold at Diamond Dust is a treat.



(Photos by Dylan Revezzo, MajoraXrd, Warren Martin, and Alexander “Lucky” Rust)

Outside of Michigan, who from the Midwest can play spoiler?


After traveling across the world from the end of 2023 to February 2024, Brian "Cosmos" Kalu has returned to the States, and what a hot streak he has been on. Overcoming a shaky start at GENESIS X and the Litvitational 2, he placed 9th at Cirque Du CFL 3, 17th at Collision 2024, and won Almost Heaven 5 over varying regional talent. From the outside looking in, Cosmos has found his groove once more. Heading into Diamond Dust with these performances in mind, he can send his opponents into orbit and get back on track to his previous heights.


Last year, people's jaws dropped as Willow "IcyMist" Barto got the most prominent win of her career by upsetting Carlos "Sonix" Pérez at Super Smash Con 2023. Since then, her status as one of the Midwest's best shot up dramatically. By placing 4th at Riptide 2023 and The Big House 11, alongside a 25th at Collision 2024, she cemented herself as the best Samus in North America. The potential for a huge run at Diamond Dust is massive, given that she is one of the only players with a positive record on SHADIC (2-1) and Markus "ShinyMark" Florido (2-0), where defeating ShinyMark in her path could lead her to a runback on SHADIC. Upsets galore will happen at Diamond Dust, and one can expect IcyMist at the forefront of dishing them out.


The Cincinnati Fear duo in Anthony "Geist" Smith and Stephen "Doorstop" Schmidt once again tag along to strike fear into the hearts of their opponents. Starting with Geist, he has not traveled as much this season, mainly sticking with events in Ohio and only traveling out of the region to King of Bombs #1 to place 13th. Meanwhile, Doorstop has traveled quite more in comparison. In particular, his stint in Indiana boasted a win at Jumpstart, 2nd at Full Bloom 2024, and 7th at Afterburner 2024, capping off his road trip with a 33rd at Collision 2024. There is no question that these two can dazzle their opposition when the lights are bright. However,  Diamond Dust has them seeded to play against each other. Regardless, Ohio's top two players can put on a show here that spectators will want to take advantage of.


Whenever people Spring forward for Daylight Savings Time, it takes place on March 10th; however, Candle found it more effective to do so a lot earlier than that. The week before, they won Sweet Spot 8 and placed 3rd at Afterburner 2024. This Olimar extraordinaire is experiencing one of the defining stretches in their career right now, and Diamond Dust will be another run to add to that. No matter who is in their path, it is a fact that they will not be slowing down anytime soon.


As one of Ultimate's brightest young stars, Graham "Wildz" Chesney looks to continue a streak of great performances to start 2024. After consistent results like 33rd at Luminosity Makes Big Moves 2024 and GENESIS X, he shocked the scene with a twelve-game losers run to place 2nd at Afterburner 2024. This kid has talent but has never been a global ranking, only ranked as high as 131st on the LumiRank 2023 North American rankings. Given that this season has been full of upsets and breakout runs, Wildz could add to this season's chaos with a dominant Diamond Dust performance and secure a spot as a Top 100 player.


After a brief stay in the United Arab Emirates, Benjamin "Loaf" Rust and Alexander "Lucky" Rust return to the United States to showcase the best Minnesota talent at Diamond Dust. These brothers frequent the same brackets, placing 1st & 3rd at Northstar II, 2nd & 3rd at Gamers Lounge Tournament, and 25th & 49th at GENESIS X. Both players can perform well, but can they knock off these top players consistently? If this season has been any indication, they can cause chaos in the bracket this weekend.



(Photos from Even Matchup Gaming and Miami University)

Who will have a breakout performance?


The LumiRank 2024 season is prolific for the breakouts and upsets from many players. Diamond Dust will be no stranger to this, as each large tournament is bound to have a breakout story alongside it. Here are my picks for players to keep an eye out for this weekend.


Blacktwins13


If anyone follows the Canadian Smash scene, Aaron "Blacktwins13" Grandison-Vargas has been a household name since the Smash 4 days. However, his start to this year is unlike anything he has experienced in his Ultimate career. Notably, he won The Zen Garden #1, Heavens X Humber, and got 2nd at Gourmet Bash 3. Both brackets totaled three wins on Riddles and a win on rising star BeastModePaul. With this hot start, his run at Diamond Dust is quite favorable for him. he's slated to face Zinoto, whom he previously swept 3-0 at The Big House 10. As the #19 seed in Ultimate Singles, he will be sure to upset some of Michigan's finest on his route to another dominant performance in the Wolverine State.


Mirai


Another one of Minnesota's finest, Isam "Mirai" Gemeda, formerly known as SUPERBIGMARIOFAN, broke the Smash scene with their funny tag as they broke out at Super Smash Con 2023, defeating the likes of BeastModePaul, Riku, and Chunky. Since then, they have been largely absent from larger events. Acting as a sleeping giant awaiting to be awoken. That is until they had another huge run at Critical Strike, where they upset Candle and Lucky for 3rd place. As the #26 seed in Ultimate Singles, they find themselves on their biggest stage since that illustrious Super Smash Con 2023 performance, and they are sure to repeat destiny once more.


Phirb


If someone opened up the Smash Bros. dictionary to the definition of a hidden boss, Jake "Phirb" Ross would be smugly staring back at them. For the most part, they attend local tournaments in southern Ohio and play for the Miami Redhawks eSports program. However, the world knew their name once Riptide 2023 rolled around, as they placed 17th after a six-game loser's run with wins on Ryan "Yoda Cage" Schrier, Joel "Beast" Veras, and Hawk.


Since he splashed onto the global stage, Phirb has not attended much. While his time has been spent improving with Ice Climbers and dunking on classmates in Kahoot, he finally had the time to attend a large tournament. As the #46 seed in Ultimate Singles, Phirb has to encounter the aforementioned Blacktwins13 in his path. However, the late hours of WiFi grinding have prepared him. Be sure to pay attention to Phirb this weekend at Diamond Dust, as he will ice any top players in his path.


The stakes are not too large for a tournament so early into the season, but a resume-building win at Diamond Dust greatly benefits any player looking to make their mark. Michigan is largely known for The Big House, but a new home has been built for other large events to take center stage in the Great Lakes State, and everyone is waiting to see who will come out of the other side.


Scottie Wade

Writer, 26 Rising

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