In 2015, the primarily Dota 2-focused studio Beyond the Summit (BTS) came up with an event called the Smash Summit. It was an exclusive, closed-to-the-public invitational tournament, where Smash Bros. fans could vote for their favorite pros to take on a roster hand-selected by BTS. The Summit was a major success, and on November 2, the event will return for its fifth installment. However, while there’s plenty of time for competitors to practice, there’s only one more week for fans to make their voices heard in the nominations.
Fourteen players will make it to the Summit this fall, and eight have already been selected by BTS. The list includes the five active gods: Mang0, Hungrybox, Mew2King, Leffen, and four-time Summit champ Armada; noted god-slayer Plup; and top-10 mainstays Axe and SFAT. Six spots remain for players voted in by fans, and that’s where the real fun starts.
The bi-annual Summit isn’t just an honor—it’s a weekend vacation and celebration. The top figures from the scene gather at a secret location in Los Angeles to drink, compete, drop legendary, once-in-a-lifetime commentary, and even play a rousing game or two of Mafia at night. For up-and-coming players, it’s a chance to gain exposure and craft a persona—like The Moon, who has become a community favorite and seen a career resurgence since his first appearance at Summit 3.
As a result of all this, the competition during the nomination and voting phase can be more exciting than the play during the actual tournament. Pros make their own videos and highlight reels, campaign for votes across online forums and on their streams, and even recruit other ineligible players to campaign on their behalf. The days and hours leading up to the results are fast-paced and thrilling, and the ones who make it look as if they’ve just won a supermajor tournament. Just watch some of the reactions from this past spring (warning: NSFW language).
The nomination period ends on October 4, after which the top 20 vote-getters will compete for the final six spots. There are some clear frontrunners—Spanish Peach player Trifasia, breakout Marth player Zain, and aMSa, the world’s most famous Yoshi, are way ahead of the competition. Close behind are many of the community staples: S2J, Westballz, PewPewU, Wizzrobe, ChuDat, etc. However, in fourth place as of writing is a relatively unknown Game & Watch main, Qerb. Lower-level players have snuck in before, like Peach main Mafia did in Summit 3, so this could turn out to be another surprise entrant for the prestigious tournament.
Once this phase is over, the floodgates will open and the pros will start making their cases for the Summit in earnest. You can join in the fun at smash.gg here—just make sure you get your nominations in by next Wednesday.