March 2, 2024

The competitive Super Smash Bros. community ended 2022 on an uncertain note following the cancellation of the Smash World Tour Championships and the postponement of the Panda Cup Finale. Nevertheless, the Smash Ultimate scene is returning as strong as ever this weekend with its first major of 2023.

New York City’s Let’s Make Big Moves 2023, the latest iteration of the Let’s Make Moves tournament series, has attracted a stacked line-up of many of the best Ultimate players in North America and beyond. Here are the biggest storylines to watch out for at LMBM 2023.

Sparg0 sets out on a path to No. 1

After placing in the top three of every tournament he attended in the first half of the year, Edgar “Sparg0” Valdez finished the spring 2022 season as No. 2 in the world, just behind Leonardo “MkLeo” López Pérez. However, he started the next season with a disappointing seventh-place finish at The Gimvitational, took a three-month mental health break, then placed seventh again at Smash Ultimate Summit 5.

Despite having a mediocre start to the season, Sparg0 finished the year with back-to-back major wins at Mainstage 2022 and the Scuffed World Tour. Now, his mission for the upcoming season is clear: He wants to usurp MkLeo as the best player in the world.

Sparg0 is poised to have a strong start at LMBM 2023. As the No. 1 seed, he is projected to overcome Carlos “Sonix” Pérez, Paris “Light” Ramirez and Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey, who he faced in grand finals of both Mainstage and the Scuffed World Tour. Given his 4-1 record against Tweek at those two events, Sparg0 is in a great position to start the year with a major win.

Other storylines at LMBM 2023

Last season was MkLeo’s least dominant in Ultimate history. He placed lower than fourth at three separate events, despite placing in the top four of every offline tournament he entered for three years prior to the beginning of the season. As a result, he has been seeded third going into LMBM, behind Sparg0 and Tweek. Even so, MkLeo’s dominant win at the most prestigious tournament of all time — last season’s Ludwig Smash Invitational — suggests that viewers should never count him out.

LMBM 2023 will notably mark the return of reigning champion Chris “Quidd” Rella. Quidd shocked the Ultimate community with his victory at LMBM 2022 as the 32nd seed. Then, he followed it up with an impressive fifth-place finish at Collision 2022 in March. However, he did not enter another major for the rest of 2022. As a result, viewers can only speculate whether he can pull off a repeat performance at an even more stacked edition of LMBM.

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