As the year 2021 draws to a close, we at Inven Global are looking back at the players, casters, events, and games that made this year of competitive Super Smash Bros. Ultimate so special. In a year of turmoil, the Smash community continued to thrive and bring some incredible competition.
We're excited to present the second year of the Inven Global Awards (IGA). Voted by the editorial crew of Inven Global, along with some of the game’s most well-respected players, casters, and community figures, the IGAs celebrate the many strong facets of Ultimate in 2021 — the best players, casters, content creators, etc.
2021 was a year of relief for casters. While players have complained of the challenging differences playing at home makes to competition — casters face similar problems. With the reintroduction of crowds and offline events, casters finally got back into providing natural energy to some great sets. Here are the cases for each of these fantastic commentators. Fans can also vote for the content piece they think deserves it the most, and the player with the most votes will receive the IGA Community Award.
Zak "Coney" Zeeks
Coney is like one of those old wise sages you see in a Kung-Fu movie. He’s not around as often as some of the other big characters but when he is be prepared to hear some wisdom.
Although Coney didn’t attend as many majors as some of the other names in this group, the casts that he did provide were once again some of the polished and professional in the industry. Coney is still down to joke around and has a lot of natural charisma. When you need someone in a cast with an air of seriousness, though, no one is better suited for the job.
In many ways, Coney is probably the best all-around great caster in Ultimate. He’s funny, can create hype moments, and also offer excellent insight on the match. He also just has a great presence and voice that’s naturally suited to commentary. Both a natural and a professional in one.
Phil "EE" Visu
Whenever EE is at the desk, it’s going to be a fun time. You can have him commentating shuffleboard, or worse, a Mr. Game & Watch ditto, and he can somehow make it entertaining.
While he doesn’t provide as much game insight as some other commentators — criticizing him for that would be like criticizing Vince Carter for dunking — EE knows his job, and he does it very well, providing energy and entertainment. No other caster has as much natural talent — how he always slips in a quality, well-timed joke, and delivers the perfect soundbite to make an epic game moment that much more hype. It’s a quality that only a few casters have throughout any game — EE is one of them.
More than that, he’s able to many times humanize different players in the scene — often offering insight on them as he casts matches. 2021 was another solid year for EE. He casted most of the biggest events in the scene, and never had any major missteps. And while it would be nice to see him experiment with more co-casters, who he works with right now is a winning formula — providing some of the best casting Ultimate has available.
Terrence "TKbreezy" Kershaw
TKbreezy has all the marks of an impressive caster. He has strong game knowledge — capable of offering strong insight throughout matches. He’s balanced — knowing the right opportunities to crack jokes and when to take the match with 100% seriousness. And he’s just entertaining. There could be a thirty-minute break between games and TKbreezy could fill it up. With the level of experience he brings, it’s hard to find a moment that he’s not in his element.
Perhaps the most unique attribute of TKbreezy’s casting is his synergy — how he can adapt to every cast and create something stronger than the sum of its parts. Whether playing the perfect straight man to EE to provide a hilarious set, or working alongside Coney to create one of the most polished casts in esports, or guiding a younger caster — TKbreezy’s biggest strength is how he can bring out the best in everyone he comes across, always adapting accordingly.
It makes sense that he’s able to cast several games at the same time. 2021 represented another showcase of this ability and even among the best casts, he was always involved.
(Sidenote: When at Super Smash Con: Fall Fest, someone lost their phone. TKbreezy made an announcement to the tournament hall that he was in possession of the phone, and recommended the owner retrieve it. Not sure why I included this, but it felt fitting to the idea of TKbreezy always being able to help.)
The skillset that Charles brings to a commentary block is unique from everyone else in the community. His history as a coach for some of the best players in the game — oftentimes requiring him to have a stronger grasp of the meta over anyone else on earth — gives him a unique perspective on the game. When he’s explaining aspects of the game, you can tell the crazy amount of study that went into his knowledge. He’s able to expose parts of the game you never considered.
That’s not to say he’s lecturing you like a college economics professor. Charles always breaks down his ideas to a very understandable level and is usually able to provide a very relaxed and fun atmosphere while casting. An underappreciated gem.
Maximillian "Max Ketchum" Krchmar
Although not as celebrated as some of the others grouped on this list, Max Ketchum had an excellent year of casting. He was at a number of different events providing great commentary with several different co-casters — some he had never worked with prior. While in some cases he didn’t have the opportunity to cast the highlight matches of many tournaments, Max Ketchum always did well with what was available to him and made the most when breaks did catch him.
What’s really nice about Max Ketchum is that he always feels genuine. He’s never trying too hard to be funny or energetic — it’s only when those moments are real you get them. And when they are, it makes them that much more special.
The Inven Global Smash Awards panel for Ultimate
- Eric Bartlett
- Austin Watts
- John "Oddball" Popko
- Michale Lalor
- Olivia Richman
- Tim Masters
*Note: Nobody can vote for themselves in the Inven Global Smash Awards
Who has your vote for best caster in Ultimate?
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.