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 started to bring back a twinge of normalcy to the Smash scene thanks to the return of LAN tournaments. With offline gameplay and cheering crowds, last year brought back top competition in a big way. These are the top events from 2021.
Fans can also vote for the event they think deserves it the most, and the event with the most votes will receive the IGA Community Award.
It's no surprise to see Mainstage 2021 on the list. Held in November in Ontario, California, the intense Ultimate singles bracket had top talent from all over the world fighting to qualify for Smash Ultimate Summit 4. Every big name was present, including MkLeo, Sparg0, ESAM, Tea, Dabuz, Kola, Light, Tweek, Gluttony, Void, Maister, and Marss.
The finals were no surprise to most Ultimate fans, with MkLeo and Sparg0 playing an intense, back-and-forth match that looked to finally be Sparg0's time to win a major. After beating MkLeo 3-1, Sparg0 had two wins on MkLeo and everyone assumed the Smash prodigy would take down the titan. But MkLeo showed why he is considered the best, wiping Sparg0 in the last two sets.
This fall tournament saw MkLeo prove exactly what makes him such a special player in the Ultimate scene. After previously losing to Tweek at Smash Summit 3, MkLeo met Tweek at the grand finals again at Riptide 2021. But this time, Tweek didn't seem to stand a chance against MkLeo's Byleth. MkLeo tore through Tweek in the last three games, solidifying his title as the best Ultimate player in the world.
Riptide 2021 boasted a lot of other great moments thanks to a bracket full of strong players. This included Maister, Elegant, Sparg0, and Dabuz. The wide range of Ultimate's roster was on display at Riptide, making it an exciting event for fans who missed seeing in-person action.
Smash Summit 3
Speaking of Tweek... Smash Summit 3 was a crazy tournament with unexpected outcomes, making it a stand-out of 2021. Tweek taking home nearly $50K after defeating MkLeo with Diddy Kong was something nobody could have ever expected even during these uncertain times. It was an emotional night and showed that MkLeo can be defeated (although he only comes back stronger).
Despite having no in-person attendees, Smash Summit 3 was definitely a hype Ultimate event. The community had a chance to send their favorites to the gauntlet, fighting for one of the largest prize pools in Super Smash Bros. history. Charliedaking, Riddles, VoiD, and Kola joined players with invites, including KEN, Zackray, Maister, and Dabuz.
Super Smash Con
Super Smash Con was one of the first in-person events I went to since COVID. To me, it felt like a very special weekend full of excitement and action. There was such a hype crowd and the vendors had a lot of great artwork and merch. Super Smash Con also featured an N64 competition among other more unique additions.
Of course, Ultimate had the spotlight. The variety of top players present was already exciting but most people were focused on Sparg0 as he attempted to finally win a major without MkLeo in the way. Nobody would have expected Light's insane run. While exhausting to fathom, Light worked his way up Losers to take on Sparg0, beating him to take him to the grand finals. It was a wild rollercoaster of emotion and intensity, bringing Light to the forefront of the competitive scene.
This Maryland-based mayhem was definitely a stand-out Ultimate event last year. The top placing players were pretty unexpected, making it a pretty refreshing event to watch. It was exciting to see ESAM take on MkLeo and win — even ESAM seemed shocked. Watching MkLeo bring back Joker was fun on its own as well.
The casters at Glitch 8.5 were another highlight. There was a huge list of popular commentators at Glitch 8.5, making the event fun to watch from beginning to end. Glitch 8.5 is one to watch if you want to get a good feel of competitive Ultimate and better understand top-level play.
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
What has your vote for best event in Ultimate?
Esports writer and editor with a passion for creating unique content for the gaming community.