"It's up to me to catch up": MKLeo on the rise of Sparg0 and the new era of Smash


You can't discuss competitive Super Smash Bros. Ultimate without bringing up MKLeo. The T1 pro player is often considered the best in the world, even when he's having a few bad majors. It seems to just come easy to him. Despite playing a mid-tier fighter, MKLeo can beat the best of the best, often while seeming beyond calm.


It often leaves the Super Smash Bros. community wondering what is truly going on inside MKLeo's head. Is he going to go back to Joker? Does he feel threatened by Sparg0's quick rise to the top? Inven Global spoke with the Ultimate legend to find out. 

A view from the top

Do you feel a lot of pressure being considered the top player?


I do not feel pressured at all — at least not from being the best.


How do you feel about Sparg0 finally winning a major?


Sparg0 is very good and him winning makes everyone motivated. This is a new era of Smash and Sparg0 is the proof. Amazing player.


Why do you think Mexico is so dominant in Smash right now?


I have no idea why Mexico is so good nowadays [laughs]. A lot of things have happened since we were forced to play online... I think Sparg0 was a very good player before quarantine and thanks to that he got a lot of experience. He knows a lot about this game and the way he sees it is really smart. I think the same goes for Chag. We have also been playing a lot more than we used to before. 


Do you see any major differences between competing in Mexico and competing in the US?


Besides cultural aspects…nah. Mexican top-level play is comparable to Japan and US.



What do you think was the reason you underperformed at the past few majors?

Sometimes you just can't win. Sparg0 and Tweek played better. It's up to me to catch up.


Some players said they noticed you seemed off at summit. What was the reason for that?


It was honestly personal stuff.


You have said that you aren't switching off of Byleth. Why do you still feel this fighter has potential?


Byleth is a very good character for the current meta. Disadvantage is what's hard for him but overall he is able to fight any character. I think his offstage game is his best thing. I have a lot of fun with Byleth so I don't think I'll drop him unless its truly necessary, which I doubt.


What are your plans to improve your Byleth for upcoming majors?


As Byleth, there is not much to improve — probably just getting used to some stuff. I think I gotta improve as a player though.




When you pick a certain character at an event, are you choosing that character based on the opponent, the character you're fighting, or another factor?


There are a lot of things behind character picks. Mostly feeling comfortable in a matchup and paying attention to who you are fighting and the stage. 


You have stated that you won't switch back to Joker. Why is that?


I just wanna play different characters. I like Joker still but I don't feel like playing him right now. Maybe in the future if things go wrong. 


Are you thinking of picking up any new fighters?


I'm not really interested in new characters.


Are there any Smash players that you think have a lot of potential that are being overlooked right now?


There are a lot of good players; I think anybody feeling great would do amazing, to be honest.


How often do you actually practice Ultimate?


I try to play an offline grind session at least twice per week. Or whenever I have the chance to play someone good. I also stream Smash a lot.


What do you do when you aren't practicing? What are some of your hobbies right now?


I’ve been playing games on the PlayStation 5 lately. I like going out with friends, I like to read... I've been thinking about learning something new but I basically have been relaxing, doing normal stuff.



When you travel for events, what do you like to do in the cities when you aren't playing?


Eat good food, sightseeing, and chilling with friends.

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