Last night, Calvin "GimR" Lofton finally released his meta-changing tech on the Smash Ultimate scene, and it’s fair to say the reaction was one of surprise and delight from the players that had not seen it in action yet. The tech, which is a set of movement options GimR has given the general moniker of "slingshot" to, opens up a lot of pressure and conversion options for large parts of the cast, and can be applied in some ways to almost every character in the game.
Essentially, the option requires three or four inputs and can be buffered out of certain options like down tilt, working well as a means of punishing shield grabs and other out of shield options. The interest from top players was such that in the minutes and hours after the video was released, every streamer was either in training mode, trying it out, or in Elite Smash using it on their opponents.
For full details of the slingshot, flickshot, holdshot, and fullshot variants, we would urge you to check out GimR’s video, linked above. In terms of being part of the Smash scene, GimR is already as legendary and famous as any pro, at least to those who have been in the competitive scene for a while, and he fully deserves credit for the result of what was no doubt countless hours in the Ultimate lab.
Those, like Gavin "Tweek" Dempsey and James "VoiD" Makekau-Tyson, who had seen it work before release, had spent the last few weeks trying feverishly to work out how to do the slingshot. With some scary-looking combos appearing on Twitter just a few short hours after GimR’s presentation, it’s clear it has some uses. So the only real question remaining is, is the slingshot really a wavedash for Ultimate that will fundamentally alter the meta?
Wavedash for Ultimate
Wavedashing is a central part of movement in Melee and other clones, and opens up an entirely new set of options. Every character can now perform grounded moves in motion, and for the likes of Luigi, Ice Climbers, and Samus the ability to wavedash is what makes them usable at all in competitive play. Without wavedashing, Melee looks fundamentally different than we are used to today, and the meta is altered in a significant way.
Compared to wavedashing, the slingshot offers less in the way of new options but still has the potential to change how Ultimate looks and alter the meta, making some characters more viable even. The ability to perfectly space shield pressure in a way that puts the aggressor in a safe position when landing is just too good not to utilize in competitive play, and you can expect to see a lot of slingshotting at coming Ultimate events as pro players learn how to utilize it beyond even what GimR demonstrated.
Like the wavedash, the slingshot is also easy to perform and versatile, allowing you to travel different distances and directions, and makes Ultimate a more dynamic and technical experience, adding depth to the gameplay.
Now, it is on the pro players to take it out of the lab and into the real world of competition, and see just how far GimR’s new tech really can change the meta of Super Smash Bros esports in 2022.