The tournament starred Smash greats Marsss, MKLeo, Aaron, Void, Cosmos, Kola, Charliedaking, and Riddles. Or, it would’ve starred them had the ridiculous stages not taken center…stage. Hm. The tournament’s early favorite map was Pokémon Stadium, chosen because it was the most normal of the five. With only four portals and no additional hazards to speak of, Pokémon Stadium was a familiar starting point for the tournament. In fact, it was so familiar that players went out of their way to pick it again and again, much to Alpharad’s chagrin.
The real star of the tournament, however, was Portalfield. The normal version of Melee’s Battlefield is simple. It’s a flat plane with three platforms and no ledges. Portalfield, by contrast, is a nightmare factory. The stage keeps the basic shape but includes a central portal which teleports anyone who touches it beneath the stage where there’s an awaiting lavablock to bounce them off the roof over and over again until the portal re-opens and spits them back onto the stage. At least, this is how it worked in theory. In actuality, most characters were teleported into the lava and shot toward the void beneath the stage, instantly killing them.
Portalfield was the home of the incredibl(y dumb)e semi-final match between MKleo and Cosmos, which ended with a Meta Knight upthrow by request of the commentators, sending both men into the hellhole beneath the stage and leaving it up to God to decide the winner. He picked Cosmos, and set the stage for one of the worst (or best) Grand Finals in fighting game history.
Void and Cosmos, having defeated (or at least let the stages defeat) all who came before them, finally met on Portalville, a motion sickness-inducing moving stage covered in portals, lava blocks, and other bullshit. The arc of the match is unimportant, what matters here is its shocking conclusion. After being thrown offstage Cosmos, as Mythra, uses his up-special, which hits Void and throws Cosmos into the air—directly into a portal, which in turn teleports him below the stage where he dies unceremoniously. It is a supremely dumb ending to an incredible tournament.
It’s easy to get way too serious about any competitive event. Whether it be flesh sports, esports, or, I dunno, chess, people get very serious about defeating one another in mortal combat. This tournament is a stellar reminder of the silly joy of competition, where a handful of changed rules can turn any serious sport into a gimmick-ridden clown show starring some of the most talented people to ever play the game. I want more stupid shit like this in tournaments please, because it really is a joy to watch utter hell break loose.