By: Zachary Lange

Pinned to the top of Ezra “Samsora” Morris’ Twitter account is a simple, yet effective message.

“I’m winning Evo…Period,” Samsora tweeted on July 15. This weekend, he’ll get the chance to put that statement to the test when he – along with over 3,500 others in the largest tournament in competitive Smash history – battle it out at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada at EVO 2019.

Given the vast amount of competitors, there are three full preliminary brackets to be played before even reaching the top-32. In a double elimination format, maintaining an unblemished record throughout the weekend is crucial. A single loss early, and Samsora will be fighting through double the matches just to make it to Championship Sunday.

“I feel like it’s going to just take a lot of endurance,” Samsora said about his keys to victory. “The bracket is just so big, that you have to play a lot of matches.

The largest event of the year is coming at the right time for the Peach main, who is coming off of his biggest tournament victory at Defend The North on July 21 in New York City, New York. Beating notable players such as Team Liquid’s Dabuz and LeoN, the championship served as a confidence boost for him personally and as a friendly reminder to others that his abilities with the Princess are not to be taken lightly.

“Heading to this weekend’s premier event, Samsora ranks No. 4 worldwide in the Panda Global Rankings from the Spring competitive season that spanned from February until July.The PGR, a mathematical algorithm designed to determine the top Smash players, is based on top performances at major tournaments nationwide, taking into account strength of opponents defeated along the way.

At home, Samsora has also been practicing a wide variety of techs, combos as well as studying VODs of matches that he lost in the past to learn from mistakes for the future.

“I’ve been mentally preparing for the tournament because (each match) is best-of-three,” Samsora said. “Which is pretty rough for Smash, because a lot of other tournaments are best-of-five.”

Given the brevity of each set, coupled with how many entrants there are into the tournament and how much is on the line, there can be a lot of tournament nerves that only preparation can help subside.

“You feel like there’s a lot of pressure on you,” he said. “You want to get to a top-8 Sunday spot, but you know everyone else is fighting their heart out, too. The main thing to do, is just prepare, prepare, prepare.”

With the opening bracket already released last week, Samsora has begun the process of understanding who his matchups are against and how best to strategize against them. Once at the event, however, each opponent must be taken one at a time to avoid distractions.

“If you think about your future matches like, ‘Oh, I have to go against this person,’ four or five rounds from now, that’s going to affect your gameplay in your current match,” Samsora said.

While the pinned tweet predetermining the winning of EVO 2019 to be himself may very well come true, the main goal of reaching Championship Sunday, as one of eight competitors, has to be realized first. With every heavy-hitter in the Smash: Ultimate community set to be in attendance, winning the de-facto world championship this weekend would be the pinnacle of Samsora’s career.

“(The victory) would mean the world to me,” he said. “This is a career moving tournament, and there’s a lot on the line for everybody.”

Streaming information for EVO 2019 is TBD, be sure to stay tuned to eUnited’s social media accounts for the latest updates on all Samsora’s matches.