By: Zachary Lange
If and when Ezra “Samsora” Morris makes it to the top-8 participants on Sunday for CEO 2019, one thing will be guaranteed. It won’t be an average, run-of-the-mill Championship finale.
Of the nearly 1,200 competitors entered into the Smash: Ultimate singles tournament, only eight will see the main stage of the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida to determine the winner of the A-tier major in a formula calculated by Panda Global Rankings. The annual event, now in its second year in the popular tourist destination mere steps away from the Atlantic Ocean, is expected to have thousands in attendance.
On the arena runway for the final evening is a chance for each player to express themselves with a personalized introduction into the “ring,” a stage outfitted with massive screens surrounded by fans on both sides of the venue.
You guys, just because my sponsor’s prefix is eU doesn’t mean I’m European— eU Samsora (@Samsora_) June 24, 2019
Thanks for coming to my tedtalk
Coupled with an amateur wrestling competition booked for Saturday night this tournament, Samsora has a few surprises of his own if he gets a chance to fight for the belt.
“My CEO entrance will be very edgy,” Samsora quipped. “That is all I can say.”
Last year Samsora fell just shy of Sunday’s finals, placing just outside the top-8 in 17th place, respectively in Smash 4. But lately, the 21-year-old South Florida resident has been in good form with a runner-up finish at the massively attended Smash’N’Splash as well as top placements at MomoCon, Get On My Level and a championship winning effort at KawaiiKon.
The challenges tied to CEO include a recent patch that has nerfed his main character, Peach. Samsora described the changes as affecting his fighter “quite a bit,” adding that Peach’s options to confirm kills with a forward-air attack or back throw are not what they once were in terms of power.
“I’m glad I attended a couple of tournaments during the patch to get used to the changes, so things should be almost back to normal even though a couple of characters (in matchups) got harder for her to fight,” Samsora said.
The usual suspects that Samsora commonly battles will also be in attendance in what is inarguably the largest fighting games tournament in Florida. MKLeo of Echo Fox, Tweek of Team SoloMid and more are part of the confirmed entry list. Outside of Smash: Ultimate, other popular fighting games such as Tekken 7, Mortal Kombat 11 and Street Fighter V are all slated to be featured with hundreds of competitors in each title.
It will be an arduous task to weave his way through the competition. But, with recent placements and a special introduction in mind, there isn’t much that will stand in Samsora’s way.
How to watch
Samsora is tentatively scheduled for the first wave of pool play on Friday at 12 p.m. Eastern. Saturday’s matches are expected to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern, and the final 8 competitors will play in the Ocean Center arena Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern.
All matches will be on the official VGBootcamp Twitch channel.