Time To Shine: Samsora Earns Major Victory at Shine 2019

By: Zachary Lange

The old saying “history repeats itself” came true on Sunday night for Ezra “Samsora” Morris.

Yet again in grand finals at a major tournament, Samsora had to find a way around the No. 1 ranked player in the world in Echo Fox’s MKLeo. In prior attempts, the play from his opponent MKLeo proved to be a task too tall to climb, having lost to him in the championship match at Smash’N’Splash, losers semifinals at EVO 2019 and in a finale at Super Smash Con just a few weeks ago.

In a déjà vu moment from SSC, Samsora entered into the final match of the tournament with an advantage after defeated MKLeo in the winners bracket. And, again, MKLeo rallied from the losers bracket to force a grand finals reset.

But this time, it was the Peach main’s turn to shine.

Having come closer than ever before in the first best-of-five series, Samsora was able to use a variety of mix-ups in his forward air, neutral air and off stage attacks in the grand finals reset to secure the championship at Shine 2019 by a final of 2-3, 3-1.

“If I would have gotten 3-0’d I would have been in a horrible mental state going into set two,” Samsora said in a postgame interview on stream shortly after winning the title. “Being able to go to a Game 5 in set one really gave me the confidence of, ‘wow, I can really do this, I can really win.’”

Another key to victory was avoiding the pre-match jitters that became associated by playing the best in the world.

“The difference between grand finals here and grand finals at Super Smash Con is that I got really nervous,” Samsora said. “I started not camping. And I started pressing a lot of buttons (that weren’t necessary) at Super Smash Con.

“But here I was like, ‘okay, we’ve been through this. I can actually win. Let me stay calm and focus on my gameplan.’”

He credited waiting out the opposing MKLeo and his character Joker’s “arsene” ability, putting on pressure on attacks and also proper edge guarding of each side of the stage as pieces to his strategy that ultimately came to fruition.

Shine 2019, held in Worcester, Massachusetts, was designated by Panda Global Rankings as an S tier major event. It is the first major tournament victory for Samsora, who is ranked No. 4 in the world by PGR.

Earlier in the singles portion of Smash: Ultimate, which was entered by 882 people, Samsora racked up nine consecutive set victories with notable victories over Mr. E and Team Liquid’s Dabuz.

The event also featured a doubles tournament for Ultimate which was entered by 177 duos. Samsora entered alongside NRG’s Nairo, where they both claimed third place.

There are a host of fall tournaments set to take place for competitive Smash. Samsora is confirmed for Glitch 7, which is set to take place in Northern Virginia on Sept. 14-15.