Nairo Grabs First at Paragon LA

September 07 2015

Coming hot off his first Smash 4 national tournament championship at SKTAR 4, Nairo flew across the U.S. to Los Angeles, California to play in one of the most stacked Smash 4 tournaments yet: Paragon Los Angeles 2015. Unlike the previous tournament in the series, Paragon Orlando 2015, LA 2015 was a completely different beast, boasting a prize pool of over $6,000. Nearly every top player from the country attended, with the exception of only a couple. Nairo invaded SoCal, showed his strongest performance to date, and placed first without dropping a set.

Nairo breezed through the group stages, placing first in his pool and thus earning himself an advantageous seed in the bracket stage. The little help from his seed proved insignificant, however, as he flawlessly took out players such as Larry Lurr and Shaky. He would not meet any real threat until the Winners' Finals match against MVD, which resulted in perhaps the best set of the entire tournament. It was back and forth, eventually going to the last game in the best-of-five series. They were toe to toe throughout the first stock, but in the second stock things looked dangerous for Nairo when MVD built up ridiculous momentum via several consecutive grabs and a huge lead. However, Nairo recognized MVD's bananas momentum, and in a flash, fatally punished MVD with a flip-jump spike when MVD overextended trying to edge-guard Nairo, creating perhaps the most shocking, emotional, and memorable moment in the entire tournament.

Next up was Nairo's final matchup against Dabuz. Sitting comfortably on winner's side in the Grand Finals, combined with a long record of defeating Dabuz with various characters no matter the matchup, victory was already in sight. Despite sporting a new pick against Nairo in the form of his secondary, Olimar, Dabuz was only able to take one game off our Samus. Nairo pulled ahead and looked fiercer with each game, until watching the set felt like watching a combo video. Nairo used an impressive arsenal of mind games, mix-ups and punishes. Nairo smothered Dabuz, switching things up every game and in doing so, stayed ahead of an increasingly lost Dabuz.

With his second and biggest national yet under his belt, Nairo is looking stronger with each passing week. His win at Paragon finally gives him the edge over Mr. R to whom he is often compared to. But what's most important is the momentum Nairo now has. The Big House 5 is coming up in less than a month, and virtually every top U.S. player with the addition of players from Europe and Japan will be there, including Nairo's biggest rival, ZeRo. With the confidence Nairo has gained in his last two majors, SKTAR 4 and Paragon, TBH5 is looking like Nairo's time to finally defeat his ultimate enemy.

Congratulations to Nairo, and support him in his biggest challenge yet October 2-4 at TBH5!

Writer // Yoshi Kirishima
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