MkLeo, also known simply as Leo, is a Smash 4 top professional smasher from Mexico, maining Marth and Cloud, and is cousins with Serge and Javi. Initially a Meta Knight main, he gradually started to drop him in mid-2016 and now uses him as a counterpick. MkLeo is his country's best player and widely considered to be one of the best players in the world. He is also widely considered to be the best Marth and Meta Knight player in the world. Due to his mastery in the ditto, as well as a current tournament win streak playing the character, he is now widely considered to be the best Cloud player in the world.
Leo arguably popularized both Meta Knight and Marth, characters that had been seen as mediocre after their nerfs from Brawl, as top players such as Abadango have since used Meta Knight against other top players until his nerfs in game updates, as well as lower-leveled players picking up Marth due to his dominance with him.
He is so far the youngest player to win a major Smash 4 tournament, doing so at only 15 years old, as well as the 16th player to take a set off of ZeRo, achieving the feat at 2GGT: ZeRo Saga. Due to his aggressive style and heavy punish game with Meta Knight and proving his skills surpass those of top players at a very young age, some compare him to Nairo's early Brawl career.
He is also a proficient doubles player, along with his cousin and static partner Javi. Their team consisting of Cloud/Cloud or Cloud/Sheik dominates the Mexican scene while having two impressive first places at major tournaments such as 2GGC: Civil War and Canada Cup 2016. The duo has wins over the likes of ZeRo and Nairo, Mew2King and Ally, and Larry Lurr and ANTi.
Leo is known for his aggressive, yet calculated, playstyle with most of the characters he plays with, which grants him a strong punish game, as well as being known for his intense mindgames. As Marth, he is well known for his masterful spacing of Marth's aerials, as well as a surprisingly aggressive approach with a character that is often played with a more patient and defensive playstyle. As Cloud, he is more known for his defensive spacing and reserved usage of Limit Break-boosted moves, though he does retain his signature aggressive playstyle with him whenever he has the advantage, allowing him to pressure the opponent very well. As Meta Knight, he is known for his mastery of Meta Knight's combos, his uncanny ability for reading the opponent's air dodges, and his proficiency at executing the Rufio, Meta Knight's famous death combo.
He is also notorious for his player knowledge, defeating his opponents convincingly after initially losing to them in their first encounter. However, he does have some problems on the Ryu match-up, having dropped sets to Darkshad, Trela, Venom, Klein, and takera.
Climbing the ranks
In 2015, MkLeo was a Meta Knight main and was already considered the best player in Mexico. He busted into the international Smash scene when he won Smash Factor 4, Mexico's largest Super Smash Bros. for Wii U tournament at the time, defeating Mr.R in Grand Finals 3-1, 2-stocking him in each game he won. Later in the year, at another Mexican tournament, True Combo, Leo defeated Vinnie 3-1 in Grand Finals, further proving his capabilities as a player and creating more interest in the Mexican Smash scene as a whole.
In 2016, Leo's usage of Meta Knight progressively decreased as he also started to use Cloud. Following Meta Knight's nerfs in game update 1.1.5 and Marth's buffs in the same update (as well as 1.1.4), he started to express high interest on using Marth as a main, and began to rely more on him and Cloud, while only playing Meta Knight in specific match-ups such as Peach and Ryu.
Due to visa issues, Leo was unable to attend an American tournament prior to October 2016. He received his Canadian visa after registration for Get On My Level 2016 had closed, but a decision was made by TOs to allow him to enter despite this, due to a widespread community approval. Using his newfound combination of characters, he defeated False 3-0 to face Nairo, who he defeated 3-1. Upon reaching top 8, Leo was matched up against Ally and was defeated 1-3. Dropping down to the loser's bracket he was faced with ZeRo, where he narrowly lost 2-3 in a last hit, last stock situation, proving that he could go toe-to-toe with may other top players.
At Smash Factor 5, after losing to Wonf in winners quarters 2-3, Leo made a run through the losers bracket, getting the runback against Wonf in losers semis 3-0, eliminating Dabuz in losers finals 3-2, and beating Mr.R twice in grand finals (3-0 and 3-2) to win the tournament with a combination of his three mains. Soon after, at the Rio de Janeiro eGames Showcase 2016, he lost to Ally 0-3 in winners semis and Larry Lurr 1-3 in losers finals, placing 3rd overall.
At Canada Cup 2016, Leo once again confirmed his place among the best. He double eliminated Mew2King, and despite losing to Ally in winner's finals 2-3, he ended up taking 2 sets off of Ally in a close 3-2/3-2 Grand Finals to get 1st place.
His USA debut
In October 2016, MkLeo's visa was approved, allowing him to travel to the United States. His first American tournament was KTAR XIX where he placed 3rd, beating Nairo a second time 3-2 but losing to ZeRo 2-3 in winners finals and Salem 1-3 in losers finals.
At UGC Smash Open, he lost to Marss 2-3 in winners and was then upset by Darkshad 1-3 in losers, finishing at a disappointing 13th place. However he won Showdown: Battle Royale one week later, defeating Marss 3-0, and Mr.R 3-0 and 3-1.
At 2GGT: ZeRo Saga, Leo became the 16th person to take a set off of ZeRo, defeating him 3-0 in losers semis. In that tournament, he was sent to losers by VoiD 2-3; subsequently, he made an impressive losers run, defeating Dabuz 3-1, ANTi 3-0, and Ally 3-1, before eliminating ZeRo (perpetuating the saga curse). He then won the rematch against VoiD in losers finals 3-0 to reach Grand Finals against Larry Lurr. He reset the bracket 3-1 and claimed the second set 3-2 (coming back from 0-2 to 3-2) to win his first American national tournament. Soon after, he was sponsored by Rick Fox's eSports team Echo Fox as a result.
A month later, MkLeo travelled to California to participate in the upcoming international tournament GENESIS 4. His first event there was 2GGC: GENESIS Saga, set the weekend before GENESIS, where he beat Rich Brown and his cousin Javi both 3-1 to make it to top 8. He was then sent to losers by VoiD (2-3) and eliminated by Tweek (1-3), placing 5th.
At GENESIS 4, Leo solidly cruised through his round 1 and 2 pools, defeating You3 and Raffi-X both 2-1. In top 32, he beat Elegant and komorikiri in two very close 3-2 sets. In top 8, using Marth only, he first beat Mr.R 3-0, then he defeated Ally 3-1 and 3-2 in winners finals and grand finals respectively, winning his second supermajor tournament in a row.
Leo also won doubles in a dominant manner at both these events, teaming with komorikiri at GENESIS Saga and Ally at GENESIS 4.
At the Texas regional Austin's Really Feeling It #16, Leo defeated Jerm and Karna 2-0 and 3-0 before being defeated by Trela 1-3 in winners finals. After defeating Karna 3-0, once again Leo fell to Trela 1-3 in grand finals, placing 2nd.
Later on at Frostbite 2017, he defeated the Japanese Ness player taranito 2-0 to make it out of pools. In top 48, he was defeated 1-3 by Kameme and sent to losers. In losers, he defeated Abadango 3-0 before being eliminated by VoiD 1-3 and finishing in 13th place.
Leo attended KI Con 2017 two weeks later. He fell to Nairo 2-3 in winners finals for the first time. After defeating Illusion 3-0 in losers finals, he faced Nairo again in grand finals where he reset the bracket 3-2 but ultimately lost the second set 1-3, placing 2nd.
A week later, Leo attended Frame Perfect Series 2. In the winner's bracket, Leo defeated Ranai in a rather dominantly 3-0. He was then sent to the loser's bracket by ZeRo 0-3, landing next to Dabuz in bracket where he won 3-2. Leo then went on to face Komorikiri in loser's semis, defeating him 3-0 in Cloud dittos, before being double-eliminated by ZeRo in another 0-3 set, placing 3rd. After this tournament, people started questioning if ZeRo had Leo figured out, as their close matches had turned into sweeps by ZeRo.
To start off April, he attended KTAR XX where he qualified for top 8 winners after defeating Mr.E 3-0 in a highly anticipated Marth ditto set. He then beat Nairo 3-1 but lost to ZeRo 1-3 in winners finals and Tweek 2-3 in losers finals, placing 3rd.
Returning back to his native Mexico, he attended The Arena 2017 using almost exclusively Corrin the entire tournament after stating on Twitter that he believes the character can be top 10. He defeated Wonf 3-0 in winners finals but lost to Javi 1-3 in the first set of grand finals. Switching out of Corrin, he won the second set 3-1.
MkLeo later attended DreamHack Austin 2017. He made it to top 8 winners without losing a game, beating players such as Locus and Whispy. He then defeated VoiD 3-2 and Ally 3-1 to reach grand finals, where he lost to ZeRo 0-3 twice, placing 2nd.
To start out May, MkLeo traveled to Japan for the first time and attended his first event there, KSB 2017. He solidly won the tournament, defeating Ranai 2-0, Edge 2-0, and Abadango 2-1 and 2-0 in winners finals and grand finals respectively. He then attended Umebura Japan Major 2017, going through winners, defeating the likes of Kirihara 2-1 and Choco 3-0 until losing to KEN 0-3 in winners finals. After defeating Choco 3-2 again in losers finals, he won both sets of grand finals against KEN 3-2 and 3-0 using Meta Knight, taking the tournament. He also attended the pre-EVO Japan event called Sai 2017, which featured a 3v3 tournament for Smash 4. He teamed with Shuton and 9B and placed 2nd, losing to the team of KEN, Tsu- and Kirihara.
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