MkLeo, also known simply as Leo, is a smasher from Mexico. He is widely considered to be the best Super Smash Bros. Ultimate player in the world, dominating the competitive scene since the game's release and being ranked 1st on the Fall 2019 PGRU. Originally playing Ike, he later found tournament success with Lucina and Wolf before picking up Joker shortly after the character's release. He has also picked up several other characters over the course of his career, including Marth, Byleth, and Pyra and Mythra. He has also seen success during the online metagame and is currently ranked 5th on the Wi-Fi Warrior Rank v7.
In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, MkLeo played Marth and Cloud, with Bayonetta, Meta Knight, Lucina, and Corrin as strong secondaries. He is his country's best player and was considered to be the best player in the world in 2018 after ZeRo's retirement. He is also widely considered the best Marth and Cloud player in the world, one of the two best Lucina players in the world (along with Mr E), one of the best Bayonetta players in the world, and formerly considered one of the best Corrin players and the best Meta Knight player prior to dropping both characters. 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 the youngest player to win a major Smash 4 tournament, doing so at only 15 years old, achieving this 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 and usually teams with komorikiri or his cousin Javi. Leo/komorikiri consists of Cloud/Cloud and have taken 1st at majors such as Super Smash Con 2017, 2GGC: SCR Saga, Shine 2017, and GameTyrant Expo 2017. They were considered to be the best team in the world throughout 2017. Leo/Javi generally consists of Cloud/Sheik or Cloud/Cloud and dominate the Mexican and American scenes, taking impressive first places at major tournaments such as 2GGC: Civil War, 2GGC: Nairo Saga, and Canada Cup 2016. The duo has wins over the likes of ZeRo and Nairo, Mew2King and Ally, and Larry Lurr and ANTi.
On January 4th, 2017, MkLeo was signed by Echo Fox and Most Valuable Gaming. On the 8th of November 2019, WIN.gg reported that an unnamed investor spokesperson for Echo Fox told them the organization had completely folded. While this has not been independently corroborated by any other sources, the organization has been completely inactive on social media since September 2019. MkLeo formally announced his free agent status on February 21st, 2020. Five days later, on February 26, 2020, MkLeo signed with T1.
Leo is known for his patient and calculative, yet aggressive, 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. He is most infamously known for his immaculate spacing and microspacing in neutral, especially with characters with swords and other disjointed hit boxes. As his career progressed, his strong mindgames transferred to his strong mentality as he became the number 1 player at the end of the competitive lifecycle of Smash 4 and in Ultimate. This is highlighted by some of his legendary loser's runs in multiple S-tier tournaments, most notably Evo 2019, Frostbite 2020, and Super Smash Con 2019, with multiple reverse 3-0 comebacks.
In Smash 4
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. His Marth in particular has been very effective against Bayonetta as Leo is known to lab that matchup a lot. 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. His Bayonetta is noted for its comeback ability and above average combo game.
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 (though he began showing improvement in the matchup lately, notably having a perfect record against Locus). He is also known to struggle against grab-focused characters such as Donkey Kong and Bowser; at 2GGC: MkLeo Saga, he said that the player he dislikes fighting the most is Tweek since he often plays Donkey Kong against Leo and has taken numerous sets off of him with the character.
Leo's playstyle remains the same with the release of Ultimate. When he played Ike, he had a solid grasp on his fundamentals and bread-and-butter combos. After dropping Ike, the first DLC character for the first Fighters' Pass Joker was released and Leo was interested in learning the character. As Joker, Leo has a mastery on combos and tools. He also is notable for the usage of Joker's guns to edgeguard, escape pressure, and await opponents trying to punish his landing. Leo is also well known for the infamous forward air 1 to drag down up air to confirm into a down smash, or up smash if the opponent is on a platform. When Joker gets Arsene, Leo uses that advantage to quickly close out stocks with his precise timing of edgeguards and grab combos.
Leo began playing Byleth upon the character's release, eventually transitioning to maining the character during the online era. One of the hallmarks of Leo's Byleth is how mobile he plays the character despite Byleth's generally slow ground speed. One of the ways he closes space between him and his opponent (especially those who play far more agile characters such as Tweek, Sonix, and Sparg0) is to use Byleth's heavily disjointed tilts to force them into the air, where he can easily outrange almost the entire cast with Byleth's long, disjointed aerials, create juggle and drag down opportunities with up-air, and set up 50/50's by threatening to retreat to the ground to catch opposing landings with Byleth's various anti-airs. Leo is also notable for his superb utilization of Byleth's up-b, having mastered all of its various follow-ups along with its use in edge guarding and neutral.
2008-2014: Pre-Smash 4
MkLeo's tournament record before Smash 4 is relatively unknown, though it was implied that he has been playing competitively since 2008. His first tournament victory came at Anime Expo Mexico TNT 2009, at only 8 years of age. 5 years later, he attended Smash Factor 3 in Project M singles, losing to his cousin Serge 0-3 in winners finals, but defeating Ally 3-2 in losers finals. He lost to Serge again 2-3 in grand finals to place 2nd.
2015-Early 2016: Growing Fame Outside of U.S.
In Smash 4, MkLeo began as a Meta Knight main. Despite the character's unpopularity due to the nerfs from Brawl, MkLeo quickly became known as the best player in Mexico. He burst into the international Smash scene when he won Smash Factor 4, Mexico's largest Super Smash Bros. for Wii U tournament at the time, and surprised everyone by defeating EVO 2015 runner-up Mr.R in Grand Finals 3-1, 2-stocking him in each game he won. Although Smash Factor 4 was the only PGR tournament he attended that season, thanks to that stellar performance he was ranked 19th for the first Panda Global Rankings. Later in the year, he would defeat Vinnie 3-1 in Grand Finals at True Combo, further proving his capabilities as a player. His victories not only created more interest in the Mexican Smash scene, but also helped popularize Meta Knight.
In 2016, Leo's usage of Meta Knight progressively decreased as he started to use Cloud and Marth instead. Following Meta Knight's nerfs and Marth's buffs in game update 1.1.5, MkLeo began to rely more on Marth and Cloud and would only use Meta Knight in specific match-ups such as Peach, Ryu, and Sonic.
Due to visa issues, Leo was unable to attend an American tournament for most of 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. He defeated False and Nairo to reach top 8, but was defeated by Ally 1-3. In Loser's bracket he faced ZeRo in a highly anticipated set, which he narrowly lost 2-3 in a last hit, last stock situation, ending his run at 5th place. In the following few months, MkLeo would continue to rise as he would defeat Dabuz and Mr.R twice at Smash Factor 5 as well as Ally twice at Canada Cup 2016.
2016: USA Debut and Becoming Top 10
In October 2016, MkLeo's visa was approved, allowing him to travel to the United States. His first American tournament, KTAR XIX, saw him defeating Nairo a second time but falling to ZeRo 2-3 and Salem 1-3, placing 3rd. His next American tournament, UGC Smash Open, was his worst performance of the season as he would lose to Marss 2-3 and Darkshad 1-3, placing 13th.
Although he would claim victory at Showdown: Battle Royale, MkLeo's first major American victory was at 2GGT: ZeRo Saga. Despite being sent to losers by VoiD 2-3, MkLeo would make an impressive losers run, eliminating Dabuz, ANTi, and Ally along the way. He then met ZeRo for the third time that season and was able to defeat him 3-0, becoming the 16th player to defeat him. He then won the rematch against VoiD 3-0 in losers finals and double-eliminated Larry Lurr 3-1 and 3-2 to win his first American national tournament. With this victory, he became the youngest person ever to win a major Smash 4 tournament, a record that still stands today. His outstanding performance that season, culminating with his victory at 2GGT: ZeRo Saga, not only helped him rise up to 8th place on the Panda Global Rankings v2, but also helped him gain sponsorships from Echo Fox and Most Valuable Gaming.
2017: The Path to Top 3
With his new status as the youngest top 10 player, MkLeo went into the third season with hopes of becoming the best player in the world. His first tournament that season, 2GGC: GENESIS Saga, saw him lose to VoiD and Tweek, placing 5th. Despite this shortcoming, he would have a spectacular performance at GENESIS 4, defeating everyone in his path, including komorikiri, Mr.R, and Ally twice, to claim victory at his second supermajor ever.
His next few majors, however, would be marked with disappointments. At Frostbite 2018, he lost to kameme 1-3 and VoiD 1-3, placing 13th. Although he had a successful performance at Frame Perfect Series 2, he failed to claim victory as he was unable to take a single game off of ZeRo, who cemented himself as MkLeo's bracket demon. Finally, he saw his worst performance yet by being upset by Meteor 0-2 and AC 2-3 at 2GGC: Civil War, finishing 65th.
Despite these disappointments, MkLeo would see his most successful season yet. He had several stellar performances such as his victory at Umebura Japan Major and top 3 placements at DreamHack Austin 2017, 2GGC: Nairo Saga, and CEO 2017. He also introduced a new secondary - Corrin - whom he used to claim victory at The Arena 2017 and defeat Salem at CEO 2017. His consistent victories over everyone except for ZeRo helped him rise all the way to 2nd on the Panda Global Rankings v3.
The fourth season, however, would be challenging for MkLeo as he would see some of his worst performances yet. At EVO 2017, he drowned in pools by losing to false 1-2 and MuteAce 1-2, tying his worst placement at 65th. His next major, DreamHack Atlanta 2017, saw him losing to Vinnie 1-2 and ZeRo 0-3, placing 17th. Finally, MkLeo would perform abysmally at the invitational PAX Arena at PAX West 2017, where he was only able to defeat KOSSismoss. Although MkLeo found success at a few majors during this period, he would still struggle against ZeRo. With Salem's victories at EVO 2017 - double-eliminating ZeRo in the process - and DreamHack Atlanta 2017 shutting MkLeo out of the top 2, people began to wonder whether MkLeo would drop even further.
However, MkLeo would see some light at GameTyrant Expo 2017. Although he fell to Elegant 1-3, he saw his first victory against ZeRo since 2GGT: ZeRo Saga, eliminating him 3-1 using Meta Knight. He rematched Elegant in Grand Finals where he would barely double-eliminate him, with both sets going to the final game, claiming his first victory of the season.
The rest of a season saw a return to form for MkLeo. Although he would finish an underwhelming 9th place at 2GGC: Fire Emblem Saga, losing to komorikiri 2-3 and VoiD 2-3, and fall victim to the 2GG curse by placing 3rd at the 2GGC tournament honoring him, he would claim victory at the final 2 national tournaments of the season: IBP Masters Showdown and 2GG Championship. The latter tournament was MkLeo's best performance of the season: he defeated ZeRo in a very quick 3-0 using Meta Knight and, although losing the first set of Grand Finals, defeated ZeRo yet again 3-1. Due to his strong performances towards the latter half of the season, MkLeo would only see a small drop to 4th place on the Panda Global Rankings v4.
During the off-season, MkLeo was invited to Smash 4 Boot Camp. He lost to Tweek 1-2 and Cosmos 0-2 in his group pool, entering top 16 on Losers side. He beat Dabuz 3-1 but lost to Larry Lurr 1-3, placing 9th.
2018: Claiming the Throne
Following ZeRo's retirement, MkLeo would become one of the contenders for the top spot alongside Nairo. MkLeo would start off strong by defending his title at GENESIS 5 and winning EVO Japan 2018. Nairo would fire back by winning and defeating MkLeo at both Niconico Tokaigi 2018 and Smash Masters League: Battle for Vegas. In turn, MkLeo would win and defeat Nairo at both SwitchFest and Get On My Level 2018, picking up Bayonetta along the way. Eventually, due to Nairo's declining results towards the end of the season, MkLeo would pull ahead, placing top 8 at the final 3 majors of the season. With victories at every non-major tournament he attended as well as relatively few losses - with his worst loss being the top Japanese player ZAKI at 2GG: Hyrule Saga - MkLeo was able to claim the vacant throne on the Panda Global Rankings v5.
MkLeo would also be invited to the Super Smash Bros. Invitational 2018 for the then-upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In the first round, MkLeo used Bayonetta and teamed with Mango to defeat Mr.R and Lucky. He then defeated Mango's Inkling with Sonic, but then lost to ZeRo's Sheik while using Snake. In Loser's Finals, MkLeo controversially swept Plup's Ridley with Bayonetta, causing discord in the audience due to Bayonetta's unpopularity in Smash 4. He would then rematch ZeRo in Grand Finals, resetting the bracket 2-0 with Bayonetta and Sonic over ZeRo's Mario and Sheik, but then losing 1-2, placing 2nd.
In the final season, MkLeo would only register for three major tournaments. He dropped out of EVO 2018 due to chickenpox but was able to come back strong by winning Super Smash Con 2018, only losing 3 games to WaDi, Nairo, and Samsora. At his final tournament, Shine 2018, he was upset 1-2 by JaKaL and performed one last Loser's run, defeating Dabuz and VoiD before falling to Tweek 2-3, finishing 5th.
Due to MkLeo's success throughout Smash 4's lifespan culminating in his dominance in the game's final years, MkLeo was ranked 3rd on the PGR 100, the all-time Smash 4 ranking, behind ZeRo and Nairo.
2019: The Ultimate Player
Following his performance at the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate invitational, MkLeo went into Ultimate with strong results, using a combination of Ike and Lucina. MkLeo's first national tournament for the new game was Smash Conference United where he would claim victory over Samsora 3-2. At GENESIS 6, the first Ultimate supermajor, MkLeo would be sent to Loser's by Samsora 2-3 in Winner Semis. However, he made an impressive losers run, defeating Light 3-2, Dabuz 3-1, Samsora 3-2 in a runback then VoiD 3-1 twice in grand finals to take his third GENESIS title in a row.
With his impressive showing at GENESIS 6, MkLeo was shaping up to potentially be the best player in the world. However, his Smash 4 rival Tweek would challenge that position at Frostbite 2019, where he would beat MkLeo twice in Winner's Finals and Grand Finals. During this time, MkLeo would also experience a character crisis as he believed that Ike was holding him back, and he would experiment with Wolf and Marth. He would also fail to claim victory at a major save for Smash Ultimate Summit, which didn't count for the Spring 2019 PGRU.
With the release of Joker in Challenger Pack 1, MkLeo devoted more time to the new character and picked him up as a main despite the character's lukewarm reception in regards to viability. His first tournament with Joker, Umebura Japan Major 2019, ended with a dud as he was upset by TKM and Umeki to place 33rd, his worst Ultimate placement to date. However, he would stick with Joker and eventually started to see success with the character when he placed 4th at Get On My Level 2019. This would be the last offline tournament that MkLeo would place outside of the top 2, and he would win the next three tournaments he participated in. MkLeo would showcase Joker's advantages with a commanding 3-stock on Samsora at Grand Finals of Smash 'N' Splash 5 as well as his run at CEO 2019, where he would only drop 2 games to ProtoBanham and Marss. At the end of the season, MkLeo took the top spot on the Spring 2019 PGRU, cementing himself as the best player in the world.
The following season continued MkLeo's dominance. He would have a weak start by losing to Marss twice at Smash Factor 8, the only Smash Factor tournament MkLeo attended and failed to win. Then, at EVO 2019, the largest Smash tournament to date, MkLeo would fall to kameme 0-2 in Winner's Top 24. This, however, didn't hold him back and he would make one of the best Loser's run of his career, defeating Maister, ScAtt, and Abadango to reach Top 8, and then zackray, Raito, Samsora, and Glutonny to reach Tweek in Grand Finals. Although Tweek would defeat MkLeo in the first 2 games, MkLeo held on, taking the third game. In the fourth game, MkLeo would make an impressive 3-stock comeback and would dominate Tweek in the remaining four games, winning EVO for the first time. The next week at Super Smash Con 2019 MkLeo would be in the exact same situation: after falling to Samsora in Winner Semi-Final, he would tear through the Loser's Bracket and defeat Samsora 3-2 and 3-0, claiming victory at his second Super Smash Con.
For the rest of the season, MkLeo would place 1st at every single tournament he attended aside from Shine 2019, Mainstage, and Mega Smash Mondays 213. He would only lose to 6 players at PGRU tournaments - Marss, kameme, Samsora, Nairo, Glutonny, and ESAM; Marss, Samsora, and Glutonny would also be the only players who would take more than one set off of him. MkLeo also became notorious for clutching out game 4 in sets against players while down 1-2, such as against Tweek at EVO 2019 and Samsora at Super Smash Con 2019, earning him the nickname "Game 4 Leo." The second PGRU season saw MkLeo ranked 1st once again with a win rate of 81.3%, over 12% higher than Zackray, the player with the next-highest win rate.
2020: The Struggle Online
Leo's first tournament of the year was GENESIS 7 where he tried to defend his three-year winning streak. He was initially sent into Loser's bracket by Samsora in a game 5 set during top 8 and, after fighting through several top players, lost to Marss 0-3 in Grand Finals, ending the streak. He would bounce back next month with his victory at Frostbite 2020. Although he was upset 0-3 by Prodigy in winners Top 96, he tore through the Loser's bracket, defeating the likes of Salem, Dark Wizzy, Samsora, Nairo, Zackray, Dabuz, Tea, and Tweek to reach Grand Finals; many of these sets went to game 5, including a reverse 3-0 on Tweek and a last-hit scenario with Tea. In Grand Finals, he 6-0'd Maister to win the whole tournament, famously choosing Byleth for the final game.
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down tournaments worldwide, MkLeo began to participate in online tournaments. However, he quickly realized that Joker performed noticeably worse online and attempted to find a new online main, using Byleth, Lucina, Cloud, Wolf, and Greninja throughout the Wi-Fi Warrior Rank v5 season. At the start of the season MkLeo would struggle to place top 8 at major online tournaments, falling to Wi-Fi Warriors such as IcyMist, BestNess, Epic_Gabriel, and Kola, as well as other players such as Hungrybox and rat. He also developed a bracket demon in Sonix, who held an 8-2 record over him by the end of the season. He would match his worst offline placement twice, first at The Box, losing to Jw and Prodigy, and then at The Box: Juice Box 8, losing to GamingHI9x9 and AoS.
Despite these early shortcomings, MkLeo eventually found some success. Towards the latter half of the online season, MkLeo would stick to Wolf, Cloud, and Greninja and started to consistently place in the top 8 at major tournaments. His best placement that season was at the S-Tier tournament The Quarantine Series: Major Tournament 1, where he only lost to Sonix in Winner's Finals and Grand Finals, placing 2nd. By the end of the season, he would have an even record against the entire top 10 and would be ranked 11th on the Wi-Fi Warrior Rank v5.
In the 6th season, MkLeo started to play more Byleth and produced solid results such as 5th at A-tier Zinc Tank 3 and 9th at S-tier Lockhart Series. However, throughout the first half of the season, MkLeo would fail to claim victory at any major online tournament and his only victory would be at the B-tier Frame Perfect Series: ONLINE. It wouldn't be until November when MkLeo would finally win a major tournament: the S-Tier tournament Ultimate 32. Starting off in the top 32, MkLeo defeated several top players including BestNess, Sharp, and Sparg0 as he used solo Byleth throughout most of the top 32 and top 8 brackets. Coming from Loser's side, he faced Maister in Grand Finals, where he lost the first two games. He then switched to Ike, considered one of Mr. Game & Watch's worst matchups, and pulled off a reverse 3-0 against Maister, resetting the bracket. He then defeated Maister 3-0 in the reset, winning the largest tournament of the season. Despite being an online tournament, several players compared MkLeo's performance to his runs at EVO 2019 and Super Smash Con 2019 and congratulated him on his victory.
Although MkLeo entered fewer tournaments than he did the previous season, his victory at Ultimate 32, as well as his overall outstanding results, brought his rank up to 6th on the Wi-Fi Warrior Rank v6.
2021: Return to Glory
In the 7th season, MkLeo would only make appearances at a couple online tournaments, notably placing 2nd at both the S-tier The Airlock, defeating everyone aside from Sonix, and the first Phase 1 Qualifier for the Smash World Tour 2021, playing the newly-released Pyra for most of the tournament. Following the latter tournament, MkLeo announced he was going to stop attending online tournaments, although he would attend three other tournaments: Ultimate @ Xanadu Online 400 due to its high prize pool, Frame Perfect Series 5: ONLINE at the request of Mew2King, and Smash Alzheimer's after being invited. Despite entering fewer tournaments than the sixth season, he would rise up to 5th on the Wi-Fi Warrior Rank v7.
As offline slowly returned, MkLeo decided to commit to Byleth and the Aegis, as he saw his Joker as rusty. MkLeo attended his first offline tournament since Frostbite 2020 at SWT: Central America Ultimate Regional Finals, where he won the event without dropping a set. His next tournament, Smash Ultimate Summit 3, saw him face-to-face with his longtime rival Tweek. However, for the first time since Frostbite 2019, Tweek managed to defeat MkLeo 3-0 twice with his new main Diddy Kong, leaving MkLeo at 2nd. Two weeks later, the rivals met again at Riptide. Although Tweek was up 2-0 against him, MkLeo managed to turn it around and ended their match with a three-stock. He would then defeat Tweek once again in Grand Finals, winning his first supermajor since offline returned. These placements not only washed away any doubt at MkLeo's abilities post-quarantine but also started a shift in perception for Byleth, who was previously considered a low tier by many players. With all three characters in his pocket, MkLeo continued to place top 2 at every single event he attended as if the online metagame never happened.