Nairo is an American professional smasher who mains Meta Knight in Brawl, Zero Suit Samus in Smash 4, and Palutena in Ultimate. He is the younger brother of Ksizzle. He is known for being among the youngest, yet one of the most successful smashers to compete in tournaments, as well as being the best Brawl player of all time, the best Smash 4 Zero Suit Samus and Bowser player in the world, and the best Ultimate Palutena player in the world.
In Brawl, Nairo is known for his highly aggressive Meta Knight style, which is at least partly responsible for his great proficiency against Olimar players. He frequently teamed with ADHD in doubles, where Nairo used his aggressive style to overwhelm opponents while ADHD created stage control with Diddy Kong's Banana Peels. The team was considered to be the most powerful doubles force in Brawl, having won Apex 2013, SKTAR 2, Apex 2014, SKTAR 3, and Super Smash Con 2016.
Nairo is considered to be one of the top five Smash 4 players in the world. At EVO 2015, he placed 3rd in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U singles. He defeated Mr. R 2-0 in Winners' Semis, but then lost to ZeRo 0-3 in Winners' Finals, after almost winning the first 2 games, but missing the KO in both games after hitting with Zero Suit Samus's paralyzer. He then lost his rematch with Mr. R 2-3 in Losers' Finals. He has also used Bowser, Cloud, Diddy Kong, Lucina, Dark Pit, Pit, Robin, and even low tier characters such as Zelda and Dr. Mario at a very high level as well.
He was the only player to eliminate ZeRo in a Smash 4 tournament in 2015 and the first to double eliminate him, ending the latter's 56 win streak at MLG World Finals 2015. After losing in Winners' Semis to ESAM 1-3, Nairo climbed through the losers' bracket, beating Mr. R 3-0, Ally 3-1, and ESAM 3-0 in Losers' Finals with a surprising character choice of Dr. Mario. This marked the first time Nairo had taken a set from ESAM in Smash 4 as well. In Grand Finals, Nairo won the first set 3-2 and won the second set 3-1 against ZeRo's Sheik and Diddy Kong, ending ZeRo's winning streak.
Nairo is currently ranked 1st on the New Jersey Ultimate Power Rankings, 1st on the New Jersey Smash 4 Power Rankings, 1st on the 2018-2019 SSBBRank, 4th on the Fall 2019 PGRU, and 2nd on the Panda Global Rankings 100. He was ranked 4th on the final Tristate Brawl Power Rankings.
Nairo was signed on by Team Liquid from August 11th, 2015 through August 16th, 2016. On August 24th, 2016, Nairo signed with NRG Esports, renewing his contract with them on October 11th, 2017, then again on December 8th, 2019.
Nairo, across all the Smash titles, is characterized for his gameplay as fast, vicious, and aggressive.
In Smash 4
He mained Zero Suit Samus and was known for his proficiency of her powerful up air ladder combos into her Boost Kick finisher. He pioneered her metagame and brought upon the style of aggressive pressure in order to bring her punish game into full effect. Throughout neutral, he has prowess in spacing and in the timing of her moves in order to be safe on the opponent's shield to compensate for the character's lack of neutral tools. He is also known to take risks and to make hard reads in order to quickly gain advantage over the opponent, notably with jump reads or a single grab in neutral. With the character, he has a touch of death and if there is rage and he manages to land a single hit or grab, with his ability to read DI and knowledge of kill percents, can annihilate an opponent's stock. This characteristic is highly noticed when he needs to make a comeback. Nairo is also very proficient at edge guarding and ledgetrapping, forcing his opponents into limited situations where he can take their stock. However, due to his risky and aggressive playstyle and his character's weaknesses, he is prone to getting shut down in the neutral with no opportunity to land a hit if the opponent plays defensively and doesn't get caught in Nairo's clutch. This is heavily emphasized through the many sets against his rival ZeRo, where the latter's immoveable neutral proves to be difficult for Nairo to break through.
He mains Palutena and plays with heavy emphasis on combo game and edgeguarding. Some aspects of his play have been improved due to the switch of character, as now with Palutena's relatively safe grab compared to Zero Suit Samus's, Nairo has many more opportunities to access his strong punish game and to make up for his neutral. He still mains Zero Suit Samus, but due to the removal of her grab and ladder combos, he uses her much less often and occasionally uses her as a counterpick.
Making himself known in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Nairo gained national recognition at Apex 2012, defeating top players such as Nietono, before losing to Otori in Winners' Finals and Nietono in Losers' Finals, placing 3rd out of 400 entrants. He won his first national tournament later that year at SKTAR, defeating ESAM in Winners' Finals 3-1 and Grand Finals 3-0.
At Apex 2013, Nairo was knocked out of Winners' early by Larry Lurr, but climbed up through his Losers' bracket, knocking out Havok, RAIN, ZeRo, Mr. R, and Anti in the process. Nairo eventually faced Otori in Losers' Semis in a long-awaited rematch, but lost the set 2-3, placing 4th out of 338 entrants.
Even in his time in Smash 4 and Ultimate and when both respective games decreased the popularity of competitive Brawl, Nairo still attends singles in tournaments that host it such as Super Smash Con, continuing his strong results with 1st and Top 8 at worst placements.
2014-2015: Continued Success in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
In the early metagame of Smash 4 and before his Top 3 player status, Nairo initially started as a Dark Pit main, first using him at Sky's Smash 4 Invitational where he beat Larry Lurr (called DEHF at the time) 2-1, but was eliminated by NAKAT, placing 7th at the event. He later picked up Zero Suit Samus, using her at CLASH Online Invitational Finals and Final Battle in conjunction with both Dark Pit and Pit, and ZSS was later be the character that he was known for.
His strong results continued in the transition to 2015. He placed 9th at Apex 2015, 7th at KTAR XII and later placed 2nd at CEO 2015. In the last example, he was defeated by ZeRo in both Winners Finals and Grand Finals. He also had two 3rd place finishes at both EVO 2015 and Super Smash Con 2015.
He placed 2nd at The Big House 5, losing again to ZeRo who reset the bracket in grand finals 3-0 then won the second set 3-2.
As noted, he constantly lost to ZeRo during tournaments until MLG World Finals 2015 where his win was arguably one of the most historical in Smash 4's history, as he would upset him in grand finals, breaking his 56 win streak, which was the only time ZeRo was eliminated out of a tournament during 2015. His strong results would continue soon after as he gathered a few 1st place finishes at Smash the Record 2015, KTAR XIV, KTAR XV, Dismantle 2, and KTAR XVI.
It wasn't until GENESIS 3 where this streak would end, being sent to losers bracket relatively early in a 2-0 upset by Hyuga, he later had a strong losers run taking out RAIN, Ito, ESAM, Ally, and Marss before Dabuz eliminated him 3-0. Despite his early elimination from losers, Nairo still finished with a placement of 5th.
In 2016 he would continue his strong results although he had a few lower placings, most noticeably with Pound 2016 being his worst placement in a Smash 4 tournament during the game's prime, being sent to losers round 1 by saj 2-1 and then being eliminated from the tournament by Mr.II in another 2-1 set, ending with a placement of 49th. However, this wouldn't mean much as a month later he placed 1st at MomoCon 2016, beating Ally 3-2.
Afterwards, he would finish in 7th place at The Big House 6, 2nd at Smash the Record 2016 where he lost to ESAM 3-2 in grand finals, 4th at both KTAR XIX and UGC Smash Open, and ended the year with 2GGT: ZeRo Saga where he placed 5th after losing to ZeRo 3-1.
Nairo would later become a much stronger player in 2017 as after his 17th placement at GENESIS 4, he would later win both Umebura Tokaigi Qualifiers and Niconico Tokaigi 2017 where he won against Ally and many top Japanese players such as KEN, Abadango, and Kirihara.
Not long after he placed 3rd at Frostbite 2017 in which he defeated MVD 2-0, WaDi and Mr E 3-1, before being sent to losers by ZeRo in a 3-0 set. In losers, he won against Shuton 3-2 and Dabuz 3-0 before losing to ZeRo again in a 3-1 set during losers finals.
At CEO 2017, he defeated CaptainZack and Salem 3-0 before being sent to losers by Larry Lurr 3-1, and then in losers he won against CaptainZack again in another 3-0 set until being eliminated by MkLeo 3-1, ending with a placement of 4th.
Nairo later attended DreamHack Atlanta 2017 and took out many players such as CaptainZack 3-0, Ally and Dabuz 3-1, and ZeRo and Larry Lurr 3-2. His two losses were both from Salem in a 3-0 and 3-1 set, giving him a placement of 4th.
After losing 2-1 to Rideae at Super Smash Con 2017, Nairo went on a lengthy losers run during the event. He defeated Rich Brown 2-0, Sinji 3-1, komorikiri 3-0, Tweek, VoiD, and Rivers (called Shoyo James at the time) 3-1, WaDi 3-2, Mr.R and MkLeo 3-1, and placed 1st after winning in two 3-2 sets against ZeRo in grand finals.
Another great placement would happen at Shine 2017, where he won against Pink Fresh 2-1, ANTi and Larry Lurr 3-2, Salem 3-1 until losing to both ZeRo and Tweek 3-1, ending his tournament run at 3rd place.
At 2GGC: Fire Emblem Saga, he defeated WaDi 3-0 and Kirihara 3-1 until being sent to losers bracket by Salem 3-2. In losers, he continued to defeat VoiD 3-0, Tweek and komorikiri 3-1 before losing to Salem again in a close 3-2 set in grand finals, placing 2nd at the event.
He later placed 4th at another 2CCG event, 2GGC: MkLeo Saga, in which after winning against Kirihara 3-1, he was sent to losers by Tweek 3-1. His losers run had him win against Abadango 3-0 and WaDi 3-2 before KEN eliminated him in a 3-1 set. These two events and a few other 2GGC tournaments allowed Nairo to qualify for 2GG Championship and will later place 10th.
His last tournament of 2017 was Smash 4 Boot Camp where he was one of the 10 players invited to the event by VGBootCamp themselves. He would later place 2nd out of the 16 entrants after losing to Salem in grand finals.
2018: The Last Year of Smash 4 and Slight Decline
2018 would be the last noticeable year of Smash 4 and Nairo had some great placements at the beginning of the year, but then his results started to slightly drop by the end of the tournament run. At GENESIS 5, he was upset by Legit 2-1, but then went on a strong losers run: SuperGirlKels 2-0, Brood and Tamushika 3-0, Maister and Zenyou 3-1, ESAM 3-0 and MVD 3-1, and would place 4th after losing 3-2 to Mistake. Nairo would later have three 1st place finishes at Niconico Tokaigi 2018, Smash Masters League: Battle for Vegas, and Collision XV where in grand finals he won against MkLeo in the former two, and Light in the latter.
Similarly, he would later have two consecutive 2nd place finishes at both Switchfest and Get On My Level 2018. At Switchfest, he won against Charlie 3-1, VoiD 3-2, AC 3-1, before losing to MkLeo 3-2, then won against Larry Lurr 3-0, and in grand finals lost to MkLeo again 3-1. A similar top 8 run happened at Get On My Level 2018 where he lost to MkLeo 3-2, then won against Mistake 3-0, until losing to MkLeo 3-1 in the grand finals reset. Before that, he defeated Blacktwins and Captain L 3-0, Larry Lurr 3-1 and komorikiri 3-2.
Nairo then attended MomoCon 2018, and he defeated Sean 2-1, ANTi and Fatality 3-0, before losing to Salem 3-0. During losers, he won against Lima 3-0 then lost to komorikiri 3-2, ending with a placement of 4th and this would break his two year win streak at the event. He would later miss top 16 placements at both 2GG: Hyrule Saga and CEO 2018, placing 17th. He was eliminated by Light and Elegant 3-1 respectively.
After this he had a rather low performance at EVO 2018. At it, a loss by Zenyou in a 2-1 set would place him at 33rd in the tournament. His final Smash 4 tournament before Ultimate's release was Super Smash Con 2018 and would end up placing 5th at the event after losing to Cosmos 3-2, and in a similar vein to MomoCon 2018, would break his two year win streak at the event.
2018-2019: Transition into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Nairo quickly continued his status as a top player in Ultimate, and switched his main to Palutena while occasionally using Zero Suit Samus as his secondary. His first tournament was NYXL Pop-Up! and he placed 2nd at the event. There, he beat John Numbers 2-1 and Dabuz 3-2 until losing to Light 3-1. He later won another set to Dabuz 3-1 and then he lost in grand finals to Light again in another 3-1 set.
A week later he attended Let's Make Moves, he defeated Odyssey, Venom, and Ally 2-0, then he was sent to losers bracket by Tweek in a 3-1 set. Later in losers, he won against Samsora 3-1 and then lost to Larry Lurr 3-2.
GENESIS 6 would be the first S-Tier of Ultimate and after winning against Klaatu 3-0 he was sent to losers by Cosmos 3-2 and soon after he was eliminated by CaptainZack 3-1, placing 17th. He would later have a top 8 placement at a S-Tier during Frostbite 2019, where Nairo placed 7th at the event, defeating players such as Fatality 2-0, Captain L 3-1, UtopianRay 3-0 before being sent to losers by MkLeo 3-1 where he won against Rivers 3-2 and then lost to Shuton 3-2. Nairo was invited to the first Smash Ultimate Summit and later placed 5th at the event.
At Get On My Level 2019, he won against ESAM 3-1, Rivers 3-2 before losing to Marss 3-2 where in losers he immediately lost to ESAM 3-0, ending with a placement of 5th. Nairo would place 5th again at MomoCon 2019, in which after a 3-2 loss against VoiD he had a solid losers run, defeating Peabnut 3-0, Light and Ally 3-1, Salem 3-0, and then lost against Marss in a 3-2 set.
Nairo later placed 17th at EVO 2019, losing against Mr.R 2-1 and defeated Dragoomba 2-0, kept 2-1 before having his run end by Marss in a 2-0 set. One week later, he would compete in Super Smash Con 2019 and have a better placement. He defeated Sonix 2-0, Fatality 2-1, NickC 3-1, until being sent to losers by Marss 3-2, his losers run had him winning against Raffi-X and Lui$ 3-1 and then was eliminated by MkLeo 3-2, placing 5th.
He would later attend Shine 2019, and won against LingLing and Raffi-X 3-0 before losing to Marss 3-0. However, his losers run was quite impressive in which he defeated LeoN 3-0, Tweek and Dabuz 3-2, Marss 3-0 until losing to MkLeo 3-0, ending with a placement of 3rd.
At Glitch 7, he won against Pink Fresh 2-0 and Sinji 2-0, then Salem 3-0, but then was sent to losers by Dabuz losing in a 3-0 set. Similar to Shine 2019, his losers run was quite strong, defeating Jakal 3-1, Dark Wizzy and Samsora in both 3-2 sets, but then lost to ESAM 3-2.
A week after Glitch 7, he attended Mainstage and would win his first Ultimate major, after MkLeo brought him to losers finals and Nairo ultimately won 3-1. He later placed 4th at The Big House 9 where he won against NickC 3-1, kept 3-0, ScAtt 3-1 until losing to Dabuz 3-2. In losers he won against Samsora 3-2 before losing to Zackray
After Big House, Nairo attended Smash Ultimate Summit 2 and placed 3rd, and later won another tournament with Tri-state Showdown: Fall 2019. At Tri-state Showdown, he defeated Mr E 3-0, RFang 3-2, and Tweek twice both in winners finals and grand finals reset.
He ended the year with a placement of 9th at 2GG: Kongo Saga. At Kongo Saga, he won against Sparg0 2-0 then was upset by Ned 3-2. In losers he beat Pandarian 3-0, Rivers 3-1, and Gackt 3-0 before losing to Samsora 3-1.
Nairo’s first tournament of 2020 was Let's Make Big Moves. After losing to Dabuz in close 3-2 set, he made a strong losers run defeating Sinji 3-0, Maister with a reverse 3-0, MVD 3-0, Tea 3-2, and Kameme 3-2 to make it to Grand Finals where he won two sets against Dabuz to win his second Ultimate major.
He would place 9th at GENESIS 7, being sent to the losers bracket by ESAM in a 3-2 set, and immediately being eliminated by Glutonny 3-2. Similar to GENESIS 7, he would get another 9th place at Frostbite 2020, losing 3-0 to Tweek and 3-1 to MkLeo.