Salem is a former smasher from Atlantic City, New Jersey, who is currently residing in Orlando, Florida. Prior to his ban, he was considered the best SSBU Hero and Snake player in the world, one of the best Shulk players in the world, and was previously the best Link player in the world. Salem was formerly ranked 10th on the Wi-Fi Warrior Rank v6 and 30th on the Fall 2019 PGRU.
In Smash 4, Salem was a Bayonetta player with Greninja and Samus secondaries and is widely considered the best Bayonetta player of all time. Salem was ranked 6th on the Panda Global Rankings 100. He was formerly ranked 2nd on the Central Florida Smash 4 Power Rankings and 3rd on the New Jersey Power Rankings. Salem was considered to be one of the best Smash 4 players in the world.
His static partner in doubles was Ryuga and they were considered to be one of the best doubles teams in the world. The two have achieved strong results together, such as 3rd at UGC Smash Open, 4th at Super Smash Con 2017, and 2nd at both Frostbite 2017 and DreamHack Atlanta 2017. They took sets off of teams such as ZeRo and Nairo, VoiD and NAKAT, ESAM and MVD, and Abadango and Kameme. However, he later began teaming with Dark Wizzy, and they placed 1st at Smash Conference United and GENESIS 6.
In SSBB, Salem was a Zero Suit Samus player, and was widely considered the best Zero Suit Samus player in the world when he was fully active. Salem was ranked 6th on the final Tristate Brawl Power Rankings and was formerly ranked 3rd on the 2016-2017 SSBBRank.
He was the first player to double eliminate ZeRo in a set outside of Grand Finals, doing so at Collision XIV. He is also one of two players to double-eliminate ZeRo in more than one tournament, achieving this again in grand finals of EVO 2017.
Following allegations of having encouraged CaptainZack to have sexual encounters with Nairo, Salem was banned from tournaments in late-March 2021.
Before playing in the offline scene, he gained fame on the All is Brawl ladder as an incredible Wi-Fi player, dominating the ladder with Zero Suit Samus. He made his offline debut at Concentrate II, placing 5th, where he defeated Nicole, Jbandrew, Will, and Kingtoon. He later attended Apex 2012; while only placing 33rd, he defeated Nick Riddle in bracket, then considered to be the best Zero Suit Samus player in the USA.
Throughout 2012, Salem continued to enter tournaments and place well in stacked tournaments within the NY/NJ region, but it wasn't until a dominating performance at Apex 2013 that he had a standout performance at a major, where he unexpectedly took the tournament. On his path to victory, he defeated top players such as mikeHAZE, Mr. R, Otori, the Apex 2012 champion, Dojo, Mikeneko, and Mew2King in both Winners' and Grand Finals, the latter of which is considered to be one of the most intense sets witnessed in Brawl tournament play. In Grand Finals, the set went to a last game, last hit situation, before Salem won following an extensive war of attrition. His win stunned the community; not only had he won one of the most prestigious Brawl tournaments at the time with a character not considered top tier, but he had also never won a tournament prior to then.
At Apex 2014, Salem advanced through his pool, defeating Mekos. He then defeated V115, before losing to ESAM in Winners'. He proceeded to defeat Pwii and Koolaid, before losing to ADHD in a close set, placing 9th overall, outplacing Nick Riddle once again.
Salem dabbled with Project M, maining Zelda. At Apex 2014 he advanced to bracket, but lost to Eli right away. He then beat Vectorman before falling to Atomsk placing 33rd. At SKTAR 3 he made a long Losers run beating Ringworm, NinjaLink, Wes, Internet Explorer, MVD, Porkchops, and Larry Lurr, before losing to ZeRo to place 13th.
At the onset of SSB4's release, Salem initially co-mained Sheik and Zero Suit Samus. His first major tournament was Apex 2015, but he drastically underperformed, failing to advance from Pools following being DQed in Winners and losing to falln in Losers Finals of his Pool. Reversing that poor performance later, he placed 9th place at KTAR XII. At EVO 2015 he made it to Top 32 Losers before losing to Tyrant, placing 25th. He'd place decently at smaller tournaments, placing 7th at SKTAR 4, 2nd at KTAR XVII, 9th at Shots Fired 2, and 5th at Do or DI and KTAR XVIII. Upon Bayonetta's release in February 2016, Salem switched to maining her.
Salem would finally have his breakout performance in SSB4 when he won Collision XIV, double-eliminating ZeRo in close sets in Winners Quarters and Losers Semis, Nairo in Losers Finals, and defeating Tweek in Grand Finals. He then attended Smashadelphia II, where he defeated Sinji, Mr.E, and 6WX convincingly to take the tournament. He then traveled to compete at Smash Conference LXVII, dominantly defeating dyr, Fatality, and Mew2King. In Grand Finals Mew2King would reset the bracket, but Salem won the following set.
Before The Big House 6, Salem entered Little Big House 2, where he defeated Darkshad and Shogun to advance into bracket. In bracket, he defeated Kameme, 6WX, Dath, and Abadango in Grand Finals to win the tournament, thought to be a precursor for his performance at The Big House 6. At The Big House 6, he defeated MJG and Rich Brown to advance into Top 32. In Top 32 he fell to Dabuz in Winners. In Losers he defeated Kameme in the run-back before falling to Nairo, placing at a slightly underwhelming 9th.
At Smash Conference LXVIII, Salem fell to Saj in Bayonetta dittos. He then made an extensive Losers run defeating Child, Rideae, LordMix, 8BitMan, Saj in a close rematch, and reset the bracket against Manny to win the tournament. Salem later returned to Michigan where he won Smashfield Weeklies 61, defeating Ryuga before falling to Ally in Winners Finals, defeating Ryuga again in Losers Finals, and defeating Ally in both sets of Grand Finals. Two days later, he attended Rebirth IX, where he defeated smasher1001 and LOE1, before falling to Zinoto in Winners Finals. He then defeated Rayquaza07 in Losers Finals, reset the bracket against Zinoto, but ultimately lost in a close second set, placing 2nd.
Salem would next enter Olympus, where he defeated 6WX to make Top 8. There, Salem defeated Larry Lurr, but then fell to Tweek in Winners Finals. In Losers Finals, Salem defeated Larry Lurr again, then dominantly took both sets of Grand Finals to take 1st. At KTAR XIX, he defeated Gomamugitya to make Top 48. In Top 48, he defeated False before losing to Tweek. In Losers, he defeated Zinoto, WaDi, Samsora, Nairo, and MKLeo before falling to ZeRo in a run-back in Grand Finals. At UGC Smash Open, Salem lost to ESAM, and entered Top 48 Losers. He then defeated Nero and Vinnie, before succumbing to Kameme, finishing at a disappointing 17th. To end the year, Salem entered 2GGT: ZeRo Saga, where he defeated Samsora to advance to Top 48. He was then defeated by Abadango and elimnated by Dabuz, falling at another 17th place.
Beginning 2017, Salem took Smash Conference LXIX, double eliminating Samsora in Winners Finals and Grand Finals. At GENESIS 4, Salem cruised through Winners, defeating 9B, before being upset by Elegant. In Losers, he defeated You3 before being eliminated by ZeRo, placing 25th.
At Frostbite 2017, Salem defeated Chrim Foish 2-0 and Rayquaza07 2-0 to make it out of pools. In bracket he defeated Komorikiri 3-2 and Shuton 3-1 before being upset by Tsu- 1-3 in winners semis. In the losers bracket he was eliminated by Dabuz 0-3 and finished in 5th place.
At Frame Perfect Series 2, Salem defeated SuperGirlKels 2-0 to make it out of pools winners side. In bracket he was defeated by Ranai 0-3 and sent to losers. In losers he defeated Kome 3-0, Earth 3-1 and ESAM 3-2 before losing to Dabuz 1-3 and finishing in 7th place. One week later at 2GGC: Civil War Salem was upset by Shuton 0-3 in winners Top 96 and sent to losers. In losers he defeated Vinnie 3-0 before losing to Zinoto 0-3 and finishing at a disappointing 25th place.
At KTAR XX, Salem was defeated by Tweek 2-3 in winners quarters and dropped into losers. He then defeated Light 3-1, 6WX 3-0, and Nairo 3-1 in losers before once again falling to Tweek 2-3 and finishing in 4th place.
At 2GGC: Nairo Saga, Salem lost in an upset to JK in winners' semis of his pool. Following this, he went on one of the most extended losers runs in Smash 4 history. After beating TLTC 2-0 and Horse 3-1 to make it out of his pool on losers' side, he defeated quiK 3-1, Twi 3-0, Mr. R 3-1, Tweek 3-2, and KEN 3-0 to make it into Top 8 losers' side. Once there, he defeated Elegant 3-1, Ally 3-1 in losers' quarters, Nairo 3-0 in losers' semis, and MKLeo 3-2 in losers' final, before falling to ZeRo in Grand Finals 2-3. In the process of the run, Salem defeated three of the top four seeds of the tournament, and at 2nd place, achieved the highest ever placement of a Bayonetta main at a supernational tournament until EVO 2017 a month later.
At CEO 2017 , Salem lost 0-3 to Nairo in winners quarters, but defeated MVD 3-2 in losers to make top 8 and secure a match with MKLeo in losers top 8. Despite being up 2-1 against his opponent's main Cloud, MKLeo counterpicked Corrin against him, and won the next two games using her to defeat Salem 2-3 and eliminate him at 7th place.
At EVO 2017, Salem lost to Larry Lurr in winners semis. Following this, he defeated KEN 2-0 in losers quarters, Tweek 2-1 in losers semis, and Larry Lurr 3-1 in losers finals to enter grand finals. Once there, he defeated ZeRo in two sets of grand finals (3-2 each) to win the largest tournament of the year, becoming the first Bayonetta to win a premier tournament. As a result, he is now considered the best Bayonetta player in the world, after briefly losing the title to CaptainZack during the beginning of the year.
At DreamHack Atlanta 2017, Salem won in his pool to make top 64 winners. He then defeated ANTi and Nairo both 3-0 to enter top 8 winners. He lost to Tweek 1-3 in winners semis. In losers, he defeated ANTi again 3-0, Nairo again 3-1 and Tweek 3-1 in a runback. In grand finals, he faced VoiD where he defeated him 3-2 and 3-1 to win his second S-tier tournament (according to the Panda Global Rankings) in a row.
Losing the title to Tweek
In 2018, Salem got 3rd at GENESIS 5 after losing to MkLeo's Marth 0-3 and Mistake 0-3 in the Bayonetta ditto. At Frostbite 2018, he was sent into top 24 losers after being defeated by Fatality 3-2, Salem then defeated Captain Zack 3-2, Shoyo James 3-2, and Tyroy 3-0 putting him in the losers side of top 8. Salem then defeated komorikiri 3-0 and defeated Fatality 3-1 after he sent Salem into losers. Salem's losers run finally ended when he was defeated by Tweek 1-3 in the Bayonetta ditto allowing him to place 4th.
Salem later attended MomoCon 2018. There he defeated Wrath 3-0 and Mistake 3-2 in the Bayonetta ditto to advance into top 8 where he defeated Nairo 3-0 before losing to Tweek 0-3 in the Bayonetta ditto. After defeating komorikiri 3-2 in a very close set, he had another close set with Tweek but lost 3-2 ending his run at 2nd.
In early June, he attended Smash 'N' Splash 4. He did not drop a single game in his pools which allowed him to qualify for top 64 winners where he defeated Gackt and Shoyo James in a dominant 3-0 fashion before having a close set with tyroy where he won 3-2 allowing him to move on to top 8 on the winners side. For the first time in a year, Salem managed to beat MkLeo's Marth 3-0 dominantly. In Winners Finals, he barely lost to VoiD 2-3. Later on, he beat MkLeo once again in losers finals 3-1 before losing to VoiD again in Grand Finals 1-3 ending his fantastic run at 2nd place.
Salem's final two tournaments for season 5 of the PGR were at 2GG: Hyrule Saga and CEO 2018. At Hyrule Saga, he defeated Darkshad 3-1 and Shuton 3-0 before losing to Tweek 0-3 and losing to MKLeo 1-3 after Leo was sent into losers early by zaki. This ended his run at 9th place. He had a simular run at CEO 2018 where he defeated MVD 3-0 and Larry Lurr 3-1 before losing to Dabuz and CaptainZack 0-3.
As a result of these placements, he ended up getting 5th on the PGR V5 while losing the title of the best Bayonetta to Tweek who got ranked 2nd.
The remainder of Smash 4
Salem's next tournament would be EVO 2018 where he was sent into losers early by Mr E's Lucina. He defeated Lea and Abadango 2-1, but he was eliminated by Ally ending his run at a disappointing 17th place (His lowest placement since CEO Dreamland).
Salem then went to Super Smash Con 2018, he solidly cruised through pools and defeated SDX in top 32 winners before falling to Nairo 1-3, he then beat MagiMagi in a dominant 3-0 fashion before falling to Mistake ending his run at 7th place.
He then went on to win Shine 2018 where he defeated ANTi 3-2, Dark Wizzy 3-1, Tweek 3-2, and then double eliminated Mistake in winners and grand finals to take the tournament resulting in Salem's first tournament win of 2018.
Salem's last Smash 4 tournament was At DreamHack Atlanta 2018, he cruised through pools until he narrowly lost to VoiD in a last hit game 5 situation. Although he beat Karna 3-0. He narrowly lost to Wrath which ended up being his first loss ever versus a Sonic ending his run at 7th place.
Salem, along with Dabuz and Hungrybox, is notorious for his defensive playstyle in both Smash 4 and Ultimate, and having an aggressive item-based playstyle in Brawl.
In Brawl, Salem had a playstyle focused on racking up damage quickly with items that came from Zero Suit Samus's power suit and to combo setups from Paralyzer and her down smash and to kill with her side special, Plasma Whip. In SSB4, Salem played Bayonetta and had a playstyle focused upon waiting patiently for the opponent to make a mistake, and to add on damage with Bullet Arts and Bullet Climax. However, if the opponent made a mistake and Salem could find an opening, he could take a stock within seconds due to Bayonetta's powerful combo game. It was akin to trying to defuse a time bomb, for if the opponent attempted to pressure Salem, he could take their stock, and if the opponent attempted to play defensively and out wait Salem, he would simply tack on damage until the opponent was forced to approach. In SSBU, Salem's playstyle is dependent upon the placement of items as he played Link and Snake, with major focus upon Link's Remote Bomb and Snake's grenades and C4. With Link, Salem prioritizes stage control and traps, corralling the opponent into a situation where Salem has advantage and can press for control. With Snake, Salem is the most defensive of the current three top Snakes, being MVD and Ally and will wait constantly for a combo opportunity utilizing the grenades or to constantly hit and run until Salem can KO utilizing Snake's down throw into a read or into an up tilt. However, when put into a disadvantageous situation, Salem tends to rush his options and acts brashly, resulting in unoptimal decisions, which lead to him losing the lead. Salem works best when ahead, even slightly, and will push his advantage until his opponent mentally breaks and collapses, allowing Salem to take over.
Opinions on Melee
Salem is controversially known to heavily dislike the Melee community, which has led to feuds between him and Melee players, particularly Leffen. A notable incident occurred December 23rd, 2018, when Salem argued that "Melee isn't part of the actual Smash community" which he based off of "years of research." Two days later he would post a TwitLonger where he would explain his comments but apologize for "further divid[ing] the Smash community." Nevertheless, his comments were ridiculed and has since become memes in the community.
Both Leffen and Salem were seeded to meet in bracket at multiple tournaments, but upsets or DQs often prevented them from meeting. They finally met in bracket at Super Smash Con 2019, where Leffen beat Salem 2-1 in front of a large crowd.
In early June 2020, amidst a wave of sexual harassment allegations in the community, CaptainZack came out with his testimony against Nairo. In the provided screenshots, Salem was seen encouraging CaptainZack to have sexual encounters with Nairo, and although his name was blocked out, people were able to confirm it was Salem through evidence in the conversation. Following this reveal, Salem's sponsor MVG announced that they would provide him with professional help and give Salem some time for self-reassessment before allowing Salem to rejoin the team.. Sixth months later, MVG reevaluated Salem and decided to keep him on the roster after stating he has shown commitment to his self-reassessment.
Following Nairo's video, on February 28th, 2021, Salem would release a TwitLonger explaining his side of the CaptainZack story, including Zack's relationship with Nairo, MattyG, and Ally. On Zack, Salem stated that Zack was interested in Nairo, which he didn't think much of because he believed Nairo was also underage. He also stated that Zack ended up lying about the relationship which led Salem to believe Zack made the whole story up. On MattyG, Salem stated that Zack and MattyG also had a relationship and detailed an argument between the two. On Ally, Salem stated that he didn't know much about the relationship other than a few comments made by Zack, and therefore assumed nothing would come out of it. He concluded his TwitLonger by stating that he believed Nairo and even Ally should be unbanned while Zack should be permanently banned. The TwitLonger was criticized for being riddled with grammar mistakes and filled with anecdotes that were not related to the situation, as well as Salem initially plugging his coaching at the end. A few lines, specifically one that mentions Zero Suit Samus, were also mocked.
Due to the negative reception and following bans from tournaments hosted by Cagt, Grayola, and L4st, Salem would post another TwitLonger on March 20th, 2021. He reiterated that he did not know Nairo's true age, noted how Samsora wanted him to take down a thread on the situation back in July and expanded more on Zack's relationship with MattyG, which he stated was bad for both sides. He ended off stating that MattyG threatened to post a video of Salem giving CaptainZack alcohol if his name was dropped.
Salem's statement on Nairo's age was widely criticized as well; many people refused to believe that Salem, who had known Nairo since Brawl, would not know how old Nairo was in 2017. Following his second TwitLonger, Salem would be permanently banned from the Wi-Fi Warrior Rank.