T1 drops MkLeo, exits Smash before one of its biggest tournaments

The best player in the world is on the outs.

In a shocking move, T1 has parted ways today with the best Super Smash Bros. Ultimate player in the world: Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez. 

This move comes just days before Leos three-year anniversary of signing with T1 back in February 2020, where he continued to be the most dominant Smash Ultimate player under the organizations banner.

Today we say goodbye to the Smash G.O.A.T MkLeo, T1 said. Leo brought T1 fans so much to join and so many championships these past few years. We wish Leo all the best in his next adventure! He will always be part of the T1 family.

Leos signing marked the highest point for T1s venture into Smash as he joined Jason “ANTi” Bates and Larry “Larry Lurr” Holland on the teams roster. But Larry Lurr parted ways with the team less than a year after signing on and allegations of sexual misconduct led to ANTi being released. 

This left Leo as the only full-time Smash player on T1s roster, though his results stood above all others during his time with the organization. 

Since signing with T1 on Feb. 26, 2020, Leo has only finished outside of the top two at seven notable LAN tournaments. He also won 11 Majors during that time, including multiple Supermajors like Genesis 8 and 9

Its been a pleasure to be part of this awesome family, sadly, nothing is forever, wish T1 and every staff the best, MkLeo said. 

Based on Leos wording, this was likely a decision made by T1 and officially means the organization has now pulled completely out of competitive Super Smash Bros. And the timing raises some significant red flags, too. 

Smash Ultimate Summit 6 is less than a month away, with Leo having been directly invited to compete in one of the biggest events in the scene for a prize pool of over $46,000. That, paired with his dominant results that have spanned the entirety of Ultimates lifespan, shows that T1 likely viewed this as a cost-cutting measure as esports continues to go through a rough financial patch. 

Related: T1 replacement: Bleed Esports introduces first Dota 2 lineup for 2023 DPC

T1 also released its entire Dota 2 roster and sold its spot in the Dota Pro Circuit prior to the 2023 DPC season despite being a top contender in Southeast Asia. 

With this, Leo is now the premier free agent in Smash Ultimate, joining the likes of Marss and ESAM as top players without a team.

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