The second Smash Summit will begin April 21, providing a unique format this year, with the 10 best available players invited, and a fan vote for the remaining six slots.
Since most fans are familiar with big names like Joseph "Mango" Marquez and Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma, let's highlight the six players voted in by fans.
Eric "ESAM" Lew
Team: Panda Global Gaming
2015 Ranking: 81
ESAM had the most controversy because of his background as a Smash 4 player.
He had most of his support come from the Wii U community, which created some backlash with several Melee enthusiasts on social media. Even though he might be known for his Pikachu in Smash 4, ESAM performs at a high level with his Samus in Melee.
He finished in the Top 32 at The Big House 5 and has won sets against several top players, such as Alex "Alex19" Ruvalcaba and Ryan "The Moon" Coker-Welch. He also represented the Samus team at Pound 2016, defeating Kevin "PewPewU" Toy to earn an early lead for his team. Similar to Alex19 last year, he wants to use Smash Summit 2 as a training ground for improvement.
Johnny "s2j" Kim
Team: Melee It On Me
2015 Rank: 16
Character(s): Captain Falcon
A fan favorite, s2j is known for his stylish Captain Falcon, fluid movements on the map, and dynamics reads.
He's seen much more recent success, making Top 8 at Pound 2016, where he defeated his rival Justin "Wizzrobe" Hallett in a Captain Falcon mirror match-up. He's also seen recent improvement in his overall gameplay and hopes to continue his great performances at Smash Summit 2.
Kevin "PewPewU" Toy
Team: Counter Logic Gaming
2015 Rank: 14
Fans are happy to see the return of PewPewU, who aims to break his infamous ninth place curse. For years, he's missed the mark at a coveted Top 8 spot with ninth place finishes at Evo, MLG, CEO, and last year's Smash Summit.
While PewPewU is known for his strong reads and stylish combos, he's implemented more options to improve his consistency. Although he wants to defend his standing in teams with Zachary "SFAT" Cordoni, he also looks forward to improving in singles.
Robert "Wobbles" Wright
Team: Panda Global Gaming
2015 Rank: 32
Character(s): Ice Climbers
After a long hiatus, Wobbles has become much more active in 2016 with the return of his Ice Climbers. He had a brief retirement after finishing second at Evo 2013, where he defeated Mango, Hungrybox, and Kevin "PPMD" Nanney in sets.
Over the past few months, he's slowly come back into form with an amazing performance at Battle of the Five Gods, where he placed fourth overall. Fans are excited to see his innovative play.
Mustafa "Ice" Akcakaya
2015 Rank: 17
Despite the lack of high level practice in Germany, Ice has been able to maintain his status as a solid Top 15 player.
Similar to ESAM, Ice wants to use the Smash Summit 2 to grow as a player and learn some of the more uncommon matchups. Recently, he's had an impressive showing at Genesis 3 where he defeated Justin "Plup" McGrath and finished in the Top 8.
For years, Ice has been in the shadow of William "Leffen" Hjelte and Adam "Armada" Lindgren, but he's demonstrated that his Fox is elite level with solid fundamentals and crisp movement. 2016 might be the breakout year for the best player from Germany.
James "Duck" Ma
Team: Free Agent
2015 Rank: 22
With a hilarious campaign video, Duck hoped to be the sole midwest representative. Unfortunately, he received seventh place, missing the mark in votes. But because another invited player bowed out due to injury, Duck was invited to take his place.
In the past year, Duck has performed well at majors, consistently finishing in the Top 16. At the end of 2015, he even defeated SFAT and Leffen at DreamHack Winter 2015. He continued into 2016 with two more Top 16 finishes at Genesis 3 and Pound 2016.
With the continued growth of Smash, Duck has been traveling to train with other top players. The opportunities to train at Smash Summit 2 will continue that trend for the Samus main from Michigan.
Aziz "Hax" Al-Yami
Team: Free Agent
2015 Ranking: 19
After finishing third at Pound 2016, Hax has never been more excited to play Melee competitively. However, lingering hand pains and problems with insomnia have unfortunately caused Hax to decline his invite--with Duck taking his place instead.
Smash Summit 2 will run from April 21 to April 24.
Day one will consist of Draft Crews and other exhibitions. The Iron Man and Doubles events start on day two. On day three and four, the 16-man singles bracket will run. Players will also be participating in fun side events such as Rivals of Aether, a Melee-inspired fighting game, and Mafia.