Two of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U's best players, Samuel "Dabuz" Buzby and Jason "ANTi" Bates, have signed with North American esports organization Dream Team and will compete under the team's banner at the upcoming Community Effort Orlando tournament this Friday through Sunday.
Both players are widely regarded as top 10 players within Smash for Wii U. Dabuz was ranked third in the recent Panda Global power rankings, while ANTi was ranked 10th. The rankings are derived from competitive results, of which both players have had great international results within the past year.
"[I'm] excited about our venture into Smash 4," Dream Team general manager Keaton "Bee Sin" Cryer tells ESPN.com. "After picking up HugS weeks ago, we looked not only into the Melee scene, but into Smash 4. Seeing the growth of the Smash scene over the years is incredible, and we're very happy to be a part of it. After spending time scouting out players, we feel that both of these players are super talented, driven and dedicated to being the best they can be."
Dabuz is best known for pioneering Rosalina & Luma, one of the best characters in Smash for Wii U. Akin to the likes of Super Smash Bros. Melee legend Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma and his Jigglypuff, Dabuz has pushed Rosalina & Luma to her limits in competition, something no other player has done to that extent.
Dabuz most recently won Apex 2016 in New Jersey last weekend, with a second-place finish at the largest Smash tournament to date, Genesis 3, and third-place finishes at The Big House 5 and CEO 2015 last year. He also took fifth place at the Evolution Championship Series (EVO).
Dabuz tells ESPN he's "ecstatic" about working with his new team. "[I] can't wait to use this as chance to grow not only my own brand and status as a player," he continues, "but to represent a team that really cares about its players and the Smash scene."
As for ANTi, he's not competed as often as Dabuz in Smash for Wii U. However, when he has, he's been extremely impressive, taking fourth at The Big House 5, ninth at Smash the Record 2015, seventh at Get On My Level 2016 and first at Final Round 19. ANTi plays a diverse set of characters, including Mario, Zero Suit Samus, and Sheik, with some experimentation on many other characters, like Diddy Kong and Cloud.
Dabuz and ANTi have been free agents for a significant amount of time, with Dabuz previously competing under Vanquish Gaming and Team iQHQ in the past few years. ANTi, however, has never been with an official esports organization, with Dream Team being his first.
"When an opportunity as great as this falls into your lap, it will be foolish not to seize it," ANTi tells ESPN. "I am proud to stand tall with my new family here at Dream Team. See y'all at CEO."
Before competing in Smash for Wii U, both Dabuz and ANTi were known as Super Smash Bros. Brawl players, the Wii version of the game that released in 2008. Once Super Smash Bros. for Wii U released in late 2014, both made the switch.
Prior to expanding to Super Smash Bros., Dream Team has competed in Call of Duty, Halo, Gears of War, and League of Legends. Its League of Legends team is currently in the North American Challenger Series, the secondary competitive league ran by Riot Games. Its Call of Duty squad recently departed the team for unspecified reasons, however. Its first Smash signing was on June 2, with the addition of Super Smash Bros. Melee Southern California, Samus player Hugo "HugS" Gonzalez.
At CEO, Dabuz and ANTi will likely face the likes of Team SoloMid's Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios, Team Liquid's Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada, Counter Logic Gaming's James "VoiD" Makekau-Tyson, RSZ's Yuta "Abadango" Kawamura, and many other top players in the game.