Northern California Super Smash Bros. for Wii U player Matthew "Xzax" Liberatore has joined multi-game esports organization Team RivaL as its first-ever fighting game player.
The move comes after Xzax parted ways with former team Enemy at the end of October and began looking for a new home. After speaking with several teams, Xzax came to terms for a deal -- which have not been disclosed -- with Team RivaL.
"Being involved in the FGC and Smash in particular is something that we have been looking into for awhile now simply because of how unique the scene is and how those involved in it are some of the most die hard fans in all of competitive gaming," Team RivaL co-founder Tyler West tells ESPN. "One of the main things we were looking for was not only a player that could compete at a high level but also one that would be able to represent RivaL as an active member in the community that will assist us at RivaL in making a push to produce consistent and quality competitive gaming content, which we believe we have found with Xzax."
Prior to expanding to Smash, RivaL had teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Smite and World of Tanks. RivaL tells ESPN that if they find success with Xzax, the team will pursue other acquisitions in both Smash and other fighting games.
"If things go as well as we plan with this investment into Smash and Xzax, I can only seeing our interest in fighting games growing," West says.
Xzax is currently ranked 39th on the Panda Global Super Smash Bros. for Wii U rankings, which were released in May 2016. While Xzax did not attend the Evolution Championship Series, Community Effort Orlando, or Super Smash Con, he's taken ninth at both LVL UP EXPO 2016 and 2GGT: Mexico Saga, as well as fifth at 2GGT: Fresh Saga. His only major event of the year, Genesis 3, saw him take 17th.