Local competitive play lets unsuspecting boy rub elbows with the king of Nintendo’s crossover hit.

It’s hard to overstate how much respect Japan has for Nintendo. An innovative company with a squeaky-clean image that’s achieved both critical and commercial success on an international scale, it’s pretty much exactly the sort of organization that Japanese people want representing their country.

Because of that, you’ll sometimes find Nintendo displays in Japanese airports, complete with playable demos of popular games. For example, right now at Narita Airport there’s a kiosk where passersby can play a round of crossover extravaganza Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and since the love of video games transcends national borders, the picture below shows a Japanese boy facing off against an international traveler…except, that’s no ordinary overseas tourist!

▼ Click on the image for the full-size version.

While the identity of the kid is unknown, his bespectacled opponent is none other than Leonardo Lopez Perez, a.k.a. MkLeo. The tweet’s description of him as “the #1 [Smash Bros.] player in the world” isn’t just Twitter user Ramin Delshad (@Mr_RSmash) exaggerating his traveling companion’s talents, either. Delsahd himself is a professional gamer, so he knows a good Smash player when he sees one, and even without his endorsement, MkLeo’s accomplishments speak for themselves: he’s the winner of international fighting game tournament Evo 2019’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate competition, which had over 3,500 competitors and is said to be the largest tournament in the Smash Bros. franchise’s history.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Given the kid’s relaxed posture, it’s unlikely he knew he was about to go toe-to-toe with one of the titans of the competitive gaming world, and odds are the fight was a nice, laid-back change of pace for MkLeo, whose job is competing in high-stakes, high-pressure Smash matches.

Unfortunately, Delshad doesn’t say how the battle ended, but even if an unpset victory for the kid seems highly unlikely, hopefully MkLeo at least went easy on him, unlike some gamers who feel the need to mercilessly put younger rivals in their place.

Source: Twitter@Mr_Rsmash via Yuruku Yaru via Jin
Top image: YouTube/Super Smash Bros.
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