Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez, the most successful player in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, now has a new team to call home. Last week, T1 Sports & Entertainment announced that the star competitor had signed to their expanding roster. This follows MkLeo’s stint with EchoFox, which dissolved in November 2019 following financial troubles and the sale of its League of Legends Championship Series spot.
MkLeo spoke to ESPN about his acquisition and his exit from Echo Fox. “I thought it was time to get another [organization]. To move forward. Of course, Echo Fox did a lot for me and super thankful to them, but I think it’s time for MKLeo’s story, Part 2. T1 has always been one of the greatest teams — for me, the greatest…Who doesn’t want to be teammates with Faker?”
T1 is clearly proud of their acquisition. In the news release announcing MkLeo’s signing, T1 CEO Joe Marsh said: “I’m beyond excited for ‘MkLeo’ to join T1 as he will continue to strengthen our North American presence and reinforce T1’s commitment to the fighting game community. I’m confident he will be able to continue his legacy as one of the greatest of all time as he looks to make his mark in T1 for years to come.”
Mexico’s MkLeo started his career in Smash 4 and caught the attention of the competitive world in December 2016 with his win over Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios at the 2GGT: ZeRo Saga event in Las Vegas. Up to that point, ZeRo was known as one the scene’s most successful players, so MkLeo’s win set the young upstart with a winning career trajectory. With the release of Smash Bros Ultimate, ZeRo retired and MkLeo made a smooth transition into the new game, consistently securing the no. 1 spot on leaderboards and winning events around the world. As a member of TI, he plans to attend at least two events a month and create content around Smash, something he is most excited to do as Smash can sometimes “feel like a job” to him.
MkLeo joins fellow Smasher Jason “ANTi” Bates on the T1 roster, a signal that the team has expansion plans in the Smash scene. Comcast and South Korea’s SK Telecom partnered up to create the T1 entity in October 2019, which will undoubtedly bring about more player signings in 2020. Keep your eyes on SlashShout for the next big T1 pickup.