William "Glutonny" Belaïd’s win at Pound 2022 made history, with the French Wario main becoming the first European to win a legitimate Smash esports open supermajor on North American soil in a post-Melee game.
Glutonny's victory over Leonardo "MKLeo" Perez came after months of grinding NA and SA tournaments, possibly representing a watershed moment for the veteran of modern Smash titles, and was even reported in the mainstream French press by legendary sports outlet l'Equipe.
The only other contender for this title would be Ramin "Mr R" Delshad, who won the Invitational event Nintendo threw for the launch of Smash 4 — but that was a day one tournament run by a TO with limited credibility in the competitive gaming space. Glutonny’s win over MKLeo at Pound happened at what was essentially a supermajor, and saw him take wins over Sonix, Dabuz, Leo, and Light, who many had tipped for top three going into the event.
The strength of international competition in Ultimate overall has long outstripped that of Melee, with players from Japan and Mexico winning major tournaments on NA soil, but the Europeans have never got to the level they did in Melee. In that game, Adam "Armada" Lindgren is arguably the greatest player ever, while William "Leffen" Hjelte is — and has been for some time — one of the world’s very best, capable of winning any event on his day.
Glutonny on the rise
After a few difficult months, Glutonny has finally begun to see the benefits of his hard work, having traveled from his home in France to compete on foreign soil. While Europe has produced a number of elite players, the standard of play there is generally lower than in the States, and lately Mexico — when it comes to Ultimate at least.
Since the start of 2022, Solary Esports’ man has played in at least seven major events outside of France, including one in Mexico. Two 5th place finishes, at Glitch and Summit, as well as a 9th at Collision, had led people to question his level. But the last couple of weekends saw Gluto come roaring back, taking second at Genesis 8 last week behind MKLeo, and now winning Pound with a victory over Ultimate’s number one player.
The win also gives him a healthy 800-point boost on his way to qualifying for the Smash World Tour finals toward the end of the year, with Pound a "Platinum" level event on that circuit. With $250K on the line in prize money, the SWT is making players sit up and take notice of what is on offer, and Glutonny will no doubt be keen to seal his place at the end of season finals.