MKLeo bows out of Smash Ultimate competition over health concerns

The multiple-time Super Smash Bros. Ultimate champion went into details about hearing issues and his decision to temporarily stop travel for his health.


Throughout much of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate professional competitive scene, Leonardo “MKLeo” Lopez Perez has long been considered the player to beat. After numerous big finishes throughout Smash Ultimate Major events, including a huge win at EVO 2019, MKLeo has made a name for himself for bringing the most out of characters many other players don’t consider strong. Unfortunately, we’re going to miss MKLeo’s presence at a multitude of upcoming events. The champion has bowed out of events that would require air travel due to health concerns.

Perez went into details about his health in a Twitlonger posted on his personal Twitter account on October 12, 2022. It was there that MKLeo shared the ongoing issues with his hearing. Reportedly, Leo has dealt with ear issues for quite some time, but recently the issues have gotten worse to the point where Leo’s doctor has advised against air travel. In order to heed that advice and not make the situation worse, MKLeo has opted out of any competition that would require him to travel by plain for the immediate future.

MKLeo's statement on bowing out of upcoming competition to focus on his health issues.
MKLeo stated that long running issues with his ears have taken a more dire turn lately, prompting his doctor to advise against flying until the problem can be addressed.
Source: Twitlonger

Unfortunately, as Leo discloses, this would include the upcoming Battle of Z in Montreal, Canada, which was set to celebrate and honor both Smash Bros. Ultimate and Leo as one its top competitors. Leo suggests it could also affect his tournament schedule past that immediate event.

Leo had continued to be a force to be reckoned with in Smash Bros. Ultimate competition, joining T1 in 2020. Despite characters like Steve becoming a constant conversation in the game’s meta, Leo has continued to excel with the likes of Persona 5’s Joker, Fire Emblem’s Byleth, and Xenoblade Chronicles’ Pyra and Mythra.

With MKLeo backing out of upcoming competition in which he’d have to travel by plane, it leaves a large gap in the highest level of Smash Bros. Ultimate play. Nonetheless, health is more important and Shacknews wishes MKLeo well in his medical matters, including a speedy recovery and a hopefully triumphant return.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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