Elevate are returning to Smash 4 by signing Ramin "Mr. R" Delshad, the best Super Smash Bros. for Wii U player in Europe.
Ranked 10th in the world on the 2017 Panda Global Smash 4 Ranking, Mr. R is considered to be one of the best Sheik players in the world, as well as Europe's top Smash 4 player. He's been playing the game since launch, taking first place at the very first Smash 4 tournament ever, and has continued to find success in the game ever since.
Mr. R was previously signed to European organization LowLandLions, which he left in June. While playing as an unsponsored player, Mr. R took fifth at CEO 2016, second at WTFox 2, third at Super Smash Con 2016, fourth at The Big House 6 and fifth at Umebura S.A.T.
"The Smash community is certainly one in which we want to stay -- the fans are highly supportive and an absolute blast to interact with," Elevate CBO Collin "Parse" Ruud told theScore esports in a statement. "While we certainly miss Larry and wish him the best with Misfits, we are thrilled to be picking up Ramin. He has an exceptional history in Smash and one of the highest skill ceilings I've seen. If we can get him stateside to practice, I have no doubt he will consistently place among the top Smashers moving forward. We're excited to have him as a part of our Elevate family!"
Elevate previously sponsored Larry "Larry Lurr" Holland, who left the organization for Misfits at the beginning of the month. According to a spokesperson for the organization, Larry left because his contract expired and he had offers from other organizations, including Misfits.
Mr. R says that he hopes that Elevate will help him secure a visa and move to the United States on a more permanent basis, so he can step up his game even more now that Smash 4 is growing so rapidly.
"I've been looking for a team that could possibly help me with my visa," Mr. R said. "Although nothing is confirmed just yet, Elevate is gonna try and help me move to the States. I'm also good friends with Larry Lurr and thought it would be cool if we were on the same team. Little did I know he decided to leave right as I joined haha."
With the growth of Smash 4, moving to the U.S. could be a very wise move for Mr. R. It would help him set up base near the 2GG Championship Series, a Smash 4 circuit that's set to give out at least $100,000 in prize money this year. However, Mr. R says the scene still has plenty of room to grow, especially in Europe.
"I want the scene over here to be way bigger cause we're definitely not there yet," Mr. R told theScore esports. "We're falling behind the USA in terms of content, tournaments, viewership, sponsors and rate of growth. It would be cool to see Smash 4 at Dreamhack this year, that would help the European scene a lot."
Mr. R's first tournament with Elevate will be Genesis 4, set to run this weekend in San Jose, California. Mr. R says he's excited for the tournament, but with so many great players at the event, he's mostly aiming to land in the Top 8 this time around.
"Genesis was one of my favorite tournaments of all time so I am really looking forward to it," Mr. R said. "I have no idea how I'll do since Smash 4 results can be weird sometimes, but I'm confident that if I play well enough I can get at least Top 8."
Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.