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Yes, GameStop's 10-year-old Super Smash Bros. prodigy was a publicity stunt

The world of competitive Super Smash Bros. went crazy with the news of "Karissa the Destroyer," a 10 year-old kid who showed up at a West Hollywood tournament thrown by GameStop and destroyed all the competition. That competition, it should be noted, included Smash player D’Ron "D1" Maingrette, who tweeted about the event in amazement.

The rumors that this was all some sort of stunt began immediately. It takes a significant time investment to become this good at Super Smash Bros., which means Karissa would have had to have begun her training at an almost impossibly young age. This wasn't just a kid who happened to be good; she was using known, advanced techniques from the game's competitive scene.

"Frame traps are hard to explain, but essentially, if your opponent gets hit with a certain attack, there’s a recoil animation," the Daily Dot reported. "That animation is too slow for your opponent to follow up with an attack, leaving you with a few frames to attack your opponent, and in some instances, knock him off the stage. Karissa was a master of manipulating frame traps."

Today GameStop came clean and released the above video showing how they hid a competitive — and much older — Smash Bros. player behind the demo kiosk. Not a bad trick, and it's fun watching the crowd trying to figure out what's going on. As publicity stunts and pranks go, this one was pretty good.

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