The Weekly Smashback 3/7/16: Shuffling Towards Pound

By Jason “Nardwell” Mani, Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs, and Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody

Every Monday (though in this case, Tuesday), we will be posting reviews of the past week in Smash 64. In the inaugural edition of The Weekly Smashback we fill you in on what went down at Shuffle VIII, take a trip down to Xanadu for an update on the Baltimore boys, have a closer look at a growing scene in Arizona, check out the beginning of an experiment in stocks, and provide brief results for the some other events in our scene.

Shuffle VIII

The first edition of the Shuffle series to host Smash 64 did not disappoint. The Shuffle team was able to draw out some of the best talent in our scene while providing them with a decent challenge in the form of surprisingly gifted local talent. Not only was Shuffle a positive experience for tournament goers, but the stream also provided the perfect atmosphere for this competition. The commentary was fun and colorful while also providing good insight into the skilled play.

This past weekend saw a great collection of talent collide in the city of Columbus, Ohio. Four of the most recognizable members of our scene would be in attendance. KeroKeroppi, BarkSanchez, Fireblaster and Shears made the trip from the East Coast to bring a battle of titans to Ohio. Among the storylines fans hoped to see were the continued rivalry between BarkSanchez and Fireblaster, a potential first meeting in tournament play between KeroKeroppi and Shears, and which Midwest players could put up a fight against these giants.

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Players checking in at Shuffle VIII Photo Credit: Ryan Mayle

The players from the Midwest did not disappoint in this regard. It was unclear how this group of competitors would perform, but they proved that their region has a lot of hidden talent. Andykins, a Kirby/Fox main from Michigan, showed great resolve by making a decent run through the losers side of the bracket. Another great losers run was made by Amida, a Kirby main from Kentucky. Amida even managed to take a game off of Shears’s Luigi in Losers Quarterfinals. Fumbles and Pugs, Yoshi and Pikachu mains respectively, represented the home state of the tournament well. These two competitors had great showings against one of the four giants in attendance. Fumbles managed to push BarkSanchez to his limit in the first round of the bracket, then made a deep run through losers bracket. Pugs did not make it very far after losing, but in his set of Winners Quarterfinals he refused to fold under the notable pressure of Fireblaster’s Yoshi, even managing to take a game.

After running through the bracket, the four highest seeds were the last ones standing. In the top half of Winners Semifinals, we saw Kero and Shears meet in battle for the first time. In a potentially controversial move, Kero pulled out his Donkey Kong to avenge his brother Stranded’s loss with the same character at Beast of the North East 2015. Shears won a clutch match here, furthering his dominance of Donkey Kongs played by the Speziale family. After this loss, Kero knew not to take Shears lightly and brought out his best character: Pikachu. Three thrilling matches later and Kero took the set 3-1 to advance to Winners Finals. In the lower half, we saw the continuation of the Bark-Fireblaster rivalry. This set was extremely intense, with Bark having to fight back from a 2-1 deficit against Fireblaster’s relentless Yoshi. In the end, Bark won a close Game 4 and had a dominant JV4 in Game 5 to win the set, making great use of Pikachu’s grabs along the way. This exciting set brought their series to a tie at 5-5.

Losers Semifinals saw Shears matched up against Fireblaster. The set count may read a clean 3-0 sweep, but Shears made each game competitive. After being down big in Game 1, he brought it back to a respectable 2-stock. Game 2 was competitive throughout, while Game 3 saw Shears blow a 3-1 stock lead. In the end, the relentless Yoshi of Fireblaster was too hot for Shears to handle. Winners Finals, a matchup between Kero and Bark, was similarly very competitive despite the sweep. These two Pikachu players appeared to be extremely even. Kero was simply a little cleaner than Bark in this set. He won a few too many neutral encounters for Bark to overcome, allowing Kero to advance to Grand Finals.

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Shears faces off against Dasit Mane in pools stage at Shuffle VIII Photo Cred: Bacorn

Losers Finals once again had Bark and Fireblaster facing off. As is to be expected between these two, this set was marked by great intensity and unexpected turns of events. Game 1 went to Bark in an extremely close 1-stock. Fireblaster had to fight back from an early SD, but could not despite great use of eggs to edgeguard. Game 2 ended in possibly the most shocking way imaginable. After a close fought match, Fireblaster had sent Bark off the top to a star KO. However, in a stunning turn of events, Fireblaster messed up an input and jumped off the ledge, losing his last stock before the Pikachu died in the background. Being down 2-0, Fireblaster fought back with great ferocity and won two games in a row with one stock remaining. Game 5 was simply electric, ending with a victorious BarkSanchez. Shuffle VIII was a great continuation of this rivalry, allowing Bark to take the edge 6-5.

Grand Finals was a rematch between BarkSanchez and KeroKeroppi. Kero decided to break out his stellar Captain Falcon for the first two games. The first match saw this tactic work to great success. Kero abused Bark’s Pikachu and won handily with a 3-stock. However Game 2 was a complete reversal as Bark adjusted well and effectively gimped Captain Falcon into oblivion. For the remainder of the set, Kero would go back to Pikachu. In these two games, Kero seemed to turn it up a notch. He had a solid JV3 in Game 3 and a harmless 2-stock in Game 4. He played an extremely stellar neutral game while smartly covering Bark’s easiest recovery options, forcing Bark to recover to unsafe areas. After a hard fought set, KeroKeroppi was crowned our champion of Shuffle VIII.

The TO staff led by Nate Cordonnier did a stellar job ensuring the experience of Shuffle VIII was a positive one. Talent of all levels was gathered together to ensure that everyone had someone competitive to play against. In fact, enough competition was present to hold both a professional and amateur bracket. This amateur bracket was won by Mr. Sir of ENKKO fame from Virginia. Nate also ensured that a quality stream was provided to those viewers at home, bringing in ThatsADarkHorse, one of the premier streams in Smash 64. This stream was marked by commentary from the big four competitors, providing the quality knowledge you would expect from players of their caliber. However, we also got commentary from some lesser known names. Some of the standouts were Andykins with his dulcet tones and Kirbstomper with his enjoyable insight into the players’ minds. Not enough can be said to the fact that a tournament with all the talent in the world is nothing without a good TO.

These and other streamed matches will be available to watch at ThatsADarkHorse on Youtube.

Small Scene Spotlight: Havasu Smash

Lake Havasu

This week we travel out to the border of Arizona and California, to Lake Havasu City. This isolated town on the Colorado River is home to a dedicated and growing group of players. Led by Cody Daniels, this scene is proof positive of the growth of Smash 64.

About two years ago, Daniels began hosting small events at his home. There were only twelve players, but they had fun competing and discovering the game. This group was completely isolated to the larger community, unaware of the fact that Smash 64 had a larger scene. They were totally unaware of any level of tech skill, but made their own discoveries along the way. Eventually, Daniels became aware of the greater Smash 64 scene and began going to some large tournaments. These experiences led him to host Operation Desert Smash, which brought in a shocking amount of talented players to his small scene.

ODS banner

After the excitement of Genesis 3, Daniels doubled his efforts to grow his scene. He has hosted weeklies for a month and a half in his own home, increasing the player pool by ten. Daniels, a Fox main, has won the four weeklies he was able to attend. The other two were won by their next best player, the Ness main Aces, who won both in thrilling bracket resets over Dustin, who mains Fox. Other notable players from this scene are GodSpeed, NateDog, and Majewski. Daniels noted that Majewski in particular is picking up the game well. When he first attended a weekly he was nothing more than a novice, but in subsequent weeks he has quickly honed his skills and picked up the nuances of the game.

Daniels’s hope for the scene is to grow it to twenty consistent players in six months. His ultimate goal is to grow the scene into a competitive hub, with high level talent that will compete for tournament titles. He has built this scene solely out of love for this game and wanting to see it grow at a national level.

To watch this growing scene compete, tune in to twitch.tv/themrdaniels on Saturdays at 11 PM EST. Scheduling note: the next two weeks will be hosted on twitch.tv/sirgodspeed. These matches are uploaded to the Havasu 64 Youtube page.

Xanadu’s Baltimore Smash Club

xanadu banner

Last Monday at Xanadu saw the creation of the Super Smash Bros League (SSBL), with the Baltimore Smash Club leading the way in its inaugural season. The creation of the SSBL also marks several changes in the operation of Smash 64 @ Xanadu, including a shift from weekly payouts to seasonal payouts and a reset of the Xanadu Smash 64 Elo power rankings. The restructured payouts also include a new incentive to each season’s top player: a free trip to a major. Unfortunately, VGBootCamp’s stream was non-functional for opening week of the Baltimore Smash Club, as LD quietly won his first Xanadu of 2016 over BarkSanchez. Smash 64 @ Xanadu is streamed on VGBootCamp. Videos for this week are hosted on VGBootCamp’s Youtube page.

The Four Stock Experiment

This week saw two major scenes begin an experiment testing the viability of four stock matches. Smash 64 tournaments are generally played with five stocks, but recently a debate has arisen regarding a possible change to the lower stock count. SixtyFourSundays in Los Angeles and 64 @ The Cave in Northern Virginia each altered their weekly to be a four stock event. Both events ran as smoothly as normal, indicating the change to four stock may be a positive one. The real test will be if a major decides to adopt this format and how this affects viewership and tournament flow on a larger scale.

The Rest

Salt in the City 3

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Salt in the City 3, which took place in Columbia, South Carolina, had its third installment this month and drew eight challengers to the Smash 64 tournament. Starlord ran the table and took the pot without dropping a single game. Rat managed to be the runner up, making a flawless losers bracket run after being sent there by Starlord. Darth Nook was also sent to losers by Starlord and ended up in third after being snuffed out by Rat in Losers Finals. Salt in the City drew 133 total attendees this time around with challengers taking part in Street Fighter V, SSBM, SSB4, and SSB64. You can find the full bracket on Smash.gg. Replay vods of this tournament can be found on Anthony6189’s twitch profile.

SmashLoft

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SmashLoft is a Smash 64 weekly hosted by SSBMontreal. Unfortunately their attendance was a bit light this week due to Frozen Phoenix, so we will take a look at their past two weeks. This week saw three challengers: Hypnoric, Commander, and WinCancel. SmashLoft plays a round robin best of three tournament set up. Hypnoric took the first match against WinCancel 2-0, Commander snagged the second match from Wincancel 2-1, and Hypnoric won the final match versus Commander to claim victory of the tournament. Two weeks ago drew a slightly bigger crowd. gogoboydancer won it all dropping only one game throughout the tournament. Hypnoric snagged second place and Commander eked out a bronze placing. You can find the full bracket on Challonge. Smashloft is streamed on SSBMontreal on Twitch. Videos of the 61st iteration can be found here, and are hosted on SSBMontreal on Youtube.

Throwback

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Smash 64 has landed in Texas. Throwback had its sixth iteration this week. They started just a few weeks ago in the beginning of February. This week’s gathering drew seven competitors. JayR emerged from the second seed to upset the bracket, winning all but one match allowing NaCl to reset in Grand Finals. NaCl, the local favorite, was sent to losers bracket but fought back to give JayR a run for his money in Grand Finals by resetting the bracket. rEnEgadE made a valiant run through the losers bracket after being sent there by JayR. Unfortunately, he only managed to take third due to JayR triumphing over him once again in Losers Finals. You can find the full bracket on Challonge. The twitch stream for Throwback is at TourneyLocator. Videos for this edition are in this playlist hosted by TourneyLocator.

Each week we will be highlighting Smash 64 scenes around the country. If there is a Smash 64 scene that you want covered feel free to contact us at thesmashwriter@gmail.com.

Results List

Event Player Media
Shuffle VIII Full Bracket
1st KeroKeroppi Amateur Bracket
2nd BarkSanchez Pools
3rd Fireblaster YouTube
4th Shears
Havasu Full Bracket
1st Daniels Twitch
2nd Aces YouTube
3rd GodSpeed
4th SonicFuzz
S@X 64 Full Bracket
1st LD Twitch
2nd BarkSanchez YouTube
3rd Shears
4th MasterHandJob
Salt in the City 3 Full Bracket
1st Starlord Twitch
2nd Rat
3rd Darth Nook
4th Thats Kane
Smash Loft 61 Full Bracket
1st Hypnoric Twitch
2nd Commander YouTube
3rd WinCancel
Throwback 6 Full Bracket
1st JayR Twitch
2nd NaCl YouTube
3rd rEnEgadE
4th -jv-
SixtyFourSundays #13 Full Bracket
1st Hero Pie Twitch
2nd Janitor YouTube
3rd SotoH
4th Bard
64 @ The Cave Full Bracket
1st Clubbadubba Twitch
2nd Yobolight
3rd Mr. Sir
4th Rusty


Each week we will be highlighting Smash 64 scenes around the country. If there is a Smash 64 scene that you want covered feel free to contact us at
thesmashwriter@gmail.com.

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