The Weekly Smashback 3/14/16: Shining in the Sunshine State

By Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs and Jason “Nardwell” Mani

Every Tuesday we will be posting reviews of the past week in Smash 64. This week we fill you in on the results of Come to Papa, travel north to Manitoba to visit a growing scene, spread the word of the announcement of a major in New England, and provide brief results for some other events in our scene.

Come to Papa

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Photo Credit: Eyes Like Analog Photography 

The first leg in the “FBC Presents Tournament Series”, Come to Papa, proved to be a very exciting event for all. This thirty man bracket, featuring some of the biggest names in Florida Smash 64, was put to the test by a lone invader from The Lone Star State. The team at FBC brought together a solid conglomeration of skilled play, smooth stream, and varied commentary.

This past Saturday we saw the heavyweights of Smash 64 gather together in Florida for a rare regional tournament. Mainstays such as sHEERmADNESS, MrMarbles, and TANK would face off against the upcoming stars of nothing, BT, and Sinbad. Beyond these residents of the Sunshine State, CTG, a Jigglypuff main from Texas, would be making the trip along the Gulf of Mexico in order to conquer Florida. We recently saw CTG on display in Ohio at Shuffle VIII, where he placed a disappointing ninth. The viewers were eager to see if the old guard of Florida could defend their position from both the eager young warriors from that very state and the gun slinging Texan.

The early stages of the tournament saw many of our standouts knocked into losers bracket. The heavily muscled TANK was handily swept by CTG in Winners Quarterfinals. CTG’s strong rest combos were too much for TANK’s Fox or Luigi to handle. Good friends BT and Sinbad were sent to losers bracket in subsequent rounds by nothing and MrMarbles respectively. After many hard fought sets, the stage was set for our Winners Semifinals, sets that would feature sHEERmADNESS versus nothing and CTG versus MrMarbles.

In the upper half of the bracket, sHEERmADNESS would lose his sole game of the tournament. The rising Captain Falcon main, nothing, found it difficult to maneuver around the slick spacing of the veteran Fox. However, in Game 2, nothing managed to find some creative set ups to force sHEERmADNESS off stage and earn some easy edgeguards. After a valiant effort, nothing was defeated 2-1. In the lower half, CTG and MrMarbles were facing off in another 2-1 set. These two competitors split the first two games, with CTG displaying great matchup knowledge against Pikachu and MrMarbles adjusting harshly to win Game 2. However, in Game 3, CTG used his creative usage of jumps to baffle MrMarbles and win with a two stock.

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Photo Credit: Eyes Like Analog Photography

 

As MrMarbles and nothing waited in Losers Quarterfinals, we witnessed some epic runs through the losers bracket. Pikachu main, Chase, and Jigglypuff main, Antwon420, each won three sets to make it to Losers Round 5, where they faced TANK and BT respectively. Unfortunately, these two valiant runs were squashed with destructive 2-0 sweeps. In a sign of karmic justice, BT was then swept by MrMarbles. TANK would continue his run, defeating nothing 2-1 in a stylish Captain Falcon ditto. These two Florida mainstays would next face off in Losers Semifinals. This set was incredibly lopsided, as the technical Pikachu of MrMarbles abused and gimped TANK’s Captain Falcon, leading to an easy 3-0 sweep.

Winners Finals would pit the veteran Floridian, sHEERmADNESS, against the Texan newcomer, CTG. Despite being a 3-0 sweep, this set was extremely close. Each game saw sHEER choose a new character as he tried to gain a significant edge against the combo-heavy Jigglypuff. In Game 1, CTG was almost able to overcome the matchup disadvantage he faced in Fox, though sHEER won in a JV2. Game 2 saw sHEER switch to his dominant Yoshi. This matched produced some very exciting events. CTG displayed some matchup inexperience early on, though he managed to battle back to even stocks. sHEER managed a shield break against the Jigglypuff with relentless pressure, leading to an automatic death. As the game went to last stock, CTG went for a risky rest over the edge. Unfortunately for the Texan, he missed and plummeted to his death. Game 3 was a completely different story. sHEER switched to his spacing-heavy Pikachu, leading to a quick 3 stock.

Losers Finals would be a rematch between CTG and MrMarbles. This would prove to be the best set of the tournament. Marbles displayed his technical prowess with Pikachu in Game 1, never allowing CTG to come in for his big rest combos. After a quick 3 stock, CTG managed to overcome the matchup deficiency and win two close matches in Games 2 and 3. The third game was characterized by two very slick rest combos to finish off Marbles. Game 4 was a complete brawl, going down to last hit. CTG proved nearly unedgeguardable, though Marbles clutched it out and managed to force a deciding Game 5. CTG had the momentum the whole way, as his recovery and combos were too much for Marbles, leading to a JV3.

Grand Finals would prove to be another strong victory for sHEERmADNESS. In Game 1 he showed off his unbelievable Yoshi spacing, as he completely dominated the Jigglypuff from Texas with a 4 stock. Game 2 saw an unexpected character change from CTG, as he pulled out his Captain Falcon. This change almost proved to be genius, as he managed to bring sHEER to his last stock before falling. sHEER decided to switch to Fox as CTG changed to Jigglypuff for the final game. This game was also a decisive victory, as sHEER displayed smart use of shine to get out of the strong combos CTG loves to use. After a hard fought tournament, sHEERmADNESS proved strong enough to defend his home state from the Texan invader. This bracket run was extremely impressive from sHEER, as he only dropped a single game.

This tournament was marked by a very competent stream and energetic commentary. Polaritygg ran a clean stream from the outset, proving it can handle the unique needs of the Smash 64 scene. The stream manager made mention that he would love to host Smash 64 in the future, giving hope to the idea that the burgeoning Smash 64 scene in Florida will see even further growth. Commentary was an eclectic mix of many of the competitors. The likes of MrMarbles, Antwon420, TANK, and Chase shared the duties with a few of their other competitors. Each of these commentators brought their own style to the matches, allowing the viewers at home to enjoy new viewpoints on each matchup. The idea of commentary-by-committee is an interesting one, an idea that may be useful for the 64 scene to make use of in the future when dedicated commentators are not available. Good commentary is key to the success of events like these, and a variety of commentators has proven to be a successful venture.

Come to Papa was streamed by Polaritygg on Twitch. Videos of this event will be available to watch at Polarity on YouTube.

Small Scene Spotlight: Manitoba Smash

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The Manitoba Smash 64 scene is run by Talon Murray, pictured above.

This week we travel to our neighbors in the north, as we take a look at the new scene in Manitoba, Canada. This scene grew out of an existing Smash scene, one dominated by Melee players. The Melee players were wary of allowing 64 to be played regularly, as Subzero, their top Melee player, always dominated these side events. However, the founder of this scene, Talon, grew sick of this status quo, and proved that solo 64 players had a voice of their own.

Talon Murray, a Captain Falcon/Pikachu main, started this scene out of a show of pure dominance. After being shot down by his scene’s Melee group, he proved that 64 players were not to be taken lightly, taking down Subzero in a show of force. Even after this precedent setting win, Talon faced an uphill battle. The scene would allow 64 tournaments at each Winnipeg Smash Monthly, but only recently did he prevail in getting Top 4 streamed. This scene has settled in nicely. Talon currently hosts bi-weeklies in his dorm with a decent turnout. However, the monthlies have seen a consistent turnout of 10 to 14 dedicated and improving players.

This scene has witnessed three top players step up. Talon was proving himself to be quite dominant in his own right. He won the first four monthlies as Pikachu, only dropping two games in total. However, recently a new player has emerged in the scene, as Roman, a previously solely online Fox main, began to win some of the bi-weeklies. In the most recent monthly, the third best player abused the lack of timers to large success. This Kirby main, SPLORCH, will need to change up his tactics if he wants to continue to win, as timers will now be implemented. He has earned a rival in Talon’s friend Pylo, who defeated him decisively at their St. Patrick’s Day bi-weekly.

Some rising players of note include KeagsBeSmashing and BurntOutNinja, who have been battling for the fifth seed lately, trading victories in Pikachu dittos. Talon also notes that SPLORCH’s brother, Pail, has been proving himself recently, increasing his own skills with the yellow rat.

Talon created this scene in order to give himself some playing partners. He saw a need for a 64 scene and created one out of thin air. While his scene has no players with experience at larger tournaments, a few members have expressed interest in attending Get On My Level 2016. He hopes they are able to train up in the coming months and prove to the world that Manitoba Smash in on the rise.

To support these dedicated Smashers, tune in to their Manitoba Smash Monthlies at ManitobaSmash on Twitch. Videos of these events are uploaded to ManitobaSmash on YouTube.

News

A Shiny New National for Boston

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In a move that exemplifies the constant growth of Smash 64, New England’s first Smash major of any kind was recently announced in the form of Shine 2016. It is to be held from August 26 to 28. MattDotZeb is heading up this venture with a unique funding structure. The venue that Shine will be using is impressively large. To ensure that this venue’s cost will be covered, the Shine team needed to raise $15,000 in registrations and shop purchases in the first two weeks. This goal was obliterated, as the Smash community as a whole came together to raise the money in six days! Any additional early registrations until April 1 will see the money go towards the next goals: Amateur Brackets and a Side Tournament Area. Be sure to register for this historic event at smash.gg.

The announcement of Shine also saw the 64 scene come together in two incredible events. Cody Daniels, the founder of the Havasu Smash community we detailed last week, also organized a Smash 64 national called Operation Desert Smash. As luck would have it, ODS II was scheduled for the same weekend as Shine long before the announcement of the Boston major. In a move showing great solidarity in the scene, Daniels moved the date of his retreat to September 10, to allow the larger Smash 64 community to try to attend both events. To ensure maximum hype for Shine, Tony O’Toole started a GoFundMe to bring the legendary SuPeRbOoMfAn down from Canada. This goal was met in just six hours, guaranteeing the best player in North America would be in attendance. Any additional donations will go towards funding other top players to attend.

The Rest

64 @ The Cave

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This week’s NoVA Smash 64 @ The Cave saw six contestants take up the challenge. It was a lighter than normal turnout with the notable absence of Clubbadubba. However, they did have a few visitors from the Maryland Smash community, including Studstill and icactusdog. Mr. Sir, one of NoVA’s native sons, had a strong showing this week. He made it to Winners Finals without dropping a game.  He finally defeated Yobolight’s Captain Falcon after struggling against it for the past few weeks as well. Mr. Sir played his Samus extremely efficiently, emulating the great Jouske. Unfortunately, Studstill sent Mr. Sir to losers bracket where he met Yobolight for a second time. Mr. Sir fought valiantly and took the set to game three, but was unable to prevail once more. This pitted Yobolight against Studstill in Grand Finals. Yobolight put all he had into the first set, which went three games, leading to a bracket reset. Despite his best efforts, Yobolight was unable to prevail in the second set of Grand Finals, allowing Studstill to take it 2-0. Studstill had a solid performance at NoVA this week. The tricky play style and novel move usage of his Kirby tripped up the local Virginians and allowed him to win the week. After the tournament, Studstill challenged Yobolight to a best of five money match with a whopping five dollars on the line. Yobolight kept the competition close and fought fiercely to game five, but was unable to overcome the wild style of Studstill’s Kirby.

S@X 64

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The second week of the Super Smash Bros. League brought Smash 64 to Xanadu in Baltimore once more. Coming off of a strong win last week, LD was sent to losers bracket by BarkSanchez after falling to him in Winners Semifinals. He was able to battle his way back through losers to make it to Grand Finals, however, defeating Shears in Losers Finals along the way. Despite his best efforts he was not able to prevail against BarkSanchez and was defeated again in Grand Finals. Studstill did not fair as well in Baltimore as he did in Virginia. He was sent to losers by BarkSanchez in the second round and was then defeated by The Protagonist once entering losers bracket. MasterHandJob had a solid tournament run, only being sent to losers after not being able to take down Shears in Winners Semifinals. He then fell to LD in the second to last round of the losers bracket. Shears also had a prime showing by making it all the way to Winners Finals, but unfortunately buckled to LD in Losers Finals.

In other exciting news, the Super Smash Bros. League instituted their first use of breaker pools. Under this new style of bracket, any placings that would formerly be a tie will now play a round robin pool to decide more accurate results. This addition to the bracket serves a twofold purpose. It allows the League to segment the competitors more thoroughly, allowing for unique placings for all. This will come into affect at the end of the season when they make the payouts. More importantly, breaker pools guarantees players more time playing Smash in competition, rather than the standard double elimination leading to a player being finished in tournament. More Smash is always a good thing.

Smash of Ages

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We fly out to LA for our next Smash 64 tournament. This week they held their monthly: Smash of Ages. This month’s tournament called to action thirteen challengers. Near emerged victorious after blazing his way through winners bracket. His biggest adversary was Janitor, who took the set to five games during their meetings in Winners Semifinals and Grand Finals. Janitor was able to rematch Near after a courageous battle through the losers side of the bracket. Wookiee took him to game five in Losers Semifinals and SotoH took him to game four in Losers Finals. D35 made a good try to emerge from losers bracket after being sent there by Wookiee in Winners Quarterfinals. Unfortunately, SotoH fell to Janitor after forcing Game 3 in Losers Quarterfinals. It was a big night for Near as he was the four seed and was able to take down the one seed, Janitor, twice.

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.

Event Player Media
Come to Papa Full Bracket
1st sHEERmADNESS Twitch
2nd CTG YouTube
3rd MrMarbles
4th TANK
Manitoba Smash Full Bracket
1st Drunk Talon Twitch
2nd piylo YouTube
3rd SPLORCH
4th Geenereeno
64 @ The Cave Full Bracket
1st Studstill Twitch
2nd Yobolight
3rd Mr. Sir
4th Rusty
S@X 64 Full Bracket
1st BarkSanchez Twitch
2nd LD YouTube
3rd Shears
4th MasterHandJob
Smash of Ages Full Bracket
1st Near Twitch
2nd Janitor YouTube
3rd SotoH
4th Wookiee
Havasu Full Bracket
1st dUbs Twitch
2nd TGZ_Freean YouTube
3rd Aces
4th GodSpeed
Throwback 7 Full Bracket
1st Gravyfingers Twitch
2nd JayR YouTube
3rd NaCL
4th Duff man

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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