By Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs and Jason “Nardwell” Mani
Small Scene Spotlight: Southern California
This week we stay in the Golden State, as we move to the warm and beautiful region known as SoCal. One of the leading 64 scenes in the USA, this scene has a long history that only recently has come to fruition as a solid and organized group of players. It is a scene that has had a rolling effect of picking up influential members as it grew. After a few years of growth, SoCal has become a diverse and powerful scene, hosting large nationals and having a large player base.
The early history of this scene is rather scattered and unstructured. While there were many players who competed in tournaments, they were largely unaware of each other. This all changed in October of 2013, when Gabriel DH, founder of Los Angeles Smash (LAS), held an all-encompassing Smash tournament. At this inaugural event, three crews of SoCal came together for the first time, creating the beginnings of the scene. This scene spawned the creation of a the SoCal SSB64 Facebook group. Curated by Rafael “Madrush21” Oceguera and Bryan “Near” Pen, this group would prove to be the main convening point where SoCal could organize its events going forward. One month after this first event, Gabriel DH hosted Smash Olympics, reuniting the various SoCal crews. This even is notable for bringing out two more important names to this scene: Daniel “SotoH” Soto and Dillon “CTG” Grandy. Having caught the bug for this beautiful game, SotoH and CTG knew they had to do their part to advance the scene.
In early 2014, these two men hosted a Smash 64 tournament exclusively for the students at their small liberal arts college in Whittier, California. Here is where the final piece of the puzzle came together. Alex “Wookiee” Jungsten made his first appearance onto the scene and fell in love instantly. With this group of solid leadership, SoCal’s future was only pointing up. Sadly, CTG moved to Dallas in April of 2014, but the rest of the scene powered forward. SotoH, Gabriel DH and Wookiee hosted the inaugural Smash of Ages to bring all the scenes together once again, and from there the rest is history. These two founding fathers moved in together, forming the famed LAS House, ensuring that the future of SoCal Smash 64 would stay in their hands. Over the past two years, this scene has traveled to tournaments all across the USA and hosted some of the biggest events 64 has ever seen.
However, this group of players is notable for more than just its tournaments. Among them are some of the preeminent players in North American Smash 64. Alex “Hero Pie” Ornelas, a master of many characters ranging from Fox to Link, has recently achieved great fame in the greater 64 scene, placing well at Genesis 3 and Operation Desert Smash while defeating some impressive opponents such as JaimeHR and Revan. Kyle “Kyle Tree” Trewartha is exclusively a Pikachu main, trained by the great Mariguas himself. The master’s teachings have paid off, as he had great placings at Snosa 2015 and Genesis 3. Bryan “Near” Pen is an old school online warrior who plays all characters at a high level. Similarly to LD, Near has had various highs and lows at majors caused by his struggles to find a decent adapter for his preferred controller: the Xbox 360 gamepad. Lastly is Janitor, a 2015 rookie who quickly rose to prominence, gaining notoriety for his flashy Captain Falcon combos. Be warned, however, as Janitor is more than a master of spectacle, being one of the best players to come on the scene in the past year.
Going forward, this scene is expecting some massive shifts and momentous events in the next couple of months. Snosa 2016 will be held in June and is expected to be the first 64 exclusive event to break the 100 entrant barrier. A variety of high level competitors will be in attendance, including SuPeRbOoMfAn, Isai, and Mariguas. The LAS House will also be moving locations, as SotoH and Wookiee look to expand the reach of the scene into potentially untapped regions around Los Angeles.
Regular tournaments are held here in their weekly, Sixty Four Somedays, and monthly, Smash of Ages. Keep an eye on the SoCal SSB64 Facebook page for more details. The famed LAS House also streams themselves every Wednesday on their LA_Smash Twitch channel.
That IS Falco!
This past week saw the release of a mod that swept across the community like a tidal wave. After much hard work, modder Nick Mang has finally released Falco onto the Smash 64 community! As it is the first edition of this modification, Falco must completely take Fox’s place on the Character Select Screen. However, going forward, there is hope that he can be selected via a palette swap, allowing the two space animals to face off and finally decide who the superior member of team Star Fox is. Keep an eye on the Smash Writers, as a more in depth look at mods in general is in the works.
Possibly the last monthly of the season at UMN was run this past weekend. Smash 64, led by Sugaaku, has held impressive numbers recently with 18 competitors showing up this month. The event featured numerous exciting sets, but BRE and his Mario did the best job of shaking up the bracket and flying above his station. BRE’s run started in Winners Quarterfinals when he met Koopahermit, the No. 4 seed. BRE took down Koopa’s Falcon in two dominant games, with a three stock followed by a two stock. BRE then met the No. 1 seed, DLens, in Winners Semifinals. BRE and his Mario were able to take down DLens’s Pikachu with some well spaced grabs in game one. Game two was a different story, DLens switched to Kirby and summarily four stocked BRE. Game three saw BRE surprisingly switch to Captain Falcon, who is considered by most to have an unfavorable matchup against Kirby. DLens furthered that notion, using the puff ball’s up tilts to power his way through BRE’s Falcon, consequently three stocking him into Losers bracket. There BRE met Sugaaku and her Yoshi. Yoshi fought hard but was unable to stop the war machine that was BRE’s Mario after a quick four and two stock. This win afforded BRE a shot at Snowstorm in Losers Semifinals this match went five games and BRE clutched out a win punching his ticket to Losers finals against Annex. Annex was sent to losers bracket by DLens after and intense Winners Finals that went the distance. Losers Finals would follow the trend but this time BRE would not prevail, but would achieve an excellent third place finish, nicely outplacing his No. 5 seeding. Annex would go on to lose to DLens in Grand Finals 3-1. The full bracket can be found on Challonge and replay VODs are available on SMASH_MN’s Twitch channel as of this publication.
Smash of Ages #2
This Friday the SoCal 64 crew had the second edition of their revitalized Smash of Ages monthly. The biggest surprise of the ten man tourney was the early entrance into losers bracket by resident ace Janitor at the hands of Madrush21. Game one was a dominant three stocking by Madrush in a Captain Falcon ditto that wizzed by. Game two saw Janitor counter pick to Mario. Janitor made some crafty edgeguards to get ahead early and the two traded stocks down to a last stock situation. There Madrush was able to string together a nice combo finishing with a back air that Mario was unable to recover from and sent Janitor to losers. Janitor’s first losers match was not much smoother. Bard’s Kirby took Janitor’s Falcon to a last stock situation, but the Falcon main was able to finish it off with a Falcon standard. The second game went much better for Janitor and he dispatched Bard with a solid two stock. The win gave Janitor a shot at SotoH in Losers Quarterfinals and another Falcon versus Kirby match up. Game one was stock trades down to a final stock situation. Kirby’s up tilts and simple edgeguards on Falcon gave him the edge here and SotoH took the game. Game two saw more of the same the two traded stocks down to last stock and SotoH was able to make the final edgeguard. Janitor was eliminated in Losers Quarters and settled with a disappointing 5th place finish. SotoH went on to defeat Wookie in Losers Semifinals. SotoH then lost to Near in Losers finals and snagged an unexpected 3rd place. Top dog Hero Pie sent Near to losers after a close five game Winners Finals. The rematch was not as close however and Hero Pie took it all 3-1. The full bracket can be found on Advancedbrackets.com and replays are available on the LA Smash YouTube channel.
SSBMTL Smash Loft: GOML Warm-up
Canadian Smash 64 weekly Smash Loft acted as a shake out before Get On My Level for 12 dedicated Eastern Canadian smashers. Revan made the trip from Ottawa this week to test out some new ideas against SSBMTL The Z’s Pikachu. This week’s bracket saw everything go according to plan up until Revan met SSBMTL The Z in Winners Semifinals. Revan’s Kirby four stocked SSBMTL The Z’s Pikachu in games one and two. Game three SSBMTL The Z switched to Kirby and Revan took the set decisively with a three stock. This sent SSBMTL The Z to Losers Finals where HandsomeTom was waiting. HTom’s Kirby snagged game one from SSBMTL The Z’s Mario after a last hit situation. SSBMTL The Z then counter picked to Kirby in game two. The counter pick proved valuable for SSBMTL The Z and he took the second game with an easy three stock. Game three SSBMTL The Z was able to bring it back to a last stock situation after being down 3-1 but a crafty edgeguard by HTom sealed a win. SSBMTL The Z took game four with patience and then game five with a swift four stock. Grand Finals was next with a rematch against Revan. SSBMTL The Z reset the bracket after four Kiby dittos and a Fox counter pick. The marathon 25 minute set wore down Revan. SSBMTL The Z took the first two games of the reset with Fox. Revan answered back with a exclamatory four stock in game three, but he was unable to carry the momentum into game four and SSBMTL The Z took it with a last stock uair. The full bracket can be found on Advancedbrackets.com and replays are available on the SSB Montreal YouTube channel.
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|Get On My Level (ON)||Full Bracket|
|1st||USA | SuPeRbOoMfAn||Twitch|
|2nd||SSBMTL TR3G | The Z||YouTube|
|7th||Bark The Shark|
|UMN Monthly (MN)||Full Bracket|
|Smash of Ages #2 (SoCal)||Full Bracket|
|Smash Loft #71 (QC)||Full Bracket|
|1st||SSBMTL The Z||Twitch|
|Havasu Smash #16 (AZ)||Full Bracket|
|Baltimore SSBL (MD)||Full Bracket|
|Smash @ The Cave (VA)||Full Bracket|
|SONA 8 (OH)||Full Bracket|
|GVS (CT)||Full Bracket|
|CFL Smackdown (CFL)||Full Bracket|