By Jason “Nardwell” Mani and Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs
Smash n’ Splash 2
This weekend saw the Midwest hold yet another premier Smash 64 tournament. Located in a water park just north of Chicago, Smash’N’Splash 2 brought together a wide range of players, from stars on the national level to local heroes.
Of particular note was Yoshi main and multi-game star Wizzrobe. This young Smash prodigy is not known to travel to 64 tournaments, but the presence of a large Melee contingent was fortuitous for fans of the original game. His most notable opponent would be the traveling superstar: BarkSanchez. The champion of the first season of the Baltimore Smash League has made a number of appearances in the Midwest this year such as at Boss Battle 1, Shuffle VIII and Rest Town. Online Nevadan star hipstur was also in attendance, having extended his stay in Indiana an extra week after Rest Town.
A large contingent of Midwest players filled out the rest of the talent pool, as 47 players looked to get wet and wild at Key Lime Cove. It was a veritable who’s who of Midwest players, as top players ranging from Wisconsin to Indiana were trying to stake their claim to the region. Saltsizzle, Combo Blaze, Fishaman P and more would be duking it out for dominance of the Midwest.
Pools ended with four strong players advancing via winners side, as Wizzrobe, BarkSanchez, hipstur and Saltsizzle defeated all comers. Wizzrobe, Bark and Saltsizzle all earned sweeps along the way, including a strong 2-0 sweep by Saltsizzle over Combo Blaze. hipstur was pushed to the brink in his set against KnitePhox, as he changed characters every game. His Donkey Kong was not strong enough to earn a win in Game 1, though his Captain Falcon and Fox reversed that decision to pull him to victory. Losers side saw Combo Blaze, Meerkat, KnitePhox and Fishaman P advancing to Top 8 bracket. While Meerkat and KnitePhox earned strong sweeps to advance to the bracket, the others faced tough challengers. Combo Blaze faced a strong opponent in Wisconsin native LimeSoda, though he was able to clutch out a victory. Fishaman P’s enemy was a losers bracket champion, Facechew. This man won four sets in losers bracket after being swept away by Wizzy. However, his run would come to an end against Fishaman P in a heartbreaking 2-1 set where each game came down to last stock.
Winners Semifinals began with Wizzrobe annihilating another foe. The Floridian completely dismantled hipstur’s Fox with his Yoshi, executing strong edgeguards and making smart use of super armor throughout, as he won each game with multiple stocks in hand. BarkSanchez had a similar result over Saltsizzle with a 3-0 sweep. However, the last two games were close until the very end. After a dominating 4 stock, Saltsizzle’s Captain Falcon seemed to partially download the opposing Pikachu, though he was not able to finish off a comeback in Game 2. The third game saw Bark initiate the Captain Falcon ditto, which he managed to win in a very close 2 stock.
Loser Round 1 saw a couple of 3-1 victories for the higher seed. Combo Blaze and Fishaman P gave us a clash of Captain Falcon style for the first three games, as Combo went for stylish kills and combos while Fish was more apt to the Falcon flowchart. After earning a 2-1 lead, Combo decided to try out his Donkey Kong in a game that went down to the wire, though the man from Illinois clutched it out in the end. In the other set, KnitePhox took two very strong wins with his Kirby over Meerkat’s Pikachu. Despite a hiccup after an odd switch to Fox for Game 3, Knite was able to close out the set with a strong victory in a final Pikachu ditto.
Losers Quarters started off with possibly the most impressive showing of the tournament. Combo Blaze absolutely blitzed hipstur in a shocking 3-0 sweep. His Captain Falcon was far too strong in the first two games, winning with four and three stocks. In a fun third game, Combo went Donkey Kong once again and won a nail biter. The other set was the complete opposite, as Saltsizzle and KnitePhox went the distance in five brisk Falcon dittos. This set truly showed the volatile nature of the matchup, as the two players alternated victories for each of the five games. In the end, Saltsizzle took advantage of a mistimed shield to finish off the set in a typical Falcon combo.
Losers Semifinals was a rematch of a pools matchup, as Combo Blaze and Saltsizzle would face off in maybe the best set of the tournament. This set also went the distance, featuring five exciting Captain Falcon dittos. Saltsizzle took the first two games quickly, looking to breeze his way to Losers Finals. However, Combo Blaze was not finished yet, as Game 3 ended in a dominant 4 stock. After this, the momentum began to turn in favor of the Illinois native. Combo earned a tight 2 stock win in Game 4 to force a deciding fifth game. The game was back and forth the entire way, as Falcons were pulling off strong death combos left and right. In the end, Combo was too strong and managed the reverse 3-0 after a tight last hit victory, cementing his spot in Losers Finals.
Winners Finals pitted our top two seeds in a clash of the titans. National stars BarkSanchez and Wizzrobe faced off in a series of Yoshi vs. Pikachu matchups. They split the first two games, as Wizzrobe dominated in a three stock followed by Bark clutching out a strong two stock. The next two games were completely in Wizzy’s favor, as he showed off the combo-heavy potential of his character to easily advance to Grand Finals. Losers Finals saw Bark pushed to the limit by Illinois’s favorite son. Combo Blaze took a strong victory in Game 1 and appeared to be on the path to do the same in Game 2. However, as the game came down to a last stock situation, Combo had Bark in a potential kill position. Unfortunately, Combo erred in his input and mistakenly fast fell, leading to a shocking win for Bark. In unfortunate fashion, Combo then managed to win Game 3, likely leading to frustration for the man as a win in Game 2 would have sealed a sweep. With his back against the wall, Bark seemed to turn it up to another gear and handily won Game 4 to force a final game. Here we saw Combo constantly fighting from behind which proved to be too much, as Bark clutched out a narrow last stock victory.
After an exciting bracket we finally arrived at Grand Finals. A rematch between Wizzrobe and BarkSanchez was on the docket. Wizzrobe started off amazingly strong, winning Game 1 with a ridiculous 4 stock and Game 2 with a JV4. He even finished Game 2 with a particularly stylish combo of reverse hit Egg to Ground Pound. Bark managed a tough victory in Game 3, but Wizzrobe turned it around and won with an easy 2 stock to take the tournament. The man from Florida appeared to be in control throughout the entire day and was never truly tested. This was a strong showing for the Yoshi main as he tries to take the next step along his path to Smash greatness.
This past week, the Baltimore Club of the SSBL tried out an alternative rule set. This ruleset dictates that seven stocks be used instead of five, Hyrule be the only legal stage instead of Dreamland, no timer be used, and a select few items are activated which are deemed balanced. Pioneered by Studstill, he calls it Real Smash, while the rest of the Baltimore Club refer to it as StudSmash. One of the biggest issues the Club ran into with this new format was the length of the matches, as the lack of timers meant timeouts were not an option. Another was the advantages items and the new stage gave certain characters. For example, Shears was able to defeat Darkhorse’s Captain Falcon with his Luigi and Yoshi, which he has never done before in a tournament. Despite some of the funny and zany item and tornado combos, they seemed to be providing more chaos than entertainment. In the end “Real Smash” as it were was seen as a completely unviable for competitive play, earning a 0/10 from the community in that regard. However, they rated it 7/10 for its fun rating. It was seen as a good change of pace from the routine of competitive Smash.
Great Value Smash
One of New England’s most dedicated Smash 64 communities is located in Connecticut. Their weekly is located at The Grid Games and is known as Great Value Smash. GVS is one of the few communities experimenting with four stocks instead of the standard five. The trend of winners side of the bracket being the Fireblaster show continued this week. However, losers side held some surprises. After being sent to loser’s in his first set, Hotline worked his way to Losers Semifinals. Gildo as well was able to make a losers run to earn a rematch against the man who sent him there, KaZ, in Losers Finals. KaZ was sent losers after an full-fledged five game set against Fireblaster himself. KaZ’s Captain Falcon was able to avoid the terrifying edgeguards of Fireblaster’s Pikachu in games 1 and 4 before succumbing to them one last time in game 5. Losers Finals was a complete runback of the KaZ versus Gildo match in winners bracket,as the two went Captain Falcon and Kirby once more. Gildo took the first two games but saw KaZ storm back to take games 3 and 4. Game 5 was another intense match and Gildo exacted his revenge, ending KaZ’s nightwith a classic Kirby uptilt combo. Grand Finals saw the return of Fireblaster’s Yoshi, as Gildo tried to counter with his Kirby in Game 1. Lacking success, Gildo opted for Fox in Game 2. The Fox pick went horribly awry, with Fireblaster reminding everyone that he is no stranger to the matchup, in a game that clocked in under 60 seconds. Game 3 was a bit closer when Gildo went Kirby and Fireblaster took the best of 5 Grand Finals in under 6 minutes. The full bracket can be found on Challonge and the replays are available on the Great Value Smash YouTube channel.
Smash 64 @ The Cave
The Cave Gaming Center in Fairfax, Virginia was host to another edition of Smash 64 @ The Cave this past weekend. The NoVa crew turned out 12 entrants for this weekly event and all were prepared to fight for bragging rights and that sweet cash prize. The bracket went as planned for most of the tournament seeds moved on as expected up until Losers Finals. Robert, expected to be a consistent threat for second place after having much success in Baltimore in 2016, had found himself unable to get past Yobolight since his return to NoVA. Winner’s Semis proved no different, as he defeated Robert 2-0. Yobolight was subsequently sent to losers bracket by Clubbadubba after a five game marathon that included Clubba alternating between Ness and Yoshi and Yobo rotating between Ness, Kirby, and Yoshi. Robert fought his way through Rusty and Mr. Sir for another shot at NoVA’s resident Yoshi main. Unlike Winners Finals, Losers Finals featured no character swaps, as Robert and Yobolight faced off with their Kirby and Yoshi respectively all three games. Patient play and excellent spacing from Robert led him to a 3-0 victory over Yobolight. Robert showed a renewed level of skill, finally earning a shot at Grand Finals over Yobolight.Grand Finals was set and Clubba, determined to try to win with Ness or Yoshi, was swept in the first set as Robert’s Pikachu reset the bracket. In the bracket reset however, Clubba abandoned the lower alt character dream and switched to Pikachu. Robert fought hard in three Pikachu dittos and despite all three being close Clubba prevailed and took the tournament. The full bracket can be found on Advancedbrackets.com and the replays are available on the Nova_SSB Twitch channel.
CFL Smackdown #81
CFL Smackdown is the weekly meetup of one of many quickly growing Smash 64 scenes in Florida, located in Central Florida near Orlando. Other Florida scenes can be found in St. Augustine, Miami, and Tampa Bay. This week was marked by upsets between the elite of the CFL crew. The first of the night was Lotto and his Captain Falcon’s sweep of MrMarbles and his Pikachu. Lotto continued his rampage, taking down sHEERmADNESS in Winners Finals. This set saw five games of the Lotto’s Falcon facing off against Sheer’s ’s Pikachu. The first game came down to the last stock but the four games that followed were dominant performances by the two with none ending in less than a three stock, displaying the truly unforgiving nature of Falcon vs. Pika. This brought us to Losers Finals and our third upset. After running through losers bracket MrMarbles got a chance at sHEERmADNESS. The two Pikachus traded games back and forth until Marbles came out on top. This set up a chance at vengeance for MrMarbles, as he was set to face Lotto once more in Grand Finals. Five games between Marbles’s Pikachu and Lotto’s Captain Falcon ensued. The volatile match up yielded extremely close games peppered with gimps and combos. In the end Marbles’s revenge was not to be had, as the unexpected champion Lotto upset the Pika main for the second time of the night. The full bracket can be found on Polarity.gg and the replays are available on nothing’s YouTube channel.
The Smash Writers goal is to cover all things Smash 64. We are three guys all dedicated to growing and spreading the word of Smash 64. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @Smash_Writer and like us on Facebook for weekly previews, recaps, and much more.
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