East Meets West: SNOSA III Preview

By Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody

SNOSA returns for a third year, and while it sports similar numbers to the previous year, the tournament has taken on almost an entirely different look from the previous iterations. The original Smash 64 exclusive series has adopted the fairly new Waterfall Tournament Format and a sparkling new venue at Santa Ana’s Esports Arena, while also earning the distinction of being the first 64-exclusive tournament to host traveling competitors from Japan. While the Western Hemisphere has reigned supreme at each event since Wario’s victory at Genesis 3, Fukurou could change that in the absence of SuPeRbOoMfAn and Alvin.

The Smash 64 community has worked together once again to help Fukurou, Hiyo, and Gyaki attend Snosa III. While Fukurou has staked his claim over the past few years as perhaps the strongest Kirby main in the world, Gyaki and Hiyo emerged into the spotlight following impressive performances at Kanto 2017. Hiyo’s explosive Yoshi combos powered him past Prince, Japan’s strongest Yoshi player, and into a 9th place finish. Gyaki shocked the community by defeating Kurabba, Taimai, Wangera, and taking a set off of k y s k, finishing in 2nd place with Link.  Super Smash Con 2016 saw three Yoshi players travel from Japan, with some unexpected results. Bonobono was upset early, and fell at 17th place, while Kurabba vastly exceeded expectations and earned a 7th place finish. The notorious combo machine, Prince, had a strong 9th place finish as well. However, after seeing the least technical of the three yoshi players have the most success in a North American tournament, many in the Smash 64 community questioned what role the differences in versions may have played. Gyaki, on the other hand, faces a transition in which his character is considered to be vastly weaker. After taking down some of the strongest Japanese players to venture into American territory, Gyaki is believed to have the talent to overcome these changes and compete with the Pikachus, Kirbys, and Falcons of North America. Fukurou leads the Japanese entourage with an imposing Kirby, potentially the best in the world. Fukurou has dominated high level Japanese players like Wangera, k y s k, and Maha, and shown the ability to compete with Wario as well. While Fukurou may be seen by some as a favorite to take the tournament, Gyaki and Hiyo may be sleeper picks to make Top 8, or perhaps even Top 4.

Also part of the compendium to bring out Japan, Mariguas and Dext3r will also travel to compete in Santa Ana. JaimeHR will be joining the Mexican crew as well, along with SOMRERO and Weedlypuff, two fairly new players first seen at Smashenada. Without Boom to defend North America, Mariguas stands as the West’s strongest competitor. Mariguas has dismantled the Canadian Kirbys Revan and Handsometom, but appeared lost against k y s k at Genesis 4. With Fukurou offering an even tougher challenge than k y s k, Mariguas may be faced with an impossible task, unless the past five months of training have been rigorous enough to match up with the daunting Kirby main. None of this will matter if Dext3r has his way and takes down Fukurou first. 2016’s most improved player has kept on rolling through 2017, and has been very vocal about his desire to face and defeat the Japanese Kirby king. While on paper this matchup wouldn’t seem in his favor, the passionate Pika player has proven to be very dangerous when he can gather momentum. With wins over Wizzrobe, Tacos, and TR3GTheZ in 2017, Dext3r would love nothing more than to keep the wins rolling and overwhelm the Japanese invaders. JaimeHR in recent tournaments has shown the threat of a Pikachu, which has proven to be a dangerous addition to his arsenal after taking out Stranded at Genesis 4, and taking games against Mariguas. With some of his infamous “Turbo Mode” magic, Jaime could definitely cause a shakeup in the top of the bracket if he finds his groove. Japan is often seen as the pinnacle of Smash mastery, but Mexico might be too strong for them this time around.

Norcal’s crew features a solid core, such as their formidable veteran Shihman, and recently recruited free agents from Socal, Blondekid and Bard. While these guys, along with most of Norcal’s Power Rankings, will be showing up in force at Snosa III, the most intriguing story out of the region will feature the Mario Twins: Kimimaru and Hydra. Since his breakout console debut at Genesis 3, Kimimaru has been atop the Norcal power rankings and a consistent threat at majors. His identical twin brother Hydra made his console debut a year later at Genesis 4, and is expected to have made significant strides towards matching his brother. The two made waves at Genesis 4 with an unheard of double Mario team, taking out Jimmyjoe and Smash Jesus, breaking into Top 16. Kimimaru is already a threat to break into Top 8, but hasn’t yet snagged a win against a top North American player. Keeping a red-hot pace of improvement with the Red plumber, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Kimimaru pull off an upset or two and break into the next tier of competitors. Hydra also turned some heads at Genesis 4, and if the twins truly are identical, he may be only a weak up air into up smash away from Top 16 as well.

While Southern California’s resident celebrity, Kyletree, will not be present to defend home turf, the rest of their top players will be ready and willing to take up arms against a crowd of invaders. Los Angeles natives Heropie and Janitor are well-known as lurking threats in the city of angels, however, they have recently recruited another ranked threat from the east coast, Cobr. Despite a slow start from the New Jersey nomad, he’s coming fresh off of his biggest win yet against Kyletree. He might not run into the matchup at the top end of this tournament, but his expertise will certainly be useful in powering him to Top 16. Janitor has yet to score a major performance that can earn him top level recognition, but he’s shown flashes of his potential, most notably taking a set off of JaimeHR. Heropie on the other hand has been a threat as one of the best in the United States for over a year now, with victories over JaimeHR and Isai. Socal’s top crew is stronger than ever, as it sets its sights on Mexico, and perhaps Japan as well.

Rounding out the Top 8 threats are some familiar, yet still fresh names in the United States. Zero, BarkSanchez, and Dtan. Since his breakout performance at Super Smash Con 2016, Zero has been a consistent threat at the top, looking especially powerful against Falcons and Yoshis. He is chomping at the bit for a shot against Hiyo, another Japanese Yoshi to add to his list. BarkSanchez has had his ups and downs in 2017, however, wins against Tacos, Wizzrobe, and Alvin have given him top level consideration. After nearly defeating Dext3r in the Pikachu ditto at Smash N’ Splash 3, it would be no surprise if he finished the job at Snosa III. Dtan has rivaled BarkSanchez for the greatest rookie year in Smash 64 history, with huge wins against Kerokeroppi, BarkSanchez, and Kimimaru. Although he wasn’t projected to make top 8, it would almost be more of a surprise to not see him there on Sunday.

Smash N’ Splash 3: Return to the Oasis

By Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody

Smash N’ Splash returns for the third iteration of the annual June series, featuring Smash 64 for the second year in a row. Moving from the Greater Chicago Area to the Wisconsin Dells, this year looks to be bigger and more stacked, as many skilled players from all over North America have traveled out, presumably for the water park. Amongst that group are competitors from 13 U.S. states, Canada, and Mexico, including 4 of the SSB64 League’s Top 10 ranked players. The revolutionary Waterfall Tournament Format (WTF) will also make its way to the Midwest’s premier water park, exclusively for Smash 64. There will be no shortage of matches for players of all skill levels, as well as viewers.

Leading the pack of competitors is the Canadian titan, SuPeRbOoMfAn, splashing back onto the scene following a brief but noticeable absence from North American tournaments. Since Genesis 4, it appears Boom has switched back to maining Captain Falcon, the character he is most well-known for, and arguably most dangerous with. Despite a rough start to 2017, Boom has looked like his old self since returning to Falcon, with dominant victories over Wizzrobe, BarkSanchez, and all of Australia.

Wizzrobe, on the other hand, looked poised to take that next step into the top tier of players, following a swift 3-0 victory over SuPeRbOoMfAn in Top 16 of Genesis 4. However, he lost his next match to KYSK, and in Top 6 he was defeated by Dext3r, who he had sent to Loser’s bracket the day before. Going into Florida’s Frame Perfect Series 2 with the expectation to repeat his big upset from Genesis 4, he instead looked lost on his home turf in a matchup he normally dominates, against Boom’s Falcon. He then fell prey to one of 64’s biggest upsets, falling apart in a set he had in his hands against BarkSanchez, who he had utterly dominated on Winner’s Side just hours before. Wizzrobe has shown the potential to take down the best in North America, but he will likely have 2016’s Most Improved Player, Dext3r, standing in his way. The young Yoshi prodigy comes into Smash N’ Splash 3 with recent losses against three of the top five, yet Wizzrobe is known for hitting the lab and coming back stronger than ever.

Dext3r continues his red-hot pace to finish 2016, with a fourth place finish at Genesis 4, and a third place finish at Let’s Go! With these impressive finishes also come a pair of victories against Tacos, and a win against BarkSanchez. The fiery Pikachu main has an opportunity to show his victory against Wizzrobe wasn’t a fluke, however, he’ll likely have to fend off Shears’s Yoshi first. If he can handle a mini-Yoshi gauntlet, can this monster from Mexico channel his incredible momentum into the unthinkable, and challenge SuPeRbOoMfAn? If Boom sticks with his signature Falcon, it creates an unfamiliar character matchup between these two. While Dext3r has a chance to continue his fervorous pace, there is no chance Boom is content with sitting back and letting the world think Peru’s Alvin is the king of the Falcon vs. Pikachu matchup.

Accompanying Dext3r from Mexico is a man of endless surprises, Tacos. Following a rough end to 2016, Tacos has bounced back from a brief hiatus with solid performances at both major’s he’s attended in 2017. At both Genesis 4 and Let’s Go!, Tacos’s only losses were against Alvin and Dext3r. With Alvin absent this time around, a window of opportunity may present itself for Tacos to catch the top three off guard. Over time he has shown himself capable and dangerous with Yoshi, Pikachu, Captain Falcon, Kirby, Donkey Kong, and even Jigglypuff. Although he is likely itching for a chance to launch himself into another contest against Dext3r, he’ll find himself on the opposite side of the bracket, which definitely holds meaning in a tournament SuPeRbOoMfAn is attending. It’s been almost two years since Tacos has faced Wizzrobe; a matchup very likely to work its way into the Wisconsin Dells this weekend. None of this matters if Tacos can’t tackle the elephant in the room this weekend.

BarkSanchez has been arguably the most volatile player in 2017, with huge wins against three of the top ten ranked SSB64 players, but he has suffered losses against unranked players, been the victim two reverse 3-0s, and has looked lost in several high level sets. Bark likely to play Tacos in top 16 in a rematch from NJ’s 4th Quarterly Rapport, where Tacos handled him in Winner’s Finals, yet fell victim to Baltimore’s dynamo in a two set Grand Finals featuring a flurry of character swaps between the two players. With wins against all of Taco’s top characters, and a milestone victory over Wizzrobe, Bark presents an element of surprise in a bracket that features an already unstable top 8.


Baltimore rarely travels alone, and Smash N’ Splash is no different. Shears, 64’s outspoken mastermind, has made claims of earning top 8 as Fox. More likely than not, Shears will stick to his Yoshi, as he has had the most success with the dirty dinosaur since switching mains a year previous. While Shears has built his reputation on feasting on Falcons, he earned arguably his biggest win so far by taking down the Pikachu of UK’s Jam at Beast 7. Shears is expected to clash against Dext3r, who has not faced yet Shears’s Yoshi. Baltimore’s prehistoric predator is not to be slept on, however, Dext3r has shown top-level dominance in the matchup by taking down Wizzrobe and Tacos on the grandest stage.

Combo Blaze and Dogs_Johnson are both expected to represent the Midwest in top 8. Combo Blaze has played very close against BarkSanchez, but has yet to unravel the mystery of Shears. He is expected to get another opportunity in a rematch from Pound 2016, however, Shears’s Yoshi may present a whole new enigma. Dogs Johnson is fresh off of a big win against Shears at Michigan’s Called Out tournament, where he shocked the audience by pulling out a last resort Jigglypuff to take down Shears’s Yoshi. This time he will likely face another Baltimore challenger in BarkSanchez. If these two meet in bracket for the first time, Dogs will be ready to take on a PIkachu, with plenty of experience against his teammate and sparring partner, B33F.

 

Follow along with the bracket on Smash.gg and head over to the Smash 64 League Twitch to cheer on your favorite players. Division play of the Waterfall Tournament Format will be held Saturday June 3rd starting at 1pm and Top Eight will be held on Sunday June 4th at 11am.

Battle Arena Melbourne 9 – Here comes the Boom

By Jesse “Sweetchilli” Rosenberg

Have you ever paid good money for something and then regretted your purchase almost immediately? Maybe it was a bad meal or a car that ended up having a plethora of mechanical issues.

Regardless, if you have ever made any purchase without fully considering the consequences, then you can probably identify with myself and half of the SSB64 entrants at BAM9. Upon seeing that they are on SuPeRbOoMfAn’s side of the bracket, some have been heard muttering things like “I’m gonna make a sick losers run”, “I’m gonna tear a path through losers bracket” or, if you are like me, “Why did I contribute to the Boom fund when he’s just going to send me to losers bracket in round three?”

All bracket bitterness aside, Boom coming to Australia is easily the most exciting part of Battle Arena Melbourne 9. He is the first high-level international player to journey to the land of kangaroos and everyone attending the tournament is hoping to learn a lot from playing him over the weekend.

But Boom is by no means the only reason to watch this tournament. The lineup for this BAM is insanely stacked with Australian standards. The strong representation comes from Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and even a lonesome Queenslander. To use the words of the tournament organiser Indefa, “the bracket’s fucked”.

To add further fuel to the flame, this tournament is straight off the back of the Melbourne Monthly, where Pete – 63rd on the SSB64 League rankings – lost to DSC, bringing to an end a three year long era where he won every Australian tournament he attended.

It’s a volatile time for Australian Smash, with a range of exciting matches being played throughout the weekend. Here are some of the more hype matches you won’t want to miss:

Birdies vs Jonga – Predicted for Winners Round 3

This rematch is from the recently uncompleted Sydney regional BoomHunter, where Jonga came up and took out Birdies to sit in Grand Finals. Combo-Lord Jonga has proved that he is more than capable of dealing with Kirbys, but will Birdies bring a different mindset to a tournament with serious money on the line?

James3927 vs Quincy – Predicted for Winners Round 3

In a recent online tournament, Quincy lost to James’s DK in Grand Finals, and returned to Discord proclaiming “STFU. LUCK. I SHOULD’VE WON!”, despite the fact that he’d just been reverse 6-0’d. Quincy has had an incredible rate of improvement since joining the online scene just over a year ago, but will James’s power up from Let’s Go! in the United States be too much for Quincy’s Pikachu to handle?

Birdies vs DSC – Predicted for Losers Semifinals

I’ve got $40 riding on my boy Birdies right here, so you know where I want this to go, but what I want is completely unrelated to the outcome of this match. DSC’s Falcon has  previously proven that it is able to deal with most Kirbys. But Birdies is another kettle of fish, and to take the words from the mouth of the infamous Dim Sims and Chips himself, “I might get Kirby’d.”

Kuromatsu vs Mitch – Predicted for Losers Round 7

These two have a long and colorful history. Last year, at Project Melbourne 2, Mitch overcame Kuro’s Yoshi without too much trouble in Losers Finals. But this isn’t last year, and Kuro has beaten Mitch multiple times over the last 12 months. Some say Mitch has lost his mental fortitude, while others claim that Mitch was pissed or hung over those times he lost to Kuro, and you should shut up if you know what’s good for you.

So don’t miss out on Australia’s first installment of BAM9: Here comes the Boom

Stream: twitch.tv/ssb64

Time: Saturday May 13th 5a.m. EDT

A Let’s Go! Waterfall Spotlight: It’s All in the Game

By: Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody

A typical preview focuses on the Top 8 or Top 16 sections of a bracket. An analytical look at a projected Alvin vs. BarkSanchez set or Mariguas vs. Dext3r set would be standard. However, Keystoned’s debut of the Waterfall Tournament Format (WTF) showed the 64 community that almost no one is safe when Double Elimination is taken out of the equation. WTF provides competitors and spectators with a large volume of exciting, closely matched sets, and presents better opportunities for rising talents to prove themselves. Rather than focus on a very small percentage of the event, in honor of this new format and the changes it brings to competitive Smash, this preview will be a showcase of a slate of exciting sets to expect in the first round of the tournament.  This is a showcase of some of the only truly guaranteed matches this weekend.

A single set from each Placement Pool has been selected to be featured, ranging from the main headliner match, named “Last Stock”, to the less notable, but still quite interesting, “JV6” section. Each section will have a number of sets relative to the stock count referenced in the title. Being that there are more placement pools (24) than the stock counts add up for, an additional section at the end features a few other interesting matchups.

 

Last Stock

CTG vs. Mr. Sir

These two began 2016 at Genesis 3, locked in an intense battle. Mr. Sir seemed to have the Samus-Puff matchup on lockdown, when CTG threw him a curveball: a pocket Captain Falcon. A lot has happened since then, with CTG earning himself 50th on the SSB64 League Rankings, while Mr. Sir missed out on a spot on the rankings, despite rapid improvement. CTG followed up his success of 2016 with strong notable wins, including two against the 35th-ranked Shears and one against the 39th-ranked Marbles. Mr. Sir’s 2017 essentially began with an unbelievable dismantling of 24th-ranked Fireblaster at Keystoned, one of the biggest upsets of the year. These two meet yet again, two players with very different styles, both having built strong reputations, playing a fairly unexplored matchup.

While Puff is known to be an explosive character, CTG’s style is more patient, relying on mind games and trickery. Expect CTG to surprise Mr. Sir with unusual tactics, and attempt to pull him out of his comfort zone.

Mr. Sir, on the other hand, has studied Jouske’s legendary Samus, and created his own game plan. A surgical, methodical player, Mr. Sir and his Space Girl will aim to download CTG and expose any bad habits or mistakes from the slippery Puff main.

Will the Pound rise again in Baltimore? Or perhaps the bounty hunter will cash in? Regardless of the outcome, expect this one to go down to The Wire.

 

Two Stock

Shears vs. Yunque

One of 64’s biggest names, Shears threw the entire community for a loop when he announced in 2016 he was switching from Pikachu to Yoshi. While he will occasionally revisit his pocket Pikachu, Shears’s best wins in 2016 and 2017 have been with Yoshi. Most interestingly, this switch helped Shears become very successful against a character he previously struggled with: Captain Falcon.

Yunque’s 2016 was mostly quiet. However, the seasoned veteran capped off the year big time, double-eliminating Fireblaster on his own turf at the final Grid Games Weekly of 2016. Yunque pulling out a pocket Falcon was completely unexpected, and using it to take down New England’s most dominant player caught everyone by surprise.

Despite being the favorite between these two, Shears has struggled with Jigglypuff in 2017, with a loss against CTG, a player he had previously beaten. Very few would be surprised to see Yunque use that matchup to his advantage, and come out with the upset. However, if Shears is able to take down Yunque’s Puff, he’ll be chomping at the bit if Yunque attempts a counterpick.

 

HAMMERHEART vs. Infinite OC | The Protagonist

Well known by the Netplay community for years, HAMMERHEART didn’t become a consistent console presence until the very end of 2016. The online Samus main has become one of Philadelphia’s strongest weapons, also packing an intimidating Jigglypuff, as well as a newfound pocket Falcon. HAMMERHEART had a breakout performance at Keystoned, taking down several formidable opponents including Fireblaster, Darkhorse and Mr. Sir.

The Protagonist had a breakout performance of his own the same day, defeating the SSB64 League’s 34th-ranked player, Star King, 59th-ranked Jimmy Joe, as well as Dark Gentleman. This strong performance follows an impressive Genesis 4 placing as well. A veteran of Baltimore’s 64 scene since the beginning of Smash @ Xanadu weeklies, The Protagonist is finally beginning to emerge from the shadows of a stacked region with a newfound game plan in 2017.

HAMMERHEART has a wealth of experience and results against numerous characters, including Pikachu, Kirby, Captain Falcon and even Yoshi. However, he has yet to be tested by a truly adept Fox, a character many would consider problematic for Samus and Puff. The Protagonist is no stranger to Puff, with plenty of experience against Darkhorse. They say the protagonist usually wins, but the Coolblade clan’s star will do whatever he can to antagonize this Baltimore Fox.

 

 

Three Stock

WTF illustration
A simplified explanation of WTF

Star King vs. hipstur

One of two matchups between SSB64 League ranked players, this would have seemed to be a lopsided match at the beginning of the year. With Star King making a nearly complete switch off of Kirby and Yoshi to Fox, he is coming off of a shaky performance at Keystoned. Despite this, a veteran with his level of experience as a top player is never to be slept on.

With hours of experience against 16th-ranked LD, a.k.a “Fox”, hipstur is no stranger to the Fox ditto. Originally known for his style, and precise usage of shine incorporated into combos, hipstur has developed an advanced neutral game capable of competing with his newly Fox’d counterpart.

Two old school players in a rarely seen high-level Fox ditto with plenty of flash from hipstur, and Star King’s impeccable combo game, will definitely be a sight to behold. Hipstur won’t hesitate for a chance to snag a big upset in a very familiar matchup and show Star King that “Fox is Fox.”

 

Shalaka vs. Dogs_Johnson

Shalaka, the Chilean Ambassador of Smash, is a rare sighting in North America, especially outside of a Super Major Tournament. The Pikachu main did damage during his visits last year, taking down 54th-ranked Dajjal, 40th-ranked NTA and 22nd-ranked BarkSanchez. After earning a 28th place on the SSB64 League Rankings in 2016, Shalaka makes his return to the States to a tournament experience offering a volume of sets well worth the trip.

Anyone in Indiana will tell you Dogs_Johnson’s Falcon defeated Banze’s Pikachu in a money match at Super Smash Con 2016. As impressive as this may be, bracket matches are a whole different animal. In the past year, Dogs_Johnson has overtaken veteran Saltsizzle as the best in Indiana, and has become a top threat in the Midwest. However, he is still hunting for a statement win at a major tournament.

In a matchup of new age vs. old school, Dogs_Johnson has shown he can stand up to South American Pikachus, but can he make it happen in bracket? Shalaka’s strong punish game is unlike anything Dogs_Johnson is used to, and will likely make or break this unforgiving matchup.

 

KD3 vs. Horbie

In 2017, KD3 has turned his nickname of “Local Legend” from somewhat of a light-hearted joke to a prophetic vision of things to come. He made waves at Keystoned, taking sets off of Fireblaster, NTA and HAMMERHEART. Following a strong performance on his home turf, KD3 traveled to take down Horbie in enemy territory at Nebulous in NYC, nearly taking down hidden boss Lowww as well.

Horbie also had a great performance at Keystoned, taking down one of Philadelphia’s top players, Finio, as well as exacting revenge against Darkhorse, who defeated him a week earlier at New Jersey’s 4th Quarterly Rapport. An incredibly adaptive player, Horbie will look for similar revenge against KD3 early on at Le’ts Go!

A classic East Coast rivalry between New York and Philadelphia, this salty rematch featuring a prodigy with a diverse cast and a studious Kirby main out for revenge could also be a look into two players ready to step up to the next tier of players.

Lets Go Pools Tyhiggz
An illustration of all 24 pools at Let’s Go! Image made by tyhiggz

Four Stock

K | $$$ Jim $$$ vs. EMG | Darkhorse

At New Jersey’s 2nd Quarterly Rapport, these two had a close set, with Darkhorse clutching it out with his rarely used Kirby. One of two matches between nationally ranked players in Placement Pools, this rematch would be ranked much higher, if not for Potassium’s 64 representative claiming he switched mains to Pikachu. A character switch from Jim would play right into Darkhorse’s hand. Or is it all an act? The amount of trash talk between these two makes this rivalry fun. Perhaps Jim’s new Pikachu knows a trick or two to catch Darkhorse off-guard, or is his talk of downgrading characters all just a smokescreen?

 

SKG vs. Yobolight

Making his major debut at CEO Dreamland, SKG earned convincing wins against 37th-ranked Nintendude and NTA. However, he felt uncomfortable opting for the characters that have earned him success online, instead pulling out his Pikachu and Kirby.  Yobolight is no stranger to Pikachu, taking down Jimmy Joe at Keystoned and Shears’s Pikachu at several events. Yobolight has a variety of characters to counter SKG’s high tiers, but will we perhaps see a curveball thrown from the online warrior? SKG has been waiting to bust out the Jigglypuff, will he be ready to at Let’s Go!?

 

Robert vs. Loto

One of several notable netplayers at Let’s Go!, Robert made the leap in 2016 from average to nationally ranked player, earning 47th on the SSB64 League Rankings. Loto has been experiencing somewhat of a renaissance in Florida, momentarily surpassing Marbles on their PR. Loto’s Falcon has had much success against the Pikachus, Kirbys and Yoshis of Florida, but will it be enough to take down this rapidly-improving Pikachu main? If Robert opts to pull out his Kirby, look for Loto to counter with a dangerous Fox as well.

 

bp vs. Joshi

Bp burst back onto the scene with big wins against Star King, Shears and Mr. Sir at Keystoned. Originally from Peru, Joshi has quickly become one of the strongest in NorCal, with a Kirby that rivals 53rd-ranked SotoH and a storied PIkachu capable of serious damage, although he is reluctant to bring it out. Will this Peruvian newcomer be able to handle a high level Yoshi? If his Kirby is too much for bp to handle, bp may meet him in the ditto, for a thrilling conclusion.

 

 

Five stock

Lowww vs. Freean

Freean’s dedication to Luigi following a switch off of Captain Falcon has rewarded him with solid performances, including an upset of SotoH at Genesis 4, and he looks to continue that trend at Let’s Go! On the other hand, Lowww has shown himself to be quite adept at low tier matchups, dismantling Firo at the Big Apple Smash monthly in January. A skilled Luigi player against a talented Fox, Falcon and Pikachu player should be a very refreshing matchup to watch.

 

Clubbadubba vs. Supa

At first glance, Clubbadubba’s switch to Donkey Kong would make most consider this matchup to be a slaughter. However, Clubba has a great opportunity to use matchup knowledge to his advantage and punish Supa. Supa’s Fox, Falcon and Pikachu have the potential to overwhelm Clubba, but any mistakes made will be quickly exploited by the NoVA DK. Another unexplored matchup with quick stocks and plenty of fun, cheesy tactics.

 

Marbles vs. Daniel

The veteran Marbles is no stranger to the Falcon matchup, punishing his opponents with surprising platform movement and quick shield drop approaches, as well as devastating combos. He will be hungry for Baltimore revenge, after being upset by GT at CEO Dreamland. Daniel is fresh off of claiming a $200 bounty on fellow Baltimore smasher BarkSanchez, showing he has what it takes to tangle with high level Pikachu players. Can Daniel “The Instructor” school Florida in a mutually familiar matchup, or will Marbles roll over him?

 

Fireblaster vs. MasterHandJob

Fireblaster struggled in placement pools at Keystoned, but after a strong performance in bracket, as well as at CEO Dreamland, his Yoshi will be prepared for any challenges early on at Let’s Go! While MasterHandJob has done well against local Yoshis, Shears and Yobolight, Fireblaster is on a completely different level. MasterHandJob’s unique style of Pikachu makes for a very fun watch, but most will be looking to this one to see just how destructive an expert Yoshi can be even against a very talented Pikachu.

 

Czar vs. Everyone

After an incredibly long hiatus, Czar has made his way back to the competitive scene, with high hopes and expectations. If his performances at Super Smash Con 2015 and Old Fish in 2016 are any indicator of his current level of play, he should overwhelm his pool-mates with the Bang Bros. If his hiatus has slowed him down, there are several sleeper threats in his pool that won’t let him get away with a sloppy win. The East Coast metagame has missed the presence of such a powerful Mario and Luigi, and even his secret Pikachu could add a surprise this weekend.

 

JV6

Preston vs. Razz

A smart, consistently underrated Kirby from Toronto against a volatile Falcon, Yoshi and Luigi main from Philadelphia with a dangerous punish game.

 

GT vs. Andykinz

A salty rematch from Shine 2016 where GT notched a 4-1 stock comeback against Andykinz to come out on top.

 

Time Machine vs. Maliki

Maliki returns after a significant hiatus, aiming to fulfill his Koroshiyo destiny, against the ever-improving second year player, Time Machine, a.k.a. DFX.

 

V vs. ty. | tyhiggz

A flashy and excitable Baltimore native coming off a very impressive performance against Fireblaster at Keystoned, faced with the Ohio Yoshi main fresh off a big regional victory at MoMS 6.

 

Dark Gentleman vs. Grahamaglam

A new age Puff mastermind with experience against high level Link play, faces off against Georgia’s beloved Link main who happens to bear the title of North American Reverse-Main Champion.

 

iXi | antarctican vs. Jay_mute$ the legend

An inconsistent but dangerous old school Falcon main up against a new star who upset Time Machine, Captain Fabulous and Yobolight before nearly taking down Jimmy Joe at SuperBoomed.

 

 

Others of Note

lord_narwhal vs. Madrush21

Old school Falcon dittos between two veteran players.

 

Captain Fabulous vs. DROC

A model of Montreal flash vs. a hidden Pennsylvania talent.

 

Box765 vs. Sedda

Ohioan Mario main with plenty of Fox experience takes on a long-time online Fox veteran.

Beast 7 Preview: Trumping the Euro

By Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs

The long-standing and legendary European Smash tournament series has finally entered the 64 arena. Beast 7 will be the first iteration of this European major to host an official tournament featuring the series’ first entry. The European 64 console scene has been stagnant for some time, being essentially absent from the viewpoint of the North American scene. Jamie “Jam” Jahanpour has represented his continent in a handful of North American tournaments over the years, but the 64 community has never borne witness to the European scene at large. Featuring a large contingent of international talent, Beast 7 will be the first opportunity in the modern era to show the world how Europe stacks up. With only a thriving online group that is holding the European scene together with weekly events, the hope is that Beast 7 will revitalize the dying console scene, allowing Europe to experience the 64 renaissance along with the rest of the world.

The organizers of this event did a wonderful job of ensuring that it will have high-level international talent, something that is key to drawing the attention of fans around the world. In a bold move, Beast 7 allowed the legendary Joel “Isai” Alvarado to be a crowdfunding goal for 64. Isai’s attendance at events over the past couple years has been key to appealing to the casual Smash crowd and bringing in viewership numbers. His attendance will surely bring the hype, as he is able to play all characters in a successfully aggressive style. Along with Isai, North America is sending five other players who are ranked on the Super Smash Bros. 64 League Rankings. Thomas “Revan” Dykes, Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody, David “Shears” Shears, Michael “Nintendude” Brancato and Dillon “CTG” Grandy are these other five, and all have the capability of making waves at this event.

This a prime opportunity for Isai to win his first non-low tier tournament since Apex 2014. After a disappointing 13th place finish at Genesis 4 where he was double-eliminated by Japanese opponents, Isai should have an easier path to victory this time around. However, we can never know what to expect from the enigmatic legend, as he is known to play any character on a whim, which has led to his demise at each tournament since his return. Despite not attending the first major of the year, Revan has been on a tear lately. He earned an impressive 4th place at SuperBoomed with strong victories over Javier “Fireblaster” Romero and David “Firo” Eisenberg. This could be a great opportunity to really break out, as he is expected to finish second. Do not count him out in his potential sets against Isai; Revan is one of the fastest growing talents in the game. BarkSanchez is one of the most travelled players in the game. He attended all but one major in 2016 and showed up at many regionals across North America. The three seed of this event, it would not come as a shock if he managed to upset Revan to get his own shot at Isai. Bark took down Revan at ODS II over the summer, perhaps showing he has overcome his own issues with Kirbys.

Shears and Nintendude are projected to finish in 5th place, though some have cried foul over them being seeded below top European player Pol “Fruity” Garcia. Shears seems to be the gatekeeper for players aiming to make the rankings, as notable victories over the loud-mouthed dictator were key to many players making it onto the prestigious list. Proving the seeding wrong with a victory over Fruity would set him up for a match against Isai in winners and a tense duel with Nintendude in losers, which could be the most hotly contested set in the bracket. On the other side, Nintendude faces the difficult situation of competing in multiple games at a high level. Some have said this Melee Ice Climbers main has begun to stagnate in 64, but a victory over Shears or a close set with BarkSanchez could prove this long-time player still has some tricks up his sleeve. Finally, CTG is undoubtedly one of the quickest rising stars in 64. This Texan Jigglypuff main has been a frequent face in the midwest and Florida scenes; he has used his ability to fly to a variety of scenes to his advantage and has catapulted himself into the national discussion. Of particular note is a recent set against Bark at Smash Conference LXIX, after dispatching Shears in the previous round, CTG pushed Bark to his limits and was able to come back from an 0-2 deficit to force a fifth game. Despite his loss, CTG has been talking a big game since then, claiming he has finally overcome his Pikachu demons.

In regards to talent from across the pond, four names jump off the page. The aforementioned Fruity, Jam, Julius “King Funk” Vissing and Charles “Fuzzyness” Kimmelman. Fuzzyness is not expected to make it very deep in bracket, but the famed Melee Adventure Mode speedrunner has been a longtime fan of 64 and his attendance in 64 is sure to bring along his fans. King Funk is a long time European player who was one of the best for a long time. He even made a visit to North America to compete at Apex 2012 where he earned 7th place. His reappearance in the international limelight could be just what he needs to bring back his old talents. Jam is easily the most prominent name to the North American scene, as he has attended a trio of our majors over the years. At Apex 2014 he earned an impressive 9th place finish. His next two showings at Apex 2015 and GOML 2016 saw him fall back with a pair of 17 places. While the Pikachu main has long been the best competitor from the United Kingdom, some have claimed his skills have eroded due to a revitalized focus on Melee, though he is undoubtedly not a competitor to take lightly. Finally, Fruity is likely the most controversially seeded player in the tournament. His 4th place seed places him over players such as Nintendude and Shears. Despite being the best player in Europe, some have said this title should not earn him such a high seed without first proving himself. This Mario main is the best hope Europe has to put up a strong defense against the North American invaders, so watch out for him to show off just how strong Europe’s top talent is.

A couple sleeper talents to look out for are Baltimore’s Jacob “GT” Smith and Spain’s Martí “ShEiCk” Griera Jorba. GT, a relatively new Smasher, had a decent second half of 2016, making bracket at both Shine 2016 and SuperBoomed. Though he isn’t projected to make out of his pool this time, it would not be shocking if he put up a good fight against King Funk. ShEiCk is another name that some North Americans may recognize, as he was one of a few Europeans to attend Genesis 3. Though he did not make it out of his pool there, it seems his skills may have increased, as he is expected to advance to bracket and even win a round on the losers side.

Super Smash Bros. 64 at Beast 7 will begin at 3 PM CET, which is 9 AM EST, on Saturday, February 18th. It will run throughout the day, finishing the entire bracket in one day. The Top 16 bracket will be streamed on GeekyGoonSquad starting at 8 PM CET, which is 2 PM EST. For more information check out the Stream and Event schedules. 

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Genesis 4 Preview: A New #Yearof64

By Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody

With the sequel to perhaps the greatest tournament in the modern era of 64 around the corner, the Super Smash Bros. 64 community is holding their collective breath for another weekend of potential upsets. While this tournament may be missing last year’s Japanese stars, Wario and Wangera, it will bring new levels of hype and excitement from the East, as K Y S K , Yu-kun, and Taimai all made the trip. This tremendous trio hopes to remind the West just how dominant Japan really is, following a disappointing performance at Super Smash Con from the three dragons of the East: bonobono, Prince, and Kurabba. One of Japan’s top Kirby players, K Y S K consistently contends with Wangera at Japanese tournaments, while Taimai’s Fox and Yu-kun’s Captain Falcon were both one mistake away from taking sets off of two of the best players in the world, Wario and Fukurou respectively. While K Y S K is the favorite of the three to contend for the top spot, Taimai and Yu-kun have earned praise as fan favorites, contending in what are considered very unforgiving matchups.

SuPeRbOoMfAn, Isai, and Mariguas are the top 3 north american players tasked with fending off the beasts of the east, however they may have their hands full with the Superboomed champ, Alvin. The Peruvian titan will be looking to build upon his monumental victory over Boom and Mariguas in October, perhaps demonstrating his improvement in the Yoshi matchup that haunted him at Super Smash Con 2016. His volatility has many questioning whether he can reach the top at a supermajor featuring a wider variety of characters and matchups, while understanding he can be a threat to the world’s top players.

SuPeRbOoMfAn has had an incredible run in the modern era of Smash 64, winning all but two of the tournaments he’s attended since the end of 2014. Last year’s Genesis saw him take a 3-0 victory over Wario, the man who would subsequently 3-0 him in the following set, and Superboomed saw him play two incredible close sets against Alvin, one of which featured an incredibly controversial decision to play Yoshi, despite winning the previous game as Kirby. What was perhaps an attempt to abuse what was seen as a weak matchup for Alvin, proved to be a nail in the coffin for North America’s top player. In his first tournament of 2017, Boom finds himself once again the unanimous favorite amongst the event’s seeders, however many fans expect to see another player come out victorious.

That man is Isai. Even after a two year hiatus, Isai could not shake off his legendary status. Despite not claiming top prize at a tournament in 2016, Isai is still considered by many to be the most dynamic player in Smash 64 history. His Pikachu saw its first ever tournament loss to Wangera at Genesis 3, with the man previously thought of as untouchable appearing to be a mere mortal. However the main storyline behind Isai has always been which characters he would play, and if he would ever put in what outside spectators would consider his fullest effort. Snosa II saw Isai fall to tacos in a shocking defeat, while the set saw all of his characters of Apexs past, Link, Mario and Jigglypuff, his final loss as Donkey Kong became the talking point that encapsulated the tournament. Isai’s last tournament of the year, Super Smash Con 2016, epitomized his first year back in Smash. His Pikachu proved itself capable of taking down SuPeRbOoMfAn’s Falcon, and his Luigi initially decimated Wizzrobe’s Yoshi, yet he saw himself on the losing end of both sets, settling for 3rd place. Isai showed flashes of the player that has been placed on a pedestal by fans across every Smash title, yet ultimately found himself unwilling or incapable of matching his legacy with results. Nobody knows which side of Isai will be seen at Genesis 4, or if his best side even is the same man who was once considered untouchable.

Mariguas was the center of many of Genesis 3’s finest moments, although there are a few he’d rather forget. After killing the brothers, again, he found himself completely outclassed in his set against Wario. He then met up against Isai in Loser’s Quarterfinals, and did the unthinkable: he lost to a Fox as Pikachu. Despite an incredible placing at the most stacked event ever seen at the time, the passionate Pikachu was left hungry for more, motivated more than ever. Throughout the year, Mariguas reached new heights, yet falling just short of glory on several occasions. He cemented himself as one of the true masters of the Pika ditto at Super Smash Con, taking a game off of SuPeRbOoMfAn in the matchup, yet the set would be remembered for the air tight timeout in game 1, which proved to be costly for Mariguas as he was sent to loser’s following a tight five game set. Mariguas also exacted his revenge on Isai’s Fox, but ultimately fell short in the Pika ditto. Mariguas  enters G4 as one of the few Pikachu’s capable of defeating Wizzrobe, and the only person in North America who’s taken a set off of Alvin. Mariguas inches closer and closer to his first ever wins against Boom and Isai, and G4 would be the perfect place for him to steal a set, and perhaps the tournament.

The cream of the crop is ever wary of the fastest rising stars, with players such as SSBMTL|TR3GTheZ and Wizzrobe rising faster than ever, taking sets off of players that previously seemed untouchable, such as Kerokeroppi. TR3GTheZ also defeated the mighty Wangera at SSC 16, while Wizzrobe subsequently took down TR3GTheZ. It would not be unthinkable for these players to quickly progress into the next tier of players and find themselves on the main stage for Top 6 on Sunday.

The Koroshiyo Brothers, Kerokeroppi and Stranded would love nothing more than to leave their mark on the last leg of their farewell tour, as they plan to step back from competitive Smash 64. While they would relish the opportunity to defeat the man who killed the brothers last year at Genesis 3, they may face several strong contenders among the likes of tacos and Dext3r along the way. Perhaps the brothers take their leave from 64 with a solid conquering of Mexico? They will have their sights set even higher, hoping to make their last competitive appearance one to remember, until they inevitably come back six months later.

Streams of Genesis 4 can be found on the Offical Super Smash Bros 64 Leage twitch channel and LA_Smash. Follow along with the bracket on Smash.gg. Check out the schedule below for times and more details.

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Home Invasion: How a Small House Smash Meet Shaped up to Be a Major Australian SSB64 Tournament

By Jesse “Sweetchilli” Rosenberg

Are you familiar with the nesting habits of the Cuckoo? That bird is ruthless. It sneaks into other birds’ nests and lays its own eggs, avoiding the responsibility of parenting it’s own offspring. Then, when the cuckoo eggs hatch, the baby cuckoo’s throw the other eggs out of the nest, and get cared for by the parents of their dead foster-siblings.

With over 30 entrants expected to participate, Birds Nest II is shaping up to be the little tournament that could. Doubling the numbers of its first iteration, this Birds Nest will feature four introduced species from the South – Victorians. The invasive Melbourne residents will be looking to tear the Birds Nest apart and leave Sydney in tatters.

With extensive Facebook marketing, and frequent mention of the fact that there will be brownies for free at the venue, it is no small wonder that the event has attracted numerous local melee players and some notable out-of-state talent. But that factor, along with the presence of a keyboard adapter for local warrior Kirbymon, means that the results are up for grabs.

Here’s a brief rundown of the top 4 seeds, and who else might be a threat to taking the brownies at Birds Nest II.

Kirbymon, given the presence of a keyboard adapter, is the number one seed for the tournament, and with his ferocious suck and powerful neutral game, it’s hard to see him losing.

Second seed is Birdies, host of the event and, winner of Birds Nest I. He’s recently shown why you might need to watch out for this particular Kirby, so don’t count him out.

For Mitch, the three seed, Birds Nest II is looking to be the tournament where he finally proves that he’s at the top-level of Australian Smash. With neither DSC, Kuromatsu, or Pete being there, none of those who have knocked him out of previous tournaments can stop his fox from tearing a hole through the wall of Kirbys before him.

Fourth up is Indefa. After decimating the entire state of Western Australia at DI Another Day 2, the Melbourne TO returned home and put on an impressive performance at Pete’s Meets II. He’s looking to continue his run of out-of-state success and keep another title in Australia’s Smash heartland of Victoria.

I asked them a few questions to see what they thought about the tournament and beyond.

1.There’s a lot of inter-state rivalry coming into this event, who do you think will take the number one spot – Melbourne or Sydney?

Kirbymon: Sydddddddddddd

Birdies: Sydney. Provided no major upsets among the top seeds I see three different people taking the tourney, two of them are from Sydney so it’s just logical.

Mitch: Melbourne.

Indefa:  I am uncertain of whether Kirbymon will have his keyboard adapter for this tournament. If he does then I could definitely see him taking it all.

2.What do you see being the biggest upset?

Kirbymon: No clue.. whoever plays me in winner’s bracket?

Birdies: The biggest upset I see is James taking out players seeded much higher than him based on his recent online performance. It’s also possible some of the new players with good fundamentals take out some of our regulars.

Mitch: Brian/Nathan Hawkins will place way above their seed

Indefa: I’m sure one of the guys from Melbourne (maybe even me) could crumble to the tourney nerves and drop out before top 8. That would be a big upset.


3.What does the future of Australian SSB64 tournaments look like?

Kirbymon: Bigger and better as peeps get guder.

Birdies: It’s definitely on the up and up! Just look at the traction the Sydney scene has. More than half of the entrants to Birds Nest II are new players who are keen to try out and learn Smash 64.

Mitch: 50 entrant tourneys in melb and syd one day, 20 entrant tourneys in the other three states. (Editor’s note: There are two Australian territories that also exist, but clearly Mitch does not consider them noteworthy.)

Indefa: The future looks bright for tournaments here. We have had a steady growth over the last couple of years and the number of people getting involved with organising tournaments and meetups has picked up too. More people have also started traveling interstate to play Smash. I’m hoping sometime this year we can have our largest 64 tournament ever with representation from all the active states.

The Australian scene is full of memelords and trash talk, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to see them put their brownies where their mouths are. The event will be streamed at twitch.tv/ssb64australiaDoubles will start at 12pm on Saturday Jan. 14th Sydney time (8pm Friday Jan. 13th EST) and Singles will start at 2:30pm on Saturday Jan. 14th Sydney time (10:30pm Friday Jan. 13th EST).

Jesse “Sweetchilli” Rosenberg is a 22-year-old writer and smash player/TO living in Sydney, Australia. He likes making low quality videos, playing low quality smash, and eating cheap, low quality Thai food. He plays Falcon, but like most Smash players, is a Ness main at heart.