The Pros and Cons of Smash Doubles

Smash Brothers is in a unique position relative to other fighting games. No other fighting game allows for four-player doubles matches, as most are centered around the single, one-vs-one playing style. Smash breaks that barrier and allows for teams of two to compete.

Now, doubles in the Smash community still isn’t as popular as it could potentially be. Players opt for singles practice instead of investing time into practicing and theory crafting doubles strategies. Even for a game that’s been around since 2001, the doubles side doesn’t feel fully explored.

That said, some of the top players have invested large amounts of time into the doubles side of Smash. Specifically in Melee, top players like Armada (Adam Lindgren), Mew2King (Jason Zimmerman), and SFAT (Zac Cordoni) have become the front runners of the doubles scene. These players believe doubles should play more of a role in today’s tournament scene.

Genesis 4 was one of the first events to give the doubles tournament the stage on Championship Sunday. It not only provided some of the best high-level Melee matches in doubles or singles, but showed people are interested in this aspect of the game. Over 100k viewers tuned in to watch Alliance eek out a victory over Leffen (William Hjelte) and Ice (Mustafa Akcakaya).

The Pros

Speaking of Armada, his team of him and his brother, Android (Andreas Lindgren), have made team combos an art form. No team has been able to match the precision, spacing, and excellent follow-ups like the team from Sweden. It has raised the level of other teams around them and has pushed the European doubles scene.

If Smash is going to grow into this new age of esports, doubles could be a great opportunity to separate the game from the rest of the pack. Team tournaments could even the playing field and make more characters and strategies viable. It’s still relatively unexplored, even by the top players.

The attendance numbers for doubles have been steady, but is not currently growing. For now, it’s still mostly just a side-event. New players don’t want to become the best doubles player because everything they learn is focused on singles. Yes, most players move to doubles after they find a capable partner, but even then most local tournaments only run singles. That said, stream views are starting to rise considerably next to singles.

The Cons

On the other hand, there might not be a place for doubles. Take a look at modern tennis, they run both singles and doubles. Similar to Smash, the doubles side has never quite taken off, as people are drawn more towards singles tennis. This is a great example of what could end up happening to doubles if tournaments don’t invest the resources into helping it grow. It could stay as more of an afterthought.

Looking ahead, it’s tough to say where the doubles side will end up. Large fighting game tournaments can’t run doubles considering there’s usually a singles event that comes first. It’s not a priority for tournament organizers to advertise the doubles side. The only time it’s featured is at Smash only events.

As I see it, Smash doubles is at a breaking point. It’s a relatively unknown game type to spectators and hard to follow with the extra characters on screen. But players love it, so the question is whether the majority of Smash players would want tournaments to pursue larger prize pools, or more focused doubles events to help the game grow outside of just singles.

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Armada’s Hot Streak Continues at Beast 7

Photo via Liquidpedia Smash

The contest for greatest Melee player of all time is no longer hyperbole when it comes to Armada (Adam Lindgren). The Swedish sniper, taking home another title at Beast 7 over countryman Leffen (William Hjelte), is another example of how far he’s taken his game in the past three months. He’s dismantling opponents.

Surprise Regions Make Top 8

Regardless, Armada’s strong play is not the main story of Beast 7. How can something so predictable be the main story? The main story was the strong play out of specific regions around the world. New England had its strongest tournament, possibly ever, with Slox (Anthony Detres) finishing top 8 and beating SFAT (Zac Cordoni).

Additionally, Europe showed up and played well. It was an all Europe top three, with Ice (Mustafa Akcakaya) taking down The Moon (Ryan Coker-Welch) to send the Americans home disappointed. On top of those three, Armada’s younger brother, Android (Andreas Lindgren), made the top 8 at his first major. He fell to the legendary European Sheik Amsah (Amsah D. Augustuszoon) but also finished first in doubles. It was a good weekend for the Lindgren clan as they were all there to celebrate the win in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Next, the Northern California trio of SFAT, Nintendude (Michael Brancato), and DizzKidBoogie (Kyle Athayde) had a rough weekend. SFAT failed to make his second consecutive top 8 at a major, losing to TheMoon and Slox. The two Ice Climber players failed to make it out of round two losers. It’s been a bad couple of weeks for the NorCal Melee scene.

Armada’s Switch to Fox vs. Leffen

Finally, let’s return to the grand finals and an extremely exciting top 8. The set between Leffen and TheMoon that provided viewers with an absolute bananas game five. The game on Pokémon stadium will be remembered for its intensity. Let’s now look at Armada pulling out the Fox and still managing to hold off Leffen long enough to win.

Two game fives. One in winners finals, the other in Grand Finals. Armada displayed a strong punish game in the Fox ditto, and a liking for Pokémon stadium’s vertical kill prowess. Armada showed he preferred to play the dash dance game by winning three games each on Dreamland and Pokémon Stadium. Leffen had his opportunities, but as Armada has shown in the past, he has the ability to win in those high intensity moments.

Armada is clearly on a hot streak and not even Leffen can slow him down. It’s hard to see anyone stopping his run of dominance any time soon. He seems to have figured out Hungrybox (Juan DeBiedma) for the time being, but players like Leffen, Mango (Joseph Marquez), and even potentially PPMD (Kevin Nanny) are lurking. Slaying the dragon that is Armada will be the story this year, IF, and that’s a big if, Armada loses. I wouldn’t bet on it.

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Dreamhack Committing to Super Smash Bros In 2017

Dreamhack has committed to the Super Smash Bros scene by running six Smash tournaments in 2017 with an $100k prize pool. The long standing LAN centered event is making Smash, especially Melee, a permanent part of their events moving forward.

Photo via https://twitter.com/DreamHack?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

The six events will offer different games. All six events will feature Melee, but half of the events will also have Smash 4. Four of the events will be on North American soil (Austin, Montreal, Atlanta, and Denver) and the final two will be at the marquee event’s in Sweden (Winter, Summer). Dreamhack has expanded its reach across North America and is bringing Smash with it.

On top of a guaranteed spot at Dreamhack events in 2017, the winners will get a piece of the $100k prize pool at each event. The prize pool per event will average out at around $10k per tournament, which is well above the usual tournament average. Doll that out over six events and Dreamhack becomes essential to any top Smash player.

 

Dreamhack Committing to Smash’s Future Success

It’s clear that Dreamhack is listening to the wants and needs of the Smash community. Armada (Adam Lindgren) has been outspoken about his desire to grow Smash through Dreamhack. The local Swede has been great at building a relationship between the two. That also goes for community leader, D1 (D’Ron Maingrette), who pushed to bring Smash 4 to Dreamhack events.

The inclusion of Smash 4 into future tournaments is great news. It will give the scene even more exposure and provide Smash 4 players with a chunk out of the prize pool. It’s a sign that Smash isn’t just a trend within Esports. It’s a community that’s here to stay and Dreamhack seems to recognize that.

In the end, it’s another legitimate tournament option for professional players and the average Smash competitor. In a world of frequent tournaments, Dreamhack will be a staple because of the cash payouts and overall quality of their events. Smash has been looking for a circuit to latch onto and Dreamhack might be the one.

Marvel Wins a Sunday Spot at Evo 2017 Raising $77k For Charity

All is right in the world as Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will be the ninth and final game at Evo 2017. After raising $77,000 for charity, the Marvel Community earned its way into Evo, barely edging out the second place game: Pokken. One of the most historic fighting game franchises will get its final sendoff Sunday at the Mandalay Bay Sports arena.

Mandalay Bay Evo 2016

The win, in large part, was due to the Marvel Community actively campaigning through different avenues to help raise funds. The names you’d expect to see rallying the troops to get their beloved game into the Super Bowl of fighting games. IFC Yipes (Michael Mendoza) held a fundraising stream, Angelic (Armando Mejia) was responsible for Undefeated 2017(a Marvel centered tournament), and Justin Wong dropped a spirit bomb to pull away in the last minutes of the vote.

In the same way, the entire Marvel Community helped donate. Marvel had less money on each donation, but almost twice as many donations as any other game. The community rallied behind a franchise that hasn’t not been at an Evo in 15 years. It was important for the entire fighting game community to get Marvel 3 in for one last hurrah.

Furthermore, the vote inspired the Evo staff to donate $10,000 to help Pokken tournaments in the future. Despite a valiant effort from the Pokken community, they unfortunately lost a close battle. But, this donation drive showed the love and compassion for that game. Finishing second isn’t what Pokken fans wanted, but it did legitimize their game and community. That won’t go unnoticed by the fighting game community.

From the start, it was clear the community wasn’t going to let Marvel fade slowly into the night. Everyone did a great job spreading the word and fighting for their game. It was a community effort and will give the Marvel Community a greater sense of purpose watching on finals day at Evo.

In the end, all the communities involved raised nearly $150k for charity. It wasn’t a perfect system. It pitted fighting game fans against each other, but despite a few hiccups, it was all done respectfully.

How to change the system?
This was the second go-around for the Evo staff doing a community funded vote. The first time was a unique idea that had never been explored. That idea also gave way to the Super Smash Bros Melee renaissance. It wasn’t a perfect plan, but it did inspire and bring together an entire community.

The question needs to be asked, will this do the same for Marvel? It’s yet to be seen, but when a community joins together for a common good, it strengthens the very foundation. The vote was never intended to divide fighting game fans. It’s a way to gauge which game the fighting game community wants represented at its largest event.

I have no answer for a better system. Games will always be left out. That’s the nature of Evo. In this sense, each community has equal footing. It’s not meant to be divisive, but passionate fans will sometimes go down that road. With all the new fighting game releases, Evo has to do something like this to, first, keep fans happy, and second, keep the games with most interest at Evo.

For now, Marvel 3 gets another shot before Marvel Infinite hits the shelves. It will be a great sendoff to a game that has brought us some of the best and most interesting story lines since its release. Will Evo do a vote in 2018? I don’t know. But watch the strength and resolve from the Marvel Community.

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Undefeated 2017: Supporting the Marvel Community, Plus Results

The Marvel vs. Capcom community is in a fight for its life trying to get into Evo. Events such as Undefeated 2017 in Mesa, Arizona are keeping the hopes alive. Marvel players from all over the country flew in to attend a Marvel event thrown by Marvel players.

On top of a great Marvel tournament with tons of talent in attendance, Undefeated also held Street Fighter V and a Guilty Gear tournament. The SFV tournament gave us our first look at KBrad (Kenneth Bradley) vs. Justin Wong since the notorious video of KBrad calling out Justin Wong for leaving Evil Geniuses for Echo Fox.

It was a grassroots event, held in a beercade, thrown by Arizona’s own Angelic (Armando Mejia), ALL to support the Marvel community. The love of the game and community was apparent at the venue. It was clear that this group of players are a family. And despite a game that’s declining in numbers, this community stands strong.

The results: SFV
SFV turned out to be hype, with the first set between KBrad and Justin Wong since the transition. It also had Chris G (Chris Gonzales), who finished second at Kumite in Tennessee only a few weeks prior. The smaller numbers were no indication of the level of play at Undefeated.

However, the legend that is Justin Wong did end up taking the tournament, after being sent to losers early on in top 8 by KBrad. It was a reverse sweep for KBrad, as his Cammy did a great job making Justin fight out of the corner. Despite being sent to losers, Jwong wasn’t deterred, as he won 15 of his next 16 matches. He had wins over Chris G, PNOY (Richard Kline), and the aforementioned KBrad.

1 Justin Wong
2 KBrad
3 Chris G
4 PNOY
5 Clegg Madness
5 Rath
7 Redman
7 Moss_HD

UMVC3
The main event was commentated by the well regarded East Coast Marvel legend IFC Yipes (Michael Mendoza). If Yipes shows up, it must be a hype Marvel event, and the level of play delivered. Besides FChamp (Ryan Ramirez), every Marvel 3 Evo champion was in attendance: Justin Wong, Chris G, and Kane Blue River (Nicholas Gonzales). That’s not even mentioning top players such as RayRay (Raynel Hidalgo), Cloud805 (Jonathon Morales), and RyanLV (Ryan Romero).

The best part was every former Evo champion was eliminated fairly early in bracket. It’s not clear how much time players are investing into Marvel nowadays, but the Gods of the game are now getting passed up. Jwong, KBR, and RayRay all finished outside the top 8. ChrisG barely made it into the top 3, beating Cloud805 and Jibrill in close game-five sets.

It wasn’t the results normally associated with Marvel, but it provided the extra drama. RyanLV wasn’t considered one of the best coming into today, but he leaves Undefeated as the champion. He didn’t face any Gods, but he tore up Winners bracket, beating Flux (3-0), YLTCole (3-1), and Angelic twice in winners and grands (3-1,3-1). It was a statement win, taking the first big Marvel tournament of 2017.

1 RyanLV
2 Angelic
3 Chris G
4 Jibrill
5 YLT Cole
5 Priest
7 NoelBrown
7 Cloud805

Guilty Gear XRD
1 Nerd Josh
2 Thebeatifuldude
3 Koogy
4 Toki
5 Dead Spike
5 Paracles
7 Ryyudo
7 Dejixal

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Stream.Me’s Kombat Cup Season Two Announced, Featuring SonicFox and Noble Esports

Stream.Me’s Kombat Cup Circuit season two is here, bringing back several of the world’s best Mortal Kombat players. This includes season one champion and undisputed best player in the world SonicFox (Dominique McLean). The four-month tournament circuit will provide a $12,000 prize pool that will be distributed throughout the event. The season finale will take place on May 14th.

The Mortal Kombat scene needed a breath of fresh air. Dedicated players are running out of viable tournaments to attend. This is apparent considering the upcoming release of Injustice 2, which will most likely be replacing MKXL as the NRS tournament game. The Kombat Cup will give players a chance to play and win money playing Mortal Kombat XL.

The field of players is stacked once again for Kombat Cup season two. On top of SonicFox, his teammate Scar (Brad Vaughn) will be participating. Both players are widely considered as two of the best to ever play the game. The Noble Esports MKXL division will also be a major player in the Kombat Cup. Dragon (Ryan Walker), Illuusions (Richard Luu), and Tweedy (Tommy Tweedy) will be back after a successful season one, making it all the way to the season finale.

(SonicFox in his classic Fox hat, courtesy of Stream.Me)

It won’t be an easy road for the returning champ. After finishing second in league play, both Illuusions and Dragon took SonicFox to game five in the season finale before ultimately falling. Players are starting to catch up.

Registration opens on February 5th and the circuit starts on February 12th. Each week will have three separate events. Included will be the top eight qualifier (open play), the Wednesday Weekly Finale, and Konquest on Thursday. On top of earning prize money, each event will be worth qualifying points that goes towards making it to the season finale in May.

Stream.Me will provide the weekly tournament coverage as they continue to support the MKXL community. The Kombat Cup will bring eyes to a game vying for that final spot at Evo 2017, and leagues like this should help the cause. Watch to see if SonicFox can defend his title and stay virtually unbeaten in Mortal Kombat.

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Evo 2017 Lineup Announced, Community Funded Vote to Decide Ninth Game

 

The Evo lineup has been announced: Street Fighter V, Super Smash Bros for Wii U, Super Smash Bros Melee, Guilty Gear XrD Rev 2, BlazBlue: Central Fiction, Injustice 2, Tekken 7, King Of Fighters XIV, and lastly a community funded donation drive vote featuring nine games.

photo via twitch.tv/redbullesports

It was also announced that Evo will be moving away from the Las Vegas convention center and into Mandalay Bay where they held finals day in 2016. The move coincides with the fact that shuttles were necessary to bus people to and from the venue last year. The event will be held July 14-16th so mark your calendars.

The main focus now is the community funded donation drive. The same way Melee made an Evo appearance and started the renaissance, another community funded game will get that chance. This includes SkullGirls that barely missed out on an Evo spot in 2013. The Marvel community who was left out of the main lineup for the first time ever will also have a shot to make it to Evo through donations.

(Photo via twitch.tv/redbullesports)

Here’s the kicker, the winner of the donation drive gets a spot in the arena during Sunday finals. So, it’s not only a chance to get a tournament at Evo, but now the game that gets voted in will get the extra exposure from the massive viewership on Sunday at Evo. On top of that, four new games will be making an appearance on the Sunday main stage: Smash 4, BlazBlue, Tekken 7, Injustice 2, and the players choice will make up finals day.

Unfortunately, the push to help growing communities by placing them on Sunday has relegated Super Smash Bros Melee back to Saturday night. The second most watched game in the last three years will be a two-day tournament and Top-8 will be ran outside of the arena. KOFXIV also missed the cut.

However, Mr. Wizard (Joey Cuellar) tweeted out that Melee finals will not be on Saturday morning, like how Smash 4’s top-8 in 2016 was early in the morning. The Evo staff listened to the complaints of the community and adjusted. The logistics of a two-day event for potentially 2,000 players is murky, but the Evo staff is well prepared and experience with a tournament of this length and size.

Evolution 2017 is expected to see some growth once again. People need to remember it’s a showcase of fighting games and their communities and not centered around just one game. If you’re a Marvel player and you’re mad that the game didn’t get in initially, show the Evo staff just how strong the Marvel communities is by coming together and winning the vote. Melee rose from the ashes in 2013 and now Smash is a staple in the Evo lineup.

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Armada Secures His Place in History Winning Genesis 4

Photo courtesy of twitch.tv/VGbootcamp

Adam “Armada” Lindgren cemented his spot in history, winning his third Genesis title. The win came over Joseph “Mango” Marquez, making it three wins in a row in a Genesis Grand Final for Armada. Armada’s run of dominance continues as he narrowly edges out Mango in the winner’s bracket and follows it up with one of his strongest finals performances ever.

Mango and Armada were destined from the start to meet again in Grand Finals. In four Genesis tournaments, no other players have made Grand Finals. It took Armada squeezing by Johnny “S2J” Kim in top 64 to even stay in winner’s bracket, and then avoiding losing 3-1 to Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman in winner’s finals. At the same time, Mango had one of the more difficult losers bracket runs to make this rematch possible.

After falling 3-1 to Armada, Mango went straight into a loser’s bracket match with William “Leffen” Hjelte, who fell into losers before top 8. In a rather sub-par top 8, Leffen vs. Mango stands out as a must-watch match. The intensity and stakes of this moment added the extra pressure, and made for a wild set. Mango took the 3-2 victory, but that’s after falling behind 2-1 in games, and even down in stocks on both games four and five. It was a set that will be remembered.

Genesis is known for its memorable moments. Mostly because of the rivalry between Mango and Armada that started at Genesis back in 2009. Four Genesis’s and still no other player has broken into the top-two. M2K had the best chance to break up the streak at G4, when he was up a stock on game four, up 2-1. But in the end, Mango and Armada found themselves facing off in Grand Finals.

The finals matchup that seemed as if destiny had intervened, felt lackluster in the end. Armada thoroughly dominated Mango, beating him in less than nine minutes, with a three-stock victory on game three. Armada went 6-1 overall against Mango, and a staggering 4-0 on Yoshi Island, which was Mango’s primary counter-pick.

Mango seemed to have used up all his mental fortitude just getting back to Grand Finals and wasn’t mentally prepared for the robot that is Armada’s punish heavy Peach. It was a showing of Armada’s consistency and mental strength, as even when he’s down 2-0 to S2J or losing to M2K, he never plays like he’s out of it. He always sticks to the game plan.

Here are the final results at Genesis 4:

1.Alliance Armada (Peach/Fox)

2. C9 Mango (Fox/Falco)

3. Echo Fox M2K (Marth/Sheik)

T5. Liquid Hungrybox (Jigglypuff)

T5. Panda Global Plup (Sheik)

T7. Tempo Storm Axe (Pikachu)

T7. G2 Westballz (Falco)

 

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Genesis 4: Smash Doubles Bringing the Hype

Photo courtesy of http://wiki.teamliquid.net/commons/images/a/ab/G4logo.jpg

The doubles events have delivered at Genesis 4, with upsets, new faces in top 8, and extremely high-level play. After a lackluster day one, with the Smash Crews somewhat falling apart with top players exercising their right to skip the event, doubles made up for it.

The lead story of the day is the brilliant play from arguably the most underrated team in Melee doubles: William “Leffen” Hjelte and Mustafa “Ice” Ackakaya. They took out the second seeded Swedish duo of Adam “Armada” Lindgren and his brother, Andreas “Android” Lindgren. The set went to five games, and the Fox-duo of Leffen and Ice combined the excellent team spacing and synergy with their constant ability to survive the Swedish brother’s team combos.

Ice and Leffen advanced to winner’s finals and will face off against the top overall seed, and hometown favorite, in PewFat. Kevin “PewPewU” Toy and Zac “SFAT” Cordoni had little trouble disposing of every team in their path. They beat Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman and Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma in a quick 3-0.

Afterwards, the most successful Melee team in history (M2K and Hbox) ran into another up-and-coming doubles team, with Jeff “Axe” Williamson and Justin “Plup” McGrath. The Pikachu and Sheik composition allowed for supreme edge guarding and the back-and-forth hits from both Plup and Axe. The estranged team only lost on game 5 to Ice and Leffen, so this team is a serious threat to make a loser run and win this event.

Unfortunately for Plup and Axe, they face Andorid and Armada first thing tomorrow morning. In the only other matchup between these two, the Swedish team got the better result. In winners, the question is: can anyone take out the world’s most consistent Melee team in PewFat?

PewFat’s strength is dominating individual matchups while always being in range to help their teammate. Ice and Leffen excel in the same areas, so this could potentially be a bad matchup for the top seed. The key in losers will be to take stocks from Android early and often, as we saw in the loss to Ice and Leffen.

Smash 4 Doubles Bringing the Hype

Unexpectedly, Smash 4 doubles has stolen the show at Genesis 4 day two. The meta-game is clearly still developing and the use of Cloud has almost become necessary in team compositions. Obviously, Cloud has the strongest follow-up finishes with his limit break, and teams are finding interesting ways to use him optimally.

The champions, Elliot “Ally” Carroza and Leonardo “MKLeo” Lopez Peres, had MKLeo on Cloud, ready for any of Ally’s Mario back throws. The win came over the Japanese team, Rei “komorikiri” Furukawa and Ryuto “Ranai” Hayashi, who managed to reverse sweep the top seeded team at Genesis 4 in Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrio and Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada.

MKLeo and Ally took out the Japanese pair twice, once in winners round 2 and again in grand finals. It was a huge statement for both teams. Considering every player in grand finals was from outside the United States, it was also a huge day for international Smash fans.

 

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Genesis 4 Preview: Will The Top Seeds Run the Table?

The importance of the Genesis tournament series for the longevity and growth of the Super Smash Bros scene can’t go understated. It’s a legendary event that has produced arguably the best Smash sets of all time. It’s where the Joseph “Mango” Marquez and Adam “Armada” Lindgren rivalry began. Genesis is history, and more history will be made this weekend at Genesis 4.

Genesis 4 will be the biggest Genesis to date. Six individual Smash tournaments. 11 overall events that will be taking place, including Rivals of Aether and Street Fighter V. Two crew battle tournaments, one for Smash 4 and the other for Melee. It has something for every type of fan.

The main events will be Melee and Smash 4 top-8. The competition for the doubles tournaments and even Smash 64 will be fierce and deserve your attention though. 3,000 players are registered and ready to compete. Here’s a preview for every single event happening at Genesis 4 this weekend.

Smash 64 Singles

Smash 64 has significantly less entrants than the other two Smash games (185 for singles), but the story lines and competition is still top notch. Recently signed Daniel “SuPeRbOoMfAn” Hoyt, who won Super Smash Con to round out 2016, is once again the heavy favorite. In terms of dominating his personal game, no other player in the Smash community comes close.

The field has nearly every player in the top 10, so expect some of the more notable names to reach top-8. Boom won’t have an automatic trip to winner’s finals. Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett is a rising star and a real threat to take out the game’s best. His second-place finish at Super Smash Con showed his potential. Wizzrobe is slated to play Boom winners round 2 in top 64 which could be on upset alert.

Outside of those two, classic names like Isai, the Mexican players Arturo “Mariguas” Nunez Hernadez and Distrito “Dext3r” Federal, and the ever so dangerous Peruvian slayer Alvin “Alvin” Leon Hara will also be in attendance as the second seed. It’s a stacked field, but the real story will be whether Boom can win another Smash 64 major.

Winner Prediction: SuPeRbOoMfAm (sorry, he’s just too good)

Smash Melee Doubles

Don’t sleep on Melee doubles this weekend; the top five teams will be in attendance, and certain teams will be put to the ultimate test. PewFat, Kevin “PewPewU” Toy and Zac “SFAT” Cordoni, had a great 2016 as the year’s best team, but let’s see how they perform at an event with M2Box (Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman and Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma), team Alliance (Armada and Andreas “Android” Lindgren), and team Europe (William “Leffen” Hjelte and Mustafa “Ice” Akcakaya).

Therefore, the winner of this event is nearly impossible to predict. Even Mango and Johnny “S2J” Kim could make a run. An event of this magnitude with players taking the doubles side seriously will result in some of the highest-level teams matches possibly ever. Most of the teams registered, who have a shot at winning, are combos of players who have teamed before and have chemistry. It will be a great gauge on the best doubles team in the world.

Winner Prediction: PewFat

Between Hungrybox’s hand issues, the northern California crowd, and the introduction of PPU’s Fox play for counter-picks, it just feels like it’s finally their time to take a Genesis.

Smash Melee Singles

Three Genesis events and three Mango vs Armada grand finals. Will it happen again? The biggest hurdles for the possible quadruple rematch is easily Leffen and Hungrybox. Hungrybox made huge strides in 2016, and despite a hand injury, can ruin everyone’s fun by winning. Leffen, on the other hand (get it?), missed last Genesis and is a huge threat to ruin the Genesis script.

Furthermore, this could be the event of the breakout star. Players like SFAT, Ice, Justin “Plup” McGrath, and James “Swedish Delight” Liu have been threatening to take out the top-six players for the better half of last year. Genesis 4, with the extra month of preparation, could be the event one of these names creates a Melee upset that will never be forgotten.

In addition, expect the brackets to be filled with upsets. A tournament with 80 of the top 100 players in attendance is sure to set off some unfamiliar matchups and results. Expect the unexpected; last year Michael “Nintendude” Brancato took out M2K before top 8. If I had to bet, I’d say a God falls before top-8.

In the end, the event will almost surely come down to if anyone is good enough to beat Armada. He has been on a tear of tournament wins in the winter months, and it’s unclear if the Swedish snipers reign of terror is ending. That said, Mango will be playing in front of a raucous crowd all cheering for him, and we all know what happens when Mango gets momentum and a crowd behind him.

Melee is the marquee event this weekend, with 1,700 players signed up. The matchups in top 64 will all be entertaining, from Ice facing off against Sami “DruggedFox” Muhanna, to the Evo runback of Jeff “Axe” Williamson against Otto “Silent Wolf” Bisno. The story lines will be endless and the amount of high-level Melee waiting to be played is staggering. There’s a reason most Melee players consider Genesis the holy grail.

Winner Prediction: Armada

It’s hard seeing anyone beating this guy at the level he’s playing at right now. Mango can win this tournament but it will take some diligent play and making sure he gets a shot at Armada in Winners bracket.

Smash 4 Doubles

Smash 4 doubles is still in its infancy. The team that wins is usually the two best players, as opposed to the best strategy, character choice, and the most skill combined. Keeping that in mind, Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios and Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada are clearly the best team. The only other team even on a comparable level is Elliot “Ally” Bastien and Leonardo “MKLeo” Lopez Perez.

It will still be interesting to watch the different team compositions and styles. Japan will have two of the more interesting teams: Yuta “Abadango” Kawamura and Takuto “Kameme” Ono, plus Rei “Komorikiri” Furukawa and Ryuto “Ranai” Hayashi. They will present interesting styles and a possible threat to the top players. Jason “Anti” Bates and Salem will be the other team capable of winning the entire event.

As is the case for every tournament at Genesis 4, the focus will be on if anyone can take out the top team. Nairo and ZeRo are incredibly talented players with chemistry. There are some serious contenders who could beat out those two, but it’s unlikely at this point.

Winner Prediction: Nairo and ZeRo

Smash 4 Singles

ZeRo is once again the favorite to take Genesis. He’s starting to return to form after a sporadic 2016. But with that, it’s safe to say Smash 4 is the widest open tournament of them all. It’s not out of the question to wonder if a player not named ZeRo can win Genesis.

MKLeo wasn’t at Genesis 3 or many of the 2016 majors, so this will be his first real test at a major. He has shown the ability to hang with anyone. Ally is another player who can win this event. He’s clearly not fazed by large crowds (Evo 2016 champion) but has unfavorable draw in bracket (he’ll face ZeRo in Winners Semifinals).

Even a couple years into Smash 4, the meta game still is developing. It makes these major tournaments more fun because the results can be random at times. ZeRo might be the clear-cut favorite, but the rise of Cloud players like Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey and Kimorikiri are lurking, waiting to pull off the upset. That’s not even mentioning players like ANTi, Salem or Larry Lurr who have taken out every single one of the top five players, including Zero.

Winner Prediction: MKLeo

This is MKLeo’s moment. Here is a kid the Smash world has been waiting on for the past two years, and he has finally got his chance. If anyone can take out ZeRo and run the table, it’s the versatile MKLeo.

I hope I provided fans with a guide to what to watch for this weekend. It’s impossible to predict what will happen. One thing is certain though, it will be entertaining to watch it all unfold.

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