Melee’s Competition Committee good for the community despite shaky start

It’s about time the Smash community formed a governing body to watch over all competitive decisions. For a long time, the onus has been on the individual tournament organizers to make the decisions without any real discussion on practicality. It’s been a mixed bag of results, seemingly changing from week to week.

I’m here to tell you that “The 25” is a step in the right direction.

Lack of diversity

Before I dive deeper, I want to address the Adam “Armada” Lindgren situation. Armada, the greatest Melee player in history, left his post on the committee to make way for a female representative. The fact that all 25 members were male was a reality check and Armada took it into his own hands to right this egregious wrong.

Smash Sisters at Shine 2017. Photo courtesy of

Yes, the amount of females in the community is a small percentage compared to males, but that’s what makes it even more important to reach out to females. Women have almost zero representation or voice in this community and that dissuades others from potentially entering tournaments. Giving females a voice is paramount to easing the tension females feel in this community. Also, giving power to females could be beneficial to the scene as a whole.

So, good on Armada for recognizing this great indifference and taking action. It might not seem like a big deal to some, but what’s the point of a rules committee if not everyone’s voice is heard. Even the smaller and less vocal groups. The committee is still considering options at this point, since Armada’s departure, but it’s forcing them to consider on a female member.

The committee itself has been under severe scrutiny with many community members missing the point of its creation. Above all else, it was formed to create fairness for all competitors as the scene adapts to new technology and formats.

Shine 2017 is a great example of this and it also helped spawn the CoC. MattDotZeb is as experienced as they come in Smash and even he came across a situation that has never been dealt with before. The decision to make UCF legal and mandatory was an innovative idea, but the perils of trying something out is not being prepared if something goes awry. The situation led to a controversial decision that left the community angry.

It’s not the first time either. Situations like Shine happen a few times a year in seemingly big spots. It’s hard enough for organizers to deal with running the event itself, but having to make stressful decisions with time constraints is something else entirely. That’s where the CoC comes in and can help out.

Despite what some think, the CoC is not a power grab setup for Melee dictatorship. It’s not mandatory. It’s just an outlet of experienced and professional people to give assurance and assistance to tournaments and events. It will help streamline everything and get more consistency from different events.

“The Melee Competition Committee (CC), which includes the Leadership Panel (“The 5”) and the At-Large Panel (“The 25”), was formed so that we’d have a process in place for prominent tournament organizers, players, and influencers to come to the table, and unify rulesets at a critical point in our history. In a time when players were clamoring for consistency, fairness, and clarity in regards to Melee gameplay rules across events, we brought some of the community’s biggest names together to make their opinions accountable: in exchange for having the power to make lasting change, they’d have to make all votes and amendments public.”

The structure

Shine 2017. Photo courtey of

The structure is setup to promote accountability down the line. No one can deny the members of this community being the right choice in helping manage decisions. It was a carefully selected group of some of the pioneers of the Melee community along with some lesser known names. The diversity is there from players, coaches, player managers, tournament organizers, streamers and even historians.

However, the lack of women is appalling, as stated earlier. My only problem is the five members heading the operation. Self-proclaimed power and importance of opinion seems unjust, and while they’re here to get the decision-making process started, it feels as if those five will be making most of the decisions.

It’s an incredibly important time for Melee and the CoC is here to make it last and strengthen our events. While I’ll disagree with some of the methods used when creating this committee, I also see the benefits of having a governing body. This is not the Melee backroom, where all discussion are kept private. The CoC promises to keep everything out in the open for the public to see. It’s a test run and we’ll see if it actively makes the Melee community more appealing to players.

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The State of the Game: Champion Diversity

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With the first week of pro play competition over, let’s take a look at how the game changed, and whether those changes affected in a positive and healthy way.

Champion Diversity:
Champion diversity is something that Riot has repeatedly said they want to see in League of Legends. While there have been worse moments for the game and preseason patches took a step in the adequate direction, I still think that more can be done. Last year, Riot was doing a great job in this category until they introduced the juggernaut patch right before worlds. Worlds was completely played around a few OP juggernauts which is in my opinion unhealthy for the game, and on this occasion, steps on the line of competitive integrity.
In the first week of the NA LCS, we saw great champion diversity specifically in the AD carry role. I do not think I have seen so many different AD carry picks since season 1. In ten games, we saw 8 unique picks in the AD carry position (Miss Fortune, Kalista, Lucian, Ezreal, Kindred, Caitlyn, Corki and Tristana). The preseason patch was mostly targeted towards this player, and it seems Riot accomplished its goal. As the season progresses some champions will be labeled as OP, but it seems that slights buffs or nerfs depending on who rises and who falls should maintain the diversity we saw in the first week.
The jungle is dominated by the same champions that dominated it last season, Elise, Rek’Sai and Lee Sin. It has been more than a year now that the jungle is dominated by these champions and it seems as though people got used to it. The last champion that I remember to have priority in competitive play was Kha’Zix a long time ago.
It has been said that in the current state of the game it is hard to engage because there is so much damage floating around the Rift, that being said, when engages occur, fights explode. For the game to be in a healthy position, it needs to have fights that balance tankiness with damage. If fights are too short that means that there is too much damage in the meta. Which is detrimental for champion diversity because those that do lower amounts of damage over time do not see any action. And if fights are too long like the Cinderhulk meta last season, tanks and champions that can deal well with tanks, like Vayne, are prioritized. In both cases, some champions are simply not viable because of the meta, that means that only when the game is balanced, as in no items are OP, can champion diversity exist.
Riot took a good step during preseason, by giving identity to the AD carry role. Which should introduce new strategies and new ways to win a game of League of Legends, but I would love to see a meta where many strategies are viable and every role has many different picks available. Unlike season four where all we saw was Renekton, Mundo and Shyvanna in the top lane. The best meta is that in which Froggen can play Anivia, Faker can play Zed, and Pray can play the juggermaw.