Genesis 4 Smash Draft 2017 Preview

Photo via https://smash.gg/tournament/genesis-4/smashdraft

It’s finally Genesis week! The world’s most historic Smash tournament will take place once again in San Jose, California and host thousands of Smash players. On top of the standard single and double events, Genesis will be running the Smash Draft crew battle tournament: A single elimination, 5 vs. 5 melee crew battle tournament that will be happening on day one of Genesis 4.

The teams were drafted on the Scar and Toph Show. There are eight teams, captained by the names mentioned below, seeded based on rank, and draft position set by the lower seeded players deciding where to pick first. Kashan “Chillindude” Khan was the last seed so he got the first overall pick.

Therefore, the top seeded, Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma, will face off against Chillindude’s crew in round one. Got it? Now, the results of the draft were all over the place. Some players picked solely based off rank and prestige, while others wanted more well-rounded teams (or to play with the homies).

Last year, Team Hbox took home the Smash Draft title over team SFAT, with one of the strongest crew battle teams ever assembled (two God’s). This year, the field is wide open. Crews are more balanced and there’s less potential gimmicks and shenanigans compared to last year. It should be a down-to-the-wire tournament

Here are the teams:

#1 Overall Seed: Team Hungrybox

Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma (Jigglupuff, MIOM Rank: 2)

James “Swedish” Liu (Sheik, MIOM: 11)

Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett (Captain Falcon, MIOM: 12)

Stephen “Abate” Abate (Luigi, MIOM: 40)

Colin “Colbol” Green (Fox, Marth, MIOM: 25)

Strengths: Team Hungrybox will be one of the strongest teams at this event. Not only do you have to take out two extremely dangerous players in Swedish and Wizzrobe, but then an additional four stocks off Hungrybox. It also helps that this team has five unique characters to throw out at any given time.

Weaknesses: Abate is somewhat of a wild card considering he hasn’t attended many major tournaments in the past year. Colbol has the potential to take out top players, but has been trending downwards recently with his Marth play.

X-Factor: Wizzrobe has shown in the past that he can take out a God or at least push their limits. If he shows up and gets the crowd behind him early on, look out for Wizzrobe to pull an upset. Following up his aggressive style with Hungrybox will pay dividends in the end.

#8 Overall Seed: Team Chillin

Khasar “Chillindude” Khan (Fox, MIOM: 36)

William “Leffen” Hjelte (Fox, MIOM: 5)

Edgar “N0ne” Sheleby (Captain Falcon, MIOM: 18)

David “KirbyKaze” MacDonald (Sheik, MIOM: 29)

Theodore “Bladewise” Seybold (Peach, MIOM: 39)

Strengths: The overall depth of this team isn’t great, but N0ne and Leffen are players capable of turning games around quickly. Leffen can stock tank and take out weaker players with plenty of stocks remaining. N0ne has the jaw-dropping ability to turn games in his favor with Falcon’s combo game.

Weaknesses: Overall, this team will struggle against deeper teams. They have no distinct counter-pick advantages outside of Bladewise. If N0ne and Leffen don’t play above their usual skill ceiling this team will fail.

X-Factor: KirbyKaze. KirbyKaze has been flirting with retirement throughout the better half of 2016. He’s still capable of beating top-players, just based off his skill level, but the question is if he’s in practice or not? If he is, that adds an entirely new component to this team’s game plan.

#2 Overall Seed: Team SFAT

Zac “SFAT” Cordoni (Fox, MIOM: 7)

Dejaun “Shroomed” McDaniels (Sheik, MIOM: 10)

Kevin “PewPewU” Toy (Marth, MIOM: 14)

Austin “Azusa” Demmon (Peach, MIOM: 57)

Justin “Syrox” Burroughs (Fox, MIOM: 67)

Strengths: The crowd. The Northern California “big three” in SFAT, Shroomed, and PPU will garner the most audience support, and in this environment, that’s huge. This team will surely have the most chemistry and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses better than any other team.

Weaknesses: Azusa is an up-and-coming Peach main, but he’s put into a big spot here. His goal is not to come overwhelmingly negative in terms of stock count. SFAT, as the captain, will have the option to counter-pick with his Peach, though.

X-Factor: Syrox. Syrox has been on fire in the last two months and is gaining confidence. The NorCal big three will do their thing, but the matches will be won on the back end with Syrox’s performance. The young Fox main could surprise some people.

#7 Overall Seed: Team Zhu

Julian “Zhu” Zhu (Falco, MIOM: 31)

Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman (Sheik/Marth, MIOM: 4)

Ryan “TheMoon” Coker-Welch (Marth, MIOM: 21)

McCain “MacD” Lavelle (Peach, MIOM: 26)

Santiago “Santi” Pinon (Falco/Sheik, MIOM: 43)

Strengths: Counter-picking M2K. Zhu decided to choose a spot where he could grab a Melee God (M2K) in exchange for team depth. Using M2K in specific situations will decide how far this team goes in bracket.

Weaknesses: Depth. Outside of M2K, every other player ranks outside the top-20. TheMoon is capable of pulling off upsets, but this team must face a team with three players in the top-15. It will be a struggle after M2K.

X-Factor: Zhu. Zhu will be the one making the coaching decisions, so using M2K and TheMoon at the right time will be key. Zhu can also make waves with his Falco, given the right stage.

#3 Overall Seed: Team Duck

James “Duck” Ma (Samus, MIOM: 15)

Weston “Westballz” Dennis (Falco, MIOM: 8)

Mustafa “Ice” Akcakaya (Fox, MIOM: 13)

Kalindi “KJH” J. Henderson (Fox, MIOM: 34)

Abshihek “Prince Abu” Prabhu (Jigglypuff, MIOM: 42)

Strengths: Depth. Once again, Duck chose depth over grabbing a top-player. Luckily, he still landed Westballz and Ice, who have shown in the past they can carry teams in crews. Duck also provides a direct-counter for Fox-heavy team compositions.

Weaknesses: Lack of character diversity. Yes, Prince Abu and Duck have unique characters, but there are three spacey mains on this team. If opposing teams have player’s adapt in those matchups, it could be tough for this team to advance.

X-Factor: Duck. The timing of when to use Duck will decide games. If he’s put in the right situation, this team could surprise everyone. Certain players really struggle in the Samus matchup and that could be the difference.

#6 Overall Seed” Team Silent Wolf

Otto “Silent Wolf” Bisno (Fox, MIOM: 20)

Joseph “Mango” Marquez (Falco/Fox, MIOM: 3)

Johnny “S2J” Kim (Captain Falcon, MIOM: 16)

Sami “DruggedFox” Muhanna (Fox, MIOM: 23)

Hugo “HugS” Gonzales (Samus, MIOM: 38)

Strengths: Mango. I don’t think it’s even a question at this point who the best crews player of all time is. Mango never seems phased by the gravity of the moment and feeds off the crowd more than anybody. If he gets off to a good start, he’s almost impossible to slow down in crews.

Weaknesses: A team of fast-fallers. Outside of HugS on Samus, the rest of the team is susceptible to heavy combos on each character choice. It’s a team of explosive damage characters, but playing more skilled teams will force them to play more defensively.

X-Factor: S2J. Johnny was able to pull off one of the best performances in Smash history at the regional crew battles at TBH6. He was able to take seven stocks against Florida and he took out Leffen in one of the most heart wrenching sets in recent memory. Along with Mango, S2J can finish matches off with style.

#4 Overall Seeds: Team Nintendude

Michael “Nintendude” Brancato (Ice Climbers, MIOM: 17)

Justin “Plup” McGrath (Sheik/Samus, MIOM: 6)

Jeff “Axe” Williamson (Pikachu, MIOM: 9)

Aaron “Professor Pro” Thomas (Fox, MIOM: 24)

Mike Haze (Fox, MIOM: 28)

Strengths: Team speed. The character diversity will be important for this team, but overall this team might have the best team speed outside of Team Duck. Expect technical, fast games with players like Axe, Plup, and Professor Pro.

Weaknesses: Mike Haze. This team doesn’t have many weaknesses, so Mike Haze’s lack of experience in crews at this level could play a factor.

X-Factor: Plup. Plup plays two characters at an extremely high level, so if this team needs a Samus pick, he’s capable of making the switch and staying consistent.

#5 Overall Seed: Team ChuDat

Daniel “ChuDat” Rodriguez (Ice Climbers, MIOM: 22)

Adam “Armada” Lindgren (Peach/Fox, MIOM: 1)

Joey “Lucky” Aldama (Fox, MIOM: 19)

Sam “Laudandus” Rohrer (Sheik, MIOM: 33)

Diaki “Rudolph” Ideoka (Marth, MIOM: 52)

Strengths: Armada. He’s the best player in the world and never loses to players below his skill level. He’s almost guaranteed to go positive in each match.

Weaknesses: Inexperience. Laudandus and Rudolph didn’t participate in last year’s Smash draft, so this is an entirely new experience for them. An event like this might overwhelm the newcomers.

X-Factor: ChuDat. Armada will go positive, so this team needs one other player to carry the team, enter ChuDat. His Ice Climbers can and will be a direct counter-pick, but more importantly using Chu’s unorthodox, sometimes annoying style to get to opposing teams.

Go here to make your bracket predictions here. My predictions are here, check back for more coverage on the Smash Draft.

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The Local: Hungrybox’s Injury Issue, Salem and M2K’s Performances at Smash Conference

Genesis 4 is still two weeks away. The Smash world will now focus in on these next two weeks to prepare for one of the marquee events of 2017. Tournaments have slowed; aside from Smash Conference, there has been no high-level matches since Don’t Park On The Grass. That said, there’s still plenty of news to cover around the entire Smash community.

Hungrybox Struggled with his Finger Injury

Photo via https://twitter.com/LiquidHbox/status/816358130611318785

Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma was not the main story of this weekend, but his finger injury suffered last week playing dodgeball has his Genesis 4 status in question. Hungrybox did say on twitter that he’s planning on playing at Genesis 4, but that he might have to switch up how he holds his controller and try a different button press for his aerials (he usually uses the Z-button).

However, Hungrybox did make an appearance at MVG”s Smash Conference in Florida this weekend, and he didn’t look like his usual self. On top of losing to players he often beats, Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman and Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett, his aerial spacing and conversions on hits were clearly not as precise as normal.

Hungrybox will play at Genesis 4, but how effective his play will be is still up in the air. He has two weeks to rest or practice holding his controller different ways.  A half healthy Hungrybox can still make a deep run, but it’s hard to see a scenario where he takes out a God with a busted finger.

Mew2King Wins Smash Conference for Melee

M2K got the win, but the real story was Wizzrobe and Zac “SFAT” Cordoni’s performances at this event. SFAT went 1-9 against M2K in 2016, but early in 2017 he took an early 5-3 game lead with a set win and a game five loss at the Smash Conference. He even had success against M2K on Final Destination, taking two games off him.

On the other hand, Wizzrobe nearly outshined everyone by taking out Ryan “TheMoon” Coker-Welch 2-0, SFAT 3-0, and Hungrybox 3-0. He unfortunately fell to M2K, a matchup that’s known to heavily favor M2K. His performance doesn’t go unnoticed though, and is a building point heading into one of the biggest events of the year.

Finally, M2K earned his first tournament victory of 2017, but it did not come easy. SFAT had him on the ropes on game four in the second set, but a bad positional decision from SFAT gave M2K the corner, and eventually the edge guard. The entire match favored SFAT’s pace of play, but in the end, M2K was able to repeatedly overcome large stock deficits to win.

Salem Takes Smash Conference for Smash 4

Photo via https://smashboards.com/threads/smash-wii-u-at-smash-conference-lxix-mvgs-finest-take-on-florida.444611/

Saleem “Salem” Akiel Young, a legend in Brawl for taking an Apex, earned another career victory by winning Smash Conference over Jamaal “Samsora” Morris Jr. The Bayonetta main had little trouble disposing of the other Florida players, only dropping one game the entire tournament. He made a statement by taking care of busisness in a tournament that featured the likes of Eric “ESAM” Lew, Jestise “MVD” Negron, and Andrew “ScAtt” Huntley.

Even M2K entered Smash 4 and made a splash before being eliminated by Esam. Esam, on the other hand, made an insane losers bracket run to finish third, after falling to Samsora’s Peach earlier in winner’s bracket. It was a tournament of mixed results, as ScAtt was eliminated in losers round two by Florida native, Day.  Strong players had to face off against each other earlier because of upsets, allowing for players like ScAtt, MVD, and dyr to fall out of bracket early in the day.

The consistent and balanced play of Salem and Samsora flashed. Both players had no trouble navigating through a tough bracket and might be two players to watch out for the rest of 2017.

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Armada Wins UGC Smash Open Slowing Mew2King’s Special Losers Bracket Run

photo courtesy of twitch.tv/ugc

photo courtesy of twitch.tv/ugc

The streak of major wins continues as Adam “Armada” Lindgren was able to win his third straight major tournament at the UGC Open Series. His win comes over Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman who had his own special run through losers bracket on Sunday in St, Louis, Mo.

Armada is coming off a win last week at Dreamhack, and is hitting his stride in the last month. The first set of grand finals loss to M2K was only the second set loss he’s had in a month. Fortunately, he had a pretty clean road to grand finals aside from his matches with M2K and Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma in winners final, but still managed to advance.

Hungrybox took Armada to last game, last stock but Armada entered that stock on Dreamland with a lead and finished the job. Hungrybox managed to win the first two games on battlefield and final destination, but Armada played a strong zoning game and won the Dreamland counter picks. Armada moves to 4-1 against Hbox in the last three tournaments.

As for grand finals, Armada had to work extremely hard to overcome M2K’s smothering Marth. M2K won the first set 3-1, resetting the bracket. He was on fire for most of the afternoon after he got beat by Edgar “N0ne” Sheleby’s Falcon, sending him to the losers bracket. His tear included a game 5 win over Joseph “Mango” Marquez and Hungrybox. The entire losers run is filled with excellent talent, including the same man that sent him to losers: N0ne (3-0).

Mew 2 King after his 3-2 win over Hungrybox (photo cred. Twitch.tv/UGC)

Mew 2 King after his 3-2 win over Hungrybox (photo cred. Twitch.tv/UGC)

The run had M2K going 24-11, all against top players and three gods. Notably, he had an incredible day and he almost pulled it off. Unfortunately for him, he faced the one player who’s situated to deal with someone who’s playing at their best in Armada. After an extremely quick first set loss for Armada, he switched up his entire Peach strategy and won three of the next four games and the trophy.

Armada, as he always does, nearly swept every opponent he faced outside the top five in bracket. The one loss he took was to Sami “DruggedFox” Muhanna, but won the set 3-1. Overall he was 16-7 and only had to switch off his main character in Peach to face Hungrybox. He epitomizes consistency and is without a doubt the hardest player in the world to take a stock from.

Armada ends the year with four major wins and some close second place finishes. It’s hard seeing a scenario where he’s not the worlds best player in 2016. UGC is a good place to end the year for Armada.

Follow me twitter @Tokyodown and @The_Game_Haus for more fighting game updates!

Matches you Might have missed at The Big House 6

The Big House 6 came to a close this past Sunday with Joseph “Mango” Marquez taking home the trophy with a win over Adam “Armada” Lindgren. Most viewers saw the top eight, from Mango coming down from 0-2 to beat Armada, to Mustafa “Ice” Akcakaya shocking everyone by beating down Zac “SFAT” Cordoni in a dominant 3-0 sweep. What most viewers didn’t see was the exciting matches before top eight ever even happened.

I’ll answer everyone’s questions, “how did Ice get into top 8 in winners side?””Who sent Hungrybox to losers bracket?””where was Leffen?” I’ll answer all these questions and more.

Silentwolf Upsets Mew2King 3-2
The match that turned the entire winners side of the bracket upside down. Otto “Silentwolf” Bisno pulled off the upset of the day, by sending Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman to losers in winners round 2 of top 24. The upset eventually led to Ice making it to top top 8 winner side after beating Silentwolf 3-2 in the next round.

Silentwolf’s play can’t be overlooked here, despite not finishing the day on as high of a note (ended up losing 3-1 to Kevin “PewPewU” Toy before top 8). Silentwolf is a smart, defensive-minded Fox, and we saw that on game one, Battlefield. He never approached and put M2K in bad situations. He ended the game with a two stock.

In classic M2K fashion, he switched off Sheik and went to Marth while counter-picking Final Destination. It was a quick three-stock, but the game one counter-pick advantage loomed large in this set. Silentwolf took M2K to Pokémon Stadium and kept putting him in the corner. The 2-1 score gave Silentwolf the increasingly important game five counter pick.

M2K had no trouble on Fountain of Dreams, taking a +6 stock advantage on his counter-picks into game 5. Luckily for Silentwolf, Dreamland was still available and with M2K not feeling as confident in his Sheik-play, stuck it out with Marth on a disadvantaged stage.

M2K had a self destruct on his first stock and played with a deficit the remainder of the match. Silentwolf looked content in slowly build his lead by staying away and lasering. He avoided platforms and any bad positions he could put himself in. His defensive play gave him the edge and Silentwolf went on to pull the huge upset, 3-2. 2-0 on his counter-picks is the key stat to look at in this instance.

Infinite Numbers Beats Westballz 2-1 before top 64
Jason “Infinite Numbers” Gauthier, an Ice Climbers main from New England, who’s also a rising star, was able to take out Weston “Westballz” Dennis in round two pools. The match being so early in pools means no video but from what I’ve been told, Numbers was having no trouble landing grabs.

Infinite Numbers won his first match on Fountain of Dreams, which gave him the counter-pick advantage (FoD good for both Ice Climber and Falco). He lost on Westballz’s Pokémon Stadium counter-pick, but had final destination in his back pocket to win the set 2-1.

From that point on, Infinite Numbers struggled and lost his next two games to Daniel “ChuDat” Rodriguez in the Ice Climbers mirror match and Justin “Syrox” Burroughs, the top ranked player from Colorado. Westballz went on to go 4-1 on Sunday, only losing to Mew2King in top 16 losers.

SFAT Sweeps Hungrybox
SFAT is starting to figure out and implement certain strategies that beat Jigglypuff. He’s now on a two game winning streak against Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma and that’s not good news for Hbox. SFAT looks like Leffen circa. 2014, where he started to slowly figure out Hungrybox and his Jigglypuff.

Game one was on Battlefield, and SFAT never left the stage. He never once gave into Hungrybox’s aerial shenanigans and efficiently got vertical kills by getting grabs and calling out whenever Hungrybox was coming down with a back-air by up-smashing and taking the trade. You can almost tell where Hungrybox is at mentally depending on if he’s successfully getting consistent Smash-DI on Fox’s up-throw into up-smash. He didn’t have that today.

Hungrybox went to Dreamland game two and made things harder for himself. The large stage allowed for SFAT to play more patient and laser more proficiently. In both games one and two, SFAT gets down a stock early, but by the time Hungrybox is on his last stock he’s a full-stock ahead. SFAT showed awareness and made adjustments after every stock he lost.

He even got Hungrybox to stand up AND sit down. Game three went back to Dreamland but it was more of the same from Hungrybox. He couldn’t find an opening on SFAT’s defensive Fox play, specifically with the run-away game.

Granted, Hbox didn’t look his normal self at TBH6, but still a huge win for SFAT regardless.

Shroomed Pulls it off Against Plup’s Fox 3-2
It was an up-and-down tournament for Justin “Plup” McGrath. He fell in round two pools to one of the TBH6 crew battle heroes in Zain “Zain” Naghmi. This set up a massive losers bracket run from Plup. He beat (in order): Professor Pro 2-0, S2J 2-0, and Wobbles 2-0, before losing in game five to Shroomed.

DeJuan “Shroomed” McDaniel, one of the best players in NorCal, survived against Plup’s new Fox. The usual Sheik ditto we see from these two (saw it at TBH5, Plup won 3-0) changed with the Fox switch. It was a struggle, but Shroomed was able to win the match sending Plup home in 25th.

Other notable results:
R2DLiu Upsets Axe –
Jeff “Axe” Williamson had never heard of R2DLiu before the Big House, but you can bet he’ll never forget him now. R2DLiu sent Axe to losers bracket in phase two pools by a count of 2-1. The Massachusetts native Fox main finished 33rd, his highest placing in his career. He also finished 65th at Shine.

Zhu Finishes off Axe – Julianne “Zhu” Zhu followed the lead set by R2DLiu and sent Axe home packing with a 2-1 victory. It was only the third time in Axe’s career he finished outside the top-25. It was the worst placing in his professional career, thanks to Zhu, who finished 33rd.

Swedish Delight Cleans Up against Shroomed – its been quite the year for James “Swedish Delight” Liu, who quietly has another solid ninth place finish at TBH6. He also managed to 3-0 Shroomed in a Sheik ditto. He ended up sending William “Leffen” Hjelte home 3-0 and narrowly lost to Hungrybox in game 5.

Summer of Smash Melee Recap

The end of Summer marks the end of the busiest season in the Super Smash Brothers tournament scene and the start of a brief rest period before the next big major event (The Big House 6, October 7-9th). The summer [of Smash] provided a great deal of major tournaments and gave us a good indication of where the meta-game currently stands and where each player is individually ranked heading into the off-season.

It’s the fourth consecutive summer in a row where the Smash community has had two premier events (as decided by Liquipedia). This year the Smash community held four premier events (CEO, GOML, Evo, Super Smash Con) and five other major events (Dreamhack, Shine, Smash N’ Splash, WTFox2, and Clutch City Clash).  Every weekend consisted of a Major throughout the end of June all the way to the end of August.

The number of large tournaments allows for analyst, like myself, to figure in a lot of data points and see how the landscaped has formed after a busy Summer schedule. Every top player, outside of William “Leffen” Hjelte, played each other and every player in the big five (Armada, Hungrybox, Mango, Leffen, and Mew2King) won a fairly large tournament. The frequency of these events and how often these matchups occur on a weekly basis give us an understanding of where the game and players are at this point in its life cycle.

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The largest event in terms of entrants, Evolution 2016, was won by Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma. It was his first Evo championship and a stepping stone for Hungrybox on his rise to the top of the 2016 rankings. The current number one world ranked player, Adam “Armada” Lindgren, had a rough summer finishing second at both Evo and WTFox2. He did take the top spot at Heir 3, but failed to win any of the North American Summer events.

The summer gave way to some rising stars in the community. Zac “SFAT” Cordoni has established himself as one of the best players in Smash and is now threatening to win major tournaments over the big five. His second place finish at both CCC and Shine had never been done before from a player outside the top six. He also finished third at CEO 2016. Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett also took a big step forward this summer and finished within the top 10 in the rankings.

The rest of Northern California had a very successful summer campaign with SFAT, Kevin “PPU” Toy, and DeJuan “Shroomed” McDaniel all finishing in the top eight at premium majors. All three players are threatening to become the next tournament winning-level player in the Smash scene, something that hasn’t been accomplished since Leffen’s leap to top five in 2014.

The Summer of Hungrybox

Some would call it the summer of Hungrybox, who took home five tournament victories and moved himself into second in terms of career winnings behind only Armada. His Jigglypuff play took the character to new heights, as he vastly improved his micro spacing and conversions to rest throughout the Summer. There’s an argument to be made that Hungrybox is deserving of the top overall spot in all of 2016, but there’s still a long way to go before the end of 2016.

Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman and Joseph “Mango” Marquez both left their mark on this Summer by taking home two major tournaments. The crowd favorites of the Melee scene were able to deliver, by not only relying on their extremely extensive game experience but finding new creative ways to deal with their weaknesses. Mango has had to reinvent parts of his game to keep pace with the other top players and it paid off.

In terms of how the Melee meta-game has developed this summer is interesting, Fox is still the center of the Melee meta-game but other characters and strategies are starting to become more effective. We saw a Jigglypuff main dominant the game for a couple months and seem to essentially figure out the Fox match up. The counter-pick meta developed, with known quantities picking up secondary’s for specific match ups. The majority of top level play has been Fox centric with players like Justin “Plup” McGrath picking up the Spacie.

Outside of Fox being the center of the meta-game, Captain Falcon made waves with more defensive style game play. Centering their play styles around crouch cancelling and looking for more openings made players who usually beat Falcon-mains struggled. Edgard “N0ne” Sheleby took out Mew2King at Get On My Level 2016, marking the first time Mew2King ever lost to a Captain Falcon main.

Shield dropping became more prevalent throughout the Summer as more players continue to incorporate new techniques into their game. More players are comfortable with it and it’s become an option players have to be weary of.

Here’s how the summer played out, this ranking only takes into account the Summer majors and gives more points to events like Evo (100 points for first place) and less to smaller events like Shine (75 for first place). It also rewards players for showing up at events, Leffen only attended two events but still finished in the top five because he won a Premier event.

Here’s the top 12 of the summer

The Top 12

  1. Liquid Hungrybox (500 points)
  2. C9 Mango (470 points)
  3. MVG/ Echo Fox Mew2King (410 points)
  4. CLG SFAT (242 points)
  5. Alliance Armada (185 points)
  6. COG Wizzrobe (116 points)
  7. TSM Leffen (110 points)
  8. PG Plup (110 points)
  9. G2 Westballz (109 points)
  10. Winterfox Shroomed (101 points)
  11. Tempo Axe (101 points)
  12. CLG PewPewU (41 points)

Super Smash Con 2016: Bringing the Community Together

Super Smash Con is this upcoming weekend and will be holding tournaments for every single Smash game ever released by Nintendo. The tournament will be running singles and doubles for every game and will be filled with rank players across all games.  It’s a convention put on by the Smash community for the Smash community.

Smash 64

The original Smash game that started it all will be back at Super Smash Con 2016. The event is stacked with international talent and is expected to be the largest Smash 64 in the games long history. It will be the toughest test yet for a community that isn’t used to the large turnouts, with 314 players registered for the events.

Last year’s champion, Dan “Superboomfan” Hoyt, will be back to defend his title in both singles and doubles. The Canadian Smasher has been the best player in North America for the past five years, with Joel “Isai” Alvarado not consistently showing up to events.

Superboomfan’s been the best player, but he won’t have an easy road to another Super Smash Con title with players like Texas’s Eduardo “Tacos” Tovar and the best American player Joey “KeroKeroppi” Speziale, who finished third and second at last years’ event,  a solid performance for the event. Isai is always more than a threat to take his game to another level and take the event. He’s still widely considered as the best Smash 64 player in history.

The last time these players met in a tournament was at Snosa 2 in Pasedena, California where Superboomfan took out Tacos in Grand Finals. Isai finished third and Mexico’s best player Arturo “Mariguas” Hernadez finished fourth. Realistically, any of the top five players are capable of winning this event.

Courtesy of http://www.ssbwiki.com/Snosa_II

Courtesy of http://www.ssbwiki.com/Snosa_II

Expect to see the top players to be switching off their main characters constantly in certain matchups. The average characters played throughout a tournament is 2.43 and only players like Melee pro Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett and Abacus “LD” Zilch will rarely switch off their Yoshi and Fox picks. Aside from Genesis, which just recently made its return, Super Smash Con is the biggest event with the biggest payout for Smash 64.

It will be tough to take out Superboomfan who is so proficient with all his characters and in every matchup, but he’s not unbeatable. The crowd will get a good look at a game that didn’t have a chance at making a real competitive scene, but is still extremely technical and fun to watch.

(Look back here later for a full Melee preview)

Super Smash Bros Brawl

Super Smash Brothers Brawl is the game people feel is not on par with the rest of the franchise. Brawl players will tell you the exact opposite. The one game that doesn’t ever get the love and attention of the other three will be back at Super Smash Con and should provide some intense action.

The undisputed best Brawl player of all time will be in attendance. Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman had a run in Brawl on par with the great Justin Wong runs in Marvel vs Capcom and the long run Zero had at the start of Smash 4. He won last year’s event using the controversial character Meta Knight over Eric “ESAM” Lew, who surprised everyone by taking out the second best player in Brawl’s lifespan Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada.

Smash COn

The tournament didn’t necessarily have the viewership or notoriety of the other events considering most of Brawl’s best players have moved on or retired from playing the game, but the game did provide hype. Watching Jestise “MVD” Negron play his zoning game with Snake, a uniquely interesting character in Brawl, or Kero play the spacing game with Olimar is something we don’t see in any other smash game.

Yes, a majority of the entrants will play the standard Meta Knight, but even Meta Knight’s style is unique to Brawl and extremely hard to take your eyes off of. Brawl will add a nice blend of old and new players and characters that all have the same goal in mind: take down M2K and his insanely good Meta Knight.

We didn’t quite get the Grand Finals we were hoping for last year with Nairo falling out of the tournament to Esam’s aggressive Pikachu, but it’s hard to see a scenario where that doesn’t happen this year. The event, like Smash 64, has an incredible prize pool. M2K walked away with $2,235 after winning Brawl at Super Smash Con 2015.

Super Smash Bros. For Wii U

Comparing this year’s event to last years is going to be difficult. The entire Smash 4 landscape has changed, Gonzales “Zero” Barrios is no longer the juggernaut he was a year ago and the field is wide open. Considering the Evo 2016 champion Elliot “Ally” Bastien finished outside the top 32 at CEO 2016 only to come back two weeks later and win Evo tells you that the Smash 4 landscape is very fluid at this moment.

Super Smash Con should be no different. It’s nearly impossible to pick a winner or which character will win at this point in the meta-game. Anyone can lose to anyone, as proven by the fact that the last four major tournaments which all have different winners with similar player pools. It’s a complete toss up at this point.

The favorite would probably have to be Ally, who lost at last week’s Clutch City Clash, but took home top honors at the biggest Smash tournament of all time (Evo 2016).  Other names like Japanese best player and winner at Clutch City Clash, Yuta “Abadango” Kawamura, will be competing. The CEO 2016 champion Jason “Anti” Bates will also be in attendance.

Super Smash Con will boast the third largest Smash 4 event in the games short history which says a lot considering the next two events ahead of it were the two most attended events in Smash history. The community will also get the respect it deserves by catering to a Smash contingent audience with best of fives in all of top 32.

Expect to see a wide variety of characters throughout top 32 and names that you’ve never seen before taking out top players. Smash 4 is volatile so at an event this big upsets will happen and amazing players will fall before top 8.

Watch the entire event at: http://twitch.tv/VGbootcamp (hyperlink)

Check back to The Game Haus for more Super Smash Con coverage. You can ‘Like’ The Game Haus on Facebook and ‘Follow’ them on Twitter. We also have our own subreddit. Be sure to check out TGH’s newly revamped forums if you want to discuss with Blake or any of the other writers!

Mew2King Wins First Major in 2016, SFAT Takes Out Mango

Courtesy of twitch.tv/tourneylocater

Courtesy of twitch.tv/tourneylocater

It’s been a long time coming for Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, who has been on the brink of taking major tournaments over the last couple years, but unfortunately struggled with certain top players that prevented him from winning the big prize. However, M2K’s luck changed this weekend in Houston, Texas at Clutch City Clash.

The event was host to 22 ranked Melee players, including four top eight finishers at Evo and the fan favorite Joseph “Mango” Marquez. The event had 270 unique entrants for Melee and 618 total players (that includes Smash 4 and Melee) making it a fairly large event with a $2,000 prize pool.

The script, as it usually plays out, reads that Mango tears through a bracket with no Hungrybox, Leffen, or Armada, beats M2K in a close set and takes home the top prize. The predictable became unpredictable when Zac “SFAT” Cordoni, a rising star in the Melee scene, was able to double-eliminate Mango. SFAT’s overall set count against Mango was 6-2, winning both sets 3-1, 3-1.

SFAT’s dominating performance in the top 8 is extremely rare in today’s tournament scene. Mango rarely ever struggles against SFAT, with an overwhelming lead in games over the Northern California Fox main. But this has been no ordinary summer for SFAT, who has had his best average placings at majors in his career in 2016. He’s also starting to consistently beat players in the top six.

Even with the huge momentum gaining win over Mango, SFAT struggled against M2K’s Marth in both winners and Grand finals. The overall set count was 6-3 in favor of M2K, but SFAT did push M2K to a game five in winner’s finals. M2K managed to win on 100% of his counter picks with having Final Destination in his back pocket and being so proficient on Yoshi’s Island with Marth’s ability to get players off stage and gimp on the small stage.

The final sequence in game 5 of Winners Finals collectively brought up the blood pressure of anyone watching. SFAT nearly had a gimp (killing your opponent by  taking away their recovery) by teching the side of Yoshi’s Island stage and hitting M2K out of Marth’s dolphin slash recovery, but M2K being as smart as he is, dolphin slashed again and stage spiked SFAT off the bottom.

M2K barely advanced, sending SFAT to face Mango once again in Losers final. Mango switched back to Fox, after losing two games with Falco and one with Marth in the first set against SFAT. However, the result stayed the same. SFAT was better off-stage with his edge guarding, and showed off his strong grab-combo game.

SFAT’s composure throughout his top eight run was impressive, even in games he was down he never seemed nervous. He was down in three of his six wins against Mango, but made in-game adjustments to take the set.

Unfortunately, M2K’s play style doesn’t allow for on the fly adjustments as much as Mango. His methodical, optimal play means you have to come into the game with a strong game plan and SFAT didn’t necessarily have that in Grand Finals. M2K took the set 3-1, with three two-stock victories. The only win for SFAT coming off a full stock comeback on Pokemon stadium in game three, giving M2K a chance to counter pick Final Destination.

It was M2K’s first major win since PAX Prime back in August of last year (the famous Leffen 6-0). M2K didn’t have to face his worse matchups like Hungrybox or Armada, but the fact that he got a major win under his belt heading into Super Smash Con is a good sign for the Marth main for Cinnaminson. We might get to see the “return of the king” once again in 2016.

07_clutchcity

TOP 8 Placings:

1. Echo Fox/ MVG/ Mew2King (Marth, Sheik)

2. CLG SFAT (Fox)

3. C9 Mango (Falco, Fox, Marth)

4. G2 Westballz (Falco)

5. Tempo S2J (Captain Falcon)

5. mYi Ice (Fox)

7. Kingsmen The Moon (Marth)

7. Arc (Marth)