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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