Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will bring many fresh new experiences and challenges. With Ultimate looking to be the most jam-packed and exciting Smash Bros. experience yet, many newcomers have been attracted to the scene. This is great because it will bring more players into the ever growing world of Smash. However, there can sometimes be a disconnect between casual and competitive players. No matter how you like to play, Smash Bros. is a game for all types of players. So let’s discuss how to bridge the gap between players.
The Beauty of Smash
There is a huge demographic of people who only play Smash casually – those who have never watched a tournament, never heard of a top player, and don’t even know what the neutral game is. There’s a casual crowd for almost every game, but even more so in Smash because since day one, the series was originally made to be that way. Series director Masahiro Sakurai didn’t make Melee to be a hyper-competitive game, rather the community made it into one. That’s the beauty of Smash. The fact that two different players can play this game in completely different ways and still have a great time – that’s what has cemented Smash as a game cherished by millions around the world. While this is amazing, it can also lead to confusion.
A huge example of the disconnect between competitive and casual crowds was seen last week when a tweet about a potential stage list for Ultimate gained a lot of attention. The tweet criticized the competitive Smash community for making a large portion of the game’s 100+ stages illegal. This tweet infuriated many of those in the community, but is also is a prime example of how the competitive community needs to educate and not humiliate casual players. Most of these situations come about because some players just don’t see the game the way others do, which doesn’t invalidate their way of play.
How do you have 100+ stages with the ability to turn off hazards and you still ban 90% of them. How.
— Ted (@ExandShadow) November 10, 2018
If one’s experience with playing Smash is limited to the likes of timed matches, with items, against three of their friends, then you shouldn’t expect that person to know why the competitive scene bans so many stages. Because if someone genuinely thinks that the only problem a stage can have is a hazard, it’s likely because of how they’re used to playing. There is so much that can make a stage illegal, with stage sizes and random, sometimes unavoidable hazards being some of the most common factors. If a stage is too big, people will camp and run away. This can create problematic scenarios like frequent time-outs and players abusing a stages size to run away the entire match. These things won’t be obvious to most casual players, but there are ways to help bridge the gap.
There are many examples online that show why exactly certain stages and tactics are banned. Even playing against someone and showing them examples can help. Experiencing the scenarios firsthand will very effectively show them. If someone you know can’t understand why the Final Smash meter should be off, show them why. Pick Peach/Daisy, camp them and abuse their overpowered Final Smashes. Don’t just tell them, show them. What seems like common knowledge to a competitive player may be very foreign to a casual player. Videos like the one below are great examples.
Smash’s competitive community needs to realize that not everyone who buys this game is going to play it the same way. This will inevitably lead to people taking to the internet to criticize how the scene does what they do. Instead of engaging in pointless arguments, the competitive scene should try to bridge the gap between casual and competitive scenes by explaining why we do what we do.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is mere weeks away, and it will bring many newcomers to the competitive scene with it. Because of this, competitive players need to be patient with these newcomers and help bring both worlds together.
Featured image courtesy of ESPN.
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