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Esports Fighting Games

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Don’t Park on the Grass Preview

Super Smash Bros.

Don’t Park on the Grass gets the honor of being the first Super Smash Bros. Ultimate major. With over 500 competitors attending, it will be the community’s first look at how the game will fare in a live, competitive environment. It will also serve as the jumping-off point for many players’ goals of being among the game’s best, early in its life. With a lot at stake, here are some things to look out for at the event.

Tournament Settings

The tournament organizers of Don’t Park on the Grass have released, updated, and re-released the ruleset numerous times as they gained more information through the first week of playing the game. Finally, they have settled on a seven minute timer, three stocks, and have legalized Miis among other rules.

This event will provide a wealth of data and feedback on these rules which will shape upcoming events in the following weeks.

Returning Veterans

A number of prominent Super Smash Bros. for Wii U players will make their competitive Ultimate debuts this weekend. Eric “ESAM” Lew owns the first seed and the highest ranking (No. 21) on the Panda Global Ranking, version five. 

The other contender for best Pikachu, Landon “Captain L.” Trybuch, will also be in attendance. The biggest question for Captain L. will be if his Jigglypuff comes out. While Puff was ranked as the worst character in Smash 4, Captain L. still made the most of her limited skill-set. Ultimate made significant changes to Puff which should allow Captain L. to have an even more potent roster of characters behind him.

Hometown Hero

Calib “Konga” Byers and Eric “Pandarian” Lund traded off the top spot in Washington’s Smash 4 power rankings this year. Both are projected to make it into top eight, albeit in the losers side of the bracket. Konga’s bracket would have him facing Mason “Locus” Charlton, who he’s beaten before, to enter the final day from winners side. This leaves some hope for a Cinderella story in the Northeast if Konga can make the upset happen.

Esports Audience

One last thing to note will be the viewership numbers. Per Twitch Metrics, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been the 14th-most viewed game in terms of hours during its launch week. This is in spite of the fact that the game wasn’t officially released until the seventh.

Streamers like Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios and Melee’s William “Leffen” Hjelte have seen their popularity skyrocket from streaming the game. In a matter of days, ZeRo has become the most popular streamer of a Smash Bros. games with his 24/7 stream schedule. After retiring from competitive play late in Smash 4’s life cycle, Zero has announced his return to compete in Ultimate, signed with Tempo Storm, and has become a mainstay among Twitch’s most watched channels.

While waiting for Genesis 6, Leffen has been spending his time streaming Ultimate as well. He hit a new high for subscribers within days of the game’s release. It will also be interesting to see if he decided to compete in Ultimate alongside Melee and Dragon Ball FighterZ.

Some of Overwatch’s most popular streamers have also dabbled in the game. Félix “xQc” Lengyel and MOONMOON_OW have both been streaming the game to much fanfare – MOONMOON_OW currently has the highest peak viewers for an Ultimate stream at 26,216. It’s not just Melee and Smash 4 players who people are flocking to see.

A great indicator for Ultimate’s viability as an esport will be if it can transition viewers from their favorite streamers to tournaments.

Don’t Park on the Grass will be the first chance for fans of the popular streamers to see the game being played in a live, competitive setting. If the event can capture a large portion of the viewership that Ultimate sees on a daily basis, its future will be among the brightest in the entire fighting game community.

Where to Watch

Melee and Ultimate will kick off Saturday at 10 A.M. PST. and can be found on twitch.tv/endgametv1, twitch.tv/endgametv2 and twitch.tv/vgbootcamp!. Be sure to check back into The Game Haus for a recap shortly after Don’t Park on the Grass wraps up.


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