Super Smash Bros and why Esports are so special

I’ve had a love for competitive video games ever since I was able to hold a controller as a young child. The thrill of battling it out with interesting characters against friends and family was very appealing to me. Fast forward to today and competitive gaming is bigger than it has ever been. Fighting game tournaments are streamed to millions of viewers, and even aired on television. Players are being signed by professional teams to do what they love for a living. What was once seen as a simple fad, a passing trend, has become bigger than anyone could have ever imagined. The world of Esports is so unique and interesting, and offers an experience unlike any other.

The tournament experience

One of the biggest differences between Esports and traditional sports is the level of accessibility. If you want to play in a regional fighting game tournament that top players will be attending, you can just register online. Any random player can easily be pit against the greatest player in the world just by how the brackets play out. This simply isn’t seen in traditional sports. You cant just register online for an NFL game and play against the pros. Not to take anything away from traditional sports, but it’s not in their nature to offer this experience. That accessibility should not however be mistaken for easiness. Just because any random Joe can enter a tournament, doesn’t mean they’ll get very far.

I myself can attest to this. I’ve been playing Smash 4 for a few years now and I consider myself to be pretty good. I study the game, watch almost every tournament, and keep up to date on new advanced tech.

Nothing can prepare you for the big stage other than competing on it
SB Nation

I beat just about all of my friends and people at my university, and look to improve every time I play. This however simply isn’t enough. Glitch 4, a regional Smash 4 tournament in Maryland, wrapped up a few weeks ago, and many top players attended. The Venue was near me so I registered early and did my best to train with the best players I knew. The day of the tournament arrived and I got destroyed, going 0-6 in my pool, only taking one game off of one player. So what went wrong? I’m decent enough at the game, how could I perform so poorly?

Rising to the occasion

First off, this was my first ever smash tournament, so I saw that outcome coming a mile away. But more important is the skill gap most games have at the competitive level. Being the best player in your group of friends means absolutely nothing if you’re not consistently playing in tournaments. Just like in any other sport, you have to train against the best to be able to compete with the best. This goes for any game, not just smash. The upside to this is that if I wanted to, I could attend the venue weekly tournament and play as many skilled players as I can to improve my performance (which I will in the future).

This is where Esports truly separates itself from traditional sports. If a top player lives in your region and frequents a nearby venue, you have access to them by attending also. Chances are you’ll get to play against them and get hands on experience of what it’s like to play a professional. I personally got to play against AF Justin “Jebb” Boston who is currently the 9th best player in MD/VA. (Maryland/Virginia) Even though I lost it was great to play against such a high caliber player. These interactions are so valuable to someone looking to improve their play.

Coming together

Lastly I want to talk about how big a role community plays in Esports. Any competitive video game scene you can think of began with a group of people bonding over a game they enjoyed. The very first tournaments for games like Melee, were held in peoples basements and garages. Small scale events among friends that blossomed into something much greater. Even though the size and scope of things are much bigger now, the community feeling is still very strong. Video game communities (usually) treat each other well and welcome newcomers with open arms. Speaking from my own experience, I’ve made many new friends just by playing smash with them. And when I got the chance to meet top players like p1 Tweek, P1 Captain Zack and EMG Mistake, they were very friendly and made the tournament experience just a bit more enjoyable.

The world of Esports is a very unique and genuine experience to be a part of. It’s wonderful to see the field gaining much more popularity now, and seeing players make a living from it. The only place to go is up for Esports. With the level of accessibility being so wide open, the next big hidden boss player could be you!

The Competitive gaming scene has grown quite a bit
SSB Wiki 

How do you feel about competitive smash, and Esports as a whole? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Glitch 4 was smash 4 at its most hype

When watching a smash tournament there are many factors that can bring the excitement. Close sets, last hit situations, high level play, shocking upsets, just to name a few. Glitch 4 had all of this and more and definitely delivered a riveting show. With the iconic Xanadu venue being home to the best players MD/VA has to offer, visiting opponents had there work cut out for them. The hometown heroes had a chip on their shoulders and weren’t going to go down easily.

All Star Cast

Top players Cosmos (right) and Captain zack (Left) came and graced the iconic Xanadu venue

Glitch 4 was a B tier PGR ranked tournament which definitely attracted top players in the US. Players like p1 Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby, EMG Tamim “Mistake” Omary, P1 Zack “Captain Zack” Lauth, and more were in attendance. However with this being many local players first opportunity to play against PGR ranked players, the stage was set for some great action.

Every top player from out of town made it out of their pools which is to be expected. However one huge development early in the tournament was Dabuz dropping out of singles just as top 96 was beginning. Dabuz actually won the  Custom singles tournament (where each player gets to use one custom move) but cited his not feeling well about his play as the reason for dropping out.

This was a huge because Dabuz was a favorite to win it all. With him suddenly out of the fray the tournament became much more interesting. It also gave a couple free wins against a top 10 player in the world. All in all the the MD/VA locals would have to play their hardest to best the competition. And they did, to an extent.

Nonstop action

With 4 of the best Bayonetta players in the world all in attendance this would no be an easy one. Up until around top 24 winners bracket was dominated by the top Bayo players, with most of them having to play each other to thin the herd. Tweek and Lima had a back and forth set that, which saw Lima taking an early 2-1 lead. Tweek then switched from Cloud to Bayonetta to defeat Lima 3-2 in a Bayonetta ditto, adding more fuel to the argument that Tweek is the best Bayonetta. Hometown hero and #1 ranked MD/VA smasher Chris “Wadi” Boston Stunned EMG Mistake with a dominant 3-0 victory sending him to losers bracket. A huge win for Wadi that definitely sent a message to the out of town players.

Tweek looks poised to win it all!

Wadi held down MD/VA as he always does early on but another hometown player completely stole the show during top 12. Local smasher Rags took sets off of a few big name players at glitch 4. But his shining moment was when he Stunned Captain Zack 3-1 as the entire venue popped off in excitement.

Undoubtedly the one of the biggest wins of his career and another big statement win for the home team. Rags finished in 5th place after losing to Mistake. The real star of the show was P1 Tweek, who dominated yet another tournament on his path to PGR greatness. Tweek coasted through winners bracket, only having 1 close set. He capped it off with a speedrun of his fellow Phoenix 1 teammate Captain Zack. Tweek won the set with a very convincing 3-0 in less than 7 minuets. Capping off yet another destructive tournament win.


If there is anything to take away from this tournament it’s that P1 Tweek is a man on a mission this season. He has been playing at such a high level so consistently that it’s hard to bet against him. Sure Dabuz didn’t compete in singles, but that shouldn’t take away from Tweek’s dominant performance. The summer is approaching, and with it comes many stacked tournaments that will decide how this PGR shapes up. Time will tell how the rest of this season turns out. But right now Tweek has all the momentum going into the second half of the season.

Did you catch the Glitch 4 Stream? What did you think? Feel free to let us know in the comments down below!

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Player Spotlight: Ally

Huge news in the Smash community yesterday as Elliot “Ally” Carroza announced that he would no longer be playing for Cloud 9 Esports. This news comes as a bit of a shock seeing how high caliber a player Ally is. Fellow players and smash lovers alike voiced their support on Twitter yesterday, and there was a great feeling of unity throughout the community. Ally is a smash 4 legend and still one of the best players in the world. However, one can’t deny the fact that his performance has been lacking as of late. His tournament results have taken a noticeable drop since 2016. Most recently he got 13th place at Smash Masters League Battle for Las Vegas, which is a bit low for his standards. Despite his recent struggles Ally is still a force to be reckoned with.

Rather than lament over his new found free agency, let’s look back at some of Ally’s greatest moments.

The best mario

Ally is without a doubt the best Mario player in the world, period. His mastery of the character is on full display every time he plays. Mario is the type of character that can be played in several different ways. Just about every Mario player has their own unique play style, but no Mario is like Ally’s.

Ally is without a doubt still the best Mario in the world.

Ally’s Mario is special, combining many different play styles. Mario’s stellar combo game combined with Ally’s skill combine for some crazy custom combos. Many Mario players have tried and failed to replicate the magic that is Ally’s Mario. He’s simply unrivaled at playing the character, and should take credit for advancing the character in the meta.

Greatest moments

Ally has no shortage of iconic smash 4 moments. Being a top player back in the brawl days, Ally picked up right where he left off in smash 4 and immediately became a top player. Moments like his ridiculous air dodge read on Zero at Smash and Splash 2016, leading to a devastating dunk and ultimately his victory over the best in the world.

Ally delivering the mother of all Air Dodge reads to deliver a devastating dunk!

Who could forget his epic comeback at the Big House 6 crew battle. being down 3 stocks to 1 against the best in the world, Ally somehow willed his way into a last hit situation. When ally closed in for the kill, he hit an up smash that set the crowd on fire, completing the legendary comeback.

While we’re on the subject of Ally beating Zero, his first victory was the most iconic. Get On My Level 2016 was Ally’s first win against Zero and it happened in his hometown in Canada. Ally landed the up smash heard round the world and was mobbed by the crowd as he won his first major, against Zero. Last and certainly not least is his dominating victory at EVO vs Kameme. Ally had an amazing winners bracket run and took grand finals over Kameme 3-1. Being a free agent at the time, his EVO victory led to him signing with Cloud 9. Although it is sad to see him leave his team of almost 2 years, I think he can make a comeback.

How can he rebound?

As good as Ally is with Mario, I think he may need some secondaries. Just about every top player has a few secondary characters they use to cover their bad match-ups. With so many of the best players in the world switching off of their mains, it’s interesting to see Ally almost never pick away from Mario. Ally truly is an example of a player living and dying by their main. Even when faced with the characters worst Match-ups, he’ll still choose Mario. While this amount of dedication may seem honorable, honor isn’t going to get you into top 8. I think Ally needs to pick up a few secondary characters to cover Mario’s bad match-ups. Learning a new character can be time consuming, and challenging, but it’d be worth it.

Lastly I think Ally needs to practice way more. He said himself that he hasn’t been training as much as he has in the past which will hurt anyone’s performance. Ally should start streaming Smash 4 on a consistent schedule. It’s a great way to have fun playing Smash and interacting with fans.

Ally needs to put in much more time practicing if he wants to get back into his winning ways.

Who knows, it could even make him some extra money. Every bit of practice will help. No matter what happens Ally will always be known as a Smash God. He did so much to advance Mario in the meta, and will always be a fan favorite. Although he has been on the decline as of late, no one can deny that he is a Smash 4 legend. He will be back, and stronger than ever.

From one Mario main to another, best of luck Ally!

Do you think Ally will return to form? Feel free to let us know in the comments down below!


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Smash Bros. on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo announces invitational tournament for Smash Bros. on Switch

On the morning of March 22, Nintendo Versus confirmed on Twitter that Splatoon 2 and the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch will be featured in tournaments at this year’s E3. Specifically, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch will be featured via the Super Smash Bros. Invitational 2018. This event will take place on June 11-12 and will be streamed on Nintendo’s official YouTube and Twitch channels.

Super Smash Bros. Invitational 2018 Banner

Nintendo will be hosting the second Super Smash Bros. Invitational Tournament on June 11-12. Image: Nintendo Versus

The last two weeks or so have been ineffably exciting for every fan of Super Smash Bros. The announcement of any new Smash game, and the pre-release hype that comes along with it, is something special. It’s an event in and of itself. Since Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch was confirmed via Nintendo Direct on March 8, fans have already been discussing and speculating what this new entry will bring to the table.

The announcement of this upcoming Invitational tournament brings with it a lot of excitement for fans, both in and out of the competitive Smash Bros. community. But what exactly can we expect from this tournament? And why should competitive players be especially excited for this upcoming event? Let’s talk about it.

The Invitational’s Precedent

Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios and Reggie Fils-Aime holding 2014 Invitational Trophy.

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime (left) presented the trophy for the 2014 Invitational to Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios (right). This was Barrios’ first of many tournament victories. Image: YouTube

The previous invitational tournament for Super Smash Bros. was held on June 10, 2014. The tournament featured sixteen selected participants from the competitive Smash Bros. community. The tournament was held as a means of promoting and showcasing the then-upcoming Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

So why bring this event back for the newest entry in Super Smash Bros.? Quite simply, 2014’s invitational did a phenomenal job at getting the casual and competitive Smash communities excited for the new release. Simply seeing the game in action and being played by very skilled players gave viewers around the world a sizable taste of what to expect in Smash 4. With selected commentators and players from the competitive community, in addition to the guest appearance of beloved series director, Masahiro Sakurai, the 2014 Super Smash Bros. Invitational was something to remember.

The tournament, while not closely following traditionally competitive rules for the sake of showing off the game’s features (such as stages, items, etc.), was a resounding success for Nintendo. Over 3,000 attendees were in the audience, and hundreds of thousands watched the event online.

What can we expect with this year’s invitational?

What makes this upcoming invitational tournament different from the one that we saw in 2014 concerns what we know about the game going into the tournament. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS were announced at E3 2013, giving Smash fans an entire year of information about the game. By the time of the 2014 invitational tournament, most people had a palpable idea of what Smash 4 was going to be like.

Thousands in attendance at the 2014 Invitational tournament.

The 2014 Super Smash Bros. Invitational tournament was a resounding success. Will this year’s be greater, given that we know very little about Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch? Image: YouTube

As of writing, there isn’t much that Nintendo has unveiled about Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch. The teaser trailer that Nintendo released on March 8 only reveals that Inklings will be in the game, a number of veterans appear to be returning, and that the game is scheduled for a 2018 release. Outside of that, Nintendo is being very secretive about this new entry. And it will likely stay that way until this upcoming tournament.

Unlike the tournament that we saw in 2014, the 2018 Super Smash Bros. Invitational Tournament can serve as Nintendo’s big blowout of what Smash Bros. on Switch will be. This tournament can serve as Nintendo’s method of showing off the game’s new content, some new characters and stages, and so on. And Nintendo officially unveiling so much content in front a stadium with thousands of attendees may lead to an infectiously exciting event, that all Smash fans should be eagerly anticipating.

A Competitive Edge

Similar to the 2014 event, this upcoming tournament will likely refuse to conform to conventional tournament rules (such as no items, non-intrusive stages, etc.) for the sake of showing off the game’s full range of content. In that sense, we shouldn’t expect this event’s focus to be exclusively on competitive players. That said, Nintendo may apply a different strategy than they did in 2014.

Last year, Nintendo launched the Nintendo Versus Twitter account, which has focused on announcing and highlighting tournaments for Smash 4, Splatoon 2, and ARMS. Recently, we’ve also seen Nintendo host tournaments more often. Nintendo has been pushing their games to be played competitively, most recently with the ARMS US and Canada Open. Can we expect Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch to serve as an opportunity for Nintendo to create a greater relationship with the competitive Smash community? It’s certainly possible, and the 2018 Super Smash Bros. Invitational Tournament could very well give a definitive answer to that question.

In any instance, this upcoming event is one that many should keep their eyes on. What would you like to see at this year’s invitational? Would you like to see Nintendo hold more of these? And do you think Nintendo will reveal any more information on Smash for Nintendo Switch prior to the event. As always, join the conversation and let us know!



Featured image courtesy of Nintendo via Nintendo Direct.

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Let’s talk about cloud in doubles

We’ve talked a lot about the Smash 4 meta when it comes to singles competition, but not much about doubles. Doubles play is a pretty big part of every tournament, even though it does take a backseat to singles. As a spectator, it’s very interesting to see what character combinations players use to compete against one another. But recently, we haven’t seen much of that in Smash 4 doubles, and one character may be to blame. Cloud absolutely dominates the doubles scene and has been the center of a lot of controversy lately. Many think he should be banned from use in doubles play to mitigate his prevalence in the meta. But, is this the best option?

How good is he?

One of the biggest problems people have with cloud in doubles is that he takes the fun out of watching the event, here’s why. Cloud is such a good pick in doubles play because his options and skillset increase drastically when he has a teammate.

This chart shows how many characters have won a major doubles tournament since 2016 and cloud wins by a landslide

One of clouds most powerful tools is his limit mechanic. Cloud charges his limit meter, and when full his specials become deadly. In a singles match you can stop cloud from charging his limit much easier. But with a teammate he can get limit much easier because he has a teammate to run to the front lines and protect him. Another big problem is just how good clouds normals and aerials are. Clouds large sword and disjointed aerials allow him to handle two players at once much easier than any other character.

Because of this he can be almost impossible to deal with if his teammate can set him up for follow-ups properly. There are other reasons like his crazy good juggling ability and his sword just being tough to deal with, but it all ties into him being great in doubles. Now this wouldn’t be a big problem if only a few players played cloud, but this isn’t the case. Cloud is such a stellar character in doubles that just about every team has at least one. which is where the biggest problem comes in.

Not fun to watch

Doubles usually isn’t the highlight of any tournament, garnering far less viewership than singles competition. Smash 4 is entering its fourth year since release, so naturally viewership isn’t as high as in the past.

Double cloud is a deadly team combo
Amino apps

However doubles seems to be getting less attention every tournament and cloud is a big reason for it. With cloud being such a viable pick in doubles, you’re almost guaranteed to lose if you don’t have one on your team. One team that really brought this to light was the team of 2ggc Komorikiri and Echo fox MVG MK Leo. This duo dominated doubles almost every tournament not just because they’re 2 of the best in the game; but also because they both use cloud.

With more and more teams using cloud, it’s a rarity to see a doubles team without him. Cloud is obliterating the competition in doubles by a mile. Almost every tournament in the past year had a team with a cloud player winning it all. This is very problematic for a few reasons. If Teams with cloud always win, it changes the meta, it forces players to use the character just to be able to compete. If every team is using cloud, the fun in watching the event goes away. There are teams who pick different characters and mix things up, but they’re almost always beaten by a team with cloud. This has been hurting viewership and has brought up the discussion of a ban.

Should he be banned?

Banning a character in any game isn’t something that just happens overnight, it takes time and consideration. One big factor of considering a ban is how the character in question affects the meta. Back in the brawl days meta knight was banned in some tournaments because he was harming the game’s meta (no pun intended).

Cloud in doubles is a problem, but is it a ban-worthy problem?

Meta Knight was so good that players would just choose to play him just to stand a chance. So almost everyone was playing only one character every tournament. One of the most iconic moments in brawl history when Nairo beat zero at apex 2014, was a Meta Knight ditto. Things like this shape the meta around a single character which is very harmful to a competitive game.

It also hurts viewership because people get tired of seeing the same characters being used in every tournament. Crowds go wild when a seldom used low tier character shines on the big stage, because it’s so fresh and exciting. Another thing to consider for a ban is how the community will react. Another option is to ban double cloud, because that combination is simply too much to reasonably deal with, without picking cloud yourself. Cloud is a very prevalent character and outright banning him will definitely rub people the wrong way. banning a character also makes a game look bad to outside communities. It makes people think your community can’t properly handle an overpowered character and just act rashly. so what should be done?


I think having one “test tournament where cloud is banned in doubles would do the community a lot of good. Being able to see how the community reacts in a controlled environment would be very good in my opinion, and would certainly ruffle less feathers. Banning him outright is not the right move, and even though it’s much easier to do nothing, for fear of upsetting lovers of the character; we as a community have to respond. Smash Switch is right around the corner, and it’d be a shame for the same problems to plague the new game.


What do you think about Cloud in doubles? Should he be banned? Let us know down in the comments below!

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Tweek Dominates EGLX 2018, could the rest of the season be next?

This Smash 4 season has been one of the most interesting to date. Kicking off with the best player in the world retiring, the race for the top spot is more wide open than ever. But of all of the players projected to take the top spot, I rarely hear Phoenix 1 Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey get mentioned. Based on how he’s performed as of late, I think that’s sure to change.

EGLX 2018

ELGX 2018 wrapped up last week with Tweek winning yet another Smash 4 singles tournament. He recently won King of the spring a few weeks ago as well and his momentum definitely picking up.

Tweek at EVO 2018

Tweek didn’t drop a single set in both of these tournaments, dominating the bracket. He also boasts notable victories over the likes of Dabuz, C9 Ally, Samsora and team YP Fatality. Now these weren’t the most stacked tournaments ever but that shouldn’t discredit Tweek’s play. He managed to place first in two consecutive tournaments, taking no losses in the process.

Tweek took sets off of Ally, Wadi (twice) and Samsora at EGLX and  really opened the eyes of the community. Tweek has always been very consistent and was ranked fifth in the world in the PGR V4. But for one reason or another he sometimes gets overlooked. With these wins under his belt and all of this newfound momentum, that conversation may change. Tweek playing this well and winning consecutive may come as a surprise for some but he is also surprising people with something else.

A new Main?

Cloud has been Tweek’s main character choice for as long as he’s been in the game, switching to him from Bowser jr. Many revere him as the best Cloud in the world, but he may have a new main to take to tournaments. We’ve seen Tweek dabble with Bayonetta in the past and pretty successfully at times. But based on the three tournaments he’s participated in this year, he’s been practicing. Tweek ran through the bracket at EGLX with Bayonetta, only using Cloud in one set. He used her primarily in all three tournaments this year and based on his results it’s working. To put it bluntly, Tweek’s Bayonetta is serious.

Liquid Salem is seen as the best Bayonetta and ranked second in the world last year. Tweek faced him in a Bayonetta ditto at Frostbite 2018 and defeated him 3-1, knocking him out of the tournament.

Tweek dominates the Bayonetta Ditto

He has wins over all of the top Bayonetta players including Lima and EMG Mistake. Tweek owns the Bayonetta ditto and has proven that his Bayonetta is much more than a secondary. Now I’m not sure if we can say that Tweek is a Bayonetta main just yet. But I don’t think it’s too big of a reach to say that he could possibly be the best Bayonetta player. The results simply speak for themselves.

A rude awakening

I think one big reason for Tweeks success this year is that his Bayonetta plays different than others. All Bayonetta players put their own personal twist on the character and Tweek is no exception.

Tweek’s Bayonetta could prove to be a terrifying matchup for players

Bayonetta is the best character in the game obviously, but she certainly isn’t a pickup and play character. She takes time, and practice to be able to play effectively which actually plays into opponents hands. Just about every Bayonetta player has been playing the character long enough for other players to figure out their tendencies. With Tweek beginning to use her much more in the past few months, not many have experience playing against his Bayonetta.

I honestly think players face tweek’s Bayonetta and get thrown into the proverbial deep end. They aren’t familiar with how he plays the character and get thrown off guard when he handles the matchups in a different way. I think that if Tweek continues to play this well he could be a huge threat this season. Not many top players have experience playing his Bayonetta and this could lead to many victories. Only time will tell as the biggest tournaments of the year are months away. But with this season being as wide open as it is, people should keep a close eye on Phoenix 1 Tweek.

Do you think Tweek could rise to the top this Season, let us know what you think down below!


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Everyone's Story

What does Generation VIII hold for the Pokémon in Everyone’s Story?

The trailer for the new Pokémon movie, Everyone’s Story, was released on Pokémon Day 2018 and got fans all over the world talking.

Although the trailer doesn’t reveal a lot, it seems to follow on from Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You, which was released last year and retold some of the original story from the anime. The central focus on Lugia, in particular, suggests that this movie could return to the themes of Pokémon: The Movie 2000, which also featured Lugia as its signature legendary.

The trailer shows a lot of familiar Pokémon, exclusively from the first and second generation. Even the cluster of baby Pokémon toddling around includes a Marill rather than its baby form Azurill, which wasn’t introduced until Generation III.

Given the focus on early generation Pokémon, it doesn’t seem likely that new abilities or evolutions will be introduced yet. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t potential for development in Generation VIII.

At the end of the trailer, Ash and Pikachu rush to the edge of a cliff to watch Lugia soar away over the water. They are surrounded by new people and familiar Pokémon.

This leaves fans with a lot of scope to speculate how these particular Pokémon might grow in new generations. Everyone’s Story will likely do a lot to develop the lore of the Pokémon world. But it could have effects that extend to the games and to competitive play.



Everyone's Story

Lugia, from Bulbapedia

Since its introduction in Generation II, Lugia has been a popular tanky legendary. Its high HP, Defense and Special Defense stats, plus fair Speed, give it a reasonable foundation for competitive battling. For a long time, it had a solid reputation as a stall Pokémon.

But its Psychic/Flying typing makes it weak to a lot of popular types: Rock, Ghost, Electric, Ice and Dark. While its high Special Defense stat is a nice buffer, it isn’t enough to cancel out these exploitable vulnerabilities.

Lugia has some solid move sets available to it, but not a lot of STAB moves. It was definitely good for its generation, but it has since been outclassed.

Lugia is unlikely to get an evolution. If Everyone’s Story takes a lot of inspiration from old films, it may draw on that famous image of a Lugia with its baby.

If a baby Pokémon isn’t on the cards, a Mega-Evolution could be. Lugia could join the likes of Mewtwo and Rayquaza as a legendary Mega. This could offer it an opportunity to make a truly powerful return to competitive play.



Everyone's Story

Eevee, from Bulbapedia

More than any other Pokémon, Eevee is known for the new attributes it gains with each new generation. At first, it followed a fairly standard pattern. Two new evolutions, usually of complementary types, were introduced from Generation II onward.

This was until Sylveon disrupted the pattern in Generation VI. Instead of two new Eeveelutions, Gen VI saw the introduction of a type instead of another Pokémon. In Generation VII, Eevee gained a Z move, but no new evolution.

This leaves us in a position where it’s difficult to guess what will happen next. There are plenty of existing types that don’t yet have an Eeveelution. None of the current Eeveelutions yet have a Mega-Evolution. So there is definitely scope to continue in this direction. This could mean any number of things for Eevee’s role in the game and in competitive battling.

But following the groundbreaking introduction of Sylveon, it would feel like a step back to return to the old pattern.

There are lots of possibilities left with Eevee. Its appearance in Everyone’s Story could be heavily loaded with clues. Conversely, it could reacquaint us with Eevee in its Normal, unevolved form. It could be nostalgic in a way that heralds an end to new things for Eevee.



Everyone's Story

Sudowoodo, from Bulbapedia

The combination of a recurring role in the anime and an unmissable cameo in the games has sealed Sudowoodo’s reputation. But despite this, and decent base stats, Sudowoodo hasn’t often been used in competitive play. Its base 100 Attack and 115 Defense certainly aren’t bad.

It is let down a little by poor Speed, but this can be worked around by a good strategy. Its main weakness is its typing. As purely Rock, it has a lot of common weaknesses. It doesn’t help that there are plenty of Rock types that outclass it.

However, it does have a lot of high base power moves that take advantage of that good Attack stat. The not uncommon Rock Head ability means it can even prevent recoil damage. Sudowoodo doesn’t have much versatility, but it does have the potential to deal a lot of damage.

An evolution for Sudowoodo would be incredible to see. A souped-up Groot-like Rock type would be a beast of a Pokémon. Hanging onto moves like Wood Hammer and Stone Edge while boosting stats would make for a brilliant competitive asset.

So far, Sudowoodo is largely overlooked. But Everyone’s Story is offering a chance to access Sudowoodo’s untapped potential.



Everyone's Story

Chansey, from Bulbapedia

Despite its sweet demeanor, Chansey has been an epic tank from the very beginning. Its incredible move pool could deal serious damage to almost any Pokémon. Its signature move Softboiled kept its health up even if its high HP was dented. This made it a formidable foe and popular addition to competitive teams.

It is still popular, despite having an evolution. A Chansey holding an Eviolite can outclass Blissey and both are popular in the competitive sphere. A tanky build and the option of healing not only itself but other members of the team are very valuable assets.

The popularity of Fighting and Psychic types offer opponents a chance to exploit Chansey’s main weaknesses. It also suffers from the use of moves like Knock Off, which removes the boost it gets from Eviolite.

Despite these threats, it’s still one of the most popular tanks in the game. So it probably doesn’t need any more of a boost. It already has an evolution and a baby. This limits any developments that could be introduced following Everyone’s Story. However, it would be interesting to see a Z-move for Chansey, or a Mega-Evolution for Blissey in Generation VIII.


The baby Pokemon

Everyone's Story

Baby Pokemon, from YouTube

Baby Pokémon haven’t typically been a huge part of the Pokémon narrative. But they do have an important role in the extended universe. Aside from being cute, they contribute to world-building through stories outside of the competitive aspect of the game.

The trailer for Everyone’s Story has a whole host of baby Pokémon that follow an old lady around. Her little party includes Marill, Totodile, Smoochum and Togepi. All of these Pokemon already have fairly well developed evolutionary lines. It would certainly be cool to see Mega-Evolutions for all of their final evolutions.

The baby Pokémon themselves are traditionally not used in competitive battles. They have the lowest stats in the game and their move pools aren’t always great. But they do have the capacity to impact competitive teams.

Being part of the Undiscovered egg group means that, when they’re found in the wild, they have at least three IVs. Some of them also come with rare moves. This means that you can find some of the key ingredients for your competitive team ready made through wild baby Pokémon.

The inclusion of so many baby Pokémon in Everyone’s Story could be a precursor to the introduction of new ones in Generation VIII. Although their earliest evolution won’t be the main component to any competitive team, they could be crucial to building it.


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Images from Bulbapedia, Youtube and Newsweek.

Legendary Pokémon

How do the March legendary Pokémon perform competitively?

As part of the year long celebration of Legendary Pokémon, trainers around the world can effortlessly get their hands on either a Regigigas or a Heatran for the duration of March. Anyone who signed up to the Pokémon Trainer Club newsletter will already have had their download code sent to them.

Trainers playing either Pokémon Sun or Ultra Sun will receive a Regigigas. Trainers playing either Pokemon Moon or Ultra Moon will receive a Heatran. Two extremely coveted and popular legendary Pokémon, both make for a treasured addition to any collector’s Pokédex.

Like all legendary Pokémon, Regigigas and Heatran are blessed with a number of gifts that make them truly formidable opponents.

They are both officially categorised as Sub-Legendary Pokémon. This means that they are allowed in Battle Facilities and Video Game Championships.

But how do they fare competitively?



Legendary Pokémon

Heatran, from Bulbapedia

Coming in with a similar total to most legendary Pokémon, Heatran has a decent spread across its stats. The total of 600 is fairly evenly split, peaking with an impressive 130 Special Attack stat.

Its typing is incredible. It is resistant to an immense nine different types of Pokémon, plus a total immunity to Poison. This is incredibly rare. In the current competitive climate, being resistant to Fairy type Pokémon is a particularly valuable asset to any team.

Its type advantages are boosted by its Flash Fire ability, which also makes it immune to Fire type moves.

It only has three weaknesses, but they’re not uncommon. Water, Ground and Fighting all boast some very powerful moves, too. You’ll definitely want to be wary of moves like Earthquake if you’re fighting with Heatran.

Generally, these weaknesses aren’t especially difficult to cover with a decent supporting team.

Heatran’s versatile move set means that you can use its advantages to complement almost any team.

The level 60 Heatran you’ll receive if you’re playing Pokémon Moon comes with a fairly basic move set. You’ll likely want to change it around if you want to take your Heatran to competitive battles. If you do, you’ve got a lot of room to be creative.

It comes with Crunch, Scary Face, Lava Plume and Fire Spin, which aren’t bad moves by any stretch. Lava Plum and Fire Spin both get an advantage through STAB, and could even get an additional boost through Heatran’s Flash Fire.

Legendary Pokémon

Heatran’s type matches, from Bulbapedia

Heatran’s move pool includes attacks like Stealth Rock, Toxic, Taunt and Protect. These can all be very advantageous to a strategic team. You’re definitely granted plenty of scope to craft yourself an unpredictable Heatran that does a lot of lingering, long-lasting damage.

Pokémon Ultra Moon players will receive a level 100 Heatran equipped with a very powerful offensive set that is more suited to competitive play. It comes with Magma Storm, Earth Power, Heat Wave and Flash Cannon.

Again, its Flash Fire ability gives two of its moves a potential boost. Its combined Fire and Steel typing means that three out of four of these moves get assistance from STAB. The inclusion of Earth Power gives you a solid edge over anyone else bringing their Heatran to the competitive stage thanks to its weakness to Ground type moves.

There’s no denying the obvious reasons that Heatran is a popular pick for competitive teams. Whether you’re playing Moon or Ultra Moon, you’ve definitely got scope for an incredible addition to your strategy.



Legendary Pokémon

Regigigas, from Bulbapedia

Despite not often being used in the competitive sphere, Regigigas is blessed with incredible stats. They even blow most other legendary Pokémon out of the water.

The whopping total of 670 means it gets a stunning 160 Attack stat and an impressive 110 on nearly everything else. The only exception is Special Attack, which sits at a still respectable 80.

These kinds of numbers are the type that would usually get a Pokémon banned from competitive play. Regigigas gets around this thanks to its ability Slow Stat. This halves Regigigas’s Attack and Speed stats for the first five turns of battle.

It makes it a little less terrifying for your opponent. But if you’re prepared to invest in your Regigigas, you can make its ability all but pointless. If you’re lucky enough to get a Regigigas with a nature that does it for you, you can boost these stats up to the maximum for some Pokémon that are popular competitively. If you don’t, you can still take some time to focus on your EVs that give those lowered stats a little bonus.

This will mean that even with Slow Start, Regigigas will still have respectable numbers. In five turns, when Slow Start wears off, they will become monstrous.

And Regigigas is enough of a tank that will definitely last that long.

Unlike Heatran, Regigigas doesn’t have the same kind of advantages due to its type. Its Normal typing isn’t amazing. It takes the usual damage from most types and is weak to Fighting. But that isn’t devastating given its bulk. It isn’t resistant to anything, but is immune to Ghost, which is a nice touch.

Legendary Pokémon

Regigigas type matches, from Bulbapedia

Trainers playing on Pokémon Sun will receive a level 60 Regigigas with Zen Headbutt, Revenge, Dizzy Punch and Confuse Ray. This isn’t a bad set up. It gives you a chance to lean into a strategy based on confusing the opposing team.

If you want to get a bit more creative with the move set, Regigigas has plenty of options. At level 100, it learns the STAB enhanced Giga Impact. It can also learn Knock Off and a bunch of elementary punches you can definitely make good use of.

The level 100 Regigigas available to Pokémon Ultra Sun trainers comes with a move pool consisting of Crush Grip, Drain Punch, Zen Headbutt and Heavy Slam. Like the Pokémon Ultra Moon Heatran, this version is more traditionally suited to competitive battles.

The inclusion of Drain Punch gives you a restorative option that can keep your Regigigas going through those Slow Start turns. This is particularly useful as Regigigas is one of the few Pokémon that can’t learn either Rest or Protect. The immensely powerful Crush Grip is boosted by STAB, making for another immensely powerful offensive set.

While typically not as popular in the competitive scene as other legendary Pokémon (including Heatran), Regigigas has a lot of potential if you know how to use it.

How to get your Legendary Pokémon

Anyone who signed up to the Nintendo newsletter before March 1st 2018 will be able to receive one of these legendary Pokémon through the Mystery Gift function. The code has already been emailed out to subscribers. It can be redeemed until March 24th 2018.

Neither Heatran nor Regigigas comes with an item that is advantageous in battle. However, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon players will find their legendary Pokémon holding a Gold Bottle Cap.

In January, trainers could get their hands on Dialga and Palkia. Coming up in April, you’ll be able to get either Entei or Raikou.


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Images from Bulbapedia and

Prediction: NRG Nairo will Rank #1 on the next PGR

The PGR (Panda Global Ranking) ranks the top 50 Smash 4 Players every season. This season is much different than others, because the greatest player in the world (Gonzalo “Zero” Barrios) retired at the end of last season. With the top spot now up for grabs many (including myself) have speculated who will take the thrown this season. There are a few players that have been favorites to become the new “best player in the world” and rightfully so. But out of all these usual suspects on the PGR I believe NRG Nairo will rank number one this season.

The Fan Favorite

Nairoby “Nairo Quezada is a smash player who needs no introduction. Representing NRG Esports, Nairo is a very flashy player who is always a fan favorite. Don’t let his flashy play style fool you though, he is one of the most deadly players ever to grace the game. Nairo has been very consistent with his PGR rankings; placing 3rd for the past three seasons.

Nairo sporting his NRG Esports Jersey
SSB World

With his trusty Zero Suit Samus, he runs through tournament brackets and rarely places outside of top 8. One of the biggest reasons Nairo remains so consistent is how much he practices. You’ll find him streaming over on twitch almost every day, and his streams always attract a lot of dedicated viewers. He has such great game awareness which can definitely be chocked up to him practicing so much.

No matter the tournament, Nairo will almost always have the crowd on his side. This was seen most during what was maybe the highlight of his career back in 2015. During the MLG World Finals in 2015, Nairo became the first player to ever beat zero to win a tournament. This win ended Zero’s streak of over 50 tournament wins in a row. It was Nairo’s crowning achievement, but I believe that he will soon have a new accolade to add to his resume.



Over the hump

The closest Nairo ever got to being ranked number one on the PGR was when he was ranked number two back in the PGR V1. Since then he has been ranked number three every season, but I think that’s going to change.

The Day Nairo Ended Zero’s Iconic Streak

With Zero gone things are going to be a lot different, that’s for certain. Many speculate that Leonardo “MK Leo” Perez will be the next number one player, and rightfully so. MK Leo was one of the few players who could at least somewhat consistently beat Zero. Leo has been dominating as of late and definitely could become the next Number 1. But With Nairo already having a set win over MK Leo early in the season, I think he has an edge.

Nairo also gave Zero a lot of tournament trouble and has taken quite a few sets off of him. Now that we are in a meta where Zero no longer attends tournaments I think Nairo might just get over the 3rd best player hump and ascend to the top spot. This isn’t to say that he couldn’t do it if Zero was still playing; but the fact that Zero isn’t playing gives him a huge boost.

Nairo is one of Smash 4’s most clutch players and it shows every time he plugs his controller in. He plays so many characters at such a high level, that it’s almost impossible to counter-pick him. Nairo delivers impressive results and is rarely seen outside of top 8, sometimes coming from the depths of losers bracket to win a tournament. When you combine all of these factors with the fact that one of his toughest opponents is no longer playing; it’s not hard to picture him being crowned the best player in the world.

One of Nairo’s biggest achievements, defeating Zero in Brawl at Apex 2014.
Will he stand tall once again? Twitter



Featured image courtesy of Twitter.

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early generation Pokémon

Five early generation Pokémon that could see a revival in Generation VIII

After a tense build up to Pokémon Day 2018, a stunning trailer was released for a new Pokémon movie. It features a lot of early generation Pokémon, including Ash and Pikachu, along with other familiar faces such as Chansey, Sudowoodo and Togepi. One of the first characters we see in the trailer has an Eevee as her partner.

The jewel in the trailer’s crown, though, was the appearance of Lugia that caught the attention of the entire town, including our heroes.

It’s a simple, brief trailer that doesn’t give a lot away. But fans are already theorising about what this film could herald when it comes to the extended Pokémon universe. It makes sense that this movie will be the first time we see Zeraora following its reveal in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. But there could be a lot more behind it.

In particular, it could have some significance for early generation Pokémon who haven’t had a lot of love recently. Some people are predicting new Eeveelutions. Others are talking about the possibility of a new form or ability for Lugia, given its prominence. The appearance of many first and second generation Pokémon suggests that some old favourites will be brought back to the centre of the story.

If this translates into the games, it could mean see a revival for some early generation Pokémon in the competitive battling scene. A lot Pokémon that were considered incredibly powerful in their earliest incarnations have fallen out of favour with top trainers.

In Pokémon Sun and Moon, a number of early generation Pokémon were given a new lease on life. Between new backstories and the typings, abilities and moves that with come with them, new ways to play with old favourites revived them. With its cool new design and Psychic typing, Raichu became more popular than ever.

A new boost in Generation VIII could see some classics reclaim their place in competitive place.



Early generation Pokémon

Arcanine, from Bulbapedia

Despite once being considered pseudo-legendary among early generation Pokémon, Arcanine hasn’t had much of a competitive career. When it only had the first generation to compete against, its fearsome reputation was fairly well deserved. But even then, it would still be easily side-stepped by commonly used Rock types.

In later generations, Arcanine gained a broader move pool and advantages over newly introduced types. But the extra benefits were paralleled by drawbacks from new Pokémon that outshone it. When new generations gifted Arcanine its best advantages, they also brought new Fire types that outclassed it.

It finally saw a bit of competitive action in Generation VI doubles and has remained there in Generation VII. But for almost all of its life it hasn’t been anyone’s first choice for their team.

A boost in Generation VIII could be just what Arcanine needs to revive its legendary status.



Early generation Pokémon

Wiggytuff, from Bulbapedia

Technically, Wigglytuff was not considered a fierce fighter among early generation Pokémon. But the adorable Jigglypuff in the first season of the anime had enough character to make it a franchise mascot. After appearing in multiple Super Smash Bros titles, it remains one of the most memorable early generation Pokémon. Affection for it was enough to make its evolution popular on some competitive teams.

Despite mediocre stats, Wigglytuff had a decent move pool and STAB on powerful moves like Double Edge and Hyper Beam. In became more of a support Pokémon in later generations. Although its move pool was strong, its stats were easily outclassed by other Pokémon like Lickitung.

The addition of its Fairy typing and a boosted Special Attack gave it a bit of a revival in Generation VI. Again its move pool was valuable thanks to the inclusion of moves like Stealth Rock and Wish. It was proved that Wigglytuff could be a crucial part of a team in 2014 when Ray Rizzo used one as part of his team to win the Massachusetts Regionals.

But it has never been hugely popular in competitive battling. An upgrade in Generation VIII could be what it needs to make a more resounding competitive mark.



early generation Pokémon

Dragonite, from Bulbapedia

In the first generation, Dragonite was tied with Mew for the second highest base stats in the game. Despite having a couple of exploitable weaknesses, it was one of the most terrifying Pokémon many trainers would face. It was what made Lance’s team so formidable. But, competitively, Dragonite had its problems.

It had a strong move pool but not a lot of good STAB moves. It had the potential to be unpredictable as it could be used in a lot of different ways. Its main advantage was that trainers could select a move set for it that really complemented the rest of their team.

In later generations, Dragonite was quickly outclassed by stronger Dragon types like Salamence and Garchomp.

It gained a boost in the form of the Multiscale ability in Generation V. But it was knocked back again just a generation later with the introduction of Fairy types. Given the opportunity to properly set it up, Dragonite can still be a formidable foe. But it has weaknesses that can easily exploited that hold it back.

Perhaps some aspect of Generation VIII might renew its fierce history.



Early generation Pokémon

Machamp, from Bulbapedia

A muscle mountain of an early generation Pokémon, some enormous claims are made in Machamp’s Pokédex entries. In Pokémon Yellow, it is claimed that “one arm alone can move mountains”. Despite this, it hasn’t seen much competitive popularity.

It started out with decent stats, but it struggled against popular Psychic types. Even Pokémon it should have had advantages over, such as the Normal type Tauros, could out-speed it.

It gained power as the generations progressed. Despite picking up good new abilities and moves, its low stat continued to let it down. It didn’t help that some of its most powerful moves had very low PP. Generally, it was considered a risky addition to a team.

In Generation IV and V, it saw some competitive use thanks to its good move coverage and high attack stat. But between the wealth of Psychic Pokémon introduced from Generation VI onward and the emergence of Fairy types, Machamp fell back into obscurity.

It has done alright for itself, but a boost in Generation VIII could see Machamp live up to its early generation reputation.



Early generation Pokémon

Nidoking, from Bulbapedia

A spine-chilling opponent on Giovanni’s first generation team, veteran trainers have memories of Nidoking as being brutally strong. Its huge move pool included some of the most powerful attacks in the game, such as Blizzard, Earthquake and Thunder.

But, competitively, it was let down by its average stats and unfortunate dual typing.

It performed well in Generation II, but couldn’t keep up with new or boosted Pokémon come Generation III. It was particularly threatened by bulky Water types popular around that time, such as Suicune and Milotic.

Sheer Force as an ability made it more powerful than ever. Its weaknesses were exploitable enough to push it down to Under Used, but it was genuinely impressive there.

It gained a decent edge in Generation VI thanks to its type advantage over Fairy types. But its existing weaknesses didn’t go away, restricting just how powerful it could be.

Something new in Generation VIII could give Nidoking an opportunity to reclaim its crown.


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Images from Bulbapedia and Newsweek.