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.

takeaways

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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TSM ZeRo might not be coming back to competitive Smash after all

When Smash for switch was announced, the smash community was set ablaze with hype. Not just at the prospect of a new Smash entry on Nintendos latest flagship console. But also because it gave us all a slight glimmer of hope, that TSM ZeRo might possibly come out of retirement early. This current Smash 4 season has been a lot different without ZeRo at every tournament. However it has also been one of the most interesting seasons to date. There was much speculation about whether or not Smash switch would all but force ZeRo to return to competitive play. however after viewing a video he released last week, that speculation could be all but over.

End of the road?

TSM ZeRo retired on top of the Smash 4 world
Twitter

ZeRo recently released a video answering the million dollar question we’ve all been asking.  He spoke about how much he was enjoying being able to play games other than Smash. How much he loved streaming and interacting with his fans. Most importantly he spoke on how relieving it was to be away form the many pressures of competitive play. Not just the pressures of competing, but also the pressure of having to be the best year in and year out. Ultimately he concluded that he won’t be returning to competitive play when Smash switch releases. Rather he will focus on becoming a prominent figure in the community, who can help players become better.  He wants to be deeply involved in the community for the game and create content for the game, without having to worry about competing or being the best.

One of the biggest points he touched on was how much love he had for Smash. He’ll always be involved in the community, he just doesn’t want to compete anymore. At least not now with how much he’s been enjoying his time away. Being away from the pressures of competing and worrying about being the best. The community has been very supportive of his decisions, but it’s still a bittersweet outcome. It is disappointing to know that ZeRo may never compete at the same level as the smash 4 days but there is a very important message to take from this.

Looking forward

ZeRo’s retirement paved the way for a new Smash 4 champion to be crowned
Youtube

TSM ZeRo is the most iconic Smash 4 player, and is certainly a big part of why the game became so successful as an Esport. This competitive season has been much different without him. However it has also been a very interesting season. The fact that we will finally have a new #1 player in the world crowned this season is huge. Players have been rising from the proverbial mid-card to prove their worth and rise higher in the ranking. The Meta has even changed a bit, as no one played Diddy Kong on the same level as him. All of this isn’t to imply that the game is better off without ZeRo. Rather it’s a look into the natural life cycle of a competitive game and even life

ZeRo’s reign as the best Smash 4 player was amazing, but it’s time to move on. He did, and it seems like the community is doing the same. It almost seems like poetic justice that the next iteration of Smash is coming so soon after ZeRo’s retirement. Making the last Smash 4 season before Smash switch belong to another # 1 player in the world. Lastly I think this also provides us all a very valuable lesson.

One can never know exactly what it feels like to be in the shoes of someone who appears to be on top of the world.

Do you think there is any possibility that ZeRo will return to his dominant competitive ways? Let us know in the comments down below

 

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Glitch 4 2018 preview

MD/VA (Maryland/Virginia) is home to arguably the most talented pool of smash players in the world. With iconic weekly venues like Xanadu, high level play is always on display in Maryland. So when top players from other states come into town to face MD/VA’s finest, great action is sure to follow. This is where the Glitch tournament series comes into play. “Glitch” is a (now) yearly Smash tournament at Xanadu. It is by far the most dynamic and interesting smash tournament ever conceived. Glitch is home to smash 4 singles, doubles, Amibo tournaments, low tier tournaments, customs tournaments and more. With so many exciting events, the tournament sees a large amount of attendees each year, always delivering on the hype. With last years Glitch 3 being such a classic, let’s take an early look at Glitch 4.

Special Guests

One of the most exciting parts of Glitch is the speculation as to which out of town players will be attending. Luckily for us however, most of the speculation is over, and barring some extremely late registration, we already have a good idea of who’ll be attending.

P1 Captain Zack is one of the most exciting Bayonetta players in the world!
Fiveprime

Along with the usual MD/VA crowd and other locals (including myself), big name players from other regions will be there. High caliber players like Gavin “Tweek” P1 Dempsey, Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby, Zack “P1 Captain Zack” Lauth Brian “Cosmos” Kalu and more will be in attendance. Needless to say this will be a stacked event, and the local stars will definitely have a chip on their shoulders.

There is still a week left for players to register for the tournament so more players could enter. There have been rumblings on twitter from a few top players who could possibly make it. Nothing is set in stone just yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Predictions

This could very easily be a Bayonetta dominated tournament and that isn’t a bad thing at all. With four of the best Bayo players in the world all attending, we could see some very unique, high level Bayonetta play. This isn’t the end of the world if you aren’t a fan of Bayonetta however. There are a couple of key players who consistently beat Bayonetta, who could really turn the tides. Dabuz is on a roll this year and is making a serious case for being #1 in the world. Dabuz is unfazed by the Bayonetta match-up, and consistently slays the competition. Cosmos is another “Bayo Slayer” and could definitely shake things up in bracket. Both players have been on fire as of late and are players to watch at Glitch 4.

Glitch is such a dynamic and unique tournament that it really could go any way. With so many skilled players likely facing new opponents, upsets are sure to ensue.

P1 Tweek has all the tools to dominate the Glitch 4 competition
Dbltap

Many would have last years champion Chris “Wadi” Boston as their favorite to win it all. But with so much more competition incoming, Maryland’s best player will have a tough road in front of him. While many would love to see Wadi get a rematch in grand finals against Dabuz, I think there’s another player who could win it all. P1 Tweek has been seemingly unstoppable as of late and I think he could clean up this tournament. Tweek is the best and most dynamic Bayonetta player in the world in my opinion. What separates him from other Bayo players is that he has such solid secondary characters to cover his bad match-ups. My prediction is that Tweek will dominate this tournament and prove that he is the best Bayonetta in the world.

My Prediction Tweek Over Dabuz 3-2

Who do you think could win Glitch 4? Let us know in the comments down below!

 

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The Fall of Jigglypuff In Smash

Balance is maybe the most important aspect of a fighting game. While no game can ever truly be 100% balanced, devs must do their best to achieve a decent balance. When a fighting game becomes an esport, (whether intended or not) Tier lists will be formed and the community will begin to decipher which characters are better than the others. Every game is going to have their bad characters. If every character had the same strengths and weaknesses, they would have no personality. This type of system for creating characters would get boring to play very fast.  However there are certain cases of characters being remarkably bad. So devoid of viability that they stand out from others. Today we’ll be looking at the meteoric fall of Smash 4 Jigglypuff.

Origins

Melee Jigglypuff had great Hitboxes and great options
Aminoapps

Jigglypuff wasn’t always a terrible character. Puff was actually pretty good in smash 64 and great in Melee. Melee Jigglypuff was a great example of a risk/reward style character. She’s light so she gets KO’d early but she’s powerful enough to hold her own and take stocks quickly. Melee Puffs biggest skill was her ability to hit rest more consistently. Rest is the epitome of a risk/reward move, being one of the most powerful moves in the game. It kills at very low percents, but is not easy to hit and leaves you venerable to attacks if missed. This dynamic made Puff very deadly but also very venerable. Hitting rest can definitely clutch out a close game and help you make complete a comeback. However if you miss it, you’re almost certainly dead.

This combined with her great air mobility and edge-guarding ability made for a stellar character in tournament. She currently ranks 5th best on the official Melee Tier list. Puff was an amazing character, then Brawl happened. Brawl is definitely the black sheep of the smash franchise, and signified a darker time in the series. It was dominated by one character and divided the community, but was also the beginning of Puff’s downfall. Jigglypuff was heavily nerfed from Melee to brawl and it was obvious. Her ground speed was worse, she was slower, rest was less powerful and harder to hit and she had terrible range. All of this combined with Brawls very defensive play style made for terrible match-ups all across the board. She ranks as the 3rd worst character on the brawl tier list and would only get worse as time moved on.

The definition of AWFUL

jigglypuff saw a sharp decline on the tier list
Omni Universial Gaming

Brawl Jigglypuff was bad, but smash 4 Jigglypuff is inexcusable. She’s such a laughably bad character that it’s honestly confusing and even seems intentional at times. One big reason for Puff getting worse since the release of brawl was the fact that she never changed with the times. Brawl was a very defensive game which made a slow character like Puff much harder to use. She had no real options for chasing a camping opponent. Smash 4 took this concept of not adapting Puff for a new engine and took it even further. Jigglypuff is terrible in Smash 4 because she has just about every possible disadvantage a character could have. She’s very light which means she dies very early, which in theory isn’t the end of the world.

However when this is combined with the rage mechanic things get bad fast. Puff will die at insanely low percents when hit by an opponent with rage. Even worse is the fact that she almost never gets to benefit from rage, since she will almost never live into the higher percents. Rest, her one ace in the hole is also much weaker and much harder to hit because it doesn’t have many true follow ups. Rest is also much more of a risk than a reward now because of RNG. If the opponent doesn’t get the screen splat or star KO death animation (which is completely random) they can easily punish Puff after dying by the rest and possibly kill her for it. Rest is hard enough to hit, but getting punished for landing it successfully is a bit harsh.

Oh and I forgot to mention SHE IMMEDIATELY DIES IF YOU BREAK HER SHIELD!

Getting no love

With Smash 4 getting consistent balance patches it’s crazy to see that Jigglypuff has never been touched in any of them.

Players use the Hashtag #BuffPuff in protest of Jigglypuff being seemingly ignored by the devs
AminoApps

Smash 4 is a much different game today, compared to the vanilla version. But throughout every patch, every buff, every nerf, two words have defined Smash 4 Jigglypuff: “No Changes”. Nintendo, and Sakurai definitely pay attention to the competitive scene and have historically patched the game accordingly. So it doesn’t make much sense that Puff has never been changed even slightly. Low tier characters are bad because they have fewer options than that of their counterparts. A great example is Ganondorf, a character who is next to Puff on the tier list and yet much better. Ganondorf is slow, gets combo’d easily and doesn’t have best options to escape disadvantage. However he is heavy so he lives longer, and he is insanely powerful.

Ganon can very easily kill you in 3 solid hits if you’re not careful because of his great killing power. He’s still a bad character, but he can still get the best of you if you’re not careful or make a mistake. Jigglypuff does not have this. Sure it’s possible to land a clutch rest on an opponent if you read a roll or catch them slipping. But the fact that she has to work so hard just to get a chance to possibly win, makes every fight an uphill battle.

Jigglypuff went from being of the best characters in smash to being a “joke character”. There must be some underlying reason for Puff to be so neglected by the devs. which is a shame because if she was a bit better, the community might have possibly been able to advance the meta and make new discoveries about her. But with the devs doing all they can to make her a chore to play, that may never happen. Maybe Jigglypuff can make a return to greatness in Smash 5, until then she will continue to be the laughing stock of Smash 4.

What do you think of Jigglypuff in Smash? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!

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A Realistic Smash Switch wish list

Smash Switch is coming much sooner than we could have ever hoped. The hype surrounding the game harkens back to the old days of speculating over Smash for Wii U rumors. There has been a lot of speculation over what new additions will be make it into the game. Even though we still don’t have 100% confirmation that this is a new entry most signs point to that conclusion. So with smash Switch slated release later this year, heres a list of additions we’d like to see.

First Party Characters

With Smash 4 including characters like Cloud strife from Final Fantasy 7, the possibilities are endless. However, when looking at possible candidates, we have to stay realistic.  That being said there are realistic possibilities for new characters, now that the Splatoon inklings have been confirmed. We’ll start off with characters from existing Nintendo IP’s.

I think Xenoblade Chronicles  could use a bit more representation. With

Pyra and (or) Rex would make great additions to Smash
Source gaming

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 being released not too long ago, what better way to represent the franchise than by putting at least one character in. Pyra and Rex would both be good fits for Smash in my opinion but if we had to choose one I think Pyra would fit the best. Seeing as Shulk made it into Smash 4 already it would be nice to geta female representative from the franchise. Besides Pyra is such a cool character in Xenoblade and it’d be a shame if she missed out on joining the battle.

Another likely addition is a fighter from Nintendo’s latest new IP, Arms. Arms is a very interesting fighting game with unique mechanics. However it never really caught on and became the next big Esport they wanted it to be. While there is still time to accomplish that, I think a great way to increase interest in Arms is to put a character or two into smash. Putting existing fighting game characters into smash should be an easier task than for other characters. Many people have their first exposure to a character in smash and go on to play the games those characters are from later. This could be great for smash and also Arms. Another popular choice is Waluigi for the Super Mario bros series. However seeing as he is a support trophy in brawl and Smash 4 this could be unlikely.

3rd party characters

This section is always a bit of a long shot because licensing and other legal things can get in the way of this. That wont stop the speculation however. A very popular 3rd party candidate that would be a very welcome addition is Crash bandicoot. At first glance this would seem very unlikely. But with Nintendo announcing that the Crash Bandicoot Nsane Trilogy is coming to Switch this summer, this seems much more likely. Crash could make for a very interesting character in smash and would definitely win over the fans.

Shovel Knight won over the indie gaming scene a few years ago and has gotten the port treatment to Nintendo Switch already. Seeing him make it into Smash would be very welcome. His iconic shovel could make for some very interesting combat and movement mechanics. Seeing as Sakurai loves to make a character as faithful to their original game as possible, Shovel knight could be an amazing addition.

WE NEED SNAKE BACK IN SMASH!
Youtube

Lastly (and this is very unlikely) Snake needs to make a return. Seeing a character as iconic as Solid Snake make it into Smash was a dream come true. So it is no surprise that fans lamented his not making it into Smash 4. Seeing snake go one and done was such a big disappointment because he was very well designed. His play style was very unique as it centered around laying traps and baiting your opponent to get the kill. As much as the fans would love to see him return, this is very unlikely. With Hideo Kojima not being at Konami anymore and Konami still owning Metal Gear, it doesn’t look good for Snake. But if at all possible, Snake would be perfect to make a return to Smash Switch.

Stages/ mechanics/Misc

More tournament legal stages will certainly liven up the competitive scene
The oblivian studios

Giving every stage an omega (flat) form in smash 4 was a very welcome addition and made many stages tournament legality. However there is definitely room for improvement. One way to add more life to omega stages is to add a neutral platform option to all stages. This would add some variety to the list of tournament legal stages and make stage counterplay more interesting. New stages with less hazards would also be very much appreciated. Even though Smash isn’t a competitive only game that does still appeal to a casual crowd, this would do wonders to the competitive scene. A good balance of casual and competitive stages would keep both hardcore competitors and casual players happy.

This one may be a bit controversial but I think rage should return for Smash Switch, but with a few tweaks. Rage is a very interesting mechanic that forces players to pay closer attention to percents and adapt throughout each match. However it can lead to some very janky outcomes when combined with certain moves. To remedy the problems that rage can introduce, I think rage should begin at much higher percents. Rage should start at 100 percent and still cap at 150. Also, set knockback moves need to be nerfed in a way that doesn’t kill players at 3%.

There are many things that could possibly make it into the game but only time will tell what we get. With E3 2018 just a couple of months away, we will definitely see what this game has to offer very soon. Who knows, it may very well not even be a new game. But whatever it may be, we don’t have much longer to wait to find out.

What do you want to see in Smash Switch? 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.
Youtube

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!
Youtube

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.
Youtube

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 at Xanadu is back and better than ever

When VG Bootcamp announced that they would be closing the iconic Xanadu games venue back in January, people were shocked. Xanadu was a staple in the Maryland-Virginia Smash scene and was loved by many. So when VGBC announced that Xanadu would be making a return to a new, bigger venue in Maryland, the hype was real. The new Xanadu is a much bigger and better venue for smash and the reception from the community was amazing. The new venue is more than people could ever ask for. Xanadu reopened for their weekly Smash 4 tournament and it was an instant classic.

Special Guest

A new venue is sure to attract top players and this Xanadu was no exception. Just about all of the old regulars were in attendance as well as a special guest.

Dabuz was poised to Dominate the Maryland Smash Venue
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The Xanadu regulars fought an uphill battle all tournament against Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby, the #6 player in the world. Dabuz hails from New York so the MD-VA natives certainly had a chip on their shoulders. Confidence boost aside, Dabuz dominated the tournament. He didn’t lose a single set and coasted his way to a winners bracket 3-0 victory over Chris “Wadi” Boston. Dabuz won it all but the tournament as a whole was definitely one to remember

Running the GAUNTLET

There were many great match ups  throughout the tournament and a few definitely caught my eye. Mr. E Vs ZD in losers semis was a very interesting set.

Mr. E’s Sheik certainly impressed!
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Mr. E is usually known for his Marth/Lucina but he switched it up by picking Sheik. Many were skeptical about this pick because he rarely picks away from his mains but it turned out to be a great decision. Mr. E got off to a bit of a shaky start in game 1, barely clutching out the game. ZD came right back with a vengeance and won game 2 in a last hit situation. Mr. E battled back and won with a dominating Game 3 performance to take the set and prove that his Sheik isn’t just a plash in the pan.

Winners Finals was a crazy 20 minuet set between Dabuz and Wadi and was not without controversy. Game 1 was intense and went down to the last hit. Wadi’s MewTwo was at very high percent and was fighting back hard to make a comeback. Dabuz’s Rosalina and Luma however has something to say about that. Wadi miraculously hit a disable on Rosalina but with Luma still active Dabuz was able to triple jab MewTwo and send him flying. Dabuz absolutely escaped game one and narrowly avoided the comeback. The rest of the set was back and forth and looked to be tipping in Wadi’s favor. With a 2-1 lead going into game 4 things looked good for Wadi, but this didn’t last long. Dabuz fought back with a great game 4 that tied the set 2-2.

Till the bitter end

Despite any controversy, Dabuz deserves all the credit for this historic victory!
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On to game 5, a hard fought battle that could have easily went either way. Dabuz dominated the second stock, but Wadi made another convincing comeback attempt. Just as Wadi had Dabuz in a bad spot and closed in for the kill, his forward air traded with Luma, causing them both to go flying. unfortunately however Wadi was the first to hit the blast zone causing him to ultimately lose the set.

Certainly a heartbreaking loss, but Wadi fought his way back into grand finals for a rematch against Dabuz. But this time things were much more anti-climactic. Dabuz destroyed Wadi, who switched to Rob in game 3, if that’s any indication to how he was feeling about the set. From barely losing 2-3 to being speedrun in a 0-3 loss. Controversy aside Dabuz had a great run and dominated the competition, overcoming some daring odds to win the grand reopening, of Smash at Xanadu.

Did you get to see the Smash 4 action at the Xanadu reopening? Tell us what you thought in the comments below!

Featured image courtesy of youtube.

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Smash Masters Battle for Vegas was amazing

With so much hype surrounding the upcoming release of Super smash bros for Nintendo switch, one could forget about the current smash 4 season. However they would be foolish to do so. Smash 4 is in a very interesting place right now with the Smash Switch release looming. But that hasn’t taken anything away from the current season, as each tournament continues to deliver exciting action. Smash Masters League: Battle for Vegas wrapped up over the weekend, and did not disappoint.

Shockers

Fatality had a dominating performance!
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Lets start with the most shocking storylines of the tournament.

 

The biggest surprise was Liquid Saleem “Salem” Young not making into top 8. Salem is a very talented player and is currently ranked #2 in the world, but he has had a big problem the past few tournaments with beating certain players. His past 2 to tournament losses have been to Griffin “Fatality” Miller. Fatality’s Captain Falcon is no joke and once again was Salem’s Achilles heel. Salem is still a great player and hasn’t fallen off by any means, but he has slipped a bit. It is still very early in the season but I think Salem needs to do some soul searching and maybe even pick up a secondary to cover a few match-ups.

Just as shocking was just how well Fatality has been playing lately. Making a respectable losers bracket run, and once again taking out #2 in the world. Fatality has always been teetering on the edge of top 10 level play for a while. His recent tournament results have been stellar and have put him in a great position early on in the season. Fatality got knocked out at fourth place but made a huge push in top 8 and also toward his standings in the next PGR.

Notable Match-ups

Ally is upset by Brosinex…IN POOLS!
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There were many exciting matches at Battle for Vegas and all delivered on the hype. Kevin “Brosinex” Alvarado winning 2-0 over C9 Elliot “Ally” Carroza was a huge, hype upset. Brosinex’s Ryu definitely caught Ally off guard and led him to a game 1 comeback, followed by a dominant game 2. The crowd went wild as the hometown hero upset one of the best players in the world.

 

P1 Tweek Vs Echo Fox MVG Mk Leo was a very intense set that went down to the absolute final hit. In a game four situation Tweek’s Bayonetta aided him in a valiant comeback attempt. But ultimately he fell victim to an up throw at extremely high percent after whiffing a grab attempt. Tweek got knocked out at 5th place but put up a heck of a fight. Another thing to highlight is how we can without a doubt call Tweek the best Bayonetta, as he consistently beats other Bayonetta’s in the ditto. Tweek showed some true innovation with some slick new combos we rarely see from other Bayonetta’s.

Grand Finals

The thrilling conclusion to a stacked tournament!
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The Grand Finals stage was set with NRG Nairo taking on Echo Fox MVG Mk Leo. Nairo was seemingly unstoppable all weekend taking out all foes in his path, not losing a single set. He did so while taking out some of the best Bayonetta players in the process. Very impressive to see him consistently beating the games best character.

 

Mk Leo made an impressive losers bracket run after losing to Nairo in winners semis. This Set had a very big fight feel to it but didn’t last too long. Nairo didn’t necessarily dominate the set, but he applied non-stop pressure to Leo throughout. He had an answer for everything Leo could throw at him and never took his foot off the gas. Every time Leo got a slight lead, Nairo quickly answered with a ladder combo to end Leo’s stock.

Even after switching to Bayonetta Leo couldn’t overcome the peoples champ. In what was a bit of poetic justice. Nairo ended the set by taking a couple of extremely early stocks off of ladder combos to decisively win 3-0. NRG Nairo was consistent all weekend and pummeled the competition to another huge tournament win, adding to his #1 spot case.

Lastly lets looks at a few highlights from the tournament. First off NRG Nairo is REAL, just as real as predicted earlier in the season. Nairo is so consistent and definitely getting better each day. Next, Tweek is definitely the best Bayonetta. In a meta where more and more players are picking up the character, Tweek shines. He dominates the ditto (most of the time) and continues to innovate with the character. Lastly the Bayonetta “problem” is changing up a bit. Although more people are picking her up, players are adapting and finding ways to beat her. The meta is changing with every tournament, and it looks like we’re in for a very interesting rest of the season.

Did you catch Battle for Vegas on stream? What did you think? Let us know In the comments below!

 

Featured image courtesy of twitter.

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A close look at the Smash Switch E3 Invitational

The Hype train just keeps on chugging. Nintendo recently revealed that they would be holding an invitational tournament at this years E3 showcasing Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch. With such a big announcement coming so soon after the reveal of the game, the hype is skyrocketing throughout the community. With E3 slowly but surely approaching, let’s take a look at why this is such a huge announcement.

Smash 5?

Ever since the reveal trailer for Smash Switch the community has been hard at work trying to figure out more details about the game. The discussion has been centered around if it will be a completely new game (Smash 5) or some sort of Smash 4 deluxe edition. no one knows for sure what exactly the game will be, but this announcement gives us a few clues.

We could see the inklings in action sooner than later
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The last time Nintendo held such an event was back at E3 2014 for the upcoming release of Smash for Wii U. This tournament showcased the games new gameplay and mechanics by throwing players right into the fray. Fast forward almost four years and here we are approaching E3 2018, and yet another Smash invitational. This could be the final clue we need to decide whether or not this is a new game.

As convincing as this evidence is we cant speak to soon however. If we are to draw direct comparisons to he launch of Smash 4, some things don’t line up properly. Smash 4 was revealed over a year before the invitational tournament, let alone launch day. The reveal for Smash 4 came with gameplay footage as well as a character reveal. We still haven’t seen any Smash Switch gameplay yet, which does not align with Smash 4’s reveal. Smash Switch also was revealed much closer to the games launch, coming in the same year. Either way we’ll definitely find out exactly what this game is at E3. But there is even more to look forward to with this tournament.

The inevitable return

I’ve talked about Zero’s retirement many times in the past so I won’t go over it for a millionth time. We all knew he likely wouldn’t be gone for long and this tournament being announced all but confirms it. This is exactly what Zero said could bring him back to the competitive scene. A new iteration of Smash with new characters, possibly even being Smash 5. As much as he has been enjoying his time streaming and being away from competitive play, he will be back soon. I think he might have just waited until the game released later this year to return but this tournament changes things.

This invitational tournament is definitely calling his name. Now he can get an early look at the game, and get a feel for its mechanics if it is Smash 5.

Could Zero make his return where it all began?
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It will be even more interesting if the game is very similar to Smash 4 or Smash 4 deluxe. I think that such a thing could tempt Zero to even consider returning to the current season. New characters would certainly shake up the meta and could be an irresistible offer to him. Lastly how fitting would it be for Zero to make his return on the same stage he started on. Zero won the first ever Smash 4 tournament back at the 2014 E3 invitational. It was the first of many tournament wins for Zero and started an amazing career. It’d be awesome to see him make his return, where it all began.

Who could we see

As much speculation as the community has been doing about Zero returning, nothing is confirmed. We still don’t know who Nintendo will be sending to the tournament just yet. But based on the past we can make some good assumptions. We know they will bring some prominent figures in the community. This always starts with some of the best tournament players. One player I’m sure will be on the big stage is NRG Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada. He is the undisputed king of Smash 4 streamers, and one of the communities most loved personalities.  I’m pretty sure Zero will be invited as well but it honestly could go either way. other than top players we should see some big Nintendo Youtubers on the stage. This is in line with how Nintendo usually handles events like this and I see no reason why this would change.

Lastly I want to talk about someone I would love to see at the invitational. This is a long shot, but I would absolutely love to see Desmond “Etika” Amofah in the tournament.

Etika would bring the hype to the invitational for sure
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This is a bit unlikely because Etika isn’t necessarily Kid friendly and could rub Nintendo the wrong way. Etika may have a history of being very vulgar and outlandish at times, but he would be a great addition. His passion and enthusiasm for Nintendo is unrivaled. He would bring a level of hype and excitement that has never been seen at a Nintendo event. He’s a wild-card, but if invited, Smash Switch will have even more hype surrounding it.

No matter what happens This tournament is huge. we all knew E3 was the next big event to look forward to for Smash Switch. But this tournament means that on June 11th we will finally have an answer to our many Smash Switch questions.

What do you think about the Smash Switch E3 Invitational? Feel free to let us know in the comments down below!

 

Featured image courtesy of Eventhubs.

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