By Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody
Before the first round of pools had even started, Get On My Level 2016 had already set itself apart from any other Canadian event. GOML 2016 had accumulated 83 entrants, including a modest, yet formidable group of US players, making it the largest Canadian major for Smash 64 ever. Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto all represented their regions well, shoring up strong crews of competitors eager to compete for Canada’s colorful Monopoly money. GOML would also mark the console debut of highly-touted online player, derek, as well as the return of UK player, Jam, who had not attended a North American tournament since Apex 2015. Two of the Top 3 US players, KeroKeroppi and Wizzrobe, made the trip, accompanied by Bark The Shark, Fireblaster and Shears. ENKKO’s Mr. Sir and ODS kingpin Daniels also came, looking to take a step to the next level. It was very clear from the start that Canada’s fireworks would begin well before the usual Victoria Day celebrations called for. The excitement began early with Preston scoring an impressive upset against sextc, alongside b0n’s near-upset of Bark The Shark. The later rounds of pools saw Ottawa’s young prodigy Janco score a big upset against Snorlax’s DK, paired with Fck Vwls’s stunning victory over derek. The Top 32 bracket began without notable upsets; however, there was no shortage of exciting matchups. YBOMBB took down Jam, Fireblaster defeated HandsomeTom, and Bark The Shark fought off B Link in three highly contested, close matchups. In the losers bracket, three matches featuring players upset on winners side shook up the bracket even further. sextc shocked the venue by sending UK sensation Jam packing, leaving the 9th seeded Pikachu with a 17th place finish in his long-awaited return. B Link sent Snorlax home early as well, putting an end to his “Majestic Dong”, while derek’s skilled play ran parallel to rumors of his abilities, as he dismantled Shears fairly convincingly. In losers Top 16, down 1-3 on stocks and 0-1 on games, sextc mounted a furious comeback against Janco, leaving the impressive Ottawan rookie stunned. The seasoned veteran Nintendude aimed to end derek’s hot streak with his Fox, nearly taking game one despite the unforgiving matchup, before switching to his old main Mario to noticeably less success.
Winners Quarterfinals held few surprises, although Revan came very close to a big upset over his Montreal rival, SSBMTL The Z. Back on losers side, sextc nearly took down notorious Falcon killer, Bark The Shark, only to fall victim to two late-game comebacks. HandsomeTom lost a close fight to a familiar foe, Revan, while YBOMBB sent fellow Torontonian, B Link, packing. The legend of derek continued, however, as he clutched out a close set against the fearsome Fireblaster, despite losing the first game, setting the stage for Top 8. YBOMBB’s Jigglypuff showed no resistance against Revan’s Kirby, although in Game 3, his Falcon brought the game to last stock, although he was unable to close it out.
Riding high on the momentum of his magical run through losers, derek was set to face off against Bark The Shark. These two naturally aggressive players displayed a surprisingly patient spacing game, with Bark narrowly clutching out game 1. In game 2, derek took control, gaining a two stock lead early that he would not relinquish. However, game 3 proved to be yet another close one; the two battled evenly until a pivotal moment on the final stock, as Bark threaded a flawless sweetspot under derek’s seemingly impenetrable uptilts. Bark then immediately dropped from the ledge, fastfalling to his death in heartbreaking fashion. The following momentum shift was palpable, as derek took game 4 in an incredibly convincing 4 stock, knocking Bark out early, and earning himself internet fame as he moved on to face SSBMTL The Z.
SuPeRbOoMfAn and SSBMTL The Z would face off in Winners Semifinals, and although Boom’s Kirby took the set 3-0, SSBMTL The Z’s Pikachu threatened victory in each match, proving to be one of the toughest challenge’s yet for the small yellow puffball. In a rematch of Top 8 from Genesis 3, KeroKeroppi and Wizzrobe faced off yet again. Kero began the set with a seemingly safe pick, going Kirby for the matchup advantage. However, Wizzrobe took down Kero’s Kirby on last stock in game 1, prompting Kero to revert to his Genesis 3 weapon of choice: Pikachu. Wizzrobe was unaffected by the character change, taking yet another game in last stock fashion. Kero would keep his composure under pressure, coming out of game 3 with his own last stock victory. Facing a 2 stock deficit in game 3, Kero mounted a furious comeback, clutching victory on the final stock. Carrying this momentum through the rest of the set, Kero showed flashes of his previous dominance over Wizzrobe, taking games 4 and 5 with a three and two stock respectively.
In losers, SSBMTL The Z would face a tough task in putting an end to the #yearofderek, despite being the favorite. SSBMTL The Z started off with an unusual option in Yoshi, perhaps as a nod to derek’s previous opponent, Fireblaster. Armed with the character knowledge of a Yoshi secondary, derek dismantled Z’s dirty dinosaur. This prompted Z to switch to one of his old mains: Captain Falcon. Unfazed by SSBMTL The Z’s overwhelming speed, derek also made quick work of the space racer. In game 3, SSBMTL The Z opted for derek’s specialty: the Pikachu ditto. Z managed to fight back from a late stock deficit to keep his tournament chances alive. However, game 4 was a game no one will forget, as derek fought to earn a 4-1 stock lead against one of the most talented players in North America. SSBMTL The Z would prove worthy of this accolade, picking away at each of derek’s stocks with a surgeon’s precision, not once showing any sign of concern. With SSBMTL The Z at 125% damage, on last stock for both players, derek angled his recovery slightly short of the ledge, ending in a heartbreaking SD to allow a game 5. Following suit, SSBMTL The Z mounted a 3-1 stock lead in game 5 and looked poised to move on to Losers Semifinals. However, derek was looking to continue his Cinderella story with a magical comeback of his own. Having fought his way down to a last stock game at high percentage, derek found himself milliseconds too late on the grounded footsies, as both players dashdanced into a grab. The underdog ended up in SSBMTL The Z’s arms and out of the tournament.
Wizzrobe and Revan would follow in a highly anticipated rematch from one of Pound’s unstreamed Losers Quarterfinals matches. The set kicked off with back to back 3 stocks, with Wizzrobe claiming the first and Revan responsible for the second. In contrast, Revan narrowly claimed game 3, with both players on last stock at high percentage. Revan came ready to prove a point, capping off the set with another strong 3 stock, earning his second victory over Wizzrobe in just as many months. This set the stage for the final match of the night, a rematch between Canadian rivals Revan and SSBMTL The Z. Revan gave a good fight in game 1, although he was unable to close it out as SSBMTL The Z came out on top in a last stock victory. Game 2 would be more favorable for Z, as he managed to box out Revan’s surprisingly quick Kirby in a solid 2 stock. In game 3, Revan looked poised to push the set further, building almost a full 2-1 stock lead. SSBMTL The Z was no stranger to comeback victories this night, proving to be Revan’s kryptonite yet again with a 3-0 sweep. As the night dragged on later than expected, the players would be asked to play out Top 3 the next day at noon.
Fresh off a full night’s rest, SuPeRbOoMfAn, KeroKeroppi, and SSBMTL The Z were all ready to finish what they started. Boom and Kero faced off in Winners Finals, with Boom’s Kirby taking the first two games over Kero’s Pikachu convincingly. However, Kero would fight back in game 3, two stocking the small yellow ball that had destroyaed so many before him. This prompted Boom to bring out his own Pikachu. Tied up on last stock, Kero had Boom on the run with a significant percentage advantage., Boom then took control, racking up damage and sending Kero far off stage. Kero responded with an incredible sweetspot recovery, and a strong combo of his own, sending Boom off in the opposite direction. Boom narrowly avoided Kero’s edgeguard, so close it may have brushed the hairs on Pikachu’s back. Boom quickly returned to the stage and landed a grab to send Kero to losers. Kero would face off against a foe he is no stranger to success against, SSBMTL The Z. Following his loss to Kero at Genesis 3, dropping to an 0-5 record against his US nemesis, SSBMTL The Z claimed he was done losing to Kero. They both opted for Pikachu dittos the entire set, and SSBMTL The Z started things off with two straight 2 stocks, looking to make good on his word. In game 3, tied up at 2 stocks apiece, SSBMTL The Z absolutely smothered Kero, tossing him about the stage at will, taking a nearly full stock lead. Not ready to lay down, Kero fired right back with an equally dominant stock, tying it up at one stock a piece, with the USA’s last hope on the verge of elimination. Despite an almost completely even exchange throughout the entire stock, SSBMTL The Z got the last hits needed to earn his first victory over Kero, leading the way for an all-Canadian Grand Finals at the largest Canadian Smash 64 Major ever.
The two began with Pika dittos, a continuation of Winners Semifinals, with Boom taking the first two games in fairly convincing fashion, a 4 and 2 stock respectively. The highlight of Grand Finals was SSBMTL The Z’s switch to Fox, a former main of his, which had an impressive comeback against Revan in Grand Finals of Montreal’s weekly earlier that week. SSBMTL The Z’s incredibly fast and frequently flashy style went toe-to-toe with arguably the best Pikachu in North America. Armed with incredible reads, and dangerous combos, SSBMTL The Z took Boom’s Pikachu to last stock, before seeing the tournament slip from his grasp on a slick edgeguard from the Champ.
GOML also held a side tournament for doubles, featuring 15 teams, with most of the strongest teams featuring Canadian talent. SuPeRbOoMfAn, one half of the best doubles team in the world, teamed up with Nintendude, a veteran who has maintained his status as one of the best doubles players in the USA, and created a heavy favorite for first place. The Montreal duo of SSBMTL The Z and HandsomeTom were expected runners up, with Ottawans Revan and sextc, and Torontonians YBOMBB and Fck Vwls expected to get 3rd and 4th, respectively.
Then, Baltimore happened. Bark The Shark and Shears, two players with historically terrible chemistry, opted to team together in the absence of Bark’s brother and doubles partner, Darkhorse. The suddenly dynamic duo finally found their groove, taking down heavy favorites HandsomeTom and SSBMTL The Z, followed by SexVan (sextc and Revan) in back-to-back sets, earning themselves a Top 3 spot. Team Montreal made quick work of Team Toronto, while Team Ottawa took care of the lesser Toronto team of Snorlax’s DK and B Link’s Pikachu. With Shears forced to leave early to catch his flight, Winner’s Finals was played early, as Boom and Nintendude’s Pikachu and Mario duo decimated Team Baltimore. Team Ottawa faced off against Team Montreal in Losers Semifinals, with both teams splitting 2 stock games. Montreal took game 3 with a more convincing 4-stock, earning them a rematch against Bark. However, Shears was no longer present. Montreal showed good heart, as well as good sportsmanship, allowing Bark to team with a level 9 Kirby CPU, in what may be the most amusing doubles set ever played. Kirby floated around, sat in rock form, all while Bark was getting pummeled and edgeguarded. Following a 2-0 victory, Team Montreal faced off against Boom and Nintendude, and were unfortunately unable to mount a noticeable offense against this unstoppable juggernaut of a team. Boom and Nintendude handled doubles as expected, walking home with fistfulls of the colorful Monopoly bills Canadians call “money”.