By Jason “Nardwell” Mani
Over the years, the Apex series of tournaments have been a staple of the East Coast Super Smash Bros. community. After the struggles of Apex 2015, this year’s tournament saw a new set of organizers. The old team was led by Alex Strife and Bifuteki looks to pick up the reins this year. This new team looks to put the past troubles behind them and rebuild what once was one of the premier brands in Smash. With the famed pidgezero_one TOing Smash 64 the confidence of 64 players is bolstered.
This year’s pool of contestants for Smash 64 is a bit diluted by the simultaneous occurrence of the biggest Smash 64 exclusive tournament: Snosa II. Despite this, Apex 2016 was able to draw an even 50 challengers to the event. Names like Fireblaster, Stranded, Cobr and Star King have been compelled to participate. Fireblaster looks to put on a show after a few less than desirable placings in recent tournaments. Stranded looks to prove himself after being restricted by travel, only being able to get to one major so far this year. Cobr and Star King look to emerge from behind their keyboards and make an appearance in the console scene as well. Others drawn by the economic value the East Coast affords over the West include NTA and Mr.Sir hailing from Georgia and Virginia respectively.
The smaller pool of talent can allow for some lesser known stars to shine and try to prove their worth. Zeppelin who burst onto the New York City scene recently will try to make a dive into Top 8. CTG looks to put the hours he put in squashing the poor Florida scene to the test against the North East. Even DONG | Bonerstorm looks to put together a string of victories to leave a mark bigger than his namesake.
Overall, Apex 2016 is shaping up to be a tournament full of fun and surprises. The value that could be gained to rebuild the brand is immeasurable if the TO team is able to put on a good show. The smaller pool also allows for players to level up and have more time to learn from the top players. This should be an exciting event at an excellent venue and is hopefully the start of a new era for the stalwart that is the Apex series.
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