By: Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs
Super Smash Con has returned, bigger and better than ever. This year’s event marks another milestone for the Super Smash Bros. 64 community, as it has eclipsed 300 entrants for the first time in its history. Elite competitors have traveled to Chantilly, VA to battle in the first game of the series. As last year’s event was the beginning of the recent rise in popularity of this old game, many view this year’s edition as another watershed moment. Tournament organizer’s are giving Smash 64 a chance in the limelight, as the singles bracket has been given a prime time slot for Saturday afternoon. Here is everything you need to know going into what will be an epic event.
The American Defenders
Isai “Isai” Alverado has recently emerged from his own self-imposed retirement, as he will be competing in his third major of the year. Isai has not yet looked like his old self, though he has promised to play high tier character against his biggest rivals, perhaps hinting at a return to form for the legendary player. Eduardo “Tacos” Tovar has been extremely impressive of late, pushing Isai to the limit at Genesis 3 and even defeating him at SNOSA II. However, he has had trouble against his most consistent opponent: Dan “SuPeRbOoMfAn” Hoyt. He has yet to defeat the top player in North America, failing even to force him to a Game 5. Joey “KeroKeroppi” Spezoli has seemingly taken a step back in recent times. He has still failed to defeat the two men he has been striving for: SuPeRbOoMfAn and Isai. Also, despite his claims to never lose to someone who he has previously beaten, Tacos has beaten him twice this year. A few other competitors also seem to be closing the gap, including Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett, who has repeatedly pushed KeroKeroppi to the brink. Wizzrobe has been on quite a tear this year, as he forced SuPeRbOoMfAn to a Game 5 at Pound 2016 and easily won a fairly large tournament in Smash’N’Splash 2. The young master of the entire Smash series may be the one to break through and win a major with his dynamic Yoshi.
KeroKeroppi is not the only elite member of the Spezoli family, as his brother Tommy “Stranded” Spezoli is often cited as having the best tech skill in Smash 64. The fast and relentless master of the entire cast has often failed to convert that superb skill to results, though this may have changed. He won Apex 2016 in dominant fashion, hopefully signaling his braggadocious attitude will begin to be backed up by results. Two local favorites will also be in attendance, as LD “Fox” (real name omitted) and Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody will be looking to defend their home turf. Fox’s combo-heavy Fox broke onto the scene in force last year after a number of years dominating the online scene. However, his dependence on a finicky Xbox 360 controller adapter has often lead to his downfall, as the hardware can fail him at key moments. Despite this, he has been adapting quickly to console play and its unique properties. BarkSanchez has had a very active, traveling all across North America to train with the various growing scenes. His year has been marked by various highs and lows, with great finishes at Pound 2016 and SNOSA II, but also had a disappointing finish at Get On My Level.
The North American Foreigners
SuPeRbOoMfAn looks to continue his run of dominance, as he has only lost sets to foreign challengers in the last few years. Besides Genesis 3, where he lost two sets to Wario, the Canadian has won every tournament he has attended in North America since Apex 2014. Having finally put the debate over who is best in North America to rest with a manhandling of Isai at SNOSA II, SuPeRbOoMfAn can now set his eyes on the title of Best in The World. A dominant victory at Super Smash Con could push him over the edge. Fellow Canadian Thomas “Revan” Dykes is coming off a strong victory at Summit 2016 in Toronto. As he overcame a tough matchup in defeat BarkSanchez’s Pikachu twice with his Kirby, Revan looks to prove that Kirby is still strong in today’s meta. Arturo “Mariguas” Hernandez has also had an impressive year, with strong finished at Genesis 3 and SNOSA II. He pushed Isai to the limit at both events, despite falling short both times. This man from Mexico looks at this weekend’s event as an opportunity to truly breakthrough and prove his worth. Jaime “JaimeHR” Rodriguez will surely make a splash this year, as he will be teaming with SuPeRbOoMfAn in doubles, likely continuing the dominant run of the best team the game has ever seen. Team Mejor will have some strong competitors, but they have shown in the past that strong competition has failed to challenge their dominance.
With an epic funding effort by the Smash 64 community, top players will be attending from four non-North American countries. Some of the best from Japan, Chile, Brazil and Peru will be in attendance.Wangera (real name omitted) appears to be the best of the bunch. This master of little seen Jigglypuff was very impressive at Genesis 3 as he double-eliminated Isai. However, he struggled against SuPeRbOoMfAn, even being 5 stocked in the Top 8. This quiet Japanese assassin will certainly impressive the crowd again, as he further adjusts to the differences in the American version of the game. Legendary combo master Prince (real name omitted) has come out of retirement for this great tournament. His combo videos are among the greatest any game has ever seen, forcing players to analyze their own gameplay and push themselves and the game to their limits. Bonobono (real name omitted) is likely the greatest Yoshi player in the world. This character has seen a recent rise in the meta, as new avenues of play are being explored. In his first trip to America, Bonobono will likely show us just how far Yoshi can be pushed.
Andre “Banze” Luiz Almeida has traveled from Brazil to once again compete in America. Banze is likely the best player in Brazil, sporting a highly impressive Pikachu that can compete with the best our country has to offer. With the weight of his country on his shoulder, Banze needs a better showing than his 13th place finish at Genesis 3 to prove that Peru is not the only dominant force in South America. The combo-heavy red Link of fellow Brazilian Thomas “Kort” Keselik will also be in attendance. Though some question if his style of play can translate to success in larger events, Kort feels confident that he will impress the crowds. For the first time ever, a Peruvian player will be competing on American soil. Alvin “Alvin” Leon Haro, the best player South America has to offer, will finally have the opportunity to clash with all the top players in the world in one room. With perhaps the fastest reactions of anyone in Smash 64, Alvin is one of the favorites to take the entire tournament. If anyone can upset SuPeRbOoMfAn, Alvin may be the one. With the attendance of both Japan and Peru, Super Smash Con marks the first time these two countries will ever get to play each other.
Super Smash Con’s Smash 64 event will be the most epic ever seen. Competitors from all across the globe have come together for what can be a true jumping off point to help the scene explode in popularity. Though only one player can win it all, many strive for that difficult to reach first place finish. Tune in to twitch.tv/vgbootcamp on Friday and Saturday afternoon to catch all of the action.