64 Free For All: SuperBoomed

By: Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs and Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody

The 64 Free For All is a question and answer session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64, plus a bonus section for our own BarkSanchez to voice his thoughts. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have four players from across three countries to answer our queries. Mariguas, the enigmatic Mexican Pikachu player. TR3GTheZ, the Canadian master of many characters. Jimmy Joe, 64’s model-worthy commentator. KillaHertz, the puppet master of Nebulous.

  1. Nebulous is doing a few cool things to make SuperBoomed great for all players. One such opportunity is that they are inviting everyone to bring as many recording set ups as they can. How will this arrangement help the new players who will be attending?

Arturo “Mariguas” Núñez Hernández: I think that is a very sexy proposal and that it can lead to an orgasm.

Marco “TR3GTheZ” Jardak: They can get more games streamed/recorded despite not being high profile players which is cool. New player exposure was damaged at past majors because of TOs discouraging side recording setups.

James “Jimmy Joe” McGurl: Being able to have your matches recorded to show your friends or study what you did well or poorly is huge for players who don’t typically get to play on stream, as usually it is reserved for those we know are going to put on a hype/tense show. Having so many extra setups allows for everyone to get a chance to have their matches recorded. We live in an amazing time for SSB64.

Jesse “KillaHertz” Hertz: I think newer players may gain a lot from getting to analyze their matches later on. RR pools and amateur bracket also are a huge boon, as they let even scrubs get a lot of matches in a “tournament environment”, which is really important to grow as a player (play a million friendlies vs. boom, it still doesn’t match the pressure of playing even a modest opponent when the chips are on the table).

  1. Through a poll voted on by people registered for this event, SuperBoomed will be the first 64 major to use the Star King rule set for doubles. This rule states that teams of Pikachu-Pikachu, Pikachu-Kirby, and Kirby-Kirby are banned. How do you feel about this rule?

Mariguas: I think now more than ever we promote Smash and I think it is a good rule for future prospects interested in the game, many can be discouraged if your doubles looks very repetitive. Overall I think we should put into practice many more rules not only for doubles but also for singles, we have not squeezed Smash in its entirety and having serious discussions about the rules is a way to achieve it.

TR3GTheZ: This is a good tournament to test it. A lot of people don’t like the idea, I personally voted in favor of it. Teams have been pretty unenjoyable to watch and have been feeling like a chore to play in the last majors. Hopefully this change will make doubles and America great again.

Jimmy Joe: I think the Star King ruleset is fun and adds an element of character/player choice strategy. Ultimately the highest level doubles play will be determined by letting people choose whoever they want, but this could open people’s eyes to other great combinations and possibly have them become more developed and ultimately more viable in the typical doubles ruleset. I think it was a great move to let people vote on the ruleset and go with the majority decision. If more people want this ruleset, why deny them. It may even have brought more players to the event for doubles alone. On the subject of doubles rulesets, where did the DL only for doubles thing start?? It was never officially decided to do that, and DL is a laggy doubles stage. Hyrule is still legal in doubles, if someone tells you otherwise, they are playing by their own weird ruleset period.

KillaHertz: I think it’s really good for the doubles-meta, which is still in its infancy, to explore a bit. Brawl doubles was really boring until they banned Double-MK, and after that, it’s held up as one of the deeper and more interesting parts of the game. I think the common consensus (as shown by the vote) is that if you don’t main Pika or Kirby, you’re handicapping yourself or your partner by not switching to one of them for doubles. I think this ruleset probably lets more people play their mains in doubles, and puts a premium on players who don’t main Pika/Kirby, making things seriously interesting. I’m excited.

  1. SuperBoomed is unique in that it is a 64 major held in New York city, something that has never happened before. However, despite the region being both densely and highly populated, it is struggling to develop (besides Nebulous itself). What do you think needs to be done to help this region flourish?

Mariguas: Alcohol and women.

TR3GTheZ: NY is a region with strong active players, but I don’t think they take the right initiatives to grow their scene; they have never released power rankings and their events are not very well advertised.

Jimmy Joe: This region has had trouble flourishing I think due to the nature of the tri-state area lifestyle. We all work or study wayyyyy too much to be consistent. This is going to be a great event, but majors in an area as dense as NYC are tough for out-of-towners simply for the parking/driving aspect alone. Unless you’re a local, you’ll be in way over your head trying to get to a major by vehicle in NYC. It takes hours to travel just a couple miles around here, so I’m not sure we can do much better than trying to get more NYC gamers playing and competing, and hosting any majors larger than SuperBoomed outside the city…who knows, I’ll probably be a hypocrite and try to throw a MAJOR major here in the next couple years lol.

KillaHertz: One of the hardest things is venues. NYC is an extremely expensive city, and getting a venue for a “major” is no small task. Putting the “down-fees” on a big venue without proper sponsorship and precautions can easily bankrupt an organization if the tournament doesn’t make its numbers. With the actual Nebulous venue, we have a secure venue where we can store our equipment and reliably run tourneys that fits over 100 people, that’s HUGE for NYC, where we used to struggle to get people to bring CRTs (remember, no one has cars in the city), and where we often were packed into tiny venues.

  1. Nebulous’s Hitbox Gaming sponsorship gave them the opportunity to fly out a handful of truly elite players to make this event special. What does a major sponsorship such as this mean for future events and the growth of our community?

Mariguas: It really is something that needed to happen to increase the size of the Smash 64 scene, it is strange to think that a game that takes many years is just now giving its best, but I think it all goes for good and this is a good sign of growth.

TR3GTheZ: Having myself been part of this sponsorship, I would most likely have not been able to make the trip otherwise, same can be said about the three other voted players. Most players travel cause they love the game, there isn’t much money on the line.

Jimmy Joe: This type of sponsorship is huge. It gives us the opportunity to get elite players here, who otherwise may not be able to afford/make it, which draws hype, and ultimately other players and viewers to an event. It’s a worthwhile investment and it’s nice to see that our beautiful game is being invested in.

KillaHertz: All I’m really going to say is that the Hitbox sponsorship (and other sponsors) aren’t a fluke, we have a lot of smart people working at Nebulous to increase our sponsor base. In the current tournament ecosystem, a TO (or their organization) can’t risk funding a major tournament all on their own, sponsors are needed for real expansion. Nebulous as a whole is actively pursuing more sponsors, and I can promise that 64 won’t be ignored. A rising tide lifts all boats, or something like that.

  1. Who will be Top 8?

Mariguas: 1-Mariguas 2- Alvin 3- Boomfan 4-Mariguas (always), 5- The Z, 6- Stranded 7-Kant 8- Lakatos.

TR3GTheZ: 1. superboomfan
2. alvin
3. mariguas
4. revan
5. barksanchez
5. fireblaster
7. firo
7. cobr

Jimmy Joe: I think top 8 will be consisting of Definitely Boom, Alvin, Mariguas, and The Z, Revan and Bark highly likely and that final spot going to likely Fireblaster but with a solid chance of it going to some locals like Firo or Cobr, and possibly even Lowww or Kuz, with a slim chance of SunnyB or dare I say it, Myself sneaking in.

Oh and Shears is even more likely than everyone after Cobr.

KillaHertz: (in no order) Boom alvin z mariguas firo revan, not sure on the 8th.

  1. Now for the most important question: why is New York City the best city in the world?

Mariguas: No comment.

TR3GTheZ: The palm trees.

Jimmy Joe: New York is the best city in the world because within just a couple square miles we have it AAAAALLLLLLL. Whenever I leave here, I’m inevitably missing it for something. Music, Art, Theatre/film, Food/drink, Partying, you name it. Not to mention delivered to your door at ANY hour. NYC is all about convenience and getting shit done. I ❤ NY. Could use some better weather though XD

KillaHertz: Pizza. Public transport. Homies. It’s home.

Free Barking with BarkSanchez

I wanted Free Barking to be about the doubles ruleset mainly but I can’t ignore the predictions. Obviously Mariguas is having a little fun, but I’m curious who Kant and Lakatos are. Someone should tell him that Stranded isn’t available for his penetration in bracket. Someone should also tell ESPN SSBML VCR | RHCP TR3GTHEZ NIN that I won’t be participating on Sunday, so cracking top 5 in singles would be impressive. Ditto for JimmyJoe. Jesse listed six people and said he wasn’t sure of the eighth. WHO’S SEVENTH?? Maybe it’s those New York palm trees messing with his head.

Ok doubles. I love doubles. I have my favorite teammates, but I love teaming with anyone. This summer I teamed with Meerkat at Smash n’ Splash 2, and Preston at Summit 2016. All three of us are single main players, through both doubles and singles, and this ruleset would have forced us off our mains. I can’t support this happening to newer players who might not have the experience with other characters that I have.

The reality is Falcon, Fox, and Yoshi are not very good in the current doubles meta, despite Pika/Yoshi getting fifth at Super Smash Con. Players that main these Singles high-tier characters, instead of exploring mid-low tiers with serious doubles potential, such as Mario, Puff, Luigi, Samus, Ness, or even Link, they opted for the more forgiving route, and no one can blame them. There are very few mid-low tier mains in singles, and doubles gets very few added from the displaced high-tier mains. Newer players see a decent amount of Pika/Kirby in the mid-high level matches, and believe that is what they need to do to win. The doubles meta is still new and unexplored, and this ruleset could help others learn the powers of the mid-low tier characters in doubles, but will more likely stunt the meta, as less people learn to counter pika/kirby.

For a community that shames “tryhard” mentalities more than others, and prides itself on not “playing for the win screen”, it’s ironic to see people needing a ruleset change to play characters “they really want to play” instead of Pika/Kirby. It’ll be interesting to see the reactions from players getting gimmicked by Pika/luigi, Pika/Puff, Pika/Samus, or the unstoppable Kirby/DK. It’ll all be worth it when Grand Finals is Boom/Firo’s Pika/Ness (or double random) versus Bark/Shears’s Bang Bros (Mario/Luigi).

The 64 community has more fun than anyone else when it all comes down to it, ODS II was proof of that, but competition is competition. The best of the best, no handicaps, no gimmicks. This doubles ruleset may make for an interesting side event in the future, but should never replace true doubles.

That being said, SuperBoomed is going to be an incredible event, and the doubles ruleset will be something unique to fool around with. Jesse and the Nebulous crew are always great when I go up there, hopefully the wind tunnel air conditioning is in full effect again!
Nothing good in life is free, except doubles as Team Bang Bros.

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SuperBoomed Preview: The Big Apple Gets Its First Major

By Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody

The #Yearof64 has been packed full of 64-exclusive Smash events. The magical year kicked off its first of many 64-exclusives with Boss Battle 1 in Indianapolis. This event helped put the ND64 crew on the map, and synergized well with the momentum following Genesis 3 to grow the Smash 64 community.

SuperBoomed, the fourth event of its kind in 2016, finds itself following tough acts in SNOSA 2, and ODS 2. However, Jesse “KillaHertz” Hertz and his team at Nebulous have risen to the challenge, flying in several top players and building an exciting event “by 64, for 64” crafted with help from the community. Registrants of the event voted on which players were flown in, how many days the event would run and even whether or not to use a controversial alternative ruleset for doubles. While KillaHertz put in the work to make SuperBoomed a hyped event, he allowed the community to help craft the weekend to their liking, an unprecedented method.

However, nothing makes an event more hyped than top level talent. Alvin’s visa doesn’t need to do damage to get him flown out to yet another North American major. The Peruvian titan of Smash 64 failed to meet expectations at Super Smash Con 2016; however, the Japanese Yoshis that caught him off guard will not be standing in his way this time. SSBMTL | TR3GTheZ has played lights out this summer, eliminating Koroshiyo | KeroKeroppi from Get On My Level 2016 to nab second place and defeating tacos and Wangera en route to an astonishing fifth place finish at SSC. He will attempt to build on his momentum, joining the Mexican Monstrosity, Mariguas, and Alvin in an attempt to end the brutal reign of SuPeRbOoMfAn, one of North America’s juggernauts, and reigning champion following SSC.

Aside from these top players being flown out, SuperBoomed will feature players from 17 different regions, as well as a few netplay warriors.

Revan has seemed to climb to a new level of play, eliminating Wizzrobe at two majors in a row, handling BarkSanchez at Summit 2016 and capping off the #SummerOf64 with a phenomenal performance at SSC 2016, nabbing seventh place. However, the cerebral young Kirby main fell flat at ODS 2, and has had a month and a half in the lab to ensure he steps into SuperBoomed stronger than ever.

Fireblaster’s performance at SSC 2016 was arguably his strongest all year. He fell early to NTA, but defeated Cobr and Star King, who previously eliminated him at Apex 2016; he even managed took a game off of Alvin. Fireblaster’s doubles team, which included Shalaka, also played exceptionally. Despite falling early to Team LAS’s Wookiee and SotoH in winners, Team Shalakablaster tore a path through losers, defeating the Brazilians Kort and Banze, as well as the veteran duo Firo and Nintendude.

Speaking of Nebulous’s star himself, expect to see Firo in Top 8 as well, whether it be as Ness, Link or perhaps both. The low-tier hero can play nearly the entire cast at an incredibly high level in tournament, so he may have a few tricks up his sleeve as he attempts to defend his turf.

With all of the players, ranging from Massachusetts, to Georgia, to Northern California, to Mexico, the man to beat as always is SuPeRbOoMfAn. The Canadian lumberjack has a major tournament named after him for a reason. The renaissance era of Smash 64 has been the era of Boom, as he has all but dominated the scene for nearly three years. Boom’s Captain Falcon has been seen sparingly in 2016. Following a close loss to Wario at Genesis 3, and another close set against BarkSanchez at Pound 6, Boom has taken several opportunities to show off and train up his Kirby and Pikachu. There is no telling which characters he will break out for any given situation, although he may need his entire lineup ready to face the stacked roster at SuperBoomed.

Singles is stacked, but doubles will likely be the big topic of the discussion when Monday rolls around. SuperBoomed is running with a controversial alternative ruleset for doubles, a first for a tournament of this size and caliber. This unorthodox ruleset places a ban on Pika/Kirby, Pika/Pika and Kirby/Kirby teams, in response to the large presence of these two characters in the current doubles meta. SuPeRbOoMfAn had won every doubles tournament he attended in over four years leading into Super Smash Con 2016, most frequently teaming with his longtime partner JaimeHR. The duo, known as Team Mejor, dominated the modern Smash 64 doubles scene with their seemingly unstoppable Pika/Mario team, but were finally taken down at SSC 16 by Isai and Alvin, playing as Pika/Pika. Without the threat of Isai, or the trio of Pika/Kirby compositions, Boom will look to dominate once again. Without Jaime attending, Boom has teamed up with fellow veteran Firo to create yet another terrifying team. Firo has seen much success teaming exclusively with Nintendude over the past four years, dominating opponents with a unique Ness/Mario team. The Super Group of Boom/Firo will take on some formidable opponents in Mariguas/Alvin, BarkSanchez/Shears, and The Z/Handsome Tom, all teams with players limited from playing their doubles mains with the alternative ruleset. Despite these limitations, these teams have players that have all been very successful in doubles. With the new ruleset in place, everyone will be watching to see how these players adjust to an altered meta.

New York’s first major has already set itself apart from every other event, and the action hasn’t even started yet. The #yearof64 is winding down, but shows no signs of slowing down in terms of excitement, so be sure to tune in to NebulousGaming on hitbox.tv.

YouTube 64 Spotlight: Havasu Smash 64

By Ben “Bacorn” Corn

You don’t have to worry about getting Shrekt or yelling “Go Baltimore” to enjoy these YouTube channels.

The featured Super Smash Bros. 64 YouTube channel this week is Havasu Smash 64.

If you follow 64, you know about Havasu. It’s one of the best scenes in the U.S. and came to fruition almost completely based off the sheer willpower of Daniels, its benevolent leader.

Currently, Havasu’s YouTube channel focuses on VODs of tournaments and money matches. In fact, the $500 MM between Daniels and Smurf and KeroKeroppi’s 2v1 comeback from ODS are the two most-viewed videos on the channel, both nearing 300 views.

The channel also has some videos chronicling the adventures of the Havasu Smashers, mostly Daniels. In fact, Daniels says his favorite video is one of the Havasu guys getting kicked out of their hotel for SNOSA II.

Daniels said he plans to make more feature videos like that, but also wants to make sure he always has plenty of gameplay for Smash fans to watch.

“Yeah we’re planning on making highlight vids that are funny/interesting/crazy shit that happens etc. and I also have made two videos documenting my travels to GOML and SNOSA,” Daniels said. “I want to continue the momentum by streaming for major tournaments from now on as opposed to just our weeklies and ODS.”

So check out the Havasu channel and drop them a subscribe! I’m sure Daniels and the rest of the crew would appreciate it!