By Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody
The ND64 crew has been working furiously for almost a year to bring the Smash 64 community the sequel to the 64 exclusive regional that brought them into the spotlight. The second iteration of Boss Battle is more than twice as large, and exponentially more stacked, featuring big names such as SuPeRbOoMfAn, Kerokeroppi and the boss himself: Janitor. Boss Battle 2 also introduces several new ideas implemented by Smash 64’s top Tournament Organizer, David “Shears” Shears, and Indiana’s own rising TO Ben “Bacorn” Corn. The new tournament structure put forward features a venue fee much lower than your average major, but includes several meals throughout the weekend and hotel rooms for all of its entrants, an unprecedented feat. This new model, if proven successful, could become standard for 64 exclusive events in the future, and perhaps even majors.
Friday kicks things off with the Salty Suite, featuring Florida seeking revenge, as deathcpo aims to avenge an Super Smash Con loss and subsequent money match loss to Bacorn, and Marbles looking for payback worth $50 against Onski, who stopped a Marbles invasion of Socal over the summer. Komotonoto will also take on a SuPeRbOoMfAn-controlled 1-player mode “Boomputer”, and Lorenzo will fight for Harambe’s revenge, as his Donkey Kong takes on a gauntlet of Foxes. A little bit of salt, and a substantial amount of alcohol will fuel a fantastic event to begin a loaded weekend.
The following morning opens up the true competition with a stacked doubles event, featuring the favorites SuPeRbOoMfAn and Fireblaster teaming once again for the first time since Hitstun 3. Brothers BarkSanchez and Darkhorse, the other half of Histun 3 Grand Finals, may earn themselves a rematch against the intimidating top seed, if they can fend off KeroKeroppi and Stranded in a brothers vs. brothers spectacle. Colorado’s DOGG and Dtan may also be looking to get in on the brotherly action, as the impressive duo aim to build upon their Super Smash Con debut by playing spoiler to the Koroshiyo brothers, for a chance at an SSC rematch against Barkhorse. Colorado quickly established their strength as a region in their first major tournament and are poised to continue building their reputation in Indianapolis. Shears and Marbles are coming off a strong performance at Shine 2016, and will likely take on the Texan duo NaCl and CTG for a shot at Boom and Fire. Colorado’s other half will unfortunately be without the state’s top player, Da Bear, formerly known as SaTaN, due to an illness. Madrush21 has built a solid doubles resume over the past year, and will hope to build chemistry with Pennsylvania’s Apparition, who has big shoes to fill. A solid pools performance would earn them a chance to face Barkhorse in a battle featuring both Boss Battle 1 champions, BarkSanchez and Madrush, on opposing sides. With numerous teams hoping to represent their region as the top team in the Midwest, Pugs and LLCStoism from Ohio, will likely clash with B33F and Dogs_Johnson from Indiana to stake their claim. Both of these teams feature prominent rising talent, and will fight for the opportunity to get double 10-stocked by Boom and Fire.
Boss Battle 2 features one of the most interesting groups of singles entrants for a 64 event, with round robin pools giving these players matches against opponents on multiple skill levels. A large portion of unproven but talented players have made their way out to midwest regionals, as well as Super Smash Con, but Boss Battle will truly put their skills to the test. Round Robin pools, and an amateur bracket ensure that all players regardless of skill get enough sets to establish their skill level in a meaningful way. With that being said, the Midwest has numerous players capable of making Top 32 bracket, and potentially even breaking into Top 8. Anything past the 2nd seeded KeroKeroppi truly seems to be a toss-up. There are favorites and reasonable expectations for many players, but there is an unprecedented amount of room for upsets, especially between Top 32 and Top 16.
Boom goes into Boss Battle 2 as he does most events, a heavy favorite, despite his loss at SuperBoomed. KeroKeroppi has faced Boom many times in the past 12 months, but Boom has kept a steady pace ahead of him. Compared to 2015, these two have not faced each other in some time, so a rematch could help display Kero’s improvement, and perhaps a better understanding of his opponent. A similar gap lies before BarkSanchez, who miraculously upset Kerokeroppi at Snosa I, and defeated him in Pika dittos at Hitstun 3. Kero memorably pulled out his Falcon to 5 stock Bark, and has pulled further and further away in 2016. BarkSanchez may have to fend off Fireblaster, in the renewal of an early 2016 rivalry between the two. The two lit things up with some high level play at Shine 2016, and the rematch will not disappoint. Fireblaster will likely face a familiar foe, as he and Shears could meet up once again. Fireblaster has historically dominated the Baltimore Yoshi/Luigi/Pika main; however, Shears could continue momentum from his best performance in the matchup yet at Superboomed.
Marbles, NaCl and Combo Blaze are expected to make Top 8, but will have to face stiff competition, as Janitor, Dtan and Supa would love to sneak in their places. Battlecow hopes to shake off the rust from several years away from the scene, and could serve as a sleeper to work his way through some unsuspecting fellow Midwesterners.
The Midwest hopes their rising stars can respond to the challenge of such a stacked event. Vinsanity and Pugs lead the pack for Ohio, while Dogs_Johnson and Saltsizzle are leading Indiana. These two regions have been incredibly active over the past year and will demonstrate the fruits of their efforts in their own region. Missouri’s Zantetsu has quietly put together a strong resume over the summer, while the Midwest’s vocal nomad K19 | $$$ Jim $$$ has not been quiet in his own efforts. Another notable traveller, CTG, has represented Texas well over the past year. Despite some struggles in the Midwest, he has made himself known in Florida, taking sets off of some of their finest players. Darkhorse may be one of the most volatile players attending, capable of decimating Pikachus of KeroKeroppi’s calibur, but also capable of drowning in pools. If he shakes off his major jitters, he could wreak havoc on the bracket.
Anything goes at Boss Battle, and numerous upsets would not be surprising. Be sure to check it out at all weekend long on twitch.tv/nd64.
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