By Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody
With the sequel to perhaps the greatest tournament in the modern era of 64 around the corner, the Super Smash Bros. 64 community is holding their collective breath for another weekend of potential upsets. While this tournament may be missing last year’s Japanese stars, Wario and Wangera, it will bring new levels of hype and excitement from the East, as K Y S K , Yu-kun, and Taimai all made the trip. This tremendous trio hopes to remind the West just how dominant Japan really is, following a disappointing performance at Super Smash Con from the three dragons of the East: bonobono, Prince, and Kurabba. One of Japan’s top Kirby players, K Y S K consistently contends with Wangera at Japanese tournaments, while Taimai’s Fox and Yu-kun’s Captain Falcon were both one mistake away from taking sets off of two of the best players in the world, Wario and Fukurou respectively. While K Y S K is the favorite of the three to contend for the top spot, Taimai and Yu-kun have earned praise as fan favorites, contending in what are considered very unforgiving matchups.
SuPeRbOoMfAn, Isai, and Mariguas are the top 3 north american players tasked with fending off the beasts of the east, however they may have their hands full with the Superboomed champ, Alvin. The Peruvian titan will be looking to build upon his monumental victory over Boom and Mariguas in October, perhaps demonstrating his improvement in the Yoshi matchup that haunted him at Super Smash Con 2016. His volatility has many questioning whether he can reach the top at a supermajor featuring a wider variety of characters and matchups, while understanding he can be a threat to the world’s top players.
SuPeRbOoMfAn has had an incredible run in the modern era of Smash 64, winning all but two of the tournaments he’s attended since the end of 2014. Last year’s Genesis saw him take a 3-0 victory over Wario, the man who would subsequently 3-0 him in the following set, and Superboomed saw him play two incredible close sets against Alvin, one of which featured an incredibly controversial decision to play Yoshi, despite winning the previous game as Kirby. What was perhaps an attempt to abuse what was seen as a weak matchup for Alvin, proved to be a nail in the coffin for North America’s top player. In his first tournament of 2017, Boom finds himself once again the unanimous favorite amongst the event’s seeders, however many fans expect to see another player come out victorious.
That man is Isai. Even after a two year hiatus, Isai could not shake off his legendary status. Despite not claiming top prize at a tournament in 2016, Isai is still considered by many to be the most dynamic player in Smash 64 history. His Pikachu saw its first ever tournament loss to Wangera at Genesis 3, with the man previously thought of as untouchable appearing to be a mere mortal. However the main storyline behind Isai has always been which characters he would play, and if he would ever put in what outside spectators would consider his fullest effort. Snosa II saw Isai fall to tacos in a shocking defeat, while the set saw all of his characters of Apexs past, Link, Mario and Jigglypuff, his final loss as Donkey Kong became the talking point that encapsulated the tournament. Isai’s last tournament of the year, Super Smash Con 2016, epitomized his first year back in Smash. His Pikachu proved itself capable of taking down SuPeRbOoMfAn’s Falcon, and his Luigi initially decimated Wizzrobe’s Yoshi, yet he saw himself on the losing end of both sets, settling for 3rd place. Isai showed flashes of the player that has been placed on a pedestal by fans across every Smash title, yet ultimately found himself unwilling or incapable of matching his legacy with results. Nobody knows which side of Isai will be seen at Genesis 4, or if his best side even is the same man who was once considered untouchable.
Mariguas was the center of many of Genesis 3’s finest moments, although there are a few he’d rather forget. After killing the brothers, again, he found himself completely outclassed in his set against Wario. He then met up against Isai in Loser’s Quarterfinals, and did the unthinkable: he lost to a Fox as Pikachu. Despite an incredible placing at the most stacked event ever seen at the time, the passionate Pikachu was left hungry for more, motivated more than ever. Throughout the year, Mariguas reached new heights, yet falling just short of glory on several occasions. He cemented himself as one of the true masters of the Pika ditto at Super Smash Con, taking a game off of SuPeRbOoMfAn in the matchup, yet the set would be remembered for the air tight timeout in game 1, which proved to be costly for Mariguas as he was sent to loser’s following a tight five game set. Mariguas also exacted his revenge on Isai’s Fox, but ultimately fell short in the Pika ditto. Mariguas enters G4 as one of the few Pikachu’s capable of defeating Wizzrobe, and the only person in North America who’s taken a set off of Alvin. Mariguas inches closer and closer to his first ever wins against Boom and Isai, and G4 would be the perfect place for him to steal a set, and perhaps the tournament.
The cream of the crop is ever wary of the fastest rising stars, with players such as SSBMTL|TR3GTheZ and Wizzrobe rising faster than ever, taking sets off of players that previously seemed untouchable, such as Kerokeroppi. TR3GTheZ also defeated the mighty Wangera at SSC 16, while Wizzrobe subsequently took down TR3GTheZ. It would not be unthinkable for these players to quickly progress into the next tier of players and find themselves on the main stage for Top 6 on Sunday.
The Koroshiyo Brothers, Kerokeroppi and Stranded would love nothing more than to leave their mark on the last leg of their farewell tour, as they plan to step back from competitive Smash 64. While they would relish the opportunity to defeat the man who killed the brothers last year at Genesis 3, they may face several strong contenders among the likes of tacos and Dext3r along the way. Perhaps the brothers take their leave from 64 with a solid conquering of Mexico? They will have their sights set even higher, hoping to make their last competitive appearance one to remember, until they inevitably come back six months later.
Streams of Genesis 4 can be found on the Offical Super Smash Bros 64 Leage twitch channel and LA_Smash. Follow along with the bracket on Smash.gg. Check out the schedule below for times and more details.