64 Free For All: Boss Battle 3

The 64 Free For All is a question session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have four players in our scene with interesting stories to their 64 career. The rising PA Smash star: KD3. The legend returning from the unholy game: KeroKeroppi. The flashy boss of this very event: SSBMTL | TR3GTheZ. One of the showrunners of the weekend: Professor_wizard.

1. Boss Battle 2 was the first Smash 64 tournament (and likely the first Smash tournament in general) to use the all-inclusive model. What do you think could be the next big thing done to make tournaments more attractive for potential attendees?

Kyle “KD3” DiFrank: I think the community needs to continue pushing the implementation of the WTF bracket. I think it’s very appealing to most new players once they understand it. Also, I think local scenes should run more Arcadian events, to attract both new players and players from other Smash games.

Joey “KeroKeroppi” Speziale: I think as far as tournament formatting goes, (WTF, all inclusive, etc.) 64 is on a really great track. I think having a lot of side events is really great, but of course there’s only so much time to allow for things like that. One thing I would like to see more of is very professional promotion when it comes to stream, commentary, etc. I think this is something that Snosa did really well that I would like to see more of.

Marco “SSBMTL | TR3GTheZ” Jardak: By making our scene more attractive, more competitive. People getting better means more hype matches and more interest to watch and play our game.

Jeremy “Professor_wizard” Davis: This is a good question. It is hard to beat a tournament that offers a meal, a hotel and WTF format where most players are playing a lot.

I think the evolution of this, that was sort of accomplished at Let’s Go! but with some limitations, is to provide food/bar/party amenities to be purchased or provided and a 24 hour venue all in the same place.

I think a consistent part of many tournaments that is still not optimized is hosting the party area where people can play Smash or hang out at a location that is walkable or connected to the hotel venue. Think like a house party but hotel rooms and way more people.

It’s ambitious but possible with the right venue.

2. 64 tournaments have been held in some interesting places. Smash’N’Splash is held at a water park. Boss Battle events are held in the Boss Battle Games arcade. With a large assortment of retro and not-so-retro arcade cabinets, it offers some unique activities for tournament goers. What is another cool place you would like to see host a major?

KD3: Shears has talked before about an event hosted on a cruise ship. I’d imagine that would be pretty difficult to plan and put together, but it would be incredible.

KeroKeroppi: Idk what the official name for one of these venues is called (the one in my town is called “The Castle”) but I would like to see a tournament held at one of those fun centers that has laser tag, go karts, bumper cars, bowling, etc. Honestly, those places are litty titty and I’d love to beat some ass in laser tag.

TR3GTheZ: A rave. Let’s ensure our older players stay young at heart.

Proffssor_wizard: My never-gonna-happen suggestion is to have it at a theme park.

My real suggestion is to do it similar to smash-n-splash but have the pool and hotel area all rented out, with the stream and everything outside.

3. Boss Battle 3 features the first real effort to have a character crew battle at a 64 major. With Pikachu and Kirby excluded, many of the lower tier characters could have a chance to shine. Which character crew do you expect to put on the best show?

KD3: I expect the Falcon and Fox crews to be extremely strong. Yoshi, Luigi and Samus should be pretty strong as well. I expect Yoshi to do well with Tacos, Fireblaster and sHEERmADNESS. But if Boom ends up going Falcon, that squad might be too strong.

KeroKeroppi: I’m actually hella pumped for this event. I think that there are a lot of good Fox players going to this event and with the exclusion of a Pika team I think Fox has a chance to SHINE. I’m actually looking forward to this as Fox is typically such a garbage character in the traditional format. Lmfao what a useless character.

TR3GTheZ: Fox is gonna kill it.

Professor_wizard: This is B33F and my brain child, and we have tried to have it so that people get to play who they want to play, but also balance the teams a bit. Everything should be competitive buuuuut…

The Fox team is really talented, and really deep. On paper they will be the team to beat no doubt. And what a fitting storyline for TheZ’s boss battle?

Dark horses are Falcon and Mario.

4. Boss Battle 3 will see the return of KeroKeroppi after a relatively short 8 month retirement. What expectations do you have for the former Melee player in his return?

KD3: I fully expect to see a sharp Kero come [to] Boss Battle 3. I also expect to see more Kirby from him rather than the usual solo Pika.

KeroKeroppi: Honestly who the f*** knows LOL. I think right now I’m probably at like 8.5 which is a lot better than where I was when I first came back but still not where I want to be. I’m hoping to be full power by BB but we’ll see what happens. I plan on going f***ing ham this next week so I think it’s possible. Regardless, I plan on winning Boss Battle. I just have to be on my A game. F*** bitches get money.

TR3GTheZ: I’ve recently played Joey on netplay, he shook off the rust pretty well. I’d still expect Dex or tacos to do better.

Professor_wizard: Let’s go Kero! I’m really excited to see him back and playing, and once we saw his announcement, we knew we had to get him out to the tourney.

I expect no worse than 5th in singles, and for him to quickly establish himself in the upper echelon once more.

5. Who will be Top 8?

KD3: I don’t see many mix ups happening in the Top 4, I expect to see Boom, TR3GTheZ, Dext3r and Tacos. The rest of Top 8 may be up for grabs. It’s really hard to say who gets in, but I can see BarkSanchez, Kero, Lowww, Czar, Fireblaster and Heropie all making some really strong runs.

KeroKeroppi: In no order, Kero, Boom ,Tacos, Z, Dex, Lowww, Czar, Bark

TR3GTheZ: 1-Boom

2-tacos

3-zucchinigod

4-dex

5-bark/kero

7-fireblaster/heropie

Professor_wizard: 1. Boom

2. Dext3r

3. TheZ

4. tacos

5. Kero

5. Bark

7. Fireblaster

7. Heropie

Don’t sleep on Czar tho. Seeding will matter.

6. Why is TR3GTheZ the boss?

KD3: TR3GTheZ is the boss because he’s easily one of the most technical players in the world and he can produce incredible results with many different characters.

KeroKeroppi: Z has a lot of fan boys lol idk kid’s a b**** tho i’m gonna f*** him (both in game and out of game) WHAT’S GOOD?!?!?!

TR3GTheZ: I’m not sure. He sucks.

Professor_wizard: We figured we would invite a boss who could actually win their own event this time.

Free Barking with BarkSanchez

There are so many reasons to be excited for this tournament. Obviously the all-inclusive model and Waterfall Tournament Format (WTF) are very alluring as a competitor or spectator, but these have been done before. However, there are a few new elements being thrown into Boss Battle, along with the potential for some big new matchups to occur.

Character Crews, if ran well, could be the highlight of the tournament. While a lot of characters will be played by competitors who do not main them, there are some stacked teams lined up with a great distribution of skill amongst the cast. While spectators will see some matchups they have seen many times before, such as Falcon/Fox/Yoshi vs. x, or any low tier vs. low tier matchups, they will potentially be treated to some less common pairings between the mid and low tiers. The Fox crew is the favorite going into the event with arguably the best matchup spread, along with the presence of a few killers atop their lineup.

Doubles gives us the long awaited debut of TR3GTheZ and Tacos, also known as Team Luv, teaming together at a tournament with the Single Pikachu Kirby Ruleset. After winning their first major together at Lets Go!, they are the favorites to win their first doubles tournament over SuPeRbOoMfAn and Dext3r, in the absence of his trusty teammate JaimeHR. However, Team Luv, as well as Boom and Dext3r will have to have at least one of their players switch off of their doubles main. Pikachu and Donkey Kong had success at Get On My Level 2017, and Team Luv’s synergy could make the combination incredibly deadly. Their knack for team combos with the power and ease of a Donkey Punch set up could take many quick stocks. Boom, Tacos and TR3GTheZ all have a deep cast, and Dext3r has very strong secondaries and could perhaps surprise us with a new addition to his roster.

Kero’s return to singles is a pretty big storyline; however, I’m more interested in who cracks Top 8. Fireblaster, Heropie and I would be the favorites to fill out the last three spots, but any of us could be upset by some of the strong sleeper talents. Lowww has established himself as a high level threat and could finally do some significant damage outside of the Philadelphia and New York areas. Making a rare trip away from Florida, sHEERmADNESS is a not-so-secret sleeper, poised to re-emerge as one of the finest in the US. Czar looked strong at Lets Go!, but ‘90s kids know if he plays in peak form he’ll cause some serious upsets. Hydra’s most recent performance at Snosa IIII solidified him as a threat, showing he is improving at a breakneck pace. KD3 has had his ups-and-downs playing against fellow MVP talents, yet has made a mess of NYC Smash on several occasions. He’s also coming off of an absolutely unreal double-elimination of KeroKeroppi; can anyone stop this kid?

As usual, with WTF anything goes, so this should be another wild tournament.

-Nothing good in life is free except Kero after a year-long hiatus

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64 Free For All: Super Smash Con 2017

By Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs

The 64 Free For All is a question session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have four contributors to our scene who will all be competing at Super Smash Con 2017. The incredibly technical Red Link from Brazil: Kort. The author of this very article: JAMJAR. The true power behind Team Mejor: JaimeHR. The showrunner of the big event: Justin.

  1. What is the one thing you would want a TO to do to make an event great?

Tommy “CAFIL | Kort” Keselik: I don’t have anything special in mind. I’m very glad with the work of the few people who spend their time growing this community. But for the community in general, I wish people were more kind to international guests. It’s not easy for us to come here to play.

Jamie “TSW | JAMJAR” Jacobs: Something I wish more TOs would do is not something that can be done on a whim, but would require effort over a decent amount of events. More TOs need to develop working relationships with people who generally volunteer to help out. Let these people who do a good job take on more and more tasks. Eventually, these volunteers can be highly dependable helpers for the TOs. Too often, our TOs are highly frenzied and don’t feel they can depend on people to help them out, leading to a rather hectic atmosphere around the event.

Jaime Hernandez “RG | JaimeHR” Rodriguez: Well I think there isn’t much that TOs (at least for 64) aren’t doing already in order to make events great, Snosa III had an hour break from the tournament and served pizza to everyone, I was very surprised with that and I don’t think any other Smash tournaments have ever done anything like it.

However, the one complaint I always read or hear about at every game tournament is that there’s always next to no setups dedicated to friendlies/free play, I understand that in order to have a tournament to run as smoothly as possible there has to be enough tournament setups, but at the same time those “tournament only” setups tend to stay unused when there’s no matches left to be played on a certain pool or bracket, if someone dares to pick that setup up to play friendlies there’s a big chance that they will be kicked out from it in order to have another tournament match yet to be played. A “free play/salty suite” area, that’s available not only before or after the actual tournament but for the entire duration of the event, would be a very welcome addition to a lot of players that want to warm up or just play casually.

Security is another issue that I would like to address as it has been a hot topic on the last few months, unfortunately we have had people getting their equipment stolen from the venue which is not cool at all. Security is tricky because people want to feel safe by being sure their stuff isn’t going to be snagged by a random person but at the same time they don’t want to feel like they are being treated like potential thieves by checking everyone’s bags before entering or leaving the venue.  Having a secure environment to play our favorite game must be a community effort rather than a TO’s responsibility, now don’t get me wrong here, TOs definitely have to look into taking security measures to prevent theft or any other kind of disaster, but the community itself needs to take responsibility as well.

Last thing would be having 24 hour venues! Haha, they are costly, true, but it is always good to at least try to have them by setting up a compendium like what they did for Genesis 4, where enough money was raised to have a 24 hour open venue for Friday night. It may not work but at least the option is there for those who are willing to spend extra cash to have an SSB all nighter on a bigger place than a hotel room.

Justin “Justin” Wykowski: Having enough setups for extra-friendlies is always a plus.

2. Mariguas finally broke through and won his first major at GOML 2017. Who will be next to achieve that great feat?

Kort: Z or Dext3r. Z deserves more than anyone.

JAMJAR: Wizzrobe seems to be the obvious answer to this. He has shown the ability to play with the top of our game, so no doubt he should be the next one to break through. He has such great instincts for this game, he often does exactly what he needs to do to win, very rarely taking unnecessary risks. He will very soon break into that upper echelon.

JaimeHR: Wizzrobe, without a doubt, he has the potential to break through to win a major, he was close to doing it at last year’s SmashCon, he’s already proved that he is capable of taking out almost anyone at Genesis 4, and just like Doomsday, every time Wizzy’s taken out, he comes back stronger for the next round and you can’t beat him with the same trick twice.

Another candidate is probably Dext3r, the guy loves this game a lot and takes it very seriously, he has worked hard on learning matchups, playstyles and improving his tech skill and decision making in order to make the right move all the time. His best trait is that he never gives up.

The most improved player of the year (for me at least), Zero (not Sm4sh ZeRo, lol) is also someone who I think may eventually win a major, he’s been placing in Top 8 very often after Genesis 4 which, if I’m not wrong, has been his only underperforming tournament of 2017, he’s been getting a lot better after that.

Justin: I think TheZ and Dext3r are both improving VERY quickly and will be knocking on the door soon.


  1. What do you think 64 can do to convince the other games to try out the Waterfall Tournament Format?

Kort: I’m not sure if I like the waterfall bracket yet.

JAMJAR: I don’t know if there is any one specific thing we can do to convince the other games to take the leap. Just keep running efficient brackets, showing that the increased number of games is not a hindrance to a smooth bracket experience. Keep showing and expressing the positive aspects of WTF. Eventually, some other TO will be willing to take a risk and make a splash.

JaimeHR: I think the Waterfall Format or something else based out of it is going to be the future of game tournaments, because it is the closest we can get to a fair tool to measure a player’s skill and it also makes the tournament experience a lot more exciting for the “non-pros” which represent at least 80% of tournament entrants.

The only thing holding the Waterfall Format back from becoming the standard is that many TOs are still skeptical of its good results, as it is still lacking solid numbers. What 64 needs to do, is to keep using this format on as many events as possible, also promote its use on small tournaments by making a few adjustments, for example, have 2 divisions instead of 4 if there aren’t that many players. The point is to try to have as many players as possible to know about the Waterfall Format and experience first hand how much of a difference it is compared to the current format, this way more people would appreciate the new format and eventually ask about it for other games.

SmashCon 2017 is an excellent opportunity to show off and test the Waterfall Format and prove other TOs that it does work as a worthy successor of the double elimination format.

Justin: I guess it really would have to start from the ground up. Get some locals doing it, then a whole region – and then you can start to have the national conversation. But there’s not much of a chance of going the other direction – just too many established systems.

4. What do you do to prepare yourself mentally for a tough set?

Kort: I’m not a strong player in regards to the mental aspect. I just try to have fun. Make some combos, you know.

I don’t want to beat people. I just want to get better at the game. What I actually need to be feeling well for a tournament is to rest well, eat well and stretch every day.

I’m starting to feel hand pain nowadays. I’ve been taking care of that for the past 4 months with acupuncture. Also every night I use a thay balm before sleeping in my hand. I pass it on my hands then put on a medical glove and sleep with it. It gives you a burning sensation on your skin but it’s actually helping your blood circulation to go to your hands. People use this balm for everything in Thailand, even for headaches, it is very popular there. The next day my hands feel totally new. It’s just crazy and overpowered. My acunpunturist told me to use it.

JAMJAR: This is something I have struggled with on and off, but I feel I have recently started to figure it out. I simply go into a set not necessarily looking for a victory, but with a set of goals in mind. I have always tried to approach events with 3 tiers of goals, but recently I have done the same with tough sets. I know I won’t win every set against players around my level, so I have decided to focus on completing tasks in each set, so I feel I gained from my losses as well.

JaimeHR: I actually did not think about this before when I first started going to SSB tournaments in North America, I already had a clear idea about who I could beat and who would definitely take me out, so my first thought was “as long as I don’t play this guy early, I’ll do fine” and if I did get to play that one player, then I would say “that’s it, at least I’ll have fun in this last set”, you can say that I already gave up mentally which it was what I used to do, something I realized over the years is that this was the wrong mentality to have and I should get rid of it.

What I do now is not to worry much about it and try to forget who’s the guy I’m about to play, many people tend to unconsciously defeat themselves mentally just by knowing they are going to play against a top player and get nervous, which cripples their skill to the extent where they will make a lot of simple mistakes like missing really easy edgeguard opportunities to dropping standard combos because they keep thinking more about the guy they are playing rather than their own game plan and lose focus of what’s important, playing the best you can and having fun.

A lot of people also worry too much about losing, they see it as a bad thing, but defeat is actually what makes us improve faster, because it tells us that there are still things we don’t know about the game that the better players know, losing doesn’t mean you are bad, it only means that you still have room for improvement and is also a natural part of the learning curve that everyone should appreciate. Rather than asking yourself “How do I win?” the actual question you should be asking is “Why did I lose?”

Justin: I don’t know who else is answering these questions – but read their responses for this one. I’m what you call an “non-viable character”.

  1. What will be the Top 8?

Kort: Alvin

wario

Mariguas

Isai

Boom

Fukurou

Dext3r

Kurraba

 

JAMJAR: This Top 8 is going to be crazy, I can’t even begin to predict the exact placings. Rather than giving the order, I will just name the 8 I feel have the best shot at making it.

wario

Alvin

Boom

Isai

Mariguas

Fukurou

Wangera

Wizzrobe

 

JaimeHR: Well, based on the current events and the amount of talented players we are going to have this year at SmashCon, deciding for a solid Top 8 prediction is really difficult.

First, we got the Japanese players, perhaps the toughest competition for anyone who gets to play against any of them. Fukurou and wario are the ones that I’m most certain that will make it to Top 8 as both have taken titles from big names already, I personally would not be surprised if we see a Japanese Grand Finals.

Next, is the neutral game mastermind from Canada, SuPeRbOoMfAn. Perhaps the only SSB 64 player that’s gotten more trophies and medals than his room can hold, has won almost everything in North America and is certainly looking forward to get another SmashCon 1st place title.

But there is a saying: “you can’t always win”, and that’s what the unstoppable force that is Alvin from Peru has showed us this year taking victory after victory against the big names of SSB64, despite an underperforming debut at last year’s SmashCon, he now has the chance to define himself as the best ever, Alvin vs. wario is the absolute most anticipated match in the game’s history.

Then we have the ever improving Mexicans: Dext3r and Mariguas, whose talents at adapting and learning from their mistakes will definitely play a big role on their path to Top 8, they both have showed us that they can take on anyone.

With all the strong international competition there seems to be no hope for America making it to Top 8, but Wizzrobe AKA “Wizzy” may have something to say about it, he’s “The Legend Killer” of SSB64, the hero America needs to face against the international titans.

However, the hero America wants is none other than the fan favorite: Isai. They say that if he actually tried he could win anything, he tried at GOML and got close to a perfect run until Grand Finals, Smash Con could be the place where we may witness the return of the legend or its end.

Tldr: my top 8 players would be (in no particular placement/order)

Fukurou

wario

SuPeRbOoMfAn

Alvin

Mariguas

Dext3r

Wizzrobe

Isai

Justin: This has honestly gotta be the toughest Top 8 to predict. I know everyone probably says that before every big tournament, but it just feels impossible to guess. Not only is this the most top-heavy stacked 64 tourney of all time – things like Mariguas beating Isai at GOML really shakes things up. So that said  – gonna go with my gut:

  1. Isai
  2. wario
  3. Boom
  4. Wizzrobe (random gut guess)
  5. Alvin
  6. Mariguas
  7. Fukurou
  8. tacos

  9. Why is Arms the next great esport?

Kort: I don’t know the game.

JAMJAR: Nintendo + wacky new character design = instant win. Also Twintelle.

JaimeHR: ARMS is just genius in every aspect, from its reveal to the gameplay mechanics. Like Steve Jobs revolutionized the phone, Nintendo has now revolutionized the concept of a fighting game and it wasn’t Smash that did this like many would have thought, this is because according to Masahiro Sakurai, the man in charge of its development, clearly stated that Smash Bros. was meant to be a casual party game and he hates competitive Smash and he shows this in every sequel by making it (worse than SSB) radically different than the later, it got faster then slower then shinier, but never with competitive play in mind (for glory in Sm4sh is a joke lol).

But then someone at Nintendo finally stood up and said: “we should make a REAL fighter” and that’s how ARMS was born, who else would name their definitive fighting game with such a generic word that everyone knows it, even if English is not their main language? Nintendo, that’s who! That’s what I call a marketing mastermind.

The key aspect of ARMS to become a serious eSport is that since it was revealed, Nintendo made it really clear that this was their first (true) competitive fighting game, that’s the reason this game has an actual ranking system and is being heavily supported by the developers, and speaking of which, these people are very serious about making the ultimate esports fighting game, so much that their producer Kosuke Yabuki showed us a glimpse of ARMS’ real, complex, depth metagame in an exhibition match against a random guy who happened to be the 2017 ARMS Open Invitational Champion at E3, where he completely obliterated the “champion” and made him look like a scrub. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Yabuki is constantly training in secret to stay unstoppable because he knows where the big money is going to be once ARMS overshadows League of Legends!

Justin: Because Legs are so last year?

64 Free For All: Get On My Level 2017

By: James “JAMJAR” Jacobs

The 64 Free For All is a question session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have four major names from the host country of this event. The rising star who took names at Let’s Go!: Janco. The creative mind behind some of the best video content in 64: Preston. Possibly the most dynamic player in Canada: TR3GTheZ. The TO of the event with an unorthodox character: NessKhalifa.

1. This will be the first console major for online legend Fray. How do you expect he will perform at this event?

Justin “Janco” Cahoon: I personally hope Fray does well, but I’m not overly certain if he will play as well as he does online. I believe he uses an XBox controller, which from personal experience isn’t the worst thing to adapt from. If he has the adapter and has been getting used to the differences between console and online, I think he could do quite well, and definitely make Top 8.

Preston “Preston” Kwan: Although a performance like Derek’s at last year’s GOML would be  crazy, Fray might fall short of that just because he plays Ness. With that being said, I think he’ll do well as long as he’s used to the movement on console, which he said he was practicing. I would be surprised if he didn’t get Top 16 and he has the potential to make Top 8.

Marco “TR3GTheZ” Jardak: Fray is very good. I don’t know how he will do though, seeing as he plays with an XBox controller online and this will be his first console event.

Vincent “NessKhalifa” Polsinelli: I think he will do quite well. I think it will be similar to what Derek did last year. He’ll be this online warrior showing up for the first time and will stumble at first. Maybe not do too well out the gates but he’ll shake off the struggeles, get some of that pressure alleviated and have a really strong finish. Looking at his bracket, I predict he will get 9th or 5th depending on how he does against Kort!

2. GOML has positioned itself in a rather unique way, as it is a rare major that will be hosting all 4 mainline Smash games. What do you think of this move? Is it smart or unwise?

Janco: I like the fact that all the games are there, as it allows people that would normally only play Melee or Smash 4 to try the other games, and vice versa. I think it benefits all the games to be at the same tournament, and could help the growth of each game.

Preston: I’m indifferent on whether it’s a smart or unwise decision. GOML is allowing all 4 Smash games to get the spotlight and I commend them for doing so.

TR3GTheZ: I don’t want to talk poop about Brawl but I think it’s objectively bad. Bad game.

NessKhalifa: It has its pros and cons. I think sometimes when SSB64 is a part of majors like this it can get forgotten and not get the attention it truly deserves. It all depends on the major and how much focus they want to give us as an event. If the SSB64 tournament is done right at a multi-game major of this size it does great things for exposure. Melee, Brawl and Wii U players may enter a 64 event or catch top 8 on stream or in person and may fall in love with it like we all have.

3. Despite having a ton of top talent, Canada’s only major for 64 has been GOML for the past 2 years. Do you think this is enough of a showcase for the country’s up and coming talent? Or should something different be done to foster the scene?

Janco: I don’t mind having only one big tournament, since Canada’s population is severely lower than the States, but is about the same size. It also makes sure that everyone attending brings their A-game, as it’s the only big tournament a lot of Canadian players attend. I would have liked to see more players from the states attend, however.

Preston: Having GOML as Canada’s only major for 64 is enough to showcase our talent. However, I think another major would help us grow as a country even more. I can see either Montreal or Vancouver having the best chance at having the most success hosting a major for 64. Whether it be a 64 exclusive major or a multi-game major (Battle of BC maybe?) is another question.

TR3GTheZ: Idk man. Now that Boom is in Toronto, there isn’t any relevant competition outside Ontario/Quebec NO OFFENSE!

NessKhalifa: It’s rough up here for a Smasher. The scene is almost non-existent out west and even worse on the east coast. Only notable scenes are from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. All these scenes have strong weeklies and Toronto has a strong monthly getting occasional visits from Montreal and especially Ottawa. But when it comes to majors the numbers just aren’t there. A lot of US players either don’t have passports or can’t be bothered to come up here. I don’t blame them though as Canada doesn’t come down to the US as often as I think we should. GOML is the only multi-major in Canada for 64 to leech onto, but keep your eyes open for a potential 64 exclusive coming early next year for Canada.

4. Last year’s GOML saw Derek have an epic run through losers, taking out quite a few notable players on his way to 5th after a close loss to TR3GTheZ. Who is positioned to break out this year in another impressive way?

Janco: Derek is an absolute beast, so I don’t think we will get such an impressive run of that caliber for a bit from a relatively unheard of player. In terms of people I think could break into that next level, I’ve always thought Cwic-beam, a Yoshi from Ottawa, has had the potential to start doing really well and make a few upsets, so that would have to be my best bet.

Preston: In terms of being a relatively unknown player and having a breakout performance, I can see Fray or Janco having the potential to replicate Derek’s run from last year. I also see Lorenzo and Darkhorse making impressive runs.

TR3GTheZ: Fray.

NessKhalifa: Well I already mentioned Fray above, but Janco is going to turn some heads at GOML. He got 13th last year and an impressive 9th at Let’s Go! Dude is only 19 and is getting good at a fast rate. This is the tournament where everyone knows his name.

5. What will be the Top 8?

Janco: My top 8 would probably be 1. Isai 2. Mariguas 3. Z 4. Revan, 5. Zero 5. Bark 7. Fireblaster 7. Janco

Preston: 1. Isai 2. Mariguas 3. Zero 4. TR3GTheZ 5. Revan 5. BarkSanchez 7. Kort 7. Fireblaster

TR3GTheZ: Winner will be Isai or myself.

NessKhalifa: 1. Isai 2.Mariguas 3. Zero 4. TR3GTheZ 5. Revan 5. Fray 7. Fireblaster 7. BarkSanchez

6. Why is Canada better than the USA?

Janco: Canada is only better if you look at our top 5-8. Anything past that and it sorta just falls apart. The USA has far more diversity in terms of good players. If you look at the top 50 in both countries, Canada would get washed. We need to step up our game when it comes to our depth.

Preston: We have mounties and they’re basically centaurs.

TR3GTheZ: USA should stick to Melee.

NessKhalifa: We got ketchup chips, Coffee Crisp, poutine and better quality strip clubs and weed.

64 Free For All: SNOSA III

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

The 64 Free For All is a question and answer session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have three players from the western part of North America and a legendary Japanese player. The mind behind SoCal Smash: Wookiee. A rising star SoCal rallies behind: Heropie. The enigmatic, doubles master JaimeHR. The legendary Kirby master from Japan: Fukurou.

  1. Snosa III will be the first modern North American 64 major to try out a 4 stock ruleset for singles. How do you expect competitors and fans to react to this change?

Alex “Wookiee” Jungsten: I think there will be a very positive reaction. With all of the crazy hype sets that will be at Snosa, I think four stocks is going to make it a really good event. As for the viewers, I hope it also becomes even more enjoyable.

Alex “Heropie” Ornelas: I think overall there will be a positive reaction. Some people are old school and don’t like the 4 stock game, but I think we should try it out considering that 64 has been known to have some pretty long sets.

Jaime “JaimeHR” Hernández Rodríguez: Well I’m personally not a fan of 4 stock matches and Dreamland only (lol) but if that’s what the community wants, I’ll just roll with it. There’s definitely going to be mixed reactions about this change, from the ones that don’t really care at all to those who feel that 1 less stock will force players to play more carefully, thus making matches take longer. There’s also the people that are going to think that we are Melee now or something.

Fukurou: I think it will be very good for the community to do, however fewer stocks means it is easier for the weaker player to win.

  1. The hype surrounding Snosa seems to be significantly less than what we have come to expect from 64 majors. Why do you think this has happened? What can events do to truly bring pre-event excitement?

Wookiee: I think people are going to be very surprised at how hype the tournament is going to be. I am very confident to say I feel bad for the people not attending. This is probably going to be one of, if not the best Smash 64 exclusive majors that has been run to this date.

I personally believe that there has just been too many 64 majors, which made it harder to market since we didn’t want to step on anybodies toes and interfere with their tournaments. It shows we have made significant growth however as a community. I was expecting less entrants due to people having gone to so many majors recently. Although we do have less entrants than what is expected, this tournament is STACKED. Go through the entrants list, even top 70 is going to be well known players. A Lot of good people are going to place lower than we think.   

I don’t think we need to do anything differently for our event. If people want to come, they can. For me as a TO however, I am just focusing on having a very high quality event, which everyone will come to see it is. We have the best venue a 64 major has ever had, the best stream equipment anybody has ever had access to, more set ups than we could ever need, Japan is sending three players, and we are in one of the best cities in the USA. It can’t get much better.

Heropie: I think people are underestimating how hype it will be. I can’t wait to watch the Japanese players play some of our top players. Anytime there is top level competition I think the hype will naturally follow.

JaimeHR: It is because 4 stocks is not popular! Nah, just kidding. It is hard to tell really, I think it has to do with the amount of Smash events that are currently happening throughout the year, there are a lot more tournaments featuring SSB64 than in previous years, back then we had at most 3 events that featured Smash 64 during the whole year and I think that’s what made those few tournaments so hype, because they were rare and everyone wanted to go. Now we have a lot more tournaments but the draw back now, I feel, is that now we are choosing which ones are “worth” going to more than others. Take Smash’N’Splash 3 as an example, that tournament was 2 weeks before Snosa and only got 63 entrants for SSB64, really good players were there that could build enough hype to bring out more participants but it just didn’t work, was it bad marketing? Or maybe people thought, “Oh, Snosa is more important, I should just save for that.”

As for building pre-event excitement, I think 64 majors are doing it great right now by bringing international players, the problem maybe was that there were other 64 events close to Snosa that actually seemed like they were competing for attendance, what needs to be done I think, is gather all the 64 TOs together and agree on which tournament will be labeled as “That Big Major that you must NOT miss” and help market it within their local tournaments and other non-exclusive Smash 64 events such as SSS or Smash’N’Splash 3 for instance.

Fukurou: Take care of the Smash community, and get more people to know about the game.

  1. Not long ago, the Super Smash Bros. 64 League announced an effort to create regional event circuits. Do you believe this is the direction our game should move? Why or why not?

Wookiee: I highly support the regional circuits. It accomplishes three big things that our community needs. It gives us organization, a motivation factor for the region’s players to attend a tournament, and a way for our community to start generating some money. The community is only growing faster and faster, and unlike the other Smash communities, we have a centralized organization that can oversee tournament quality and look for the best interests of the whole community. I think the 64 League is really going to do some amazing things over these next few years.

Heropie: I think it’s a good direction for the game to go considering the growth of the community in the last couple of years. The unity will be good and players now have an incentive to make it out to the tournaments.

JaimeHR: Circuits are definitely the next step into making SSB64 a more serious competitive (eSport?) game, the real question would be, is SSB64 ready? I don’t think it is yet, we are still debating which rulesets are the best for the health of the game, but once it is figured out, we can start talking with ESPN (haha).

Fukurou: No response.

  1. Some still say Isai could win majors if he played seriously with his mains. Some say he is playing seriously when he uses less developed characters. Do you think Isai still has it in him to win a major?

Wookiee: I think with any character at anytime Isai has the potential to win. I really appreciate him using other characters as it displays high level play with all of the cast, which I think this community needs to see. Any character can be good and win.

Heropie: Definitely. I think if he played Pikachu he could, but if he pulls out Luigi or some other joke character, he will get bodied.

JaimeHR: He has the means to win majors. Think about this, of all the strong NA players, Isai has the biggest character diversity, he can do well with almost the entire roster, potentially giving him an edge on matchup knowledge. His Link can’t take your C. Falcon? Then maybe his Jigglypuff can, probably Mario, Fox, whatever he feels like playing. We already saw him take Beast 7 with his Link against Revan, a top Kirby main, and that’s a matchup many consider in favor of Kirby.

Fukurou: I think Isai as stronger characters will win in tournament, but weaker character Isai will not.

  1. Who will be Top 8 at Snosa III?

Wookiee: 1. Fukurou
2. Isai
3. Mariguas
4. Dext3r
5. Hiyo
5. Gyaki
7. Dtan
7. BarkSanchez

Heropie: 1. Heropie
2.fukurou
3. Mariguas
4. Isai
5. Gyaki
5. Hiyo
7. Barksanchez
7. Dtan

JaimeHR: Isai, Fukuroi, Gyaki, Hiyo, Mariguas and Dexter will definitely get there unless they eliminate themselves early, then there’s 2 remaining spots that will be disputed between Bark, Heropie, DTan and Janitor, if TheZ and tacos don’t show up. (I’m not sure if Z and tacos are coming, lol)

Fukurou: I do not know anything about overseas players, but believe Isai will win if he plays his strong characters.

  1. Does Kirby beat Captain Falcon?

Wookiee: Kirby gets rekt. Falcon is too fast and his punishes are too solid.

Heropie: I think Kirby still beats Falcon. I do think the matchup isn’t as lost for Falcon as people thought because of his heavy punish game. He just can’t get up tilted. I’d say it’s close to even but in Kirby’s favor.

JaimeHR: Kirby destroys C. Falcon, it is a matter of who has an easier time landing hits, C. Falcon needs to win the neutral game then setup for a grab or upsmash to 0 to death Kirby, while the latter has an easier time landing any hit into pain (uptilt) and there’s not much C. Falcon can actually do even with good DI, you will probably destroy your stick first before even hoping to get out of that safely, most of the time he’ll end up off stage.

Alvin has proved C. Falcon can beat a good Kirby, but most C. Falcons will avoid that matchup in tournament and play someone else against Kirby and I’ve seen that happen many times so that should give us a clue of who wins the matchup overall.

In short, C. Falcon has to work harder and play flawlessly​, while Kirby can just avoid getting grabbed floating on top plat until Falcon loses his cool and starts making mistakes which Kirby loves to capitalize on.

Fukurou: I wonder if it is hard for Kirby to win consistently. But I think he is better.

Free Barking with BarkSanchez

One year later, new venue, new tournament format, new Fireblaster beef that sadly won’t be played out here. This summer has been tough on attendance due to flight prices, but I’m confident Snosa will build upon its past two years in bringing more energy and entertainment than ever.

The absence of SuPeRbOoMfAn and Alvin is very disappointing, however, it blows this tournament wide open. Many consider Fukurou the heavy favorite to win, but what if Isai “finds him worthy”? Many still believe his Pikachu would power him past any opponent. Perhaps Mariguas, not ready to be embarrassed by another Japanese Kirby, comes back ascended in the matchup and defends North America? Dext3r has not been quiet about his desire to play Fukurou, and seems very confident. Snosa III feels like the first Smash 64 tournament where the top three or four players could be arranged in almost any order, with only minimal surprise.

It’s interesting to note that while Fukurou comes from the land of four stocks, he acknowledges the volatility it adds. Perhaps there are players in Japan that wish to adopt five stock rulesets? It appears he struggled with most of the other questions. It’s great to see more Japanese players come out, but the odds seem stacked against Gyaki and Hiyo. At Super Smash Con 2016, the “Three Dragons” had pretty varied results, so there should be hope, as well as tempered expectations for Hiyo. Gyaki has a less forgiving path, although if he can adjust to the differences in versions he can perhaps mimic some of Isai’s success with Link.

Regional circuits are good, characterbans are bad, and 5 stock Dreamland-only with a 10 minute timer and No Whispy is the future. Thank you and #LoveSnosa.

Nothing good in life is free, except Wookiee’s Pika as Fox.

64 Free For All: Let’s Go!

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

The 64 Free For All is a question session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have three SSB64 League ranked players and a legend returning to the game after a long hiatus. The Canadian Kirby automaton: Revan. The most improved player of 2016: Dext3r. The long lost mythological Mario Bros. main: Czar. The man who holds our entire scene together: Shears.

1. Let’s Go! continues quite a few trends that were popularized last year. It offers a continuation of both large-scale 64-only majors and the all-inclusive payment model for attendees. How do you view these attempts to differentiate 64 from its fellow Smash games?

Thomas “Revan” Dykes: One of the best changes I think 64 is making is that tournaments are starting to care more and more about the tournament entrants. In how tournaments used to be run (and still are done in other communities), attendance really felt like an obligation. If a tournament was run, nobody cared how seeding at the bottom was done, as the lower level players didn’t matter. In the same way, DE bracket is the most effective way to eliminate the lowest level players from your event as quickly as possible. If a tournament failed, it would rarely be the fault of the tournament organizer but rather of the local scene for not showing up, despite the tournament not appealing to their needs. The way 64 is moving seems to be a much healthier, much more logical way to run an event and I’m sure the scene is gonna be in a much better place because of these changes.

Yoshua “Dext3r” Peral Castillo: This is incredibly awesome, I don’t have to worry about anything like food or where can I sleep and most of the time this is decisive in my decision to actually attend a tourney. With this, I just have to think about having a great time, about adjusting between matches. I really like this approach because this will feel like vacation and give me the opportunity to interact with other players beside just playing and watching the finals. This makes everything more fun and easier to get better by interacting with other players. And free beer? I’m so down for that.

Cesar “Czar” Guzman: I’m a bit on the fence in this one. I think it’s cool to finally start seeing the 64 tournament emerge with exclusive 64 tournaments in order to establish the scene as one that can hold its own in the competitive field. On the other hand, I also think that the 64 community’s dependence on other Smash communities allows them to expand their scene into the communities of other Smash games. Either way, I think 64-exclusive majors can help grow the 64 community in the long run.

David “Shears” Shears: I think it’s necessary. If 64 wants to grow and be sustainable it needs to give attention to its majority customer base by providing an outstanding hassle-free experience without hidden fees and it needs money going back to 64. At multigame majors, profits don’t get reinvested, but with 64 exclusives it compounds to a better 64.

2. Under the leadership of David Shears and the SSB64 League, Let’s Go! seems to be raising the bar for any and all Smash events going forward. One particularly exciting development is the inclusion of a variety of events, ranging from a massive YOLO bracket to draft crews. What is one event you would like to see implemented at future tournaments?

Revan: No specific event comes to mind. I don’t really think it’s too important what side events are at a tournament, but I think just having something on the side can really make a big difference. For example, I don’t think anyone really cares if an event choses to have YOLO over Low Tier, or Low Tier over One-Handed Smash, but just having a bunch of fun events on the side can definitely add a bunch to the tourney experience.

Dext3r: When I was sharing a room with kysk, taimai and yu-kun at G4 they said that in Japan it is very common to see shorter versions of 12 character battles. For example 3, 4 or 5 character battles; I would love to play or watch an exhibition event like this. Some fun rules can be implemented like randomly picking your characters or low tiers in 3-5 battles or variations.

Czar: One thing I’d like to see in future tournaments is a crew battle or 12-character battle of NA vs. Japan. Events like this are very much an important aspect of Melee and Smash 4 tournaments, and it would be awesome to finally see each regions’ best players throughout the world duke it out in a crew battle!

Shears: If I could think of an event, I would’ve added it to Let’s Go! already. For real though, a co-ed doubles bracket to encourage people to bring wives, GFs, etc. and turn the events into a more welcoming environment instead of people having to leave significant others at home and making this a hidden hobby

3. Let’s Go! will see the full unveiling of the Waterfall Tournament Format. This new format was first used at Keystoned, the regional 64-exclusive event in Philadelphia, to great success. Some have expressed concern about this large departure from Double Elimination. What do you think about Waterfall Tournament Format?

Revan: I like Waterfall. Endurance seems to be a bigger factor for this format and I know some people were expressing concern about that, but I don’t think that that’s necessarily a bad thing. Even if this format turns out to be super exhausting for some players, I’m happy that we’re willing to give it a shot. If this format is successful at Let’s Go! I could definitely see it becoming the norm.

Dext3r: I heard Keystoned was a lot of fun and people got to play way more matches rather than just losing twice and being out. I think that’s very good, but also heard it was played in too few days and this forced people to play to the point of exhaustion. So performance can decay  and make you do worse; I’m really looking forward to playing this format so I’m not really sure how good it is this but it’s going to be interesting.

Czar: I love the concept of the Waterfall Format! It allows me to compete with more players in bracket, and this format, as opposed to a regular bracket format, seems more indicative of the level of skill among players. It should definitely start being utilized in future tournaments.

Shears: Necessary. Double elimination is awful for competitive growth and a total failure. 25% of competitors go 0-2, 75% finish 2-2 or worse. DE is to tournaments as TPP was to trade deals, the worst. WTF is the future and will soon be the standard at all events, not just 64

4. For the second major event in a row, SuPeRbOoMfAn has had to back out of attending. However, the Peruvian titan, Alvin, will still need a challenger in Grand Finals. Who is now most likely to run the gauntlet and possibly take him down?

Revan: Alvin is pretty good, but I think he’s one of the most fragile of the top players. I feel like if anybody is gonna break into that top level soon it’s gonna be Bark. There are a bunch of people who are close: Z, Wizzrobe, Mariguas, maybe Tacos…and even though I don’t think that Bark is the best out of these guys, there’s just something really special about his play that I think hasn’t been explored that much. If Bark can just get really good at that special little thing I could see him start taking out the guys at the top.

Dext3r: You saying he is going to make Grand Finals?! Mariguas already beat Alvin at SuperBoomed, and you have players like TR3GTheZ who can be very unpredictable because the guy uses 20 characters lol. Tacos and BarkSanchez already took games off him. I can tell you that all contenders here are trying to find the weaknesses of Alvin and will be prepared to try to beat the titan from Peru, so there is a possibility of him not making GF.

Czar: Considering that he has taken a set off of Alvin at SuperBoomed, I believe Mariguas might have the best possible chance in giving Alvin a run for his money, or perhaps even beating him. But the level of competition in this tournament is fierce. I wouldn’t be surprised to see players like tacos, BarkSanchez, TR3GTheZ or Revan also take it.

Shears: We saw Bark do well at CEO but I don’t think he has a chance really. Without Boom or Wizzrobe I can’t see anyone really taking down Alvin. The next best are all Pika, Kirby and Falcon, and Alvin won’t go down to any of those 3 characters. If I had to pick, Fireblaster. I know he got JV6 stocked at SSC, but it was Game 3 and he convincingly 3 stocked him in Game 2.

5. What is your Top 8 prediction for Let’s Go!?

Revan: This is actually really hard. I’m probably gonna have to go with:
1. Alvin
2. Mariguas or TR3GTheZ, hard to tell which
4. Me
5. tacos/Dext3r
7. Bark/Zero

Dext3r: 1- Dext3r

2- Mariguas

3- Alvin

4- tacos

5- TR3GTheZ

5- Zero

7- Revan

7- BarkSanchez

Czar: My top 8 prediction is:

1) Alvin

2) Mariguas

3) TR3GTheZ

4) BarkSanchez

5) tacos

6) Revan

7) Zero

8) Fireblaster

Shears: 1. Alvin, 2. Mariguas, 3. Dext3r, 4. Revan, 5. TR3GTheZ, 5. tacos, 7. Czar, 7. Zero.

6. Fill in the blank. Let’s go _____________!

Revan: Literally anything but Baltimore.

Dext3r: MEXICO!

Czar: BarkSanchez!

Shears: Baltimore! Woo!

Free Barking with BarkSanchez

It’s been interesting seeing Dext3r coming out of his shell a bit lately, ever since ODS II. I remember sitting down next to him for friendlies at Apex 2015, my first major, thinking, “He seems like the most serious guy in the room.” Everyone in this community is fun, and wants to have fun.

Czar’s return should be huge for 64 as a whole. The return of another potential top player, so soon after losing two top players should definitely help the meta continue to develop. While Czar has shown he is quite adept with Pikachu, he has built his reputation with the Bang Bros., Mario and Luigi. A little over a year ago he was going toe-to-toe with some of the best in the country as Mario and Luigi, and he can definitely do some damage at Let’s Go!

I like all of the side events Let’s Go! has to offer, and Czar brushed upon a potentially amazing side event we could do for other tournaments. I like the idea of a North America vs. Internationals 12 Character Battle, except instead of the 12CB we could use the player-controlled story mode mod, a.k.a. The Boomputer. It’d be fun to see North America’s strongest player fight through an onslaught of foreigners, or the strongest traveler taking on all of North America’s defenders. The community should strive to create fun and innovative side events, like The Dark Gentleman did with the Boom Bounty at Keystoned, or Super Smash Con did with the Combo Contest.

It’s interesting what a tournament can be when you have the freedom to do basically anything you want with it. Let’s Go! won’t be the biggest tournament of all time, but it’s definitely shaping up to be one of the best. With months of the time, energy, blood, sweat and David Shears Tears put into the tournament, and with all of the hype surrounding it, won’t it seem slightly anticlimactic when the trophy just stays in Baltimore in the end?

Barking did nothing wrong.

64 Free For All: Genesis 4

The 64 Free For All is a question session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have four players who are all ranked on the SSB64 Player Ranking Top 64. A local top player: Kimimaru. One of the top players of the year: Wizzrobe. A man who is unfortunately soon leaving our game: KeroKeroppi. One of the men organizing the event: SotoH.

1. SuPeRbOoMfAn recently received a major sponsorship through Panda Global. This is the first major sponsorship for a solo-64 player in quite some time, if not ever. What immediate impact do you foresee this having on the 64 landscape?

Thomas “Kimimaru” Deeb: I see SuPeRbOoMfAn’s sponsorship with Panda Global causing other sponsors to take a look at the growing 64 community. With more 64 exclusive majors in 2016 than ever before and SSB64’s increasing presence in multi-game tournaments, sponsors can’t help but notice our community and our players.

Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett: Only positivity, it’s great he got a sponsor and now there’s more room for 64 to grow and likely getting other players sponsors eventually.

Joey “KeroKeroppi” Speziale: I think this is huge for 64. In fact, I think it’s bigger than anybody is really even making it out to be. For starters, there’s now a big company that will be promoting 64. That’s very different from what we’re used to. It also sets a precedent for other esports organizations. Boom will not be the last to get sponsored. I think this is the beginning of something beautiful for 64.

Daniel “SotoH” Soto: Exposure. Immediate exposure. In fact, the very day the announcement was made the mere fact that they coupled Boom’s announcement with Smash 4’s Rich Brown earned us a significant amount of exposure to our fellow Smash communities. This alone serves as evidence that having these renowned organizations and Smash players talking SSB64 only helps us.

Additionally, Panda Global set a great example letting other esport teams know that SSB64 players are worth the investment. Coincidentally enough, not too long after Boom’s announcement, both Zantetsu and Mr. Marbles got picked up by Havov Gaming.

All of this sponsorship activity is motivating folks in the community to step up their game to become more attractive, or in cases like EMG’s Darkhorse, produce more quality content.
So, what immediate impact do I see? Exposure, productive exposure.

2. With KeroKeroppi and Stranded announcing they will be leaving 64 for Melee after Genesis 4, there were a wide variety of reactions in the community ranging from anger to sadness to doubt. What do you take from their actions? Will this leave a sour atmosphere around Genesis 4?

Kimimaru: I think they’re just trying out something different and won’t want to leave 64 for good. As a top player, Kero has always been very approachable to new players and veterans alike, and we will all miss how helpful he has been to many players. Stranded has set a very high bar for technical skill that has inspired many players, and I hope we can follow his lead and see more players implementing his tech.

Wizzrobe: I’m not sure, it seems like a lot of people respected the decision from what I saw so I don’t imagine anyone raging too hard.

KeroKeroppi: I’m leaving because I think that Melee will make me happier. That’s what all this was about for me, my happiness. I’ve stated countless times that I will always be an ally of 64 and that I will always consider the 64 community my family. I’ve tried to leave on very good terms so it sucks to see such negative reactions from the community. I understand if people are sad or doubtful, but I’ve tried to leave as peacefully as possible so it’s a shame to see so much anger and hostility towards me. At the end of the day, some guy quit a video game in an attempt to make him happier. If people get worked up over something that silly, then that’s their own fault I guess.

SotoH: Not much to be frank, as much as I empathize with the folks saying it might’ve been a better idea to not make the announcement in the manner that Kero did, I don’t feel it’ll have a negative effect on the community nor Genesis 4. We were already aware of the points he made that influenced his decision to leave, it’s not news to the community let alone the highly involved community leaders, so stating the obvious in that manner was not necessary especially given the clout he holds. Nevertheless, the announcement may have put us in a bad light to those not involved in the community but we’ll persevere, we always have, this is still the #Yearof64.

3. Genesis 4 once again sees the return of Alvin to North America for a major tournament. In his two results in North America he was double eliminated by Japanese Yoshis and finished with an underwhelming 13th, while at SuperBoomed he dominated the competition and earned 1st along with a double elimination of SuPeRbOoMfAn. What can we expect from this volatile Peruvian at Genesis 4?

Kimimaru: With even more top players in attendance than any previous event and only two majors we’ve seen him in, it’s hard to say how he’ll stack up to the Japanese this time. Peru has had several tournaments since SSC and Alvin himself has said he’s been practicing the Yoshi matchup, so I’m expecting the games to be closer at the very least. I don’t see him placing outside Top 8 this tournament.

Wizzrobe: No idea, he will probably do good unless he runs into good Yoshis, unless he improved enough in the matchup by a lot since last time.

KeroKeroppi: Everybody knows that the Peruvians are extremely dominant at the top tier match ups. So with less Japanese Yoshis running around, I think Alvin will perform very well. If he doesn’t run into Wizzrobe early on, I can see him making it to Top 3 without a doubt.

SotoH: It’s very difficult to say because of so many factors.

1. Mariguas is a man of discipline, a demigod if you will. He has studied Alvin like you wouldn’t believe, he has studied Alvin’s best matchup, the Rat ditto, and feels fairly confident in the matchup specific to Alvin. Mariguas has only shown to improve as time goes on, the man’s never plateaued for any amount of time, so one can only wonder how much better he’s gotten since SuperBoomed.

2. SuPeRbOoMfAn is not one who takes a loss lightly. I reckon he’s looking to reclaim his record as the undisputed SSB64 champion. Boom covers 100% of his bases, and rest assured he’ll come ready for the fight against Alvin. And one of the most unknown factors is the fact that we haven’t seen Boom lose a major, go to another major and meet with that very person that double eliminated him (with the exception of Isai). He didn’t get his chance with Wario but he might be granted his chance against Alvin. No one has seen a vengeful Boom, the beard holds many surprises, so he’s my main contender to challenge Alvin at Grand Finals.

3.Finally, there’s Isai. The mysterious Isai. With us not knowing the extent of his potential has always caused issues in seeding, ranking, and just plain bracket predictions. For argument’s sake, if we see Isai’s Rat throughout singles bracket I’m sure he’ll be an equal contender for 1st alongside Boom and Alvin.

4. At our last super major, Super Smash Con 2016, four Japanese players attended to great fanfare. However, many have claimed they did not live up to expectations, with only two of them managing to make the Top 8. What can we expect from Genesis 4’s roster of Japanese travelers, which include an incredible strong Kirby in k y s k, the flashy Captain Falcon main Yu-Kun, and a rising Fox main in Taimai?

Kimimaru: Since 2016, players who traveled from Japan have not played any of the characters that we will see at this event. With more character diversity from Japan this tournament, we will likely see new ways of playing them that most players won’t expect from them. Furthermore, all of these characters are significantly different in the J version of the game, so it would be interesting to see how well these players can adapt to the U version. However, I find it hard to not expect all of them to place in top 32 this tournament.

Wizzrobe: I imagine the Kirby doing very well since Japan has good Kirbies. The other 2 could be very good too but I don’t know how good they are personally.

KeroKeroppi: From what I understand, k y s k is the TOP top Japanese player coming this year. So I think we can expect amazing things from him. Having said that, underestimating the Japanese has always been a foolish mistake by the North Americans. In the several years that the Japanese SSB64 players have been coming out, we’ve been disappointed by their performances MAYBE once or twice, while we’ve been blown away in every other instance. I think the Japanese players are going to do great.

SotoH: If history serves as any evidence, k y s k will certainly pose a real threat to Top 6 as a Japanese Kirby. With k y s k’s performance showing a serious threat and both Kikoushi and Moyashi doing exceptionally well at each of their respective North American performances, we can only expect the best from k y s k. As far as Yu-Kun, I believe he’ll shed some new valuable insight on the Falcon meta similar to how Wario did for Pikachu at Genesis 3. Lastly, I certainly hope Taimai will resurrect the interest in investing time and effort in developing the most incredible glass cannon that is Fox.

5. Who will be Top 8?

Kimimaru: In no particular order:

-SuPeRbOoMfAn

-Alvin

-Wizzrobe

-Isai

-Mariguas

-tacos

-k y s k

-Dext3r

However, I foresee either of the other Japanese players, Yu-Kun and Taimai, also making Top 8 as well as KeroKeroppi.

Wizzrobe: Me, Kero, Boom, at least one Japanese or more? Alvin? I don’t know how good the Japanese are. And a lot of people have potential to get upset. Plenty of people have a good shot that I didn’t mention.

KeroKeroppi: In no order,

Wizzrobe
Isai
SuPeRbOoMfAn
Alvin
Mariguas
k y s k
KeroKeroppi
Dexter

(TBH I don’t even think that’s possible with the way the bracket is but oh well lol)

SotoH: 1. Boom

2. Isai (Rat all tourney)

3. Alvin

4. Mariguas

5. k y s k

6. Dext3r

7. tacos

8. TR3GTheZ

6. Will anyone get that ranking defining victory over Shears at Genesis 4?

Kimimaru: Considering the scale of Genesis 4, I predict several upsets will occur, so this isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Wizzrobe: Insert witty response here.

KeroKeroppi: Ya the kid is garb LOL his mom’s p cute tho.

SotoH: Only Isai will because if you gon’ act like a bitch, you gon’ die like a bitch.

64 Free for All: Boss Battle II

The 64 Free For All is a question and answer session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64, plus a bonus section where this time Dasit Mane will voice his thoughts. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have four players from all walks of life in Smash. Bacorn, the genius mastermind behind the event. KeroKeroppi, a frequenter of this feature who is an elite player on the rise. K19 | $$$ Jim $$$, a recently sponsored player and host of The Dream Land podcast who is breaking onto the console scene in a big way. Janitor, The Boss of this event who is much more than an epic combo master.

  1. Boss Battle 2 is proving to be very creative in their financing of the event. As opposed to other majors we typically see, they have decided to make the entrance fee cover not only the venue, but also housing and food costs. What is your opinion on using such a structure? Do you prefer having costs go only to the venue so a more impressive venue can be made affordable?

Ben “Bacorn” Corn: When Shears approached me with this idea, I definitely thought it would set BB2 apart and give the attendees a lot of bang for their buck. I feel like having food and housing provided actually GIVES something to the attendee, as opposed to using it on decorations and such. However, this is not something one should do for tournaments without careful consideration to the tournament’s costs and such. Our margin is crazy thin and has required a lot of delicate planning to make a reality. If I were another tournament wanting to do this, I would first lock down a decent sponsor so you have extra capital to help. Also, there are very few venues better than Boss Battle Games!

Joey “KeroKeroppi” Speziale: I love it. The 64 community is so close that I think BB (being a 64 exclusive) can definitely pull off something like this. Including food and housing in the cost for a tournament like Genesis or SmashCon might be tricky, but I think for BB it’s absolutely perfect. The 64 community is like family. I don’t think anybody minds that we’ll all be hanging out with each other in the same hotel. I’m really looking forward to this change actually.

Jim “K19 | $$$ Jim $$$” Orris: Obviously this is SICK. I’m sure everyone else is saying the same thing. If anything, I’m a bit concerned about the low-cost of the event. It seems like Ben’s putting in a lot of his own money into this, with no intent of making any of it back. That seems messed up to me. The amount of TIME and EFFORT it takes to make a huge event is staggering. To do that with zero organizational support, like you might have at a supermajor, is even more intense. To do that in Indiana of all places? Get outta here. It seems like the people who can make that happen should be paid for their work. Instead, I’m sure Ben’s pretty far in the red. Support your community organizers.

Robert “Janitor” Miller: I think that the structure of financing that Ben and others put together for this event was amazing and I’m sure it was a huge influence on the amount of people who were able to attend. I’m sure that attendees will be much more attainable with this type of financing than the normal tournaments that we are used to. However, bigger tournaments like G3 were able to bring hundreds of players partially because of the type of venue they were able to secure. I hope to see more tournaments set up in the same way Boss Battle 2 is so we can have a more consistent flow of players heading to tournament.

  1. Continuing the trend that has been seen in 64 for the past couple years, Boss Battle 2 has decided to shake up the rules of its event. This time, coaching will be legal throughout the event. This has been a point of much contention in the community. How do you feel about coaching? What would you be your ideal coaching ruleset?

Bacorn: There is precedence for coaching in the greater FGC. I feel like the thing that will make coaching successful is having set rules in place for coaching (i.e. one-minute timer, no phone coaches, etc.). BB2 is FILLED with up and coming players so the focus shouldn’t be on how good they are right now, it should be on the best ways to make them better in the future and I think having KeroKeroppi coaching Dogs_Johnson from Indiana is going to help with that.

KeroKeroppi: Until this year, nobody cared about coaching. You could coach all you want and nobody would say anything about it. So coaching being legal at this tournament is not a change. It is the standard. Banning coaching is something new, which I am an active supporter of.

If there was a way to guarantee every player had rights to the same coach, I would support it. But the idea of two beginners playing round 1 and one of them having Boomfan as a coach is disturbing to me. I’m not concerned with how top players will perform under a coaching ruleset. They’ll be fine. I’m concerned with the extreme disadvantage a player has if he’s about to play someone he should go even with and now his opponent has a top player as a coach.

K19 | $$$ Jim $$$: Coaching’s funny because the people who are most against it seem to have this boogeyman mentality. Having someone talk to your opponent between sets isn’t going to give them some secret to beating you that they discovered watching you play for the past 7 minutes. One thing that’s really nice about having someone next to you is simply the ability of them to emotionally recenter you. It’s easy to get on-tilt playing the game, and having someone take 30 seconds to say, “Hey, remember your gameplan. You can do this.” is incredibly helpful. Basically, it’s a simple counter to Shears yelling out, “Baltimore!”

Janitor: Coaching is a very important to some smashers and detestable to the rest. I have no position on coaching because I have never participated in it. I understand the benefits of coaching and I’m sure that if it was allowed then it could make players perform better in tournament because a coach could help them rid their nerves or tell them to stop engaging in bad habits or unsafe options. Having someone there can help but I am not a big supporter or objector to coaching in short.

  1. At the last 64 major, SuPeRbOoMfAn suffered his second loss of the year. Not only that, it was his first 3rd place finish in North America since Apex 2014. While he had not lost since Genesis 3, there were a few moments where he looked rather mortal this year. How do you expect him to bounce back from this recent loss, both at Boss Battle 2 and going forward?

Bacorn: Boom will win BB2, I’m sure. There is some competition, of course, but Boom has extensive experience against people like Kero, Fireblaster, BarkSanchez and such. I honestly think in the next couple years, we will start seeing more majors won by non-Boom players. The growth of the 64 community has led to a lot of players getting good really fast.

KeroKeroppi: I wanna start by saying that Boom’s third place finish at SuperBoomed was directly the result of bad seeding. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Having said that, I am not denying that North America has gotten a LOT better, but I believe Boom has had 4 game 5 sets with players from North America. Only 4 sets lol. All of which he won. That is f—ing wild. Alvin and Wario are two of the best players in the world. Am I surprised that Boom lost? No. Would I be surprised if Boom lost to a North American? Very.

We have a long way to go still. But we’ll get there. Boom will fall.

K19 | $$$ Jim $$$: LOL who is going to beat Boom at this tournament. Yeah right. The only difference we’ll see is Boom going more Pika.

Janitor: I think that Boom probably realized before those losses that the average player has been improving a lot. Also, that top level players have really been stepping up their tech and combos to make very worthy adversaries. Boom is Boom and he will always be at the top. He’s too good and has been playing too long to fall behind those that are getting closer to his level. I’m not sure what Boom should do to recover from those tournaments but I’m guessing he has something already in the works.

  1. The Midwest has a number of rising scenes. It is full to the brim with many very talented mid-tier players. However, it completely lacks any truly elite, stand-out competitors. Who do you expect to be the first to bridge that gap and join the elite? What are the steps necessary to make such an impressive leap?

Bacorn: Dogs_Johnson will be a top 10 player in Smash 64 in a couple of years if he keeps going like this. In March, I almost beat him (I’m really bad) and he just won six-straight games against Amida, the second best player in our region (behind Combo Blaze). Our goal at Indy 64 is to grow Smash 64 in the Midwest and that’s what BB2 is all about. I hope people get introduced to players like Vinsanity and Pugs from Ohio, Scoback and Supa from Michigan, Zantetsu from Missouri, LimeSoda and Fishaman P from Wisconsin and come away impressed. I didn’t mention the Chicago guys because everybody knows Combo, battlecow, Knite Phox and Komotonoto, right? There’s a lot of young talent in this area that just needs some work to become great.

KeroKeroppi: I haven’t played with anybody from the Midwest nearly enough to be able to assess who the next “elite” will be. I feel uncomfortable guessing. But I do feel comfortable talking about exactly what that player would need to do to close the gap. And it comes down to wanting it. Practicing, watching videos, studying, they all come after wanting to win. I don’t know the players from the Midwest, but I do know that whoever it is that becomes the best will be the player who wants it the most.

K19 | $$$ Jim $$$: I mean the three people with the quickest upward trajectories are Zantetsu, myself, and Dogs_Johnson. Zanny has the skill, but needs to make sure he’s not nervous during the set. I need to solve the Pika matchup. Dogs needs to play online. Besides that, it’s just a matter of putting in the work, and all of us have been willing to do that.

Janitor: I honestly don’t know that many Midwest players but one player that has stood out to have a lot of talent and promise is the falcon main ComboBlaze from Chicago. Not only does he impress me with his combos but he is also very smart on positioning and move choices when it comes to troubling scenarios where the average player would have definitely dropped the combo. Maybe he won’t be the first one to bridge the gap but he will be on his way to the elite very soon.

  1. Who will be Top 8 at Boss Battle 2?

Bacorn: Boom
Kero
Bark
Fireblaster
Marbles
Janitor
Combo Blaze
Da Bear

KeroKeroppi: Gotta say that I only just looked at the entrants list for the first time after reading this question and there are a lot more players going than I thought there was LMAOOOOOOOO

  1. KeroKeroppi
    2. SuPeRbOoMfAn
    3. Fireblaster
    4. Bark the f—ing shark Sanchez

Next 4 is a total mixup. Could see the following people make Top 8: Combo, Shears (has a hot a mom), CTG, Lorenzo, Jim, Marbles, Hipstur, Janitor, IDK and others

There are a lot of players going to this that are at around the same level. Looking forward to seeing who makes Top 8.

One thing I know for sure is that KeroKeroppi and Stranded will win doubles.

K19 | $$$ Jim $$$: It’s hard to be accurate without seeing the brackets. Doing a quick look through the attendees, here are the names that stood out to me:

Fireblaster
Bark
Zanny
Shears
KeroKeroppi
Boom
DTan
DaBear (SaTan)
DOGG
ComboBlaze

Of these, Shears probably isn’t quite as good as the others. Combo is known for not trying, so maybe not him. Bear might be a bit controversial to pick over NaCl, given that NaCl won at SSC, but I believe in Jacob. DOGG actually doesn’t have a chance of Top 8, since he can’t seem to outplace me LOL. Maybe if I get a good bracket into Top 8, it’ll open up the possibility of him making it in there. I probably shouldn’t have left off battlecow, CTG, NaCl, DogsJ, or SaltSizz, but you gotta draw the line somewhere. So blind Top 8:

  1. Boom
    2. Kero
    3. DTan
    4. BarkSanchez
    5. Fireblaster
    5. Zantetsu
    7. DaBear
    7. ComboBlaze

Janitor: 1. Boom, 2. Kero, 3. Bark, 4. Fireblaster, 5. Marbles, 6. Janitor, 7. ComboBlaze, 8. Dtan

  1. Now, for the most important question: what would you do with a 50 pound block of salt?

Bacorn: Do what Wookiee did: give it to Combo Blaze.

KeroKeroppi: Sounds like the perfect thing [to] bend Shears’s mom over.

K19 | $$$ Jim $$$: My sponsor only allows me to use salt substitutes. I’m so sorry.

Janitor: I would have airdropped it on Hillary after she conceded.

A Lotta Bit From Dasit

Yep, it’s me, Dasit Mane. Have you ever been so frustrated that you created a local Smash community from scratch?

Let me lay down a little lore…

Bacorn and I got destroyed at SMYM16 last fall. We had been smashing casually since the turn of the century, and didn’t expect to drown in a pool with Bloomington’s finest and Battlecow. Desperate for more games, and unable to get a quick fix, I angrily bought a domain and branded a contrived gaming community.

362 days ago, we got some momentum with a $25 donation to the G3 player fund. That tiny bit of visibility led to a website contact form submission from Wookiee.

SUBJECT: “YO WTF. im flying here late january”

Wookiee was looking for games during an upcoming business trip. Like any sensible person would, I hyped it up.

At about the same time, we discovered a new local weekly smash tournament at Boss Battle Games, a brand-spanking-new arcade. The awesome owners, PheaWolf and Zoex, are partially responsible for the existence of Indiana’s growing 64 community. There would be no Smash 64 Boss Battle without its namesake arcade.

Just after G3 launched the #yearof64, Wookiee came to town, which snowballed into a beautiful and sentimental regional tourney. BB1 rocked our region and solidified the ND64 crew you see today. Enough lore, let’s get to the action.

First question first:

Potassium Honey Jim Money’s thoughts beg for a response. Bacorn has personally jumped on many opportunities to improve BB2 every step of the way. This is not the result of a community failing to support its organizers. (If that was a stab for the camping meme, touché) There are a lot of hard-working people behind the scenes. Bacorn is leading a group of smashers who have little access to top talent, so they have chosen to import it instead. It is not the easiest way to grow a community, but it’s like throwing gas on a fire. BB2 is the pyre that Indiana’s smashers can roast their scrub tendencies upon. Perhaps you ponder why Bacorn has chosen to go in on this event so hard. He will have to put the sticks down for a while next year as he evolves into PopCorn. Let him have his party and raise the bar for our beloved game.

On the matter of couching, I believe all attendees will find the on-site provisions to be accommodating and comfortable. While I have not personally experienced the new couching system that will be used this weekend, I can guarantee that each player will have the same opportunities to kick back and relax. Be sure to thank Boss Battle Games for implementing such a fair couching system.

I am very pleased to see Dogs_Johnson getting due recognition for his xp grind. I’m hoping for some major upsets in bracket, and would not be surprised to see Dogs’s mental game put some bigger dogs on tilt. This is how we do it.  

Top 8? I am barely top 10 in Indiana, so I’ll just make some stuff up…
There’s the guy that almost beat the legendary Alvin a few weeks ago. We imported a Spezoli with young Spezoli support included. The BB1 boss slayers, Bark and Combo will be putting in work. There are numerous online warriors and a seasoned beast from majors past. Several of Baltimore’s reps will surely take up residence in bracket. Fireblaster has shield armor, so he’ll be playing at a high level. Madrush, Marbles, and CTG will be putting on for their regions too. We mustn’t ignore the massive turnout of midwest players who are going the distance to level up. You don’t get to watch them play every week, so there is great potential for plot-twists. Dollay hoogadoories!

This weekend will be a beacon of hope in the now post-apocalyptic world. We are honored to have Janitor as the star of BB2. The LAS boss crop has been bountiful this year, and our entire region is eager to bask in the boss’s hitstun. Shoutouts to all of you that will be traveling for this game-changer. As Darkhorse would say, Indy’s single mothers have never been more excited.

We will kick things off on Thursday night with a special Bloomington Bi-Weekly stream featuring Boom, Hipstur (honorary Hoosier), and potentially a carload of BaltiBros. I can’t decide if I’m more stoked for the three nights of chill smash parties surrounding BB2, or the main show itself. “Whatever it is, the party’s underway. So tip up your cup and throw your hands up…”

Dasit Mane