Genesis 4 Preview: A New #Yearof64

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.

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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.

KeroKeroppi: 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.