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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Changing the Game: Cultivating the Landscape of Super Smash Bros.

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Image by Robert Paul
By David “Shears” Shears

How big is Smash? That depends on which area of Super Smash you look at. Super Smash Bros. the community is very small. Super Smash Bros. the series by Nintendo is massive. Throughout its history, Nintendo has sold over 39 million copies of the Smash Bros. franchise: 5 million copies of 64, 7 million copies of Melee, over 13 million copies of Brawl and nearly 14 million copies of Smash 4 so far. However, the r/smashbros subreddit, likely the biggest collection of Smashers online, doesn’t even have 250,000 subscribers. This is a drop in the bucket, potentially only 0.6% of people who own a Super Smash Bros. game are aware of the competitive Smash Bros. community. There are more people who love and play Smash and have never seen the Smash Brothers documentary than there are people on the planet who know of Mang0 or Isai.

I often meet people at bars, on Tinder or running into an old friend and catching up on life, and nearly everyone I talk to loves and remembers or plays at least one version of Super Smash Bros. When in conversation with these strangers or old acquaintances, I tell them about how much of my free time is spent traveling the world and competitively playing one of the most popular video games ever made. Nearly every single person is convinced they are gods at these games, but none of them know of any advanced techniques, top players or even events that happen in the cities they have lived in for years. In college you could go down the hall and run into any random dorm room and there was likely a Nintendo 64 or GameCube along with a copy of Smash. I often played people in college, destroying them with ease; it was a good way to hustle beer money. But these people who love the game exist everywhere, are part of all demographics and are thirsty to play people they know they are better than. The problem is the community is niche and inaccessible. When we look at attendance, we see numbers even worse than on reddit. The biggest events cannot break 5,000 attendees despite having over 100,000 viewers at home. These events are virtually nonexistent to Nintendo compared to its tens of millions of customers worldwide. This is why Nintendo does not care much about competitive Smash, because it fails to add any significant growth or profit margins. The entire Smash community is an obscure, small and negligible fraction of its customers.

Shears Chart I

Shears Chart II

Does size matter? For sustainability, not too much. At both Genesis 3 and Genesis 4, the convention center was shared with other events the same weekend. For G3 it was FurCon, for G4 it was NeedleArts. One is a known but very niche community, often seen as a strange fetish, and the other is a hobby I never knew existed until I got to G4. What is most interesting about both of these events is that their attendance was about the same as the number of entrants at both G3 and G4. There are two sides to this coin. These hobbies and communities exist all over the world and their biggest yearly conventions take place with comparable numbers and have been growing for years. With Smash in the same ballpark as far as numbers go this is very encouraging for sustainability. NeedleArts does not need tens of thousands of fans and neither does FurCon. They get 0 viewers on Twitch, they do not need YouTube ad revenue and with conventional advertisement, sponsorship and a loyal fan base, both of these communities thrive and stay sustainable.

In a way our Smash community is like this, but the big difference is we should not be. We should not be as small or as niche. This is one of the most popular game series in the world with loads of income sources via Twitch, YouTube, merchandise, sponsors, loyal customers, etc. and yet its competitive community cannot beat out people who like dressing in animal costumes or stitching a Christmas stocking. This is not because daddy Nintendo refuses to tweet us out or give us money, it is because we are doing something wrong and these much smaller communities are doing something right to compete with us in size. Is Smash sustainable? Yes. Is Smash significant? No. Go out to any public event whether it is a bar, carnival, music festival or whatever and ask people if they are a furry. More often than not they will say, “no,” or ask, “what is a furry?” Do the same with NeedleArts and you will be hard pressed to find a single person that has ever heard of that convention. Now compare these results to asking people if they love Super Smash Bros. and you will find just about every person you meet knows of the game and an overwhelming majority love it. So how does this change?

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Credit: Ronan Lynam.com

I have a million and one ideas on what is needed for growth in Smash and much of it has to do with local traditional advertising, viral marketing, social media ads, new event structures, better fan and competitive experiences, traditional sponsorships and more. All these ideas focus on tapping into the already indoctrinated fans of Smash, the ones who played it as children when it first came out or are still playing it but unaware of the competitive community. The random scrubs who can beat all their friends and so they must be gods. There are millions of these people out there and Smash has been struggling to bring them in. The 100k viewers on Twitch watching G4 or the 250k on reddit that saw the event page and announcements knew of G4, they knew who was going, they knew how much the trip would cost them, they knew how much fun people have at these events and they KNEW that they did not want to attend.

The current strategy in Smash is to try and convince people who know of an event and do not want to go to change their mind and attend anyway. It is shouting into the echo chamber of reddit, Twitter and Smash Facebook groups. It is like asking a girl out, her saying no and then asking again as if her mind has changed. You are not going to draw someone away from their high school sweetheart. They picked Melee as their first love, or League of Legends, or Marvel vs. Capcom. Players rarely switch to entirely new Smash games and top players from other games rarely have any interest in even competing in Smash. Instead of asking the same girl out we need to ask out the fans of Smash who have no other hobby, the ones who are not married to other games or know of the competitive scene and deliberately choose not to attend. Remember, 39 million copies sold yet Smash routinely panders and markets to the 0.6%. While these are growth opportunities, they cannot be long term efforts and reliable systems to continue bringing new players in. Influx of Smash fans depends on Nintendo’s release of the next game. There is no system in place to morph casual people into new community members and this kind of player source is what I believe to be a very important step in the sustainability and growth of the Smash community as a whole.

This past weekend I organized and played in an event that was unlike any event I have seen or been to. Many members of my region, MVP (Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania), drove out to face off against our neighboring rival region, MOMS (Masters Of Midwest Smash), meeting at a halfway point for the two scenes. Instead of a standard tournament with winners taking home cash, mid-level players attending with the hopes of just doing a little bit better than last time and low-level players having basically no hope at anything but a sad 0-2, we ran the event similar to a track and field meet. This regional dual meet was exclusive, we wanted to hit home the rivalry and really give attention to the players from each region. Instead of first place going home with 50 percent of the prize pool, they instead earned points for the team along with a handful of side events, bonus scoring categories and points via money matches and social media. The team with the most points at the end of the weekend took home a majority share of the prize pool to be divided amongst everyone.

Instead of one player taking all the money, everyone who attended and competed truly helped support the event and their region and went home a winner. It wasn’t about a top player, it was about the region and the team and everyone who helped contribute to that. Every single person who attended helped their team in some way, whether it was winning a MM versus another low skilled player from the rivalry region or outperforming their seed. The little guys were important contributors to the team just like the PR players that normally dominate regional events. Individual winners still got awards as we had ribbons for Top 8 of each event and in the end it built strong regional pride and camaraderie. We also used a portion of the budget to get pizza and soda for all attendees to socialize and get to know each other for true sportsmanship and a respectable rivalry. This new event helps build a team and a team brings people together to keep coming out and fall in love with their community and the game.

The reception of this event and how it felt for me has inspired me to start running this style event more often and push it to the rest of the community, but I started thinking about how much further this can go. The entirety of it stemmed from my own personal experiences running track in high school, being on a team, contributing to that team’s performance and traveling to face off against other nearby teams to decide who was the best. I was not in it for money, I did want victory, I did want the plaques, awards and trophies, but I did want my hometown to be respected, my school to be feared and my teammates to do well. It was about school spirit and building inward support for your team. But it was not only about my performances, it was about the team as a whole. When we won our meets and victory came down to one of the little guys outperforming their time and upsetting another runner to steal a point here or there, it became a special moment. Everyone went home a winner and people that were not the best still mattered and became a part of something. This is what I wanted to capture with MVP vs. MOMS and I believe we succeeded.

The venue for MVP vs. MOMS was offered to us for free with the agreement that our attendees would like and subscribe to their social media as well as watch and like a couple of their YouTube videos. Coincidentally, one of the videos they specified for us to watch was about getting esports into high schools. With our event being modeled after high school competitions and meets, this video really matched up with what had been on my mind. It delivers the idea that if you can have teams of players in sports going to other high schools to compete, then the same can be done for esports. It is no different when you think about it. A singles and doubles tournament combining for a total team score and a team victory is like a track meet where individuals run to score points for their team and have a relay race with a few of their teammates to maximize their team’s points. Our event model translates perfectly to esports clubs for high school and is a tried and true system that has proven to work.

For me, I never had video games as a kid, never played them as my mom did not believe in them. I did not own any Smash Bros. games or consoles until the very end of 2014 when I bought an N64 and SSB64 off craigslist. My life as an adolescent was spent mostly playing sports, being in different rec leagues and subsequently on middle school and high school sports teams. These systems are simple, especially since they are mostly designed as after school programs. Every parent wants to get their kid into these so they stay away from less savory activities. I see no reason Smash cannot become a part of this. Many schools already have video game clubs or Lego robotics clubs, but instead they run them as hobbies instead of competitive programs. With minimal effort, these can be turned into after school programs where students play and practice, and on weekends a bus is rented to meet at other schools and the kids spend their days playing each other and earning victories for their teams.

Leagues and divisions are created locally and competitions held much like our events already, the same way our major tournaments are held. MVP, rookie of the year, best sportsmanship and many other awards can be easily created and distributed to these high school esports athletes. Most schools get public funding, especially for their athletic departments, and so these events and programs do not even need the overhead and dependant entrant support that our current majors do. On top of creating organizations for Smash we create an avenue for growth. Younger fans of the games have an easy way into the game, stepping in at their youth through these programs and then pursuing either careers in Smash or becoming lifetime fans like we see for football, basketball, and other traditional sports. These kids begin playing at young ages, practicing and becoming the best. The floor of competition rises across the community as well as the ceiling and the pros of today are the scrubs of tomorrow.

Smash is already one of the most popular games of all time, kids are already playing it, and a model and system already exist to take Smash to an entirely new level; we just need to take the next step and begin pushing it into these new domains. People are Hungrybox fans, they are not Liquid fans. If Hungrybox leaves Liquid for another team most fans will follow the next team; these “teams” are just a label and fail to truly capture what a high school or professional sports team are. When Peyton Manning left the Colts, people in Indianapolis were still Colts fans. Sure they still love Manning and follow him but they did not divorce the team they followed because it is a part of their home. A high school team is a part of a person’s home, it is where they grew up, where their family and friends are and something they root for for the rest of their lives.

With this system in place it becomes easy to institute the same system for club and rec levels locally, much like we have done for MVP and MOMS regions. There is a hometown regional pride that is synonymous with local sports team pride; whatever brand or sponsor is thrown onto that, whichever players come and go, it does not change the pride a person has for the place they call home. It stimulates more love for Smash, more commitment to it and it creates a stream of new players in every generation to become part of our competitive community. Our youth is the future and if we fail to create an accessible community and system for them Smash retires when we do.

Featured Image by Robert Paul

Getting You on Their Level: A GOML 2017 Preview

After a very successful introduction to the Get On My Level series in 2016, Smash 64 will make its return to Canada’s largest major in 2017. While this year’s iteration may be missing some pieces from the previous year’s captivating story lines, it has more top players, more international talent and more wildcard potential.

Top 8

What’s New

Half of the projected Top 8 for this years Singles tournament are making their debut in Canada.

The Smash community fan-favorite, Isai, will be making his way to Mississauga, and although his results in recent years have fallen, some die-hard fans still believe he has the talent to fill the hole left by the absence of SuPeRbOoMfAn. While his Fox ran into trouble recently at SNOSA, Canada has plenty reason to be terrified of his presence. They surely have not forgotten Beast 7, where Isai’s Link came back from Loser’s bracket, and dissected Revan’s Kirby in Grand Finals with surgical precision. If Revan can fend off a red-hot Zero, and Isai can avoid another early upset, which everyone has become quite familiar with recently, the two may run back the instant classic two-set Grand Finals. If Isai has his way, he’ll find himself up against a contender from the States’ other neighbor.

Mariguas will also make his way into the Greater Toronto Area this weekend, coming off an exhilarating performance at SNOSA III in Santa Ana. Early on it seemed he would be left in the wake of ïXï | Zero’s magnificent run. However, following his loss to Zero, he dominated Gyaki, swept Dext3r and the rematch against Zero, and also reset the bracket on Fukurou in Grand Finals. Mariguas has outplaced Isai at the events they’ve both attended in 2017, yet they have not faced off this year. After narrowly missing out on his first ever major victory at SNOSA III, Mexico’s top talent will be anxious to mow down his competition and vanquish his demons, the biggest of which may lie at the end of his bracket.

This pursuit may be aided by the fact that Mariguas will likely find himself on the opposite side of the bracket from Zero. Although he was unable to finish the job on loser’s side at SNOSA III, Zero surely left his mark, striking fear into the heart of Mexico, showing he can go mano a mano with their finest. Taking his next step towards being a true top level threat, Zero will be looking for any opportunity to build on his unreal resumé. He may even earn himself rematches against Isai and Mariguas, however, he will likely encounter Revan first. In 2017, Zero has tumbled with Fukurou, HandsomeTom, and Mariguas’s Kirby secondary, and while he has struggled against high-level Kirbys, it would be no surprise to see the young Falcon/Pikachu main come back from the lab ready for the challenge.

Also making Mississauga one of his many stops on an international tour is Brazil’s Kort, fresh off of several weeks of practice in the United States’ Midwest. On his most recent trip to North America, Kort scored a big upset against tacos at SSC 2016. In the past year, he has overtaken Banze for #1 in Brazil, and has fully developed his Pikachu, Captain Falcon and Yoshi to complement his notorious Link. Kort also trekked into the heart of the Peruvian Mecca of Smash 64 and most stacked city in the world, Tacna, and earned an impressive 7th place at Tacna All-Stars 2017. Over the past few weeks the outspoken captain of the CAFIL crew has won Masters of Midwest Smash, and placed 2nd at Called Out!, only behind SuPeRbOoMfAn. Kort now has his sights set on the rest of Canada in Boom’s absence.

Returning Threats

SSBMTL | TR3GTheZ made huge waves last year, notoriously bringing back his set against Derek, down 1-2 in games, and 1-4 in stocks against Derek in the Pikachu ditto. His monumental comeback fueled a run of his own, taking down fellow Canadian Revan, earning a rare win over long-time nemesis KeroKeroppi, and showing flashes of next-level potential as Fox against SuPeRbOoMfAn. This year he finds himself faced with a new set of players to overcome if he wants to keep the Cup in Canada. While he has yet to face Isai in bracket, Montreal’s leader has worked his way closer to victory over Mariguas in their recent meetings, coming one stock short of victory in a thrilling, tight set at Genesis 4. If TR3GTheZ can build upon strong performances over the past year, he may stand a chance of defending the homeland.

Last summer, Revan looked poised to ascend to the next level of players, as he made a name for himself taking down top level Yoshis, and earning a Top 8 spot at the largest Smash 64 tournament ever. 2017 has not treated him well, as the cerebral Kirby main from Ottawa struggled in his limited major appearances. The fierce young competitor is fully expected to bounce back to his winning ways, aided by the comfort of his home turf. While he’s gotten closer to defeating his rival, TR3GTheZ, with each set, he’d rather not have to fight a fellow Canadian early in bracket. He’ll likely face Zero early on, but it’s no secret Revan will be eyeing a rematch with Isai, daring him to bring out the Link once more.

Although he started off the year strong, BarkSanchez has tapered off a bit in recent months. In the past he has proven capable of taking sets off of top level players, he has also seen himself surpassed by up and coming players such as Dtan, Zero and Joshi. Bark’s element of volatility could add to an interesting bracket, where he is likely to face unfamiliar opponents, such as Mariguas and Kort in Top 8. Bark has missed Top 8 two of the past three majors, but after being cut short by Derek in bracket last year, he intends to make up the difference with a strong performance deep into bracket this time around.

Although the unexpected presence of Derek cut Fireblaster’s bracket short last year, Connecticut’s father of Smash 64 and resident Yoshi main should have a more clear path to top 8 this year. One of 2016’s most frequent travelers, he has made his appearances less often in 2017 but has had strong major placements this year. Despite being the victim of a few upsets, and has not quite made as much ground on those ahead of him as he’d like, he has strong wins over ranked players sHEERmADNESS and NTA, as well as hot rising talents KD3, HAMMERHEART, and Yobolight. A very driven player, Fire will not pause at the opportunity to break the status quo and shake up the bracket.

The Wildcards

What’s New

While Isai has cemented his status as Smash 64’s ultimate element of unpredictability, ïXï | Fray has taken Derek’s place this year as GOML’s wildcard. With years of netplay experience under his belt, his level of talent is no mystery to followers of the online Smash 64 scene. Fray’s high level Ness play has drawn comparisons to long-time veteran Firo, with some believing the netplay warrior may have even surpassed him. While that has yet to be proven, Fray will have an opportunity to state his case in his first console tournament against a stacked roster of competitors.

Returning Threats

While the Smash 64 community both inside and outside Canada are familiar with Snorlax, most cannot predict what he will do at GOML 2017. In the true spirit of a wildcard, the Kirby/Pikachu main character locked to Donkey Kong at GOML 2016, throwing the entire venue in a loop. A capable player of the entire cast, the Toronto native could potentially sneak into the Top 8 with his most proficient characters, or perhaps snag a few upsets with the bevy of options at his disposal.

The Sleepers

What’s New

Accompanying Kort in his voyage north is fellow CAFIL member, the barefoot Brazilian Lorenzo. Following his breakout performance at Boss Battle 2 where he earned 7th place, the solo-DK main has continued to build his resumé. The nomad from Brazil earned 13th at Tacna All-Stars 2017 and 4th at Called Out!, unfortunately being eliminated by Kort at both events. The first solo-DK main to make Top 8 in a North American Major will be eager to toss around some Canucks this weekend if he can avoid running into his fellow Brazilian yet again.

Even Matchup Gaming’s lone Smash 64 representative, EMG | Darkhorse, will be making his first trip north beyond the wall. Baltimore’s resident Falcon/Puff main, a perennial sleeper, can be a terrifying presence when he finds his zone. Darkhorse is coming fresh off of a dominant performance in bracket at MVP3, with clean sweeps against Yobolight and Robert, and a bracket reset in Grand Finals against BarkSanchez. The bearded Baltimorean will surely be hunting for a soul-crushing Falcon Punch-combo, one that is worthy of his Clip of the Week videos.

Returning Threats

It may seem crazy to call YBOMBB a sleeper, but the veteran puff main needs to pull off an upset if he wants to return to Top 8 again this year. In recent years he has also added a Falcon and Yoshi to his arsenal of characters, which he may need if he hopes to contest Fireblaster or BarkSanchez for a spot in Top 8. Despite his long periods of absence from the major tournament scene, anyone caught sleeping on the Toronto veteran will surely be punished.

A promising young talent from Ottawa, Janco has been steadily improving over the years under the tutelage of Revan. Janco’s best tournament yet unfortunately came at the expense of his mentor, as Janco sent Revan to losers en route to an impressive 9th place finish at Lets Go! Although expecting him to take down Mariguas in winners side might be a bit much, he may see some familiar faces in a potential losers run if he can pick up from where he left off in Baltimore.

The Other Guys

What’s New

Michigan will be making the short trip across the border with a solid core group to visit their neighbors in Toronto. While they are without their captain, Scoback, and their outspoken region representative, Rocket, they aren’t pulling any punches. They will be led by Andykins and EG, both of whom have recently surpassed their captain following years of dominance. Andykins made Division 1 at Lets Go! and scored a big upset against Darkhorse, while EG has steadily made a name for himself as a top threat in the Midwest. Both players are expected to face off against the wildcard, Fray, and with years of Ness experience under their belts, they will take full advantage if he happens to falter. Jsmirk has been gaining ground in the Midwest as well recently, and with Velocity Jones, Cracker Jones and Hack among the crew, Michigan hopes to make a mark in their neighbor’s yard.

Returning Threats

Most of Eastern Canada showed up in force the previous year, and they plan to do so again in 2017.

Fck Vwls was the catalyst for Derek’s losers run in 2016, pulling off the big upset that knocked him out of winners bracket early. Like most of Eastern Canada, he’s maintained a fairly quiet 2017, although he’s made trips to Florida and Michigan to show he’s still dangerous. JOKER, formerly known as B link, has gone on somewhat frequent hiatuses over the past few years. Despite this, he’s still one of the top threats in a stacked Toronto crew, an impressive feat. Preston has been faced with some tough brackets recently, but snagged a strong win against one of the Midwest’s best, Dogs_Johnson, at Called Out!, giving him reason to feel good coming back to his home turf. Sextc and Captain Fabulous, formidable foes from Ottawa and Montreal respectively, could sneak in an upset or two as well if they don’t go down styling.

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.

Operation Desert Smash II Preview: Hostility in Havasu

By Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs

Operation Desert Smash II (ODSII) has returned to the desert shores of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. In 2015, Cody “Daniels” Daniels made a big move for this small Arizona scene, inviting a number of top players out to his house for a Super Smash Bros. 64 retreat weekend. Daniels flew all attendees out and planned a slew of activities. This groundbreaking event spurred on the massive recent growth of Havasu Smash 64, allowing a paradise of Smash to sprout up in the desert. This year, the event has been expanded greatly, as more than 50 Smashers are congregating on this sprawling lake town for a weekend of both fun and competition. Throughout the weekend, there will be the standard events of a doubles and singles bracket, as well as more interesting side events such as a YOLO bracket, low-tier tournament and Salty Suite.

The Tournament

The amount of talent attending ODSII is absolutely incredible. Among the headlining players are Dan “SuPeRbOoMfAn” Hoyt, Eduardo “Tacos” Tovar, Joey “KeroKeroppi” Speziale and more. Both serious brackets are sure to be filled with high quality Smash. SuPeRbOoMfAn looks to continue an incredible run in 2016. After losing the first major of the year in Genesis 3, the Canadian legend has gone undefeated the rest of the way, including winning the largest Smash 64 tournament of all time: Super Smash Con 2016. Tacos will be looking to finally take him down. People have been questioning his resolve in his sets against the No. 1 player, as he seems to lose his will to play after losing a game. Despite this, he looked strong against SuPeRbOoMfAn at Shine a couple weeks back, though he did end up dropping the set after losing his serious attitude. KeroKeroppi has had a bit of a down year after his meteoric rise, losing sets to multiple players he has defeated in the past. However, he promises to take those losses and learn from them, in order to become a stronger player.

Also attending are fan favorites Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody, Thomas “Revan” Dykes and Derek “Derek” Bancarz. BarkSanchez is perhaps the most traveled player in Smash 64 this year, making frequent trips all across the country and to Canada. His voyages have even taken him to Havasu for a weekend tournament, funded by Daniels in order to allow his scene to train and learn from a high-level player. Bark has had some trouble against a few of the top players attending ODSII and needs to rebound from a couple of disappointing finishes at majors. Revan has been on the rise recently, earning a Top 8 finish at Super Smash Con 2016. This Canadian Kirby main has been working tirelessly to prove the little puff ball is still a force to be reckoned with, as many in the community have been claiming Kirby is on the decline. Derek looks to have another impressive performance at his second major ever. At GOML 2016, the formerly online-exclusive player made a legendary losers bracket run. After falling early in the pools round, Derek tore a path through the losers bracket, defeating such players as Michael “Nintendude” Brancato, Javier “Fireblaster” Romero and BarkSanchez. This performance has earned him much praise in the scene, though some are hesitant to crown him before he proves it at a second major.

The Fun

ODSII will also include many side events, some planned and others improvised. One such planned event is the Smash 64 favorite: the YOLO bracket. In a YOLO tournament, all stages are legal and items are turned on high. The players choose random characters and stage, then proceed to play a one stock, one game set. This form of bracket has long been popular at Smash 64 events, as the moments created in them are completely unique to this format. Another event that should be happening is the low-tier tournament. In this format, the players that are seeded highly for the standard tournament are required to use one of the five lower tier characters. Other than this caveat, this bracket runs normally, though it is fun for lower seeded players to have a chance against their elite opponents. The Salty Suite, occurring Saturday night, will include many salty clashes. A couple of these highly anticipated matchups are Derek vs. BarkSanchez and Daniels vs. Eric “Smurf” Clapp. Derek and Bark will be having a rematch of their epic set at GOML, a set which Bark is sure he should have won. Keep an eye on this one, as Pikachu dittos are often the most nerve-wracking matchup in Smash 64. Daniels and Clapp have long had a beef on the internet, as Smurf has talked down about Daniels’s Havasu scene. This score was supposed to be settled at SNOSA II in June, but due to mitigating circumstances, they rescheduled for this weekend. On the line will be $500 and Daniels’s prized white fedora. Other matches will surely be streamed, as rumor has it David “Shears” Shears will be challenging all comers to Luigi dittos.

ODSII is more than just a Smash 64 tournament. This is great opportunity for new and upcoming players to learn from the best in a more intimate environment. Without the time constraints and hectic venue of a major, players can more easily discuss and learn the intricacies of the game. Make sure to tune-in to twitch.tv/havasusmash all weekend long, as the stream will be running practically 24/7.

Super Smash Con Preview

By: Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs

Super Smash Con has returned, bigger and better than ever. This year’s event marks another milestone for the Super Smash Bros. 64 community, as it has eclipsed 300 entrants for the first time in its history. Elite competitors have traveled to Chantilly, VA to battle in the first game of the series. As last year’s event was the beginning of the recent rise in popularity of this old game, many view this year’s edition as another watershed moment. Tournament organizer’s are giving Smash 64 a chance in the limelight, as the singles bracket has been given a prime time slot for Saturday afternoon. Here is everything you need to know going into what will be an epic event.

The American Defenders

Isai “Isai” Alverado has recently emerged from his own self-imposed retirement, as he will be competing in his third major of the year. Isai has not yet looked like his old self, though he has promised to play high tier character against his biggest rivals, perhaps hinting at a return to form for the legendary player. Eduardo “Tacos” Tovar has been extremely impressive of late, pushing Isai to the limit at Genesis 3 and even defeating him at SNOSA II. However, he has had trouble against his most consistent opponent: Dan “SuPeRbOoMfAn” Hoyt. He has yet to defeat the top player in North America, failing even to force him to a Game 5. Joey “KeroKeroppi” Spezoli has seemingly taken a step back in recent times. He has still failed to defeat the two men he has been striving for: SuPeRbOoMfAn and Isai. Also, despite his claims to never lose to someone who he has previously beaten, Tacos has beaten him twice this year. A few other competitors also seem to be closing the gap, including Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett, who has repeatedly pushed KeroKeroppi to the brink. Wizzrobe has been on quite a tear this year, as he forced SuPeRbOoMfAn to a Game 5 at Pound 2016 and easily won a fairly large tournament in Smash’N’Splash 2. The young master of the entire Smash series may be the one to break through and win a major with his dynamic Yoshi.

KeroKeroppi is not the only elite member of the Spezoli family, as his brother Tommy “Stranded” Spezoli is often cited as having the best tech skill in Smash 64. The fast and relentless master of the entire cast has often failed to convert that superb skill to results, though this may have changed. He won Apex 2016 in dominant fashion, hopefully signaling his braggadocious attitude will begin to be backed up by results. Two local favorites will also be in attendance, as LD “Fox” (real name omitted) and Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody will be looking to defend their home turf. Fox’s combo-heavy Fox broke onto the scene in force last year after a number of years dominating the online scene. However, his dependence on a finicky Xbox 360 controller adapter has often lead to his downfall, as the hardware can fail him at key moments. Despite this, he has been adapting quickly to console play and its unique properties. BarkSanchez has had a very active, traveling all across North America to train with the various growing scenes. His year has been marked by various highs and lows, with great finishes at Pound 2016 and SNOSA II, but also had a disappointing finish at Get On My Level.

The North American Foreigners

SuPeRbOoMfAn looks to continue his run of dominance, as he has only lost sets to foreign challengers in the last few years. Besides Genesis 3, where he lost two sets to Wario, the Canadian has won every tournament he has attended in North America since Apex 2014. Having finally put the debate over who is best in North America to rest with a manhandling of Isai at SNOSA II, SuPeRbOoMfAn can now set his eyes on the title of Best in The World. A dominant victory at Super Smash Con could push him over the edge. Fellow Canadian Thomas “Revan” Dykes is coming off a strong victory at Summit 2016 in Toronto. As he overcame a tough matchup in defeat BarkSanchez’s Pikachu twice with his Kirby, Revan looks to prove that Kirby is still strong in today’s meta. Arturo “Mariguas” Hernandez has also had an impressive year, with strong finished at Genesis 3 and SNOSA II. He pushed Isai to the limit at both events, despite falling short both times. This man from Mexico looks at this weekend’s event as an opportunity to truly breakthrough and prove his worth. Jaime “JaimeHR” Rodriguez will surely make a splash this year, as he will be teaming with SuPeRbOoMfAn in doubles, likely continuing the dominant run of the best team the game has ever seen. Team Mejor will have some strong competitors, but they have shown in the past that strong competition has failed to challenge their dominance.

Worldwide Invaders

With an epic funding effort by the Smash 64 community, top players will be attending from four non-North American countries. Some of the best from Japan, Chile, Brazil and Peru will be in attendance.Wangera (real name omitted) appears to be the best of the bunch. This master of little seen Jigglypuff was very impressive at Genesis 3 as he double-eliminated Isai. However, he struggled against SuPeRbOoMfAn, even being 5 stocked in the Top 8. This quiet Japanese assassin will certainly impressive the crowd again, as he further adjusts to the differences in the American version of the game. Legendary combo master Prince (real name omitted) has come out of retirement for this great tournament. His combo videos are among the greatest any game has ever seen, forcing players to analyze their own gameplay and push themselves and the game to their limits. Bonobono (real name omitted) is likely the greatest Yoshi player in the world. This character has seen a recent rise in the meta, as new avenues of play are being explored. In his first trip to America, Bonobono will likely show us just how far Yoshi can be pushed.

Andre “Banze” Luiz Almeida has traveled from Brazil to once again compete in America. Banze is likely the best player in Brazil, sporting a highly impressive Pikachu that can compete with the best our country has to offer. With the weight of his country on his shoulder, Banze needs a better showing than his 13th place finish at Genesis 3 to prove that Peru is not the only dominant force in South America. The combo-heavy red Link of fellow Brazilian Thomas “Kort” Keselik will also be in attendance. Though some question if his style of play can translate to success in larger events, Kort feels confident that he will impress the crowds. For the first time ever, a Peruvian player will be competing on American soil. Alvin “Alvin” Leon Haro, the best player South America has to offer, will finally have the opportunity to clash with all the top players in the world in one room. With perhaps the fastest reactions of anyone in Smash 64, Alvin is one of the favorites to take the entire tournament. If anyone can upset SuPeRbOoMfAn, Alvin may be the one. With the attendance of both Japan and Peru, Super Smash Con marks the first time these two countries will ever get to play each other.

Super Smash Con’s Smash 64 event will be the most epic ever seen. Competitors from all across the globe have come together for what can be a true jumping off point to help the scene explode in popularity. Though only one player can win it all, many strive for that difficult to reach first place finish. Tune in to twitch.tv/vgbootcamp on Friday and Saturday afternoon to catch all of the action.

Super Smash Con: Vendor Highlights

By: Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs

Super Smash Con will be a rare opportunity for Smashers of all varieties to experience the many facets of Smash outside of the games themselves. Fans of Smash 64 will have the chance to buy many unique items ranging from posters to overclocked consoles, to listen to the prominent members of the premier 64 podcast, or to replenish their stock of high quality controllers.

The Super Smash Bros. League has commissioned three pieces of art for this historic tournament. Chris “Studstill” Studstill will be on site selling these custom made posters by the head of SSBL Art and Design, Sandy “Tangerine” Tang. “Ready to Fight?” depicts the classic imagery of Dreamland, the primary legal stage across the entirety of 64. “Legalize” is an image of Hyrule Castle, the highly controversial stage that some players wish to see legalized for competition once again. “Champions, SSC Commemorative” depicts the top 4 seeds of this legendary tournament and their main character. These well-crafted pieces of art will be sold at $15, $15 and $20 respectively, or $40 for all three. SSBL members get $5 off. Poster holders will be on hand, while the vendors hope to have a few options for frames. Studstill notes, “It’s not about the sale, or profit. These are at cost. What it’s about is bettering the experience for all players of SSB64.” Tangerine also has a series of websites hosting her other art: FacebookThe Seventh StationInstagram and Tumblr.

Jim “$$$ Jim $$$” Orris is going to be heading up a panel for some of the prominent Smashers who have appeared on his well-known podcast: The Dream Land. The panelists will be $$$ Jim $$$ himself, Ben “Bacorn” Corn, Joey “KeroKeroppi” Spezoli, Stef “Pidgezero_one” Kischak and Jimmy “Jimmy Joe” McGurl. The goal of this panel will be to drum up interest in our scene as well as inform the masses about the context of some of the most intriguing rivalries. $$$ Jim $$$ wants you to know, “If you’ve ever been interested in watching 64 but don’t know where to start, we’ll help explain the utter insanity that is about to go down at Smash Con!” The panel will be held Friday, 8/12, at 10 A.M. EST.

Andy “Mr. Sir” Vargas, the founder of ENKKO, an initiative to create more sustainable stick parts for our controllers, will have a booth to show off and explain his work. This hard working entrepreneur will be set up near the Smash 64 section of the venue. Mr. Sir will have giveaways, an N64 and CRT to try out his prototypes, a list to pre-order parts and further info on his endeavor. “We are dedicated to providing the best replacement parts for the Nintendo 64 controller. After getting our Kickstarter funded, we were able to re-engineer the parts and replicate the original joystick. Soon we will have the bowl and the gears ready which will endure thorough endurance testing. We also have plans to help out the 64 scene with sponsorships and pot bonuses. All in the works.”

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Prototype ENKKO stick. Photo credit: Andy “Mr. Sir” Vargasw

Kris Ianieri, wife of the man behind The Lab in Philadelphia, will be heading up a booth selling some interesting items. They will be offering both overclocked and HDMI modded consoles as well as tons of controllers. The Lab team will be promoting their stream and venue, as well as meeting their long time fans. Their booth is located in the main venue hall, not in the vendors hall. Also of note, The Lab team will be raffling off a high quality Audia Technica E70 earbuds, normally a $399 value, along with having multiple deals for a variety of other headphones or headsets. “We are so excited to meet our viewers in person and get a chance to socialize and play with smashers from all over! We are thrilled to be able to be a part of this and to spread our mission to bring people together through eSports!”

 

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Multi-Shine Designs logo

Multi Shine Designs, headed up by Jason Kodiak, will be in attendance selling their multitude of wares. In regards to Smash 64, Multi-Shine Designs specializes in controllers of all colors. W
hile they have many controllers available, their stock will surely sell quickly due to the excitement surrounding this event. They will have a CRT and console to let potential customers try out their controllers, as each player has unique preferences in sticks. Here is a Google doc with a list of their extensive stock. “Multi-Shine Designs strives to change the way players purchase controllers. Our goal is to work with the customer to help them find what works best for them so they can perform to the best of their abilities.”

Dane “The Protagonist” Howard has recently begun a venture of creating uniquely overclocked consoles. Over the past month, he started a venture to create overclocked consoles that are easy to work as standard ones. Included in this set up are a light indicating when the console is in overclocked mode, a single switch to enable the feature and a fan. Consoles will be sold at $90 and in limited numbers, as many of his consoles are already preordered. While he will not have a booth, Protagonist will be around the venue with his wares at the ready, though he notes it is likely easier to hit him up on Facebook. He also encourages any Smasher to bring a broken overclocked console, as he will be repairing them over the weekend for $15. Protagonist is very serious about his endeavor, as he believes, “Operating an OC console should be as simple as a normal console.”