On Friday, Arte shared news of a potentially ground-breaking development for Melee players outside of the United States – the public beta release of an intercontinental Slippi build with experimental enhancements to Slippi’s rollback netcode. If given a proper release and enough testing, the implications of this could be massive, allowing for potential cross-continent tournaments and more effective practice between top players from across the world.
Hello Melee community.
The intercontinental SSBM netplay build, featuring experimental enhancements to Slippi's rollback netcode is now available for testing !
As far as tournaments go, on Sunday, iBDW added a third tournament victory to his rollback resume, as he won Pound 2021 over SFAT. It was his first rollback regional victory of the year, breaking a seventh month streak in which he had not won any online tournaments in which he entered.
Over in Europe however, was one of the greatest regional grand finals the continent had seen in quite some time. At Fete Online, Frenzy broke a three-month long slump to defend the United Kingdom, coming out on top over Ice in a thrilling 10-game grand finals in which game five’s Slippi replay had to be broadcasted because of internet issues.
In other news, Zain received a seven-day ban from Twitch because he streamed himself playing on Netplay with a tag that lead to an infamous porn video.
We’ve got a stacked month of Melee coming up. In July, the Melee community has Frame Perfect Series 6: Online, Rollback Rumble: The Big One, Smash Summit 11 and Galint Melee Open: Summer Edition. With in-person locals popping up in more regions than ever before, it’s safe to say that Melee is back.
In the United States, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and it’s not terrifying to see other humans in person any more. It’s such a far cry from the kind of day-to-day expectations that I and many Americans have come to begrudgingly accept over the last year and a half. However, I can’t help but feel a little sad about how the upcoming month could possibly be the last time we see rollback events truly be treated like majors, at least as far as American players are concerned.
When I wrote the Book of Melee, I mentioned that the combination of the Evo donation drive and the Smash Brothers documentary might have been the most important contributions to the community ever. It’s been about two years since I wrote the book. The development of rollback netcode during a pandemic is something I would have never even thought about as a potential addition to the scene. I would honestly go as far as to say that Project Slippi – by far – is the greatest thing that anyone has ever given to the scene. It might have saved it.
Yesterday, I caught up with a dear friend from college who I used to TO with. I can’t express how joyful it was to play in-person Melee with another human being – even without UCF and having not played on CRT in what’s felt like forever. It was both like I traveled back in time to the old days and yet like nothing had ever changed. It made me never want to go on Netplay ever again, but also made me appreciative of how having rollback was so much better than having delay-based netcode, let alone nothing.
Maybe I’m overthinking things. I’m a sentimental guy. Regardless, heading into this month, be thrilled that LAN Melee is back and better than ever. But also enjoy this upcoming July of awesome rollback Melee, because we might not have a month like it for quite some time.
Players to Watch at Frame Perfect Series 6: Online
I swear – I had just asked a friend over the weekend about if this series was ever going to come back. Lo and behold, Mew2King has returned with the newest iteration of the Frame Perfect Series. While it’s not a Smash Summit qualifier, it’s a pretty exciting event.
I’m going to pick a few players out of the currently attendants who are the most interesting to discuss. Because registration is still open – and since top players are notoriously slow when it comes to registering – I’m going to discuss a few players who have a chance to break out, win the event as it stands today, or take a couple of big names once they register. Consider this my “sleeper picks” preview.
Sicca On The Beat
I won’t mince words here: I didn’t think that I would ever be writing about Sicca in this column. A few years ago, he was someone you could find in a Smash discord or in a Twitch chat here and there. He then started playing a lot more and could be found at weekly Smash Loft events, but was considered just outside the power rankings. Today, he’s a b0xx playing Marth main who’s one of Montreal’s most recognizable rollback players.
Sicca’s last three events have been really good. In each one, he earned an upset over a higher seeded player: Justus, htwa and, most notably, Aklo. Looking through his recent resume a little more, he has quite a few solid victories as well, K8A, Younger and Paladin. If he’s playing well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sicca in Top 32 on winner’s side.
aCID’s Cracked Fox
I ran into aCID on unranked a while ago and learned that he was a Colorado player. Because he played so fast and hit like a truck, I initially thought that he was a Syrox smurf. Turns out that aCID has been playing for a while and just recently leveled up hard.
In 2021, aCID has been, more or less, Top 25 to 50ish on the West Coast. At the last Frame Perfect Series iteration, he actually had a nasty run to ninth place in which he beat bobby big ballz and Bbatts. aCID has a lot of other really good wins as well: Travioli, Wassabi and Hoborg.
Fankriss’ Forgotten Falco
I have to confess something. Remember my Monday Morning Marth/Melee Stats Player of the Month series? Before I forgot about it, Fankriss was supposed to be my player of April. In addition to farming all the Penn State Melee events, he had beaten Epoodle, Smashdaddy, Bbatts, Ober, htwa, Panda, Lotfy, Unsure and Colbol in the same month. He seemed like one of the sleeper East Coast Falco players to look out for.
How’s Fankriss done since? Pretty good! In the following two months, he proceeded to take sets from Dawson, Unsure again, prof, Zuppy and Sicca (whom I mentioned before). Fankriss, if you’re reading this, I deeply apologze for not continuing my Player of the Month series. I hope the tweet above sufficed.
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