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Published October 15, 2018

This series is a tribute to standard “Monday Morning Quarterback” columns in traditional sports. In it, I discuss my quick takeaways from the last week of the Smash community. Consider this a mix of news and mild takes. Featured image from VGBC’s stream, shared on Reddit. Will take down if requested.

In fitting fashion, Captain Falcon stole the show at MD/VA’s Falcon-themed The Script, with n0ne taking the crown over Wizzrobe after three sets between the two. Kalvar won Mass Madness 23 in Massachusetts while Palika took Illegal Melee in Connecticut. In the Midwest, Cal turned the clock back to 2017 in winning The Midwest Battlefield: October. Across the ocean, Shunsuke won Amaterasu 4 in Japan.

1. Wizzrobe’s Latest Slump

You never want to overreact to results, but is it too soon to say that Wizzrobe is slumping? Ever since his strong fifth place showing at Evo, the Florida Falcon hasn’t performed up to par.

At Shine, Wizzrobe lost a pair of Falcon dittos to n0ne and S2J en route to a ho-hum ninth place. A month and a half later, Wizzrobe finished an even worse 25th at The Big House, with convincing losses to Fiction and Westballz – and with The Script, Wizzrobe has yet another disappointing performance. In particular, he’s shown punishable habits when pressured, which includes spamming shield grab. These are strategies that work against significantly worse players, but against smarter ones, the risk/reward of one shield grab is outweighed by how many times it will be punished.

I fully expect Wizzrobe to bounce back at his next major. After all, this is only a three-tournament stretch; and his punish game remains as deadly as ever. However, his recent decline does call into question how people would react if Mango or Zain performed like this at three tournaments in a row.

In hindsight, I can’t help but laugh at the somewhat widely held post-Smash Con narrative that “Wizzrobe surpassed Mango.” If his latest slump has shown anything, it’s that it can be extremely difficult to maintain consistency against both your own skill tier and the one slightly beneath you.

2. Other Cool Takeaways from The Script

  • AbsentPage’s sick loser’s run to third: Jerry, Cool Lime, Trif and La Luna.
  • Speaking of loser’s runs, how about Melee Stats darling Cool Lime? He beat kebinsan, SmallHandsBrian, Panos, Juicebox and Overtriforce to make top eight.
  • Save for a baffling ninth at Show Me Your Moves 19 and an unfortunate 25th at The Big House 8 (where he was eliminated early by Plup), n0ne has been on a tear lately. I’d have to double check the records to say for sure, but based on how he’s trending, all signs point up.
  • Trif is such an amazing talent, but if you had a nickel for every time he lost a heartbreaking set, you might need to get a bigger wallet.
  • Hax 3-0’ing Gahtzu isn’t that surprising, but the way he bodybagged him game three stood out. Hax isn’t back yet, but he’s getting there.
  • S T O P R U N N I N G R O U N D R O B I N I N 2 0 1 8

3. A revolutionary TAS video

Before you do anything else today, check this video out. It might be one of the greatest TAS videos I’ve ever seen.

The concept behind it is pretty simple: TAS combos that are doable by humans. My friend Ambisinister came up with this months ago and worked on it since.

I can’t recommend it enough.

4. Monday Morning Mailbag

Mango has said before that if you don’t win a major within a few years of starting the game (I think he said 2 years, but we’re just using this as a model) you’re never going to, citing top but not god level players like sfat, shroomed, axe, and so forth. How valid do you think this is? Is there a special sauce that takes a talented player from competitive with everyone in the top 5 to actually managing to do enough to become one of them, to for one moment be the best player in the world? – SubjectiveF

Doesn’t this essentially boil down to a hard work vs. talent debate? I don’t know if I agree with Mango’s assessment, but I have no way of proving this wrong, if only because the parameters used to position the discussion are so unquantifiable.

That said, if we are just counting “winning majors” as a metric for success, aren’t Mew2King and Plup examples of players who didn’t win majors within their first three years of playing? Or are they “talented” in different ways? You could also mention ChuDat.  It’s a tough question to answer, if only because the pool of players who have won majors is so small.

I remember a few years ago some people were throwing around the idea of a national circuit of tournaments. What are your thoughts on this, or do you think our current system of lots of smaller tournaments is better? – Jose ElEntrenador

A national circuit would be ideal, but I doubt it would happen any time soon, at least for Melee. There’s quite a few reasons why I believe this, but lack of developer support is one of the biggest issues for sure. What we have now isn’t great, but it’s all we have at the moment.

If you could see any inactive players come to more tournaments, who would you choose? – AppleJoosh

PPMD, Druggedfox and Crush are the three easy answers. After them, I’d love to see Silent Wolf return, but only if he wanted. Also, what happened to Stango? He had a killer first quarter of the year and then just disappeared.

You know what? Let’s throw some old school names in there. Bring back Ken, KoreanDJ, Darkrain, Darc, PC Chris, Scar – the list is endless. Personally, I’m waiting for the Tafokints vs. Azen rematch.

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