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Published September 17, 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 When’s Melee.

For the first time in what feels like forever, Melee had a quiet weekend. However, there were still regional events worth noting. In Massachusetts, ZoSo won Mass Madness 22 over fellow Rhode Islander Joyboy. Hax won Super Smashed Out Melee II in New York, while MD/VA veteran Luigi Vist won Maryland’s XCS Smash Monthly. On the West Coast, Bladewise won Evergreen Rising #2.

1. Louisiana Melee Deals With Tragedy

On September 8, smasher Patrick “Aero” Miller died in a car accident. Six days later, Louisiana tournament organizer JSalt ran a special edition of the New Orleans Weekly in which the $1 entry fees, in-person donations and stream donations were put to a fundraiser for Miller’s funeral services.

Per JSalt’s Facebook description of the weekly, Friday’s event isn’t the only planned Smash tournament for raising funds. It will be part of a series of events meant to raise more money.

Friday’s tournament raised $625. Additional donations can be given here.

2. Power Rankings in SoCal and New York City

Last weekend, both SoCal and New York City released an update to their power rankings. You can check them out below.

There currently is no current SoCal Melee PR banner – will update when it’s made.

I don’t have much to say, so I’ll post some thoughts:

  • iBDW and Rishi were extremely close, as both had dominant in-region records. However, Rishi’s set over Mew2King gave him the advantage. With Rishi’s announcement that he’d play for Tristate in the regional crews bracket at The Big House 8, I’m hoping to see Tristate vs. MD/VA, his previous region.
  • Fiction finishing at No. 11 in SoCal looks blatantly wrong, but you have to keep in mind that regional power rankings typically don’t take recent trends into account.  They usually act as report cards for an arbitrary set of time, not as a current evaluation of someone’s skill. For example, I don’t think anyone would seed Fiction lower than Captain Faceroll, MikeHaze or Squid at a national; his ranking merely reflects relatively low activity across months. I fully expect to see him skyrocket in SoCal’s next power rankings.
  • Here’s a fun question: who will have more MPGR Top 100 representatives: Tristate or Central Florida?

3. Edwin Shills for The Book of Melee

The following post is taken from my Facebook page.

Hey everyone! I’m sure most of you have heard about this already, but I’m sharing it here in case y’all have missed the news – a book I’ve been working on, called “The Book of Melee,” is available for pre-order on The Big House 8 compendium.

What’s The Book of Melee? Well, long story short, it’s a retelling of the last 17 years of competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee community. If you wanna support the greatest story in competitive gaming, this is your chance!

The estimated ebook release time is January or February 2019, and I promise you guys that this is well worth your money. I’m glad to enter the ranks of gaming journalism with a release of my own. It’s the least I can do to give back to a scene that’s changed my life forever, and even saved it. Thanks for reading!

4. Monday Morning Mailbag

You only have 14 players for Summit (8 autos and 6 voted ins). Let’s assume Axe and aMSa get in through qualifiers. Then who do you want for your 6? – thorSmiles

Good catch. If that happens, then I think my other two picks would have to go to Junebug and Fiction. Both are talented players who have succeeded in short, but consistent bursts against Top 20 or higher level talent. Who wouldn’t want to see more of them?

Asking again if you can get around to it: who do you think will make waves at Big House unexpectedly? – sportsboy85

My ability to give a good answer depends on the bracket and seeding, so I’m not sure how to respond. However, if we’re going to do a small “Edwin player spotlight,” how about Darktooth?

Take a look at his quietly impressive summer. From Evo to Shine, he consistently made top 32 at nationals, garnering victories over ChuDat, KJH, Amsah, Kalvar and fellow Long Island star 42nd. His losses during this span were also to players ranked above him: Swedish Delight, Gahtzu, Junebug, Mew2King and S2J.

In general, Darktooth’s consistency out of region was admirable, perhaps giving him a stronger case for Top 50 – or at least closer to it now than he was entering the year.

The main problem with players like Darktooth is that it’s difficult to break out of the “match up against the gods in Top 64” skill tier. But it’s also not impossible – AbsentPage was in that position last year and look where he is now. If Darktooth attends more and continues improving, I don’t see why he couldn’t have a breakout Big House.

Summit has changed its singles-bracket format over its many iterations. Which format do you hope they go with for the next one (or does the format not really matter too much to you)? – JoseElEntrenador

Any format it goes with should find some way to prioritize competitive legitimacy over variety. There have been so many complaints over the last few Summit about potentially rewarding people through their losses – and it’s a real problem that exists in Swiss, Round Robin and other “group” formats meant to punish losses via seeding.

Here’s my base answer: stick with the seeded double elimination brackets for the last two days of Summit, but bring back the challenge matches. They might not be the most enticing format for casual spectators; and perhaps the stakes behind them aren’t high enough. But it’s high-level Melee. What more could you want?

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