When it comes to competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee, everybody knows of New York City’s influence. Alongside players like Rishi, iBDW, La Luna and 2saint, more names will pop up in Melee history: Hax, DA Wes, DJ Nintendo, Bum, KillaFox – the list is endless.
For the first edition of the Melee Stats scouting report, we’ll be taking a look at one of the five boroughs of New York City, Queens. In addition to being the location for the first ever MLG Smash circuit finale (MLG New York 2004) and other MLG Smash events in New York, Queens remains a bustling scene today.
A Brief Overview
The two biggest locals of prominence are the free St. Johns University local (Wednesday night) and Royal Smash (Sunday afternoon), the latter of which is held in a local comics store. 20Too runs the St. Johns weekly, while Dboy organizes Royal Smash events. Anywhere from 10 to 25 people attend each tournament.
The current infrastructure for the Queens Melee scene hasn’t been around for too long. Across the MLG and post-Brawl era of Melee, Queens never had a dedicated or large enough Smash population to have its own official scene. Melee players from the region traveled abroad to compete, with Deadly Alliance-ran events as the face of Tristate Melee for most of the pre-MLG era, of which there is little public documentation on.
Per Mikey Tabletop, a prominent tournament organizer within Queens from 2016 to late 2017 and Royal Smash founder, the closest example of the first “Queens Melee” was the STJ Smash Fall Championship, held in late November 2013 at St. Johns.
Organized by two collegiate smashers, Irving Chase and Mike Papadopoulos, it was a 16-entrant tournament. The visiting DA Wes, fresh off his fame from “The Smash Brothers,” finished in first.
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Inspired by the reception of their first event, Chase and Papadopoulos held a spring sequel in March 2014, STJ Smash 2. This time, the now 26-attendee tournament drew out-of-town talent like its reigning champion Wes, Captain Smuckers and Hax, who unsurprisingly won.
The numbers for these events were promising for the era, as the weekly tournaments were lucky to have double-digit attendants, if they even happened at all. Unofficially, the entirely student-compromised tournaments were referred to as “No Johns at St. Johns,” a reference to both the phrase and the long-storied Tristate local.
As a whole, the scene was still fairly new and lacking in talent. Notoriously, the entire St. Johns TMG squad was taken out by Equal, a strong Tristate Captain Falcon, then playing for Stony Brook University in 2014. But it didn’t deter the players.
Eventually, St. Johns grew to have a big enough scene to warrant its own power rankings in late 2015, in which Marth main Deer reigned as the No. 1. When the Smash tournament organizers decided to expand its events to allow non-students, the local scene saw more growth.
The decision grabbed the attention of many Long Island players, including Knut, Coin Chaser, Merc, Snoo Snoo and more. Tabletop also became more involved, eventually starting the Royal Smash series at a local comics shop and the now-annual Black Friday Blowout event, held at the same venue.
Tabletop is no longer a tournament organizer in the region and now lives in South Carolina, but he remains a leader of Queens Melee. He was the primary source for most of the information in this article.
As an aside, Queens Melee players are largely still college students, but they often refer to themselves as Tristate’s “pride and joy.” It’s an ironic tagline, yet there should be no doubt that Queens Melee is a scene with an impressive bit of history, and to an extent, its players truly believe it.
Notable Active Players
He is the Northeast’s best Yoshi player and by far the best Queens player. Last season, his inactivity led him to a controversial No. 2 rank in the region’s power rankings, but in the current one, there’s been no doubt about his standing. In his career, Whiskers has wins over dizzkidboogie, Animal, Swiftbass, Ryobeat and Captain Smuckers. He defeated the last four in a fourth place loser’s run at Apollo XII in March. Whiskers is currently the No. 16 in New York City.
If you don’t know about the legend of Chopsteezy, here’s a quick primer: he once went by the tag Lambchops and was one of Florida’s premier Falco players back in the pre-Brawl days. He was known for his brilliant lasers and exceptional neutral game, as well as seemingly unpredictable play. Eventually switching his tag to “Beerman” and moving to New York, he was once again among Tristate’s best players, finishing as high as No. 63 in the world for 2014. Today, he lives in the Bronx, but has qualified for the Queens PR via attendance.
casual_flasual regularly attends both Royal Smash and the St. John’s weekly, consistently placing within each tournament’s top three. Last year, he beat BIGKID at Nebulous Melee 90. Most people would consider him one of the best active Luigi mains in Tristate.
Formerly known as Delby17, he notably upset Colbol and dudutsai at Apollo IV. He also has a win on Ryobeat in pools at the final Nebulous Melee Saturday local this year. His performances in locals are typically volatile, from dominant tournament victories to strangely early losses.
Rounding out the active Falco players is APR Financing. He doesn’t have a big win out of region, but within Queens, he has sets over Fantik17 and Gosu. In particular, one of his strongest matchups is against Sheik, with nine wins against Dominicano, one of the two top Sheik players in Queens.
Dirt is a Fox player who has been around for the last couple of years within the Queens scene. Last season, he won a few locals, but also helped out with recording matches at Royal Smash weekly events.
Currently the No. 1 at St. Johns, Device finished the last PR period with a controversial No. 1 rank over Whiskers. This came from consistent attendance and results within his collegiate weekly. Regardless, many consider the local Sheik a formidable force within the region.
Dominicano is a well-balanced Sheik that originally came from the Dominican Republic. He took Queens by storm when he joined the region, becoming one of a small group of Queens players to defeat Whiskers in bracket. In early 2017, Dominicano took sets over FendrickLamar, Miso and tazio.
20Too is the head tournament organizer of the St. Johns weekly and the best Ice Climbers player in Queens. Earlier this year, he defeated WiLD, Just Jason and Marko en route to an impressive 17th place at Scorpius.
The champion of the first Black Friday Blow Out, Marth main Gosu remains one of the best players in region and is from Jackson Heights. Lately, he finished a respectable third in the amateur bracket of Mass Madness 21, but as recently as last year, he took a set over Jflex (though Jflex played Falco and Fox).
Other noteworthy players include the following:
- Iram (Fox), the former No. 1 of Queens, back in 2016.
- Colgate (Falco), the former No. 1 at St. Johns.
- Dboy (Falco), has the most amount of games recorded (425) for Queens Melee statistics since 2016 and is the current TO of Royal Smash.
- TK (Fox), used to be the best player at St. Johns and shared a rivalry with Whiskers.
- bigbuffalo4 (Fox), the basis behind ChuDat’s CARL tag, notable stream monster and recently prominent player within Queens.
Players Not Covered Above
Outside of its actives, Queens boasts quite a bit of recognizable talent, but their collective relation to the rest of the scene is non-existent, minimal or ambiguous. However, they still warrant recognition due to their relevance to the broader Smash community.
iBDW: Everybody knows him. He is the current New York City No. 2 and Top 35 player in the world.
Warriorknight: An old-school legend, Warriorknight is the world’s best Bowser main. In the past, he has stated that he would come to compete when “there’s a challenge for him.”
OTG: Not many people know him today, but OTG played for over a decade. He is an old school Doctor Mario main and finished No. 6 in late 2014’s New York City power rankings. He once teamed with PC Chris to finish fourth at Zenith 2014.
Space Ghost: He is a Captain Falcon player with victories on BIGKID and MayB. The No. 2 of Queens in its first regional PR, Space Ghost no longer takes Melee as seriously.
Inaba: He was one of Queens’ first players, having played as far back as 2013. He played Marth.
Lumble: Lumble is likely the best overall Luigi main in Tristate. He competed at Royal Smash events for its first year but now goes to school in upstate New York.
Just Jason: He’s technically is from the Bronx, but Just Jason used to attend Royal Smash events and place highly. He notoriously defeated Syrox at a local with Sheik and is known for his deadly punish game prowess.
Quality Steve: Quality Steve is a solid mid-Arcadian level Jigglypuff player who used to play for Harvard in TMG. He’s also the man who requested this scouting report and the current No. 9 on the Royal Smash power rankings. In addition to writing Smash-related articles for ESPN and GameTyrant, he also starred on an episode of the Melee Stats Podcast.
I would like to thank the Melee Stats Patrons for helping make projects like these possible:
- Brett Rankin
I’d also like to thank Mikey Tabletop for helping me with this piece. For reference on Tabletop’s data collection into Queens Melee results, check them out here.
See you guys next time.