Florida is one of the most history-rich states in the “Super Smash Bros. Melee” community. Its strongest players throughout 17 years worth of Melee lore are countless: Hungrybox, Plup, Wizzrobe, Colbol, Gahtzu and, as of right now, Mew2King. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg – these names are all from Central Florida.
In today’s edition of the Melee Stats scouting report, we’ll be taking a deep dive into South Florida (SFL), a subregion marked by a history of metagame-defining and character-changing talents, which came against all odds.
A Brief Overview
Note: Much of the information in this thread is gained from speaking with Tipman and this extremely comprehensive, if not intimidating series of posts detailing the entirety of Florida Melee history until the documentary era.
Florida Melee initially consisted of five different regions. As described in the MLG Era, they were the North, Mid West, Mid East, South West and South East.
The actual breakdown of each region is quite complicated due to the massive amount of local power rankings throughout the state. Today, SFL is mostly in reference to the South East (near Miami) and South West (near Naples).
To start SFL history, a Mario and Fox player, Maverick, hosted the first SFL tournament in late 2002, though the date is unknown. According to Tipman, the rulesets of the time were “wacky” and had unrestricted stage lists, free-for-alls and items.
SFL continued to have smashfests and an active scene of players. The next documented significant tournament in its history was at Tournament of Masters 1, held in May 2003. Lumbro, a Palm Harbour Fox main won. He returned SFL once again in August 2003 and once again prevailed at “Red Dragon’s Tournament,” then advertised as the battleground for determining the best in Florida.
At this point, SFL had an active scene, but its smashers were more known for their trash talk online rather than their results. Miami’s Tournament of Arms, a tourney planned for November 2003, had to be canceled due to low turnout – an embarrassing result for a scene that prided itself on number of smashfests and online presence.
In comparison to its northern neighbors, SFL was at a natural disadvantage. Other subregions within Florida, specifically Gainesville and Orlando, had greater proximity to the rest of the Atlantic South. Nonetheless, the region still had talent. Among early players like Maverick were Falco/Peach player FlowinWater, Ganondorf/Roy player Ivan and Ness/Samus player Latinoboy in the SPANK Crew. There were also crews like the Smash Assassins and Demonic Santis.
SFL initially struggled to keep up with the rest of the Smash community, which saw the inclusion of MLG and a universal ruleset in 2004. But its players still continued to host several tournaments and smashfests throughout the MLG Era – and what they may not have accomplished on a national scale was made up for in technical innovation.
Estimated to have started playing sometime around the end of 2003, local Falco Lambchops achieved success early, finishing second at his very first local tournament. His influence on Falco players, particularly through his revolutionary use of lasers, is already well-known.
Lambchops was just one of many character innovators within his region. Tipman’s matchup guide provided the foundation of his now-immortal video, “The Triforce of Power.” It subsequently inspired other Ganon giants such as RockCrock and Linguini to follow in his steed.
XIF, a Peach player, popularized “Peach pillaring,” which was linking float canceled nairs to other moves. Other players, like Green Mario (Mario), UberIce (Ice Climbers), SmashMac (Dr. Mario), KeepSpeedN (Sheik and Falco) and Phanna (Samus) pushed their respective characters’ techniques and tactics.
By the end of the MLG era, one SFL name rose above everyone else: Falco legend DaShizWiz. With world class play inspired by fellow contemporary Lambchops, DaShizWiz finished as highly as seventh at tournaments like Pound 2 and FC Diamond. Led by him, it was all but confirmed that SFL was the most dangerous region in Florida, perhaps second only to Tristate on the East Coast.
Then, Brawl came out, and similar to the rest of the Smash community, SFL lost many of its player base. DaShizWiz, however, continued to hone his skills, finishing an impressive third at Orlando’s FAST 1. He took Mew2King to the brink in loser’s finals, which was revered at the time as the greatest set since Ken vs. Bombsoldier.
A year later, at the Revival of Melee, DaShizWiz once again impressed on the national stage, slaying both ChuDat and PC Chris en route to an impressive third place. You might have heard of the legendary match that ended his exceptional national run.
In the middle of 2009, something unexpected happened: DaShizShiz fell to a non-SFL player at Orlando Domination, rather than conquering it with ease like many thought. The name of the upstart CFL talent who beat him: Hungrybox. At GENESIS, where many expected Shiz to live up to his reputation as a potential top five player in the world, Shiz finished only ninth, losing to Hungrybox again and, more surprisingly, some random Swedish teenager.
Shiz continued to be a great player, even traveling to NorCal to win a local there after being funded to travel there by the West Coast Smash scene. But his documented locals attendance dwindled, as most of the MLG Era SFL had left the scene or transitioned to Brawl. DaShizShiz too disappeared from the national spotlight by the end of 2013, though for far more more publicly worrisome reasons that followed him for years.
Not much of the period between the post-Brawl and current era of Melee is documented as well as the early era. But from Shiz’s departure from the national spotlight to his eventual return last year, there continues to be rising talent within SFL, despite its relative isolation from the rest of the Atlantic South.
The VSGC weekly, for instance continues to be one of the most consistent weekly streams within the Melee scene, TO’d by Tipman, who remains a constant presence in the SFL scene. Other weeklies include Kava on Mondays, Smash on Sunflower over in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesdays, the Arcade Odyssey Bi-weekly on Thursdays and the Florida International university weekly on Fridays.
Notable Active Players
If you didn’t know him before, you almost certainly know him now. An aggressive Ice Climbers player with loads of experience against Falco, Flipsy gained notoriety this year when he defeated Mango at Super Smash Con 2018, one of the biggest upsets (seeding-wise) of all-time. Along with everyone he’s defeated in his region, Flipsy also has victories over Gravy and DJ Nintendo in his career.
As mentioned above, DaShizWiz rose to the top of the Falco throne in the post-Bombsoldier era. Over his decade-long span of competing, he has wins on most, if not all of Florida’s top players past and present, including Hungrybox, Colbol and more. In the last two years, he’s scored wins over Westballz, KJH, iBDW, Swedish Delight and Gahtzu, also being voted into Smash Summit 7. Of course, it’s impossible to mention his presence in the scene without acknowledging his problematic past, and DaShizWiz remains a controversial figure within the community.
Once ranked as highly as No. 53 in the world for the 2014 Melee season, Porkchops hasn’t been as nationally active in recent times. The former No. 1 of SFL is currently ranked third, having started to attend more locals again. With a Falco reminiscent of his mentor Lambchops, Porkchops plays a frustratingly simple, but patient gamestyle, reliant on lasers, smash attack reads and mixups.
Prof is one of many seemingly endless Marth names within Florida (4est, Arakune, QDVS, Skrach, Dark Sonic being the other ones) Melee history. He also boasts a strong Mewtwo. Though he’s yet to take a big set win in his Melee career, Prof has great in-region results, which includes a strong head-to-head record against Porkchops as of late.
Known by most Smash fans as a vote-in for Smash Summit 5, the SFL Luigi main once finished as highly as No. 63 in SSBMRank. He boasts quite a career resume of sets; per SSBWiki, Wizzrobe, Ice, Druggedfox, MikeHaze, Ryan Ford, Gravy, Gahtzu, Bladewise and Chillin are just some of the name’s the SFL Luigi has taken throughout his career. Fox players: beware.
Other players on the Summer 2018 SFL PR include the following:
- Voo: Similar to Porkchops, Lambchops and DaShizWiz, Voo has a simple and effective, laser-heavy style molded in the ways of the “Chops” tree.
- Linguini: Linguini is a Ganondorf main known for his legendary prowess in the Falco matchup, as well once defeating Mew2King’s Marth in a crew battle and being the best player in SFL after DaShizWiz.
- Yoni: He is a rising Fox player who began rapidly improving around a year ago.
- Tipman: He’s the namesake behind the Ganon “Tipman” edgeguard and the VSGC weekly TO.
- Toothy: Similar to Yoni, Toothy is an all-rounder Fox main and former December Arcadian champ of 2017.
Players Not Covered Above
Spider Sense: One of many strong Ganondorf players in SFL. He finished 17th at Paragon Orlando 2015.
Stockholm Syndrome: The former No. 3 of SFL, Stockholm Syndrome is a Peach main who once defeated The Moon and SmashBob SquarePants – the latter with Bowser.
Shamunt: The creator of Trail Gaming League, Sheik main Shamunt was SFL’s former No. 4.
Walmart Shoes: He’s known for defeating Slox and being the former No. 10 in SFL. However, he truly jumped onto the national spotlight when he defeated…The Crimson Blur.
Chef Rach: A former Arcadian champion, Chef Rach is known for being one of Captain Falcon’s most technical players. He now lives in Jacksonville.
Hungry Pigeon: He paid for this scouting report and plays Peach, finishing as high as No. 6 in SFL.
I would like to thank the Melee Stats Patrons for helping make projects like these possible:
- Brett Rankin
- Jorgen Stenhemmer: our newest Patron!
I’d also like to thank Thomas Tipman for helping me with this piece.
See you guys next time.