If you thought you were going to escape discussion about Nickelodeon All-Stars Brawl in today’s column, I regret to inform you that the game has captivated several Melee players and Smash community figures alike since its release. Most notably, VoiD won Hungrybox’s invitational tournament The Box.
Within Melee itself, Hax released a video announcing the creation of a new Melee memory card titled Melee 1.03. Similar to the now defunct 20xx Tournament Edition memory card, it features all unlocked characters, as well as a modified version of the Universal Controller Fix, frozen stages, and a built-in ability for button remapping for GameCube controllers.
In Melee tournament related news, moky won Vancouver’s Pinnacle 2021 over n0ne in grand finals on Sunday, while KoDoRiN won Pizza Time in SoCal over Android 0. Over in the East Coast and a day earlier, Aklo won Function over Rishi.
Super Smash Con: Fall Fest Preview
Although we’ve seen LAN come back on a bigger level with events like Riptide and Low Tier City, the transition back to having monthly offline majors is still slow. For the most part, it’s been done on a local or regional basis. Super Smash Con: Fall Fest initially looked to have a solid mix of Mid-Atlantic talent and top players. Back when it was announced, you could have argued that it looked to be an even more significant event than Riptide.
That’s changed. Not only are Zain, Leffen, Hungrybox, Wizzrobe, iBDW dropping out, but lloD, Rishi, Swedish Delight, and Ginger will not be making it either. However, Fall Fest still looks like an event that will boast some of the Northeast’s strongest players.
POST-PUBLISH UPDATE: A previous edition of the column cited Logan as a DQ’d attendant. That has changed, since Logan is now attending. For the sake of timeliness, I’m not including them within the following 16 players, but they’d be in the final tier.
ONE more week til Fall Fest!
..and we've got some news..
— Super Smash Con (@SuperSmashCon) October 9, 2021
I’ve dedicated today’s column to previewing this event in a similar fashion to what I did for Riptide. First, I will talk about four interesting sleeper picks from MD/VA. Then I will bring up who has an outside shot to make Top 8 and mention others whom I expect to make it there. Finally, I’ll talk about the four best players at this tournament and make my pick.
Reminder: this is not a ranking of the 16 best players at the tournament; it’s merely me talking about the smashers I want to discuss the most.
I initially learned of Frostbyte when I saw him play Kalvar, someone well-known for destroying Ice Climbers players, and take him close. He would later defeat him twice, blowing my mind in the process. After being inactive for most of rollback, Frostbye has been doing well at The Cave. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his Ice Climbers take some names in the tournament.
I’ve had my eye on Khryke for a while. A couple years ago, he caught my attention by making top eights at most MOALs. In 2021, he’s been killing it in Maryland where he’s usually one of the favorites to win Xanadu. So far, he’s beaten Slowking, Bones, and Bbatts. A breakout Fall Fest would fit in with his year quite nicely.
It feels weird to add BZimm here, doesn’t it? He’s not only the former MD/VA Arcadian champion, but he even took an online set from Hungrybox. As of lately, he got 49th at Riptide, but it wasn’t too bad considering his two losses were Hungrybox on LAN – a totally different beast than Hungrybox on rollback – and null. It might be stretching the definition of “sleeper,” but I’m keeping BZimm here.
Because of the prominence of people like Zain, Junebug, Rishi, lloD, Chillin, Redd, ChuDat, and Milkman, it’s easy to forget that MOM! has basically always been a strong in-region player throughout the last half of the previous decade. Just this year, he’s beaten Warmmer, Neologism, Faust, and Ben.
JJM – once referred to by Wally as “the best Peach in New Jersey” – is an enigma. The Ice Climbers and Peach player has primarily existed within the state’s whirlpool of insane volatility in its results. Outside of that, some of you may remember when he upset Redd – a particularly strong player against the Ice Climbers – at Super Smash Con 2019.
Of all the online upsets over Hungrybox, I feel like Fable’s 3-0 of him with Sheik just went completely unacknowledged. Seriously; it was more lopsided than any of the times when Ben whooped him. Anyway, Fable’s the No. 6 in New Jersey, which should say enough on its own. Although he’s been slumping a little bit relative to expectations, Fable does have a good annual resume of sets over SDJ, Kata, OkayP, and other New Jersey players.
Bbatts is kind of like Wally in reverse. The New Jersey Peach started gaining more notoriety for his heavy online activity, but unlike Wally, who was known for grinding offline locals, Bbatts only started entering real tournaments this year. Nonetheless, his resume is pretty stacked, as he’s beaten Eddy Mexico, Bones, Jflex, 2saint, and Wally. He’s a little less steady than Wally, which is why he’s in this tier. Then again, he did just come off beating SluG at The Function.
Since Chango nearly made the Top 100 in 2019, we haven’t seen much of him. He seems to still be doing well. Two and a half weeks ago, the Mexico/Washington Jigglypuff player solidly beat Eddy Mexico and PanterA at a rollback tournament. I’m not quite sure how that translates to an East Coast heavy field, but he’s still good to look out for.
Expect These Guys In Top 8
After years of having excellent in-region showings matched by disappointing out-of-region performances, Juicebox finally played as well as we knew he could at Riptide. Here, he beat Free Palestine and MoG – someone he boasts a strong lifetime record again – en route to 17th. Considering the MD/VA-heavy field, as well as the fact that he recently won a Cave over Tyler Swift, I’m betting high on Juicebox again.
Although Michael was the one to supplant Kels as the next No. 1 of Chicago, Skerzo wasn’t too far behind at No. 2. At one point, he had actually beaten Michael for six sets in a row. It’s not just one matchup either: this year, Skerzo has individual victories over Jflex, Azel, Ryobeat, Drephen, Mot$ and, most surprisingly, a 3-0 over Ginger. Granted, Skerzo did just come off a heartbreaking 65th place showing at Riptide, but it was because he lost to Zealot and had an early showdown with Chem. It seems like Fall Fest is going to be a great rebound.
Have you ever heard of the Bones Theory? This was a theory proposed by my dear friend Ambisinister; a theory in which a player grows more powerful in proportion to how close or far they are to their bedroom. It seems to track with Bones’ resurgence online, in which he’s taken sets over the likes of Hungrybox, Zealot, Ben, and Pappi, among many others. If Bones was serious about ensuring that his performances carry over to offline, he should hypnotize himself into thinking he’s at home.
When Wally got 13th at Riptide, it was the talk of the town. But honestly, I wasn’t that impressed. Wanna know why? He beat New Jersey players I already knew he could beat. In other words, don’t be surprised when Wally beats good people. With the right bracket, it’s not too crazy to think he could actually win this event.
3 Contenders to Win
- bobby big ballz
One of the most ridiculous results over the last year was when TheSWOOPER somehow beat Shroomed. He followed it up by stunning Ben at the same tournament. As one of the top three in New Jersey, he should be a safe pick for top eight at Fall Fest. I like his overall steadiness against the field, but interestingly enough, he hasn’t played any of the other two players within this tier in 2021.
Even though bobby big ballz is such a volatile player, it weirdly evens out because there’s not much to really say about him. He can beat and lose to anyone relevant at this tournament. Flip a coin.
Although he’s been good on LAN for a long time, SluG has clearly lived up to his online ascendance in 2020 with his offline performances in 2021. Last weekend, had a strong loser’s run at The Function, where he beat JoJo, Just Jason, and Slox en route to fourth place. SluG also won CT GamerCon 4 over Jflex, 2saint, and Warmmer.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Polish. He’s a Melee Stats Patron, a rising star of the last two years, and someone who once finished above Michael in a local power rankings. For the sake of not repeating what I already wrote about Polish’s results, I’m going to post a great tweet from him below.
my favorite “melee play reflects your personality” moment was when someone watched me play falco circa 2016 and asked me if i had anxiety
— pole-ish (@ssbmPolish) September 28, 2021
With a post like this, I’m going with Polish as my pick to win Fall Fest.