Being a Smash Bros pro in America
By: Matthew Niemasz
Seeing a Smash bros player in America is far from rare. Most people who have ever spoken about a Nintendo console has probably either played and or heard of the Smash Bros series. The Super Smash Bros series is a game created by Misahiro Sakauri where people can use their favorite Nintendo characters to battle against their friends and family. Many people who play the game and even defeat their friends and family like to believe that they are above all. But how many of these people are actually professionals?
As of this year there are about 3,100 American Melee players who reach an MLG status plus the many people who play at small local tournaments. Japan certainly has some superior players but they do not frown upon us.
Being an American Smash Bros player is quite thrilling. The game is an original Japanese classic and it certainly gives us a break from the competitive games that America produces *cough* Call of Duty *cough*
Since the Beginning
Ever since the first game (Super Smash Bros. 64) was conceived, the players have been there to support it 100%. Tournaments were being held at local game retailers and hotels and eventually became big hits at state tournaments such as Apex 1999-2000. Everybody was enjoying themselves more and more asking themselves what more could they need. But that was when it happened. At E3 2001, a new Super Smash Bros was announced. In late 2001, along with the release of the Nintendo Gamecube, Super Smash Bros Melee was released. This was when a new era of smash players were born. People from all over were playing the game and enjoying every single moment of it. The thing about Super Smash Bros Melee is that it wasn't intended to be this competitive. They developed the game to be played casually but turned out to be much more than that. To this day it is still one of the most competitive games played in tournaments.
Five years passed and people were still playing Melee. At E3 2006 they had an announcement to make; a new Smash Bros was being released. People had high expectations. People were incredibly hyped up. Nothing could stop their excitement.. until the release of the game "Super Smash Bros Brawl." All the fun and competitive mechanics of Melee had been stripped. People were confused and upset. Groups of people tried to mod the game to make it better but only one was successful; Project M. All the mechanics of Melee but with the fantastic new engine of brawl. People were a bit more satisfied with this new rendition.
Skip ahead another three years to 2011 where yet another Smash Bros game was announced. This time people were a bit more skeptical about what would happen. In the Fall of 2014 people rushed to their local retailer to pick up their copy to play. It wasn't as bad as the monstrosity known as Brawl so it is played in tournaments, expos, etc.
In Depth Social Lenses
It's no surprise that the people across the Pacific see us as their second place. Let's be real; have you ever seen a Japanese player with exclusive access to the game be terrible? I certainly haven't. I play at a highly competitive level and I still struggle against them. As of right now the number one player is an American named Joseph Marquez(MaNg0) and the number two player is a Swede named Adam Lindgren(Armada). Not far behind them is a Japanese player named Masaya Chikamoto(aMSa) and is known for being the best Yoshi player in the world. To Americans, Yoshi would be a very low tier character. For Japan, not so much.
Who could forget the tier lists. Oh the tier lists. The Smash Bros tier lists are what determine which characters are superior to others. In most cases people use the number one or two characters in tournaments. Top tier characters really show a difference. But there are some differences between how Americans view these lists and how the Japanese view them. We are always viewed a bit differently but in the end it's all the same. The only thing that will stay equal will be that Fox is #1 on the melee tier list spawning the joke "Fox only, no items, Final Destination"
"WOMBO COMBO 10 HOURS!!!" YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 28 May 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqCdd6W0udo>
A video that shows a doubles match between an American Team and a Japanese team plus some reactions after the play. Credit to ／人 ◕ ‿‿ ◕人＼ on Youtube
This is the second video shown in this presentation. It is from a clip from Super Smash Bros for Wii U and is a rough outline of some enjoyable things that happen during an American Smash Bros game. Credit to Alpharad on Youtube.com
This is the information about the #1 Melee player in the world, MaNg0 from America and his endeavors through his own Smash career.
"Smasher:Armada." - SmashWiki, the Super Smash Bros. Wiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2015. <http://www.ssbwiki.com/Smasher:Armada>.
This is the information about the #2 Melee player in the world, Armada from Sweden and his endeavors through his own Smash career.
"Apex 2015." - SmashWiki, the Super Smash Bros. Wiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2015. <http://www.ssbwiki.com/Apex_2015>.
This is the information about the biggest worldwide tournament known as Apex where Smash Bros players from all over compete to be number one. Apex holds tournaments for all games smash from Smash 64 all the way to Smash for Wii U.
"List of SSBM Tier Lists (NTSC)." - SmashWiki, the Super Smash Bros. Wiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2015. <http://www.ssbwiki.com/List_of_SSBM_tier_lists_%28NTSC%29>.
This is a list of all the Super Smash Bros Melee tier lists. These lists help people better understand who the best characters are and what their advantages/disadvantages are.