scene has always been something of a mystery to those outside the community. It
is often isolated from other gaming communities and as a result few realize the
draw and staying power the games have had for over half a decade. One of the
staples of the Smash community are the occasional community run, grassroots
national tournaments. The roots of these tournaments go all the way back to
2003, when Matt Deezie ran the very first Smash national tournament, TG4. Since
that time dozens more have occurred and a few tournaments have even risen to
the international level in scope.
One of these
tournaments is coming this weekend. As I mentioned a few weeks ago in “Super Smash
Bros. Thriving Across the Country” over at majorleaguegaming.com, in just a few short days the Smash scene is
looking forward to the international tournament Apex 2012. The last international tournament occurred in the summer of 2011 with over 400
people attending and over $22,000 in prize money. At that tournament, Genesis
II, a Melee player from outside the United States won for the first time ever.
The player Armada, hailing from Sweden, had traveled to the United States
repeatedly over the years but until 2011 had not finished higher than second in
singles at a major US tournament. Unlike many other competitive games, the US
has typically dominated the international scene and is often considered the
best at both Brawl and Melee. This history goes all the way back to former
world champion Ken Hoang winning the Jack Garden tournament in Japan in 2005.
Many players outside the United
States have proven they can achieve great heights, but until Armada’s victory
six months ago none had proven they had what it took to be a champion. At Apex
2012 the saga will continue, with Armada once again coming to the United States
–only this time he will not be the underdog, but the defending champion. Apex
2012 will have a plethora of high-level players attending for both games.
Melee, having such a long history, offers an interesting diversity in talent.
At the top of the list are all former and current national champions. Dr
Peepee, the Falco main who won Pound 5 in early 2011, is by many considered the
favorite to challenge Armada. To win though he will have to overcome other
champions like Hungrybox and his Jigglypuff. Hungrybox’s time at the top has
been steady for years; he won Apex 2010 and is typically in the top 3 at major
national tournaments. Probably the most electrifying Melee player though will
be Mango, considered at one point to be the most dominant player after Ken, he
has won multiple national tournaments since 2009 and he is considered a threat
with many characters.
Moving past these national
champions though are former Melee players and legends in their own right. Isai,
former Major League Gaming Doubles National Champion in 2004, 2005, and 2006 and
widely considered the best Smash 64 player ever, will be attending. MLG 2006 National
Champion PC Chris should also be showing off his, possibly rusty but certainly thrilling, skills.
Other players from the days that MLG held Melee include Chillin, KoreanDJ, and
Azen—two of which won MLG tournaments in 2005 and 2006. Captain Jack has
reportedly booked his flight from Japan, he had placed top 3 at MLG’s 2004 National
Championship. Looking at these players,
the talent at Apex 2012 is almost surpassed by the long and storied history and
it is anyone’s guess who’ll come out on top.
For Brawl the event looks to be
just as exciting. Apex 2010 winner, DEHF, is set to defend his crown and shake
off what was likely a bit disappointing 2010 MLG season. The player currently
considered the best at Brawl will surely give DEHF one of his biggest obstacles
in defending his crown. Since taking 4th place at MLG’s 2010
National Championship, Ally has been on a rampage, winning over 20 tournaments
in the last year alone, including the national Pound 5. He is the first player
since Brawl’s release to overtake Mew2King in the SWF Rankings, a catalogue of
over 4,500 unique players and 500 tournaments occurring in the last year alone. Other challenges to DEHF include Mr. R,
considered one of the best Marth players and the best player from Europe.
While the competition will be
fierce from all the aforementioned players, probably the most exciting matches
will come from the Japanese. So far over ten Japanese players are slated to
travel to Apex 2012. Among them was the Apex 2010 Runner-up, Brood, who showed
the US players that Olimar can compete on an entirely different level. He stands
as one of the only players to ever defeat both Ally and Mew2King in the same
tournament. Another Japanese player, Kakera, is believed to have a Meta Knight
that rivals Mew2King’s and many are looking forward to a potential showdown
between the two. Finally, there is Nietono, who’s Olimar is held as the best in the
world and who is frequently referred to as the best player in Japan.
All of these international players
will be fighting a slew of American goliaths. The best of the US includes ADHD
(Diddy Kong), Anti (Meta Knight), Atomsk (everything), NickRiddle (Zero Suit
Samus), and ESAM (Pikachu). Many of these players are considered the best in
the country with their character. 2010 MLG
National Champion and winner of $12,500, Gnes, will grace the tournament and hopes are high for his
and other Texas’ player’s attendance. Likely the odds-on favorite to win the tournament
is Mew2King though, who despite a surge from Ally is still the most consistent Brawl player of the last four years. Mew2King has mentioned Apex 2012 may be
his last tournament and a competitor at his level will always want to go out on
top. He will be entering both Brawl and Melee and stands to win upwards of $10,000
if he performs well in both games.
Though the tournament is just three days away and already records have been set. With 410 Unique Brawl entrances it will be the largest Brawl tournament in history. The experience lasts three days from January 6th-8th,
and aside from all three Smash games will also include competitions for Super
Street Fighter IV AE, Ultimate Marvel v Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat 9, and even
Pokemon Black/White. If you live near the New Jersey area and don’t wish to
enter a tournament but want to check it out, spectator passes are a mere $10. Registration will be taken at the door for Super Street Fighter IV AE, Ultimate Marvel v Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat 9, and Pokemon. This is huge considering the recently EVO2k12 announced that Apex 2012 will be its kickoff event for their Road to EVO.
- 410 Brawl Entrants (Largest Ever)
- 330 Melee Entrants (2nd Largest Ever)
- 64 Smash 64 Entrants (Largest Ever)
- 84 (and counting...) Traditional Fighting Games
- 3 Days
- Over $15,000 in prizes
- Professional quality stream so all the action can be watched from home
- First Smash tournament to also be an EVO qualifing event
Brackets and Pools
Follow these Twitters
Interested in Apex 2012? Post who you think will win in the comments!
*Photo Credits: PBnJ, getyourtournament.com, apexsmash.com
GhaudePhaede010: Does this man need an introduction? Most likely not.
Would any intro do this amazing player justice? Probably not. Am I going
to try anyway? Definitely! I am joined today by Super Smash Bros. Brawl
best player. The standard, the epitaph, the zenith, the man, the
legend, the wonderkin, the benchmark for all of us. If you are not him,
you basically dream of beating him every day, every time you fire up
this game. He is a multi-time national tournament winner, he has earned
more than anyone else playing the game, he has won on multiple
continents, been at the top of Melee, is the Ghaude of Brawl. The man's
name is synonymous with Metaknight. A man of as much controversy as
contribution and earnings. I have on thee other side of this interview,
the one and only MEW2KING. HOLY **** MEW2KING!!!! Mew2King,
congratulations on winning Genesis 2 singles and doubles. You freaking
raped everyone and everything and thank you so much for keeping your
word and doing this interview.
Mew2King: Thanks =D Glad to do it.
I am going to go straight at the biggest and most talked about subject
of Genesis 2 right off top. It seems it would not be a National event
without Mew2King having some sort of controversy. At Genesis 2, most of
the talk was about if you were deserving of a, "red card" over the fact
that you sandbagged a match against Sade in pool play. Now in my
opinion, pool play is like the, "regular season" to brackets being the,
"playoffs" in competitive gaming. Meaning, once you have secured your
spot, you can play how you want to because you have earned the right to
relax and enjoy some of the tournament. You are not entitled to play
hard so the next player can get through. That job is on each player
individually. The backlash was severe though and I wonder how you felt
knowing about this and do you regret any of your actions regarding this
Mew2King: I don't see the big deal
honestly. It's not like I had any malicious intent. I was guaranteed 1st
seed at that point no matter what happened. At Clash of Titans 5 Ally
went Wolf in pools and got 2nd seed because of it but no one made a big
deal of it. I already apologized to Kirinblaze for that anyway.
Since we are on the topic, I know the MLG crap is now a figment of the
past and I am not going to try to pry my way into thee inner workings of
that situation. What I want to know is in retrospect, is there anything
you would have changed about yourself in that situation?
Lets not talk about this as it brings bad memories. That was my year's
goal and I really needed the money and both got ruined.
Like I said, I am not here to pry anything so we can move on. The Unity
Ruleset is one that disappoints me to no end. I am very adamantly
against it usage and see it as counterproductive and very elitist in its
implementation. How do you feel about this ruleset and if you had the
power, what would you adjust and why?
Mew2King: Honestly, I don't really care much either way. The ruleset does not affect me too much.
I constantly feel like you are personally upheld to a hypocritical
double standard. Because of your persona, people feel like you are too,
"robotic" and far too introverted. On thee other hand, if you do
something that comes off as, "natural" and even, "normal" you end up
being penalized for that as well. Do you feel the double standard and
how do you handle those situations?
Mew2King: Anything I do gets hated on a lot. I might have my problems and be a weird kid but so what?
Everyone of us has problems and is just a taste weird. Like I said, I
feel too many people uphold you to that double standard. It is easier to
do that to you than say, step up themselves. Anyway, most people
shudder in fear when they find out they will have to play you. I know
you are pretty much at the top of the game but is there anyone that you
truly feel pressure or nervousness when you know you will have to play
Mew2King: I don't go into most matches thinking
I'll win. I go into them thinking I'll lose so that I don't **** around
and I can try my best
GhaudePhaede010: But since
you win all the time, I find myself cheering against you because I enjoy
rooting for thee underdog and you are basically never thee underdog.
Does it bother you that people like me never want you to win anything?
Do you have anyone that you personally root against for whatever reason?
Mew2King: I don't like cheering against people. Oh
hell yeah that gets annoying but you have to get used to it. I'm kinda
used to it (even though it sucks =/ ).
I understand it sucking and I hope you understand, I do not root for
the Yankees for the same reason. Every year the Yankees are involved and
it is nice to see other teams, faces, and fans earn it over the top
dog. This next question is as much for Melee as it is for Brawl. Is
there any player that you have never beaten that you would like to have
gotten one last shot at?
Mew2King: I guess a rematch with Armada? Maybe some day...
A rematch with Armada would be pretty ****ing amazing. You two should
just do a high dollar money match because I think everyone would want to
see it. I prefer doubles to singles as most people already know. One of
the main reasons is that you can team with other great players and see
them for a short period as an ally and not your cut throat nemesis.
Everyone I interview wants to team with you because most people agree
that you are the best doubles player out there. So my question is, who
is the best doubles partner for you and what does it take to get you to
partner with someone?
Mew2King: If people take me to
tournaments or do me favors, I'll team with them. It's easiest to win
with Anti or Ally in my experience but I do well with a lot of people.
As far as traveling goes, you have been to some amazing places
including Australia, the one place I really want to go for gaming. Where
have you been that you would never want to go back to? Where would do
you like to revisit? And where would you like to go that you have never
Mew2King: I'd rather not answer negative
things, but I really enjoy going to California. And NJ/NY is good too
(and convenient for me). Oh yeah, and I wanna go to Japan.
Semi on this topic: You have seen a lot of cities, states, and even
other countries. Where is your absolute favorite spot to eat?
Hmmm. I don't know... Chipotle and In N Out are really good, or any
good chicken or asian food places are generally really good as well.
I am partial to Del Taco and Jack in the Box. Oh how I miss Jack in the
Box. We are all men and mostly all of us love women. So I think we all
want to know what kind of women does Mew2King want to b-air, d-smash,
and JV 4-stock?
Mew2King: Asians! >_>... what the **** I'm not answering this specifically LOL.
Wow so many men love the Asian *****es. I guess Asian *****es dabess...
Because you were basically always on the road, there was a period where
I thought you did not have a home. When not on the road, what do you do
Mew2King: I really like sleeping.
Traveling is also really fun, because it's always a new adventure. I
enjoyed doing this because I want to live life to the fullest instead of
wasting it, but I believe I'm going to start going to college again
soon and settling down more from now on and as time goes on.
In all thee interviews I have done, nobody has ever said they really
enjoy sleeping so that is a first. Since starting to play competitive
Smash, do you have a rough estimate of how much money you made?
50k at most. But I've had a lot of bad luck and it should have been a
lot more. My total right now is about 10k, and a lot of it (vast
majority by far) goes to helping my family. I'm not lying at all.
GhaudePhaede010: May I please borrow a hundred dollars?
No! <_< but I do lend out money to my friends a lot. Except, I
found out a lot of them aren't even friends, but people who just took
advantage of me and don't intend to pay me back. niceness is my weakness
GhaudePhaede010: Aiight, so from now on my
goal is not to be the best Smash player out there; rather, to become
your friend. Aside from basically ruling the community and raping the
competition, what keeps you coming back? Is it all about the money? The
celebrity? The whores? Is it something else that I could never
Mew2King: It used to be about proving
myself to be the best. Now that I've reached that (Even though me and
Ally are essentially equals depending on who's playing better that day)
it's for money. It's also kinda fun. Sometimes it isn't fun at all, but
Genesis 2 was extremely fun to me.
think only you, dmbrandon, and Fatal are openly willing to admit that
money is a strong motivation. It is like other players are ashamed to
admit they want the money. I think we all want money though. Going into
Genesis 2 you did not seem very confident you would place first. Why was
that and do you think agreeing to do this interview had anything to do
with you performing so well (I like to think of you wanting to do this
as a turning point)?
Mew2King: I don't go into
matches thinking I'll win as I said. I simply try my best to make sure I
do. I don't underestimate my opponents or sandbag them. When I lose I
was usually either outplayed or just playing bad, but if it's a big
tourney I generally don't like to underestimate my opponents.
Mew2King: And no, agreeing to the interview had nothing to do with it XD
Man come on now... I know agreeing to this interview had a little
something to do with your success. You know in the back of your mind you
were thinking, "I cannot let GhaudePhaede010 down. Gotta win for that
interview" right? Heading into a big national event like Genesis 2, do
you feel any extra hype or is it more of a, "business as usual" approach
for you these days?
Mew2King: It is a combination of both, really.
You never played Wifi and I have to wonder why... were you part of that
elite group that would alienate online players when at in person
Mew2King: No, I was not. But it's just too laggy that's it.
A player was robbed at gun point after Friday's conclusion. Besides
thinking the community is full of **** for reacting the way they did
(really community, a guy gets robbed and somehow it is HIS fault?
Really? Think...), your sandbagging was somehow more important and news
worthy than this. I did not see one blog on the front page and other
than a twitter post, I was basically thee only person actively trying to
pursue information. While blogs about you sandbagging were reaching
huge numbers of replies (which I did voice my opinion on), there was
very little about this bit of unfortunateness. Did you hear about this
and how does it make you feel to know that you sandbagging was more
important to the community than the safety of the players?
This Brawl community is incredibly immature I would like to say first
off. All most of these kids do is gossip or start and/or spread rumors,
whether they are true or just plain made up or simply something they
want to believe or doing it for attention. That's the main reason I
rarely bother with this website hardly anymore. Stealing money or
threatening people is ****ing rude. As someone who is actually owed
about 7000 dollars from various tournaments not paying out (Winterfest
SNES Pound5 Activegamers and I forget the rest) and being robbed (in
2007 I housed a bunch of people and they stole over 1000 dollars from my
room just before FC:Diamond, and many other occasions I have had
of similar times being robbed but I'd rather not think about it but in
my life it's several thousands easily) I know what it feels like to get
robbed (not gunpoint but the robbed part definitely). However, that
doesn't mean you should do bad things back to other people, and what
most people do is they take the bottled up anger that they have, and
because of their sadness they enjoy making others sad or doing greedy
things. I even used to be like that at one point but I think the older I
get the more clear this becomes. This may sound stupid but one of the
reasons I don't really like doing bad things is because, if heaven does
exist, you don't go there if you do a lot of bad things . Also, I
generally feel a lot of guilt if I were to do bad things (lying,
stealing, hurting people, are all things I greatly dislike). I know this
isn't part of the question you asked but it's stuff that I wanted to
GhaudePhaede010: Oh my Jeebus that was
totally not an answer I was expecting. But for the most part, you are
correct. In my short interviewing career, I have gotten to interview
UltimateRazer, Fatal, dmbrandon, ADHD (on my daughters birthday. THANK
YOU ADHD), and now you as big names go. You are about as big as they get
so who would you like me to interview next and why?
I really do not know. Someone you really want to interview is probably
better than anyone I could tell you to interview. Hmmm... maybe Ally, Anti or Tyrant though lol.
Mew2King, thank you so much for taking the time out to do this
interview. I totally love you, appreciate you, and wish you so much luck
and wealth and *****es in the future. Will you please buy me a boat? If
you have any shout-outs or e-hate, please feel free to send it out now.
Mew2King: thanks =D. And no wtf LOL. I'll buy you a
toy boat that squirts water though. And for shout-outs I don't like
naming specific people so I won't but the VAST majority of the rumors
about me are not true and that is the truth. Reason I don't really use
this site much anymore is cuz caring about it is unnecessary stress that
I'd rather have ignored or out of my life. For the few that are true
I'll just fix them, but the immature smash community making a big deal
of everything I do (and HAVEN'T done but they think is true) and hating
so much is absolutely unnecessary.
normally do not add anything to the beginning or end of interviews
(with ADHD being thee only exception) but there are a few things I feel I
have to say. First of all, I feel like king of the world getting to
interview amazing and not so amazing players and legends simply because
they are people and I want to know about them as much as anyone else
does. Second, I want to give some special shout-outs because this
interview right here has earned me the freelancer badge and when I
started out, I was not sure I would stay around long enough to get this
far so here goes:
GhaudePhaede010: I want to shout-out
the following people in no specific order: numonezeldafan for being my
first interview and helping me develop this style. Vermanubis for
basically showing the world that an amazing interview is not solely
based on name recognition. dmbrandon and Inui because even when I
disagree with either of you, you are both men and you understand what it
takes to be real and stay integral. Neither of you sell out and I
respect both of you so much for always being yourself even when we do
not see eye to eye. Plus, you both raped when I interviewed you. Patg
and Kyleisreal because you both take care of me. Always reading,
supporting and watching since near the beginning. I would definitely not
be near where I am today without you two specifically as fans. Most of
the people in free play for keeping my skills sharp since I do not have
the time to play like I used to. My wonderful girlfriend for giving me
so much to talk about, and helping me out by asking so many important
questions. A lot of the stuff I ask, especially the funnier, more
eccentric stuff comes from her. My baby's momma for being so drama free
and supportive (and telling me to mention this next person). Miles, my
editor for putting up wth, looking over, and posting my interviews
despite length, or brutal editing processes. He is a gift to me and he
does so very much to contribute to this website. I feel ashamed that my
baby's mother had to point out that I needed to give you this shout-out,
but she is 100% correct in not letting me submit this without giving
you the praise, love, and respect due to you. Thank you. My brother for
being my brother. Most people have family that will support them no
matter what, but not me. My brother is not a nut rider and like dm and
Inui, you have to earn his respect and once you have it, the doors open.
He gave me absolutely nothing in terms of respect but now he reads as
much as anyone. Lastly, everyone else I have interviewed. All of you
hold a special place in my heart, even if it did not go well or I did
not like thee interview. Every experience is a special one and it has
led to me getting big name players, and much love and respect from the
community. I will never turn my back on players on that level. I
appreciate every one of you. Thank you all.
GhaudePhaede010: For Iyolah! For Eternity!
GhaudePhæde010: AllisBrawlers, today I have an interview that marks a special moment for me. Since the game's release I have been following this player because, well, he has always been pretty freaking amazing at the game. On the real, when I approached him to do this interview, he was not exactly interested. As he looked into my other interviews, he took notice and decided I was a good format for him. This is especially big for me because for the first time, I felt like I, 'won' a member of this community over. This man is a strong regional performer, always a National threat, a menace to any tournament he appears in, a multi-tournament winner, an aspiring MvC 3 pro, and a class guy on all accounts: DMBRANDON is my guest today. dmbrandon, thank you so much for taking time out to do this interview. It is a special moment for me because you were one of my first true favorite Brawl players from a fans perspective.
dmbrandon: Thanks! I was a bit apprehensive about being interviewed, but this seems like a pretty great thing you're doing, so I'm pretty pumped to be a part of it.
GhaudePhæde010: I am more than honored you decided to do it. When you first started playing the game, you were way in front of the pack and that is why I was turned on to you early. I did an interview where a guy said his friends did not even bother to enter a school tournament because they knew you were going to win it. How did you come off the blocks being so good so fast?
dmbrandon: My friends and I decided to purchase a Japanese Wii for the Naruto: Gekitou Ninja Taisen games, being such fans of the cult classic Naruto: GNT4 on the Gamecube. A few months down the line, we realized Brawl would have a two week head start in Japan, and hopped on that train as fast as possible. Eventually, Brawl was delayed, and while the few weeks in wait were torture, the game's release in America was actually over a month behind the Japanese.
dmbrandon: My friends and I were decent at Melee. I was once a pretty hefty tourney threat in the Philly area. So, we used our humble beginnings and power leveled ourselves through the early meta-game. We got our names out there by inviting over some people and letting them experience the game. Later, I also decided to make an early rule set and stage list, most of which has held up pretty strong over the last three years. I'm kind of proud of that.
GhaudePhæde010: You know I love the Naruto games that are on Gamecube. I love doubles and those games provide great doubles... I could never get to the high level I watched in videos though. Coming off to a fast start, it seems like you were always right at the top, was there a due paying process for you or were you just magically that good? How did you come to find your main? Was there a process for or did you already know he was right for you before you touched the game?
dmbrandon: Not at all. Meta Knight is a loser. Dude can't get anything right. (Well, except the complete centralization of Brawl's meta-game.) Honestly, I consider myself one of the few people to have beaten a lot of games on the home console, Kid Icarus being one of them. Naturally, I was most excited to play Pit. It's a true shame what a campy/girly/stupid character he turned out to be.
dmbrandon: Once I realized how much I hate Pit, I moved on to Toon Link. I focused on him up until about a week before March, when I eventually started to tri-main between TL, Marth, and Meta Knight.
dmbrandon: Once the gamebattles.com ladder began, I focused mostly on Marth, due to him being godly on Wifi in the beginning. DieSuperFly changed that around with his introduction of Snake. Once I realized Marth wouldn't cut it, I stuck to Meta Knight.
GhaudePhæde010: Wow, I am always impressed by the process people take to find their mains and what draws them to that character. And DSF is my favorite Snake main ever. He should have never switched, in my opinion. But switching gears, you brought up the rule set which I will admit to (and have more than admitted to over the years now) thinking needs a deep overhaul. Being that you have had such a heavy hand in the rule set and basically the early formation of this scene, is there anything you feel should be altered, or changed about today’s current rule set?
dmbrandon: I always am toying around with 1 stock, 3 minutes. The problem is that it would require far too much stage testing, especially with planking as strong as it is. I mean, it would have to be close to a ten ledge grab limit, which would make camping too difficult for characters like R.O.B.
dmbrandon: I really wish we could convert to custom stages, or maybe a three stage list. (Battlefield, Smashville, FD) The problem is that the game is too old to really do a complete overhaul at this point. Even if we decided to do it as a whole, the players would have a hard time adjusting.
dmbrandon: If even one top player said something like "THIS IS GAY NOT DOIN IT" it would all fall apart. Cause the next top player to lose, would say the same thing. Over and over until either the scene died, or we did a complete revert. :-(
dmbrandon: But it would offer a more streamlined fighting game feel. Not to mention that tourneys wouldn't be 13 hours long.
GhaudePhæde010: True that. And that goes right into my next question: I know you are very deeply into Marvel vs. Capcom 3. What brought you to that game? And I really want to know; has being in that community made you look at Brawl in a more negative context? I know many players will step into another fighting game community and then begin to insult the Brawl scene, or meta-game. My brother is a prime example of this. He started playing TVC and immediately went to town on how shoddy he thinks Brawl is. He will now only play the game in doubles with me... are you this way and do why do you think others may do this?
dmbrandon: I'm quite the opposite, really.
GhaudePhæde010: Hmmm. Please continue.
dmbrandon: The Brawl scene is full of pre-pubescent wannabe trolls, and little jerks with mouths way too big for their own good. I was excited to leave the Smash scene the newer Brawl players have smashed into the ground. The camaraderie and strength the Melee community had was amazing, and like every series that started as off-line only, it slowly degenerated. Due to online play, players who would normally hop on a train or a bus for 500 miles to play people he had only read about are all but dead.
dmbrandon: Nowadays, it's just, play on wifi, make friends with Nairo cause he's 11 years old like me, and then act like a tough guy.
dmbrandon: When I went over to the Marvel scene, I was so pumped to hang out with adults for a change; people like Damian, Josh Wong, and KDZ show real maturity, and are rather welcoming.
dmbrandon: After a few weeks, I started to notice the lack of structure in the community. In Smash, you have a very strict clique mentality. Four groups, which could easily be discerned: TOs, Top Players, New kids, and annoying jerks that everyone hates. Poly Brawl was always the best for that. Top players always near the stream, new players off to the side, and the annoying jerks in the back middle. Godlike.
dmbrandon: Marvel, and to the same extent, SSF4, is a bit more chaotic; Top players, everyone else. I'm not sure if it's good or bad, just different.
dmbrandon: The thing that truly made me realize my love for Smash, was how the tournaments were actually running. Almost every TO is using Tio, but doesn't have any idea what the **** they're doing.
dmbrandon: They just put players into the registrant's section, and randomly generate a bracket. No seeding, no making sure byes aren't fighting byes. ****, I have to fight tooth and nail to make sure me and Zucco aren't on the same side. It's absurd. One time, I had a TO tell me to my face that he moved us, and then forced us to fight before quarters.
dmbrandon: That community is carried by the fact that their game is made specifically for competitive play. Smashers, on the other hand, have had to mold our game from millions of combinations to come up with the most balanced way to play. That forced us to become not only better as players, but as hosts, too!
dmbrandon: The first real underground video game tourney stream was done by Solid Jake, in 2009. (Ally's first american tourney.) Tio was made specifically to make Smash run better. We're bred to be the best TOs possible, because our game forced us to learn these types of things for our chance to be tourney players. Honestly, I think it would be amazing if all the top Smash TOs would start hosting MvC3 and SSF4.
dmbrandon: Considering: What do you get when you have TOs who are versed in true bracket theory, seeding, and hosting mixed with games that are specifically made for competitive gaming?
dmbrandon: Major League Gaming.
dmbrandon: So, while I may not like the game as much, that true discipline this community has really makes it more appealing. Not to mention, a lot of Smash players are like family to me.
GhaudePhæde010: Oh wow. That is one of the deepest answers I have ever gotten to any question I have ever asked. Absolutely amazing and thoughtful. Speaking of tournament organization, as far as Brawl is concerned, your scene is fairly strong (lol), considered by many to be the strongest region in the world. When you started out, you were at or near the top of the game. As time has come to pass, you have declined a little bit amongst the ranks. Do you attribute the decline as a step up in new players, or a general step back in your dedication? Or is it a combination of both? Do you feel you have primed or do you think you can get back? Also, I was going to ask you later, but what makes you stay within this community? Can you expand on the answer you have already given?
dmbrandon: In short, my decline was easily summed up in one sweet, short answer:
dmbrandon: ****ing World of Warcraft.
GhaudePhæde010: Oh my Ghaude, that is so funny lol.
dmbrandon: If I didn't get suked into Wrath of the Lich King, I'd still be top ten.
GhaudePhæde010: So do you think you can get back there or do you feel that mountain is too high to climb now?
dmbrandon: This past year, I really started to feel my age hit me. Kids like ADHD and Nairo who have care free middle-and-high school lives, who can dedicate five to six hours a day. It's hard to keep up with that. And almost any top player will tell you; once you've hit the top, it's harder to keep up, since you've already accomplished your goals. I kind of started to dwindle early, when I two stocked M2K.
dmbrandon: He was my goal, honestly. After that, I kind of let it get to my head that I didn't need to practice, so I didn't. What I realize now, is that I didn't want to practice. That's what really kills a player, in my opinion. I lost the love for the game.
dmbrandon: vVv and MLG brought that fire back into me in 2010. Shadow and I toiled hard at our chance at being at the top of the game. Unfortunately, we both had a pretty terrible showing; Shadow taking 25th, right behind my 17th. Neither in the money; both defeated. Day 3, we had another terrible showing in teams, losing a 4-1 stock lead against Chaz and Seibrik. That was pretty much the nail in the coffin for me.
GhaudePhæde010: Switching gears now; I am much a fan of video games. I am an avid collector, I am a serious player, and I basically live and breathe video games outside my children. I watch competitive gaming like I watch any sport. I have favorite players, favorite teams, favorite regions, favorite everything. I would go out and get geared up if I could. We watch it with soda, popcorn, and the works. When you are not actively playing, do you watch a lot of gaming? And who do you cheer for? Do you have a loyalty system?
dmbrandon: Loyalty system is Friends > Crew > State > Japan/Korea > region > Europe.
dmbrandon: As for competitive gaming, I do watch a lot! I don't really enjoy StarCraft, unfortunately. I'm kind of an idiot when it comes to RTS. I'm a big fan of the original Carbon, for Halo2, and I helped Coach TypeZ in 2006.
dmbrandon: I'm definitely the on the same note for big tourneys, and getting the streams going. Last year for Evo, we put it on the big screen, and just chilled all day. If I don't go, I expect it'll be the same.
dmbrandon: Also, I'm a huge fan of everything gaming. I like to say I love every game ever made. I used to have a pretty sexy collection of RPGs. I know I'm known as a fighting game player to most, but my heart lies within the role-playing bosom of the mid- to late 90s.
GhaudePhæde010: And as far as RPG's go, Secret of Mana > Everything. I love the RPG heyday of the mid-nineties. Being as old as I am, I come from a different age of gaming from most. I came from time where a story was not necessary and was even shunned in video gaming. You just need a gun or a bunch of enemy ninjas and there was reason enough.
dmbrandon: Seiken Densetsu 3 is still one of my favorite games, and I was completely enthralled when Secret was ported of GBA.
GhaudePhæde010: So I know you play other games but outside of video games, what else do you enjoy doing? Can you take me through that day in the life of dmbrandon? Are you like a bonafide rock star or are you more humble? You have said your ego caught up to you, did you learn anything from that experience that you have turned into a more positive bearing today?
dmbrandon: Heh, probably not. I'm pretty blessed with a logically sound mind, but unfortunately, I'm still a dumb, lazy American, so change really isn't in the cards.
dmbrandon: I do a bit of light working out. Nothing serious.
dmbrandon: I like boxing, and I absolutely love food.
GhaudePhæde010: Boxing is my second favorite sport (editor's note: Futbol is king). I am a huge Ali fan. I even changed my name to Muhammad simply because of my love of that man and his accomplishments and impact on my life.
dmbrandon: Ali is the god of boxing. I use the rope-a-dope style in Marvel a lot. Forcing people to rush me down and waste meter. It allows me to be insanely reckless.
GhaudePhæde010: OMG Dude, I am so like that with TvC and Brawl. I try to use the rope-a-dope to bait early kill moves or whatever.
dmbrandon: Food is almost as high on my list as video games. I like to think I have a decent palate. With that said, I spend a pretty obnoxious amount of money on going to fine dining restaurants.
GhaudePhæde010: Whoa? If you could take one food to heaven with you, what would it be? Food promo here.
dmbrandon: !!! How can I possibly choose that? I suppose Filet Mignon if I had my choice to prepare it differently.
dmbrandon: Also, what kind of terrible heaven would only allow me one type of food?
dmbrandon: ****ing Christians...
GhaudePhæde010: I use a lot of philosophies like that from life in my video game style. I read The Art of War for inspiration and such. Do you use a lot of real world philosophies when approaching video games? If you do, care to share any?
dmbrandon: Most of my game is psychological. I got pretty good at **** talking when I learned that the overall effect made them play like trash. I'm a pretty quiet guy overall, but most people know me as the rash, abrasive Diem. I don't really mind being known as either. Just so long as I'm better than the people who care to judge me.
dmbrandon: Which I am.
dmbrandon: I'm pretty good at reading my opponents, so I love to call out which moves they'll do as they do them, or look at them while I counter them.
dmbrandon: Also, if you hear me say the word Gotcha, you can expect to lose a stock.
GhaudePhæde010: As you have said, you lost some of your luster after beating Mew2King in such convincing manner. As you play both MvC3 and Brawl at this high level, what do you do to continue to push yourself to get better? Any advice for new players on how to get good at the game without being completely overwhelmed?
dmbrandon: A lot of newer players have the same Pokemon-esque mentality.
GhaudePhæde010: Lol. I laugh because I agree there. But please do elaborate.
dmbrandon: That same, I need to start out in my town, becoming a stronger player over time, then venture out and really make a name for myself by earning badges. In this case; each badge being a top player win.
dmbrandon: Pokemon has the absolute best message, too.
dmbrandon: When you pick a Pokemon in the beginning, you're stuck with them for a while. But when you realize that Charmander is gonna get bodied by Brock's rock type, you understand that if you bring out a different type, you'll have a much better chance.
dmbrandon: When a player begins in a fighting game community, he picks a character, gets good, and then sticks with it.
dmbrandon: That's gonna be your biggest downfall.
dmbrandon: Being a proud Peach main isn't gonna get you positive attention.
dmbrandon: You're just going to look like a ****ing idiot when someone picks Meta Knight, and gives you the worst beating of your life. You need to adapt to your surroundings.
dmbrandon: Tiers very much exist, losers. Make sure if you're gonna main a low tier, you have his/her 7-3 matchups covered.
GhaudePhæde010: That is funny. Some people prefer to stick to one character. I once spoke to NinjaLink and he said, "Play as many characters at high level as possible…" simply because then you lean everything you can about the whole cast. On the other hand, some players think if you just work really hard with one character, you will overcome all obstacles that way. Do you think match-ups really matter most? Or at the top levels, can a player’s skill truly trump the match-up deficiency?
dmbrandon: Player skill is obviously more important. I am looking at ESAM and NickRiddle, mainly. Or the Sonic mains.
dmbrandon: But matchups definitely play a close second. If you're the best Mario in the world (smirk) and good ole MK2342 knows the match up in and out, I'm still gonna lose 8 out of 10 times.
GhaudePhæde010: True. And I like how you phrased those sentences. It still has me loling.
dmbrandon: Players can overcome MOST obstacles. I don't think anyone could overcome all obstacles. I know I'll just never be good against Falco with MK, I'm stupid, I don't know. My Mario does pretty well though, because I'm good at reading the mid-range pokes and punishing.
dmbrandon: Thanks. ^^
GhaudePhæde010: You were at or near the top in the very beginning so this may not apply to you but I will ask anyway. Tournament Moxie, or nerves play a huge role on most peoples psyche... does this affect you in any way? How do you curb or numb those feeling out? And do you have any advice for players on how to stomp this issue?
GhaudePhæde010: For me, it was just about playing in high pressure situations.
dmbrandon: It happens to everyone. When I played in the Tony Hawk Underground Finals I almost threw up (I won anyway lol). Honestly, you need to realize that there really isn't anything to lose. I'm always nervous going into matches, and it's something you may never really shake. You just need to focus.
dmbrandon: The biggest thing is to play with reads, and reaction, and not pre-disposed strategies.
dmbrandon: If you're too focused on landing specific moves or combos, you're going to lose sight of your approaches. Just play your best and always be respectful at the end. Hand shakes, always. (In Smash, I would actually prefer to fist bump, cause Smashers are sweaty ****s, you already know.)
GhaudePhæde010: I agree 100% about not going in robotic. Having a certain game plan only works if you are flexible enough to realize when it is not working. Now, going back to the rule set, there has been a small rumbling amongst a lot of adults that video game tournaments are basically legalized gambling. Some people are even thinking of taking this issue to the Supreme Court. What most in this community want is a cutoff age; saying a 13 year old should not have the right to take home that kind of money. Do you believe there should be a cutoff age? If so, what age do you think is fitting? If not, what do you think of this mindset in general?
dmbrandon: **** that.
dmbrandon: **** that so hard.
dmbrandon: It's not illegal gambling, because luck isn't playing a factor. (inb4tripping)
dmbrandon: It's a test of skill, and it's absolutely no different than playing a wheel on the boardwalk, or paying money to enter little league. Just because we offer cash as a prize instead of a douche bag trophy, or a blow up air guitar doesn't mean that it should be considered gambling.
dmbrandon: If that were truly the case, then going to work should be gambling, too!
dmbrandon: I mean, I'm taking a huge risk by leaving my house. How the **** do I know that Jonny Scumface isn't gonna waltz all up in my place of business and blast me back to the 80s?
dmbrandon: If kids want to dedicate their free time to becoming godly at a video game, that's their right as an American; its, “liberty and justice for all…” not just adults.
dmbrandon: And good for them. We need new faces. :3
GhaudePhæde010: I agree completely. Luck is truly not the deciding factor but when people start in on this type of pointless something, they will stay headstrong and usually see it all the way through.
GhaudePhæde010: Most people know I get hated on by my family for choosing to play video games as passionately as I do. Who outside of the community supports your endeavors? Are you as unfortunate as me or do you have a healthy support group?
dmbrandon: It's 50-50. My mother forever detests the choices I've made, because I chose happiness over success. She'll support in her ways, now, because I think she realized how much it means to me. I can get pretty adamant about the things I love, and I have a pretty influential side to me. I'm blessed because while my girlfriend doesn't enjoy gaming or any games at all, she's 100% supportive.
dmbrandon: I do have a lot of friends whose families are completely against it.
dmbrandon: Sucks, but until they're out on their own, there isn't much that can be done.
GhaudePhæde010: You are a high level player and that means you get treated differently than most other players in the community. You get a lot of extra attention. I have had people say that you are an extremely nice guy and others that have said you snubbed them or were kind of a jerk to them. Is the latter intentional or are they maybe taking your actions out of context? Also, have you ever wanted to meet another gamer and been snubbed by them when you tried to approach?
dmbrandon: The difference between me and someone like... Let's say Atomsk (NAMEDROP) is that I'm not a White Knighting ******. If someone is annoying, I'll tell them. You stink, I'll tell you. You talk out of place, I'll tell you. I don't give a ****, at all.
dmbrandon: What sucks, is, Brawl's community is a bit too welcoming. A lot of people think they can go to their first tourney, and start acting like Blackanese or Sky.
dmbrandon: REAL TALK TIME: If you're a new player, keep your ****ing mouth shut for a few weeks.
dmbrandon: I'm sure anyone would say this, but if you get to know me, I'm a pretty cool guy. I don't like people with egos as big as mine, so if I think you're full of yourself, I'm gonna treat you like a ****. There's a certain Diddy Kong main in my state that is plagued with narcissism, so I'm not the nicest guy in the world to him.
dmbrandon: Embarrassingly enough, I learned how to play Melee in a ****ing dream. Honest to god! I had a dream that a top player came over and taught me how, and when I woke up, I had the muscle memory of SHFFLing down pat. I called my friend and told him I was gonna destroy him, and he didn't believe me.
dmbrandon: He was pissed a little while later, lol.
dmbrandon: At MLG Meadowlands in 2006, I really wanted to meet that player (the player I dreamed about), but like a good noobie, I stayed back, and chilled out. Thinking back, I probably could have said hi, or some ****, but whatever. I'm where I am now, and more important, I was where I was in 2008 (when I cared) so I guess everything played out for the best.
GhaudePhæde010: That answer is ****ing ridiculous. Best answer ever! My first ever tournament win is something I will never forget. I was sent to losers in my first match and then I ran losers all the way back to losers finals where I beat the guy that sent me to losers (after he talked much **** to me) and went on to win both sets of grand finals 3-1 while having everyone in the building cheer against me. Can you take me back to your first tournament win? How you felt? And if any tournament win has or ever will top that feeling?
dmbrandon: My first tourney win, or my first Smash win?
GhaudePhæde010: Tournament of any kind.
dmbrandon: It's actually a bitter story.
dmbrandon: It was in 1997.
dmbrandon: Funcoland (now GameStop, like everything else) was hosting a Rally Cross Tourney.
dmbrandon: You'd show up whenever you'd like over the course of a two week period, pay $3 and do three trial runs on a specific course.
dmbrandon: A person, who was like family to me, used to work there, and allowed me to play for as long as I want, and do as many races as I needed.
dmbrandon: In other words; cheated.
dmbrandon: What really sucked, is that, after a few days I finally beat the top ranked player.
dmbrandon: What I didn't know until years later, is that the guy came back and beat me.
dmbrandon: The employee never took the time down, so I could win.
dmbrandon: I went on to round two for the regional event, and won that as well, luckily, this time I didn't need any artificial time boosts.
dmbrandon: I found out a few years later after I won a local Tony Hawk 2 tourney.
dmbrandon: He thought it was hilarious, but I know my tourney beginnings are a ****ing lie, and as childish and silly as it sounds, it stings.
dmbrandon: Something I practiced so long for wasn't even really a true win.
dmbrandon: What is instilled in me now, is that cheating is... well, the worst. Nothing makes me angrier than someone cheating in tourney.
dmbrandon: I almost got put in jail a few years back cause someone tried to cheat me in Halo 2, and the owner of the store said it was okay, even though the rules said it wasn't.
dmbrandon: I went berserk.
GhaudePhæde010: That is a wonderful story with a strong moral tale at the end. That is great. A great story for all you FPS ****heads that think it is amazing to cheat your way to fake-*** stats. I hate you ****ers.
GhaudePhæde010: /Deep breath
dmbrandon: What really sucks about it, is that they were using the flag bounce strategy in Halo 2 on Colossus, a strategy I was the co-inventor of. loololol
GhaudePhæde010: Ahhhh the irony. Last question: You love food. I love food. We love food. I have been on an ice cream thing lately but to make this question a bit different I will ask you, what are your absolute favorite pancakes?
dmbrandon: My mom's buttermilk pancakes. They're life changing. Like, broken tier. I know everyone says their mom's food is the best, but to all of you out there: Your mom's food is bull****.
dmbrandon: And just for ice cream, there's a Gelato place on 12th and I think Chestnut in Philly that has burnt sugar Ice Cream. If you're in the area, go for it. It's godlike.
GhaudePhæde010: Wow burnt sugar? THAT SOUNDS UNSTOPPABLE.
GhaudePhæde010: DMBRANDON, thank you so much for coming in and KO’ing this amazing interview. It is truly one for the ages and I appreciate the time you took out to complete it. Any shout-outs or e-hate you have to send, please do so now before we sign out.
dmbrandon: Shout-outs to some of the Nexus, for not being sucky. Shout-outs to Zucco for dealing with my emo *** X23 and the johns about taskmaster. Shout-outs to Nairo, for being grounded. Doom, Kai, and the rest of NJ that doesn't suck. And shout-outs to 100% Juice, obviously lol.
dmbrandon: E-hate? hmm... All of West Coast. STAY FREE. Oh and Dojo lost to Peach.