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            The Smash 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. 

Stats
  • 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

Apex is a big deal.  Like, maybe we're tooting our own horns, but Apex is pretty much... Well, the Apex of Smash.  With that said, it takes a fair amount man power to ensure the tournament is ran to its maximum potential.  In the past, we've always handed these spots out to those closest to us, but this year, we're reaching out to the entire community.  With an estimated 75% growth from last year's event, it's important to make sure we have the necessary staff to make this happen!

These positions are mainly volunteer basis.  Your help will earn you an Apex Staff shirt, and at least one meal voucher.  Most of these positions are a mere 3 hour shift, helping guild players through pools and recording the data that the matches contain!

Next, you'll find the list of positions available at Apex 2012, and what those positions would require of you!

  • Referee:  These individuals will oversee a group of four pools, each containing four players.  These pools will be best of three, using the Unity Ruleset's guide to tiebreaking.  These players should be versed in organizing competitive play, but is not limited to TOs!

    Requirements:  Versed in Brawl or Melee's Apex ruleset;  If applying for the FGC side, versed in the competitve rulesets of SSF4:AE, UMvC3 and MK9;  Trusted member of the community;  Able to coordinate matches in a quick fashion; Legible handwriting.

    Compensation:  Volunteer basis.  These players will receive staff badges, and one meal voucher.

    Required number of staff:  20-30 Referees for Smash.  10 for the other events.

  • Coat Check:  These individuals will oversee the coat check section of the venue.  You will be required to keep watch of the area, only leaving with coverage. 

    Requirements:  Must be able to tag coats, and keep an organized area;  Lift up to 50 lbs;  Keep track of all funds generated through the coat check;  Legible handwriting;  Be able to work no less than two shifts of four hours.   

    Compensation:  Paid position.  You will recieve 5% of the total amount of money generated from the coat check service.  Staff shirts.

    Required number of Staff:  3

  • Security:  These volunteers will be equipped with the authority to prevent players from entering Apex 2012, and will be allowed to enforce the rules provided by Apex.  

    Requirements:  Great communication skills.  Able to keep calm in the face of a stressful situation.  

    Compensation:  Volunteer basis.  These players will receive a staff shirt, a special name badge, and two meal vouchers.

    Required number of Staff:  5

  • Drivers:  These attendees will be responsible for transporting players to and from the Airport to or from the Hyatt Regency.

    Requirements:  Must have a well maintained vehicle; Clean driving record (barring minor offenses: Speeding tickets less than 10 miles over the speed limit, parking offenses, etc.);  The ability to manage time, and provide prompt service.

    Compensation:  Volunteer basis.  These players will receive staff shirts, and one meal voucher, and all gas/toll expenses reimbursed by Apex 2012.  (Must provide receipts.)

    Required number of staff:  As many as we can get!

  • Stream assistants:  These players will be tasked with finding high profile matches that are yet to be played, and ensuring their sets are played on stream.  You will also be reporting non-stream, high profile matches to the Directional Influence staff to help provide the stream with updates!

    Requirements
    :  Organized, and motivated;  These volunteers must be able to recognize all top Smash Bros players by face; Attention to detail; Knowledge of top player details, including rivalries, power ranking, major wins and major losses.

    Compensation:  Volunteer basis.  Apex Staff badges, and one meal voucher

    Required number of staff:  3

  • Photographers:  These volunteers will be tasked with...  Well, you guessed it:  Taking pictures!  You'll have access to all facets of the event, including behind the scenes, staff rooms, and the main stage, to be able to provide the world who couldn't attend with the best possible photos you can!

    Requirements
    :  Must have your own equipment;  Able to develop pictures, and upload them to a website of our choice;  Be able to share proprietary rights of all photos with the owners of Apex 2012;  Show up early, and stay late on all tournament days.

    Compensation:  To be determined on quality of product and experience.  Portfolios and Resumes are preferred.

    Required number of staff:  2.

  • Sponsorship Booth:  These volunteers will assist our sponsors in relating both product and information to the attendees. 

    Requirements:  Studying the products you'll be assigned to; Relating all information to the attendees; Ability to sell (When applicable); Able to keep a positive attitude during your shifts.

    Compensation:  Volunteer basis.  Apex Staff badge, and one meal voucher per four hour shirt.

    Required number of staff:  3
Anyone interested in any position, please send me a private message with the following filled out:

  1. Name:
  2. Smash tag:
  3. Position Applying for:
  4. Qualifications (If applicable):
  5. Why you would like to be on Apex Staff?
  6. Have you ever worked for a tournament before?

Thanks to everyone in advance.  Keep in mind, these spaces are limited, so we'll only be accepting the most qualified applicants!

If you have any questions about this, just leave a comment!


Level-up Live, known most famously for their Wednesday Night Fights stream and SoCal Regionals, Alex Valle and Level-up have teamed up with Apex Series to bring you guys a ton of great cross promotions!

First off, any player who attends Socal Regionals will receive a 50% discount off of Apex's venue fee!  So, all you west coasters looking t save some money, and stay in the hype, make sure you're hitting up SoCal Regionals!

Secondly, SoCal Regionals is also going to act as an Apex Qualifier (One more to be announced!) for Mortal Kombat 9, Ultimate MvC3, and Super Street Fighter 4: AE!  The top 8 placers in these games will receive seeding points for Apex, to ensure the best and most fair playing field we can possible give!

Moving on, you're also going to see Apex promoted throughout Level Up's streams, and of course, you'll see Level Up promoted through Concentrate, the Break streams, and all of Apex on Jaxel's stream.  To that end, Jaxel Rod of 8wayrun.com will be bringing you guys at home the absolute best stream you could possibly imagine!  Building up that, make sure you're following Jaxel and 8wayrun on Twitch @ www.twitch.tv/8wayrun !

It's time everyone stops treating Smash and fighting games like two separate worlds.  Apex is the bridge that's going to help merge them together.  It's time to level up, Smashers.  this year, bigger is the name of the game, and we're doing everything we can to ensure that Smash stays around for years to come!  With that said, you guys have to do your part as well.  Follow Level up on twitch, catch them on twitter @levelupseries, and make sure you tune into Wednesday Night Fights tonight at 9pm PST!



Joining Level|up, we are also offering our most sincere welcome to Dominion Method Gaming!  DMG is one of the world's leading gaming teams, with players such as PR Balrog, Insayne, and Slob Murph, we can expect a big showing from these players at Apex!  Dominion method gaming will be providing Apex with an amount of hype not many could bring to the house, let alone the humble table that Apex is.  We're truly excited to have these players in attendance, and you can expect you'll hear a lot of what DMG has to offer in the coming weeks!

Jose "Hyena" Rodriguez and Apex are going to working together closely to bring you the best possible event that we can!

We'll have some more news for you tomorrow, so be sure to keep it stuck to the front page.
Everyone has been excited ever since we announced that Pokemon, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition 2012 would be coming to Apex, and now we’re ready to give you the next batch of details!

Until UMvC3 and SSF4:AE12 are released, we're going to stick with normal ruleset.  Addenda will be made as game-breaking tactics are discovered!

Both games will run: 
  • All sets leading up to the finals will be best two out of three.  Winner's Finals, Loser's Finals and Grand Finals will be best three of five.  If the player from loser's bracket wins a best of five set against the Winner's Final victor, the match will be reset, and a final set of five will be played.
  • Time limit:  99
  • Damage set to game default
  • Stage set to random, unless players can agree to a stage.
  • The winner must keep his character/team, and assists/ultra.  In Marvel, you may not change your order.

As for Pokemon, everyone already knows we will be bringing the action of both Single and Double Battles to Apex, but how? For the Singles Battles we will be running a standard OU tier tournament using Smogon’s Ruleset, and for Double Battles we will be running the VGC 2012 Ruleset used at all official Nintendo tournaments for the 2011-12 season. Read on for details on these rules!
 
Rules for Both Events
  • All players in either event must be using a legitimate copy of Pokemon Black or White version.
  • A hack check may be run on anyone’s team if there is suspicion of them using illegal Pokemon.
  • Cheating will be dealt with strictly and can result in disqualification.
Single Battles Ruleset
*This ruleset may be changed at any time without notice. This tournament will use the Smogon ruleset at the time so players may practice on their Pokemon Online server before the event.
  • All battles will be full 6 vs 6 battles with one Pokemon out on each team at a time.
  • Team preview is enabled for all matches.
  • The following Pokemon are banned:
    • Arceus
    • Blaziken
    • Darkrai
    • Deoxys-A
    • Deoxys
    • Dialga
    • Garchomp
    • Giratina
    • Giratina-O
    • Groudon
    • Ho-Oh
    • Kyogre
    • Lugia
    • Manaphy
    • Mewtwo
    • Palkia
    • Rayquaza
    • Reshiram
    • Shaymin-S
    • Zekrom
  • You may not use a Pokemon with the ability Swift Swim if you have a Pokemon with the ability Drizzle on the same team.
  • You may only use Pokemon that have been released legally in the US or Japanese games. This includes Dream World Pokemon. For a list of released Dream World Pokemon, you may find them on Smogon here.
  • You may not use any items that have not been released legally in the US or Japan (such as Soul Dew), or any items that increase evasion (Brightpowder and Lax Incense).
  • You are not allowed to use the ability Moody.
  • You may not use any moves that increase only evasion (Double Team, Minimize).
  • Species Clause: You may not use two of the same Pokemon on your team.
  • OHKO Clause: You may not use any moves that result in a OHKO (Fissure, Horn Drill, Sheer Cold, Guillotine).
  • Self-KO Clause: If a player ends the game with a self-destructing move such as Explosion or through recoil damage through methods such as Life Orb or Flare Blitz, the player who initiated the attack loses the game.
Double Battles Ruleset
  • All matches are played in Doubles format.
  • Pokemon above Level 50 will be brought down to 50 for the match while those below 50 will stay as-is.
  • Players choose 4 of their 6 registered Pokemon after team preview.
  • The following Pokemon are banned:
    • Mewtwo
    • Mew
    • Lugia
    • Ho-Oh
    • Celebi
    • Kyogre
    • Groudon
    • Rayquaza
    • Jirachi
    • Deoxys
    • Dialga
    • Palkia
    • Giratina
    • Phione
    • Manaphy
    • Darkrai
    • Shaymin
    • Arceus
    • Victini
    • Reshiram
    • Zekrom
    • Kyurem
  • Species Clause: You may not use two of the same Pokemon on your team.
  • Item Clause: You may not use two of the same hold items on your team.
  • The moves Dark Void and Sky Drop are banned.
  • You may only use Pokemon that have been released legally in the US or Japanese games. This includes Dream World Pokemon. For a list of released Dream World Pokemon, you may find them on Smogon here.
  • If the player’s final Pokémon used Selfdestruct, Explosion, Destiny Bond, or Final Gambit, and both players’ final Pokémon are knocked out as a result, that player loses that game.
  • If a player’s final Pokémon used Double‐Edge, Volt Tackle, Flare Blitz, Take Down, Submission, Brave Bird, Wood Hammer, Head Smash, Struggle, or Wild Charge, or was holding Life Orb, and both players’ final Pokémon are knocked out as a result, that player wins that game.
  • If both players’ final Pokémon is knocked out by a weather condition, such as Hail or Sandstorm, the player whose Pokémon is knocked out last wins the game.
  • If a Pokémon’s Ability or held item, such as Rough Skin, Aftermath, Liquid Ooze, Iron Barbs, or Rocky Helmet, results in each player’s final Pokémon being knocked out, the player with the Ability or held item will win the game.


Next, we know we promised to announce a game, and while some of you have seen the trailer and some haven't, we're pumped to announce that we're also bringing on Mortal Kombat 9!

MK9 has shown a strong force in the last half of a year, with Nether Realm Studios keeping a watchful eye on tournament results and player feedback to create an ever changing, ever evolving fighter.  This year, Apex is proud to offer you guys who is now the major trinity in fighting games!
Double Elimination

  • All sets leading up to the finals will be best two out of three.  Winner's Finals, Loser's Finals and Grand Finals will be best three of five.  If the player from loser's bracket wins a best of five set against the Winner's Final victor, the match will be reset, and a final set of five will be played.
  • Time limit:  99
  • Damage set to game default
  • Stage set to random, unless players can agree to a stage.
  • The winner must keep his character/team, and assists/ultra.

    Mortal Kombat 9 is an amazing addition to our line up, and we hope you're just as excited as we are to bring it Apex!

    Now, aside from new events, we want to talk about a special group of people we've met over the last couple of months.  These people are responsible for the upcoming documentary series "The Smash Bros."  This group of dedicated film makers is planning to record and document the evolution of Super Smash Bros Melee, strictly as a tribute to the game and its ever growing community.  

    They'll be joining us at Apex with a further taste of what's to come in the series, but we're gonna start off with the pilot episode released a few weeks back.  Please take the time, if you haven't, to watch this extraordinary video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH9GTNSU77Y

    This video contains footage most thought would have been lost.  This was the first time that a lot of the top players met in tournament, and while the gameplay is dated, you can still see the brilliance in the players behind the legendary names some of you have only heard!  You can check out the website of the guys who created this video here.

    We know the news has been slow, guys, but we're back on track.  We have a lot more stuff coming your way!

    Lastly, you should know that registration for all games has been opened!  Pokemon will have a door registration, but all other games will have online pre-registration!  Check that out right here, and don't forget to like us on Facebook, and follow us and our partners on Twitter!

    @Apex_series
    @VGbootcamp
    @juice.gaming
    @8wayrun

    As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment, or shoot me a PM!  
  • It was important for us to have our first interview with the person who shocked the Smash Bros world in 2010.  This player beat every top player in his path to his extraordinary first place finish, besting not only the likes of America's greatest, but the entire world!  This west coast monster managed his way through one of the toughest brackets in tournament history, earning him the first true international title in Smash Bros!As you may have guessed (from the title of the article) joining me in our inaugural interview for Apexsmash.com is none other than the champion of the 2010 Smash Bros. Brawl bracket, DEHF!  

    dmbrandon:  Larry, it's been a year since your win at Apex 2010, and in five months, you'll have a chance to defend your title.  But first, tell us a little bit about how you felt after your victory over Brood: 

    DEHF:  I felt really excited and happy! The tournament itself was probably the most efficient tournament I've ever been to and it was really fun. Winning the tournament just made everything all the more better. It was the first national I've ever won and I did it going all Falco, something that a lot people said was impossible to do. 

    dmbrandon:  Honestly, I still say it's impossible.  But, your innovative style with Falco has produced some serious success!  Top placings at MLG, the Pound Series, and the winner of Apex 2010:  Can we expect any new tricks this year, or do you just plan to hone your current style?

    DEHF:  You can expect some new tricks from this time around. I've been thinking up new tricks that I can use to prepare for Apex. 

    dmbrandon:  Did you go into the tourney expecting a 1st place finish?

    DEHF:  I wasn't expecting it, but I was aiming for it. 

    dmbrandon:  Unfortunately, your presence hasn't felt in such a powerful fashion since your first place finish at Apex 2010, can you give us a run down of what you're doing to ensure you keep your title as Apex Champion?

    DEHF:  I intend on playing a lot more for Apex 2012. When I went to the last Apex I had been playing and practicing so much for it that I was prepared for everything thrown at me, it was the most I've ever practiced for a smash tournament in my life. After winning Apex I practiced less and less, which shows in my placings. I don't own a working Wii or a copy of brawl, but I borrowed one from my friend recently and have been practicing a good amount by playing wifi with others.

    dmbrandon:  Some players swear by Wi-fi, and others won't touch it.  Do you feel Wi-fi is reliable practice?

    DEHF:  I feel like Wi-fi helps in your prediction skills and gives you some knowledge in match ups that you may not run into every tournament. The lag makes it so that you won't play as well as you normally would offline, but I feel that if you think of Wi-fi more as a way to learn and improve the lag shouldn't matter that much.

    dmbrandon:  Moving onto the ruleset, Apex is going for a more conservative ruleset, even going to the lengths to ban stages like Brinstar and Rainbow Cruise.  This is going against the Unity Ruleset, which has so far been a bit more liberal.  As a Falco player, where do you stand on stage lists?

    DEHF:  I agree with both of those stages being banned, Rainbow Cruise more than Brinstar. I think having a stage with a moving blastzone hurts the game competitively. It's a fun stage of course, but I don't think it belongs as a competitive stage list. I would think Brinstar is a fine stage as well if not for the acid that constantly rises. We all know that both stages has some sort of competitive potential in them, if they didn't they would've been banned a lot sooner. I feel that having the stages left on are not the way to go, especially if we want to have more character diversity in our scene.

    dmbrandon: Character diversity leads to one simple question:  Metaknight!  Ban?  

    DEHF:
      With the current stagelist we have I would say yes. With Rainbow Cruise and Brinstar banned, I'm not sure. I guess I would lean more to no.

    dmbrandon:
      Well, moving on a bit, a lot of players are known for playing one specific character.  I'd say you're definitely the name that comes to mind when people think of Falco!  However, Falco can be limited on in cetain situations, so have you picked up any secondaries that will benefit you on counter pick stages, or in hard matchups?

    DEHF:
      I have a Metaknight, that pretty much takes care of all of all of Falco's bad stages and bad match ups. I've been training up my Ice Climbers, trying to get them tournament ready. I don't know if they'll be good enough to use by the time Apex rolls along. I also have a pretty good Fox that I'll probably never use. His good and bad match ups are the same as Falco's, I don't really see a point in using him over Falco.

    dmbrandon:
      You mentioned you are working on Ice Climbers, what sparked the change?

    DEHF:
      I think they have a lot of potential. The have an inescapable 0-death with their chain grab. Even without the chain grab, they rack up damage very fast. 

    dmbrandon:
      Do you see having to switch off a lot; who would you switch for?  Who do you see this year as your biggest competition?

    DEHF:
      I'd say there's quite a few people. Esam is probably my biggest threat. He plays Pikachu and Ice Climber, Falco's two worse match ups.  Ally is a big one of course.  He was amazing before and has gotten a lot better since he decided to use more characters. There's ADHD, a player I've never beaten.  In fact, I don't think I've ever taken a game off of him in tournament. Tyrant, who I go back and forth with. If he's on his game, He's very capable of beating anyone. And of course, Mew2king. There are times when I play him and it just seems like absolutely nothing works.

    dmbrandon:
      Since you went ahead and mention SO MANY of East Coast's players, it begs the question: What region do you think is currently the strongest?

    DEHF:
      As much I hate to say it, I have to say NY/NJ is strongest region right now. Overall, most of their players out place every other region and 1st place is usually taken by someone in that region at nationals.

    dmbrandon:
      As a completely unbiased reporter, I would agree that your statement of New Jersey and New York being the best.     Again, Unbiased.  But, on the topic of regions, a lot of international attendance is expected, including a ton of Marth players from Europe!  How do you think the Marth onslaught from Europe is going to fare against the Metaknights of America?      
    DEHF: I wouldn't be surprised if they placed very high, but I don't see them winning it all.

    dmbrandon:
      Are you excited to play any specific international players?

    DEHF:
      I'm most excited in playing Mr-R and Leon, I think it would be fun to play other high level Marth players.

    dmbrandon
    :  Are you confident in America winning the "USA vs the World Invitational Crew Battle?"

    DEHF:
      I think we'll win. We have all these good Metaknights! They won't stand a chance!

    dmbrandon:
      Well, I hope you all put on a good show!  We're all greatly looking forward to the event, and I'm sure everyone is going be playing at a fantastic level.  But, before we talk about your expectations of the event as a whole, I wanna talk briefly about doubles.    As one of the best players in the country, I'm sure you're swarmed for teams requests.  Have you found yourself a partner, or are you still weighing your options?

    DEHF:
      Yes, I have a partner. I'm going to be teaming with Vex.

    dmbrandon:
      You guys recently both traveled to Hawaii for an event, correct?

    DEHF:
      Yes, we did. It was HSI 2011.

    dmbrandon:
      What can the world expect from you and Vex?  Team comps, predictions on placings, etc?

    DEHF:
      I honestly don't know, teams are hit and miss with me. I either place very high or very low. We aren't going to be able to practice until Apex since we live so far from each other, so I hope that we instantly click when we play. 

    dmbrandon:
      Should we expect him to play Game and Watch for bucket shenanigans, or just straight Metaknight?

    DEHF:
      I'd want him to go Game and Watch, I've never teamed with a good Game and Watch before.

    dmbrandon:
      I suppose you guys will be trying to practice over Wifi, then?

    DEHF:
      That's true, I forgot about that. 

    dmbrandon:
      Besides the tourney itself, is there anything you're excited about, in terms of attending Apex?

    DEHF:  Meeting all of the players that will be there, especially the European and Japanese players.


    dmbrandon
    :  Is there anything you'd like to add or say to the community before we finish this up?

    DEHF:  
    See you all at Apex! It going to be amazing! If you're thinking about not going, GO! You'll be missing out on so much!



    DEHF's chance to defend his international crown comes quickly, as APEX2012 is less than four months away!  Stay tuned for next week, where we'll announce our fifth final event, our streaming partner, and the launch of The Road to Apex:  Online Edition!  Don't forget:  Up to date information on the tournament, including our sponsors, can be found at www.apexsmash.com!
    Tags: DEHF, dmbrandon, Apex
    After talks with local sponsors, and the Apex Staff, we've decided to add four major events!  In addition to the legendary Brawl and Melee tournaments you've come to associate the Apex Series with, Friday, January 6th, we're going be adding Pokemon 5th Generation! (Black/White)  Due to popular demand, Apex has decided to hold two separate Pokemon tournaments on Friday, January 6th!
    • Standard Singles - Rules Coming Soon  
    • Nintendo's VGC 2012- The rules for this tournament will be announced when Nintendo announced their 2012 Ruleset. 
    We've dedicated and known hosts ready to give you guys one of the best Pokemon tournaments that the Smash Scene has even been a part of!  We recommend all players keep themselves up to date with everything Pokemon related, because we'll be using the most recent rulesets!
    Along side the Pokemadness, Saturday is going to be huge, because during the Brawl event in the Main Room, we'll be partnering with Local Battles to bring you the some of the toughest competition in Atlantic North!  We're bringing you two major events, and breaking ground for a National Smash event!

    • Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition 2012
    • Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
    Smash has too long been focused as a selective tourney scene, and we're going to up the Ante in a huge way with the Fighting Game community!  In November, we'll see the release of Ultimate MvC3, which is going to sport 12 additional characters, 8 stages, and a complete reblancing of the game!  SSF4:AE 2012 is going to be a completely rebalanced version of the game that stole the show at Evolution 2011 this past July, and we're looking to keep the hype alive with a sponsored event, held at Apex 2012!  Both games will utilize the current rulesets accepted by the fighting game community!

    All tournaments will be $10 per person to enter, and will require a $10 venue fee for players coming to Apex not as a player or Spectator!  All information on these tournaments will be posted in early September, as we get a bit closer to the event.

    In the coming weeks, we're going to be announcing more sponsors,  in-depth player interviews, and most importantly:  We have big news coming for all you Wi-Fi players!

    Don't forget to check out Local Battles, and show your support to a brand new sponsor for Smash!  Otherwise, for more information about the Apex Tournament Series, head over to http://www.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.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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 situation?
     
    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.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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?
     
    Mew2King: 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.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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?
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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 them?
     
    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 =/ ).
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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...
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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 been?
     
    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.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: Semi on this topic: You have seen a lot of cities, states, and even other countries. Where is your absolute favorite spot to eat?
     
    Mew2King: 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.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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 to relax?
     
    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.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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?
     
    Mew2King: 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?
     
    Mew2King: 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 I think.
     
    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 understand?
     
    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.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: I 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
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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 tournaments?
     
    Mew2King: No, I was not. But it's just too laggy that's it.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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?
     
    Mew2King: 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 say anyway.
     
    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?
     
    Mew2King: 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.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: 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.
     
    GhaudePhaede010: I 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...
    dmbrandon: /anger
     
    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: :3
    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.
        

    dmbrandon: :3
     
    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.
    Hey there, tournament fans! After doing my "Triple Spotlight" article, I decided to make a series that covered tournaments across the country. Sorry if it took so long to get this started; I had to get the cover image just right before it was released to the public. (I'm a perfectionist like that. Problem?) Anyway, enough about me and my needs. This particular edition of TT will cover...

                                                

    A Little Background Info

    The first tournament of the KTAR (short for Keitaro's Tournament at Rutgers) series took place on December 6, 2009, in the quaint town of Piscataway, New Jersey. Keitaro was the only host of the event, and 45 players attended. However, as the series progressed, more people attended and hosts added. The second KTAR had 65 players, and Chen Li Cha was added as a co-host. KTAR 3 had 74 players, and welcomed Alex Strife to the hosting squad to make solid triad. What can we expect this year?

    What We Can Expect This Year

    KTAR 4 will take place tommorow, January 15. Ninety players plan on showing up compete for $1600 payouts, including famous folk like ANTi, Nairo The Booty Warrior, DuhZex., and Gnes. As for co-hosts, Heavy Garbage and dmbrandon will replace the previous ones for this particular tournament. Who will win? Who will lose? Who will drink dozens of sodas and crash from the hardcore sugar rush? I'm not sure about the last question, but for the answers of the first two, you'll have to attend to find out!

    Location, Times, and Costs

    This particular tournament will be held at 90 Leonardine Avenue in South River, New Jersey. It lasts from 10 am to 1 am. Doubles will commence in the morning (an hour after the event starts), and singles takes place in the afternoon (2:30 or 3 pm). This gives competitors plenty of time to prepare, and those that don't plan on competing a chance to chill, meet/make friends, watch some epic matches, and eat to their heart's (and wallet's) content. The singles and venue fees are ten dollars, and the doubles fee is twenty (ten per person.) However, you'll get a pretty little discount if you bring your TV or Wii. Keep this in mind if you're short a few bucks.

    Main Event(s)

    Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the only game featured at KTAR. The matches will be three stocks, seven minutes, best two out of three for preliminaries, and best three out of five for finals. Items will be turned off, and share-stock is allowed. All other fancy rules and regulations (as there are way too many to list in this article) can be found on the tournament's page.

    Summary

    If you're in the area or know someone that can give a ride, you should definitely strive to attend this tournament. I mean, what smasher wouldn't want to gather with other smashers for the game series they love, meet pros to get pictures, tips, and/or autographs, or go to avoid laborious tasks or countless hours of doing nothing? The answer: any sane person that loves Smash Bros. and has money, can mooch off friends, or be like a ninja and sneak in. I wish all that are competing the best of luck. And for others...what are you waiting for?! Click on the link above and prepare your vessel to set sail for the sea of fun, intensity, and awesomeness that is KTAR 4!

    P.S. http://brawlstream.vgbootcamp.com/ <-Here is the link to the stream. Enjoy!