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Super Smash Con 2022 happened on August 11-14 and it is the biggest Smash Bros event for all Smash fans. The event is just as much a convention as it is a tournament. The convention puts on shows and panels for attendees and hosts what is the biggest tournaments for competitive Smash fans. The event has tournaments for all the of the Smash Bros games from the first game on the Nintendo 64 all the way to Ultimate. Many storylines occurred on that fateful weekend and the results has potential ramifications for the competitive Smash scene going forward. Read along as we break down the weekend.

The Fun Stuff

Lets kick things off on the light stuff. Every year at Super Smash Con the event puts on an award show called The Smashies where the event essentially puts on an Oscar-like show where players are nominated for things like “Most Improved Player,” “Best Comeback,” and “Best Pop Off.” The show is a great way to get to know the talent/top players for those that do not follow the competitive Smash scene. It is also a great way to recognize all the accomplishments that occurred in our community over the past year. Here are the winners for this year’s Smashies.

  • Most Improved Ultimate Player: Sparg0
  • Best Smash 64 Doubles Team: Josh Brody & Isai
  • Best Melee Comeback: Mang0
  • Best Melee Doubles Team: aMSa & Plup
  • Best Ultimate Combo: Glutonny
  • Best Smash 64 Comeback: KD3
  • Best Commentary Moment: EE
  • Most Improved Melee Player: Jmook
  • Best Ultimate Doubles Team: Scend & Lui$
  • Most Improved N64 Player: JPX
  • Best Smash 64 Combo: Afro
  • Best Ultimate Comeback: MkLeo
  • Saltiest Smash Moment: Ikan
  • Best Melee Combo: Moky
  • Best Popoff: iBDW

Congratulations to the winners. Although I want to give a special shoutout to the best popoff winner – iBDW. So to provide context – the tournament was Get On My Level 2022, Jigglypuff player HungryBox was playing Fox player iBDW in winner’s semi-finals. The winner would go to winner’s finals and would be guaranteed top 3 in the tournament and the loser would go to the loser’s bracket and risk placing 5th place with one more loss. Hungrybox is a player who is known for popping off when winning nail biter situations, and that’s what happened here, it was a close game 5 that came down to the wire and when iBDW lost, he jumped up and celebrated as if he had won, robbing Hungrybox of his moment. It is quite ironic that a reverse popoff won best popoff but just to add the cherry on top, the presenter of the award was none other than Hungrybox himself. It’s too bad that iBDW was not in attendance at Super Smash Con due to a wrist injury, because that moment would have been golden.

Smash 64

Smash 64 had a lot of upsets that led to certain big name players not making top 8. Players such as Wizzrobe, KD3, JaimeHR, Josh Brody, Tacos, and Zero are no strangers to Top 8 finishes at previous Smash Cons and other Smash 64 majors. So it was shocking to see all these players finishing outside the top 8. The big story coming out of Smash 64 was the North American debut of Nax – Chile’s #1 ranked player – he ended up finishing 2nd place. This was a strong showing and is definitely going to put on the next worldwide Smash 64 rankings. Most importantly, congratulations to Japanese player Kurabba for winning the event.

But the Smash 64 tournament was not the only showing of Smash 64 at Super Smash Con. Ever since the first Smash Con, the organizers put together the most hype-educing crowd-pleaser event, and it is none other than The Smash 64 Combo Contest. 8 pro Smash 64 players are invited to show off their best Smash 64 training mode combos and a panel of judges grades them. The big closer was a statement, check out the video below. Congratulations to Prince for winning his 3rd consecutive combo contest.

Melee

They don’t call it a comeback. The biggest story coming out of the melee bracket was who won the tournament. The winner was Cloud 9’s very own Joseph “Mang0” Marquez. Mang0 is no stranger to winning tournament, heck, he isn’t a stranger to being a Smash Con champion. Mang0 is even one of the last five gods actively competing in Melee. He has placed in the top 6 in the worldwide rankings since the rankings began. So it was a shock when a few weeks before Super Smash Con happened that the official rankings were published and he was ranked #11. To give context Mang0 never ranked outside the top 10 in his entire competitive career. Granted he did have some major losses in the first half of the year but he won Melee’s biggest prize pool late last year and was largely ranked #1 or #2 in the unofficial ranking during the lockdown era. So it is just funny to see the rankings look bad so quickly after publishing. This is a good time to be a Mang0 fan, this is your friendly reminder that you can never count Mang0 out and Mang0 stock is up.

Brawl

Brawl is the smallest event at Super Smash Con at only 177 entrants. It is definitely the scene that most would consider taking the title of “most dead.” With that being said, in my humble opinion the grand finals and all of the top 8 for that matter, were hard to watch because Brawl as a competitive game is not very exciting for viewers because of how slow the game is and how non-committal players have to be to win the game. Either way congratulations to 686M for winning. Another thing to note because this will be brought up later is the fact that there were four Meta Knight players in the top 8.

Super Smash Bros for Wii U

Smash 4 also had a top 8 that was difficult to watch but that’s because the competitive Smash 4 scene is also dead. Most of the Smash 4 top players didn’t enter because their focus was on Smash Ultimate. For those that don’t know, if you want to play the game of your choice at top level, it is best to stick to one game because different games require different muscle memory and if a former top Smash 4 player were to have entered both Smash 4 and Smash Ultimate, their Ultimate results would have likely suffered. So now we have a situation where the inmates are running the prison, because there were six Bayonetta players in the top 8. For those that don’t remember Evo 2018 where Lima and Captain Zack did a Bayonetta ditto in Smash 4. It was an embarrassment and utterly disrespectful to the organizers at Evo, fellow competitors, and the viewers. We are not going to recount Evo 2018 here but after Evo 2018 the calls for a Bayonetta ban became a mute point because Smash Ultimate was around the corner. Now we are living in a nightmare scenario where if Ultimate never came out, all we would see are Bayonetta’s in top 8’s. A majority of these players I never heard of but either way, congratulations to Mistake for winning Smash 4.

Smash Ultimate

This is the single biggest story coming out of Super Smash Con. To give context, this year’s Smash Con is the 3rd largest tournament by number of entrants in Smash Ultimate history at 2,388 entrants. The only two events that had a higher turnout were Super Smash Con 2019 at 2,708 and Evo 2019 at 3,534. So this tournament is the biggest tournament in a post-pandemic era, it also boasts 40 out of the top 50 best players per the worldwide rankings. For those that don’t know, it is very rare to have that many top players in attendance in a single event. With that being said, all eyes were on this tournament and the results were shocking. A few weeks ago, I wrote an article that was about the Smash Ultimate community calling for a ban on Steve. Well this tournament essentially gave fuel to those that want Steve banned and here are some stats to prove it.

First lets look at the top 64.

Here you can see Steve was overly represented in a game with over 80 characters. Steve was being played by nine players in the top 64 and with a distant 2nd were R.O.B. and Pyra/Mytra with four a piece. This is unheard of, generally speaking, most players consider Smash Ultimate to be the most balanced Smash game to have ever been made. This chart flies in the face of that. If the game was balance the chart would have about 50+ characters in top 64 and not one character running away with representation.

The next thing that happened was the beginning of top 32. A 16 year old player named Onin, who only recently started making a name for himself this year, had to face off against the #1 ranked player in the world – MKLeo – who is a former Smash Con champion. The results were scary, Onin utterly destroyed MKLeo 3-0. I have never seen MKLeo look lost in a match before. So what happens when you eliminate the biggest bracket threat at the beginning of top 32? Well, the rest of the bracket becomes easy, and that is exactly what Onin did, he went through a tear and ended up winning the whole event at the end. In a post game interview he said that he knew that after beating MKLeo he didn’t have to be nervous for the rest of his matches.

But how did the the rest of the top 8 look? Well it’s not as bad as Brawl or Smash 4 but Steve did end up winning the whole event.

So as you can see, there was only one Steve player in top 8. It definitely doesn’t paint a banworthy picture like the top 64 results did. We are not in the Meta Knight or Bayonetta ruled competitive meta (yet). Still, I want to give a tip of the hat to Onin for winning Super Smash Con.

As far as my opinion on Steve getting banned, even with these results I still don’t think it is the right move, if we see a top 8 where there are 6 Steve players then we can revisit the discussion. Just to let you know that the sky isn’t falling – a week later at the tournament Rise-N-Grind Onin got 7th place so he isn’t unbeatable.

With all that said, what were your thoughts on Super Smash Con 2022. Is there anything you felt that I missed? Please let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

You can find me on Twitter @chacalaca88 and my podcast is Ready Press Play where you can hear my thoughts on all things gaming. Also, you can find me on LV1 Gaming’s YouTube channel every other Tuesday on Cogs in a Machine where we do deep dives on specific topics, so subscribe there as well.

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