Weekly Post sort of: HoG Blastzone4. My first tournament!!

So this Saturday I attended BlastZone 4 at Heart of Gaming in London! BlastZone 4 was a Super Smash Bros. tournament featuring Melee, Brawl and the popular Brawl hack Project Melee, designed so that Brawl is more like Melee in terms of physics. I entered Melee, Melee doubles and Project Melee. I don’t play Brawl, I’ve never really played Brawl. I never got round to getting it when it came out, so I never really played it. I also don’t think Brawl is a competitively viable game, it’s so slow and rewards campy non-aggressive play. Melee however is very different, it’s fast and aggressive and very hard to be very good at. PM to me still feels a bit off, I don’t mind playing it for a bit of fun and I’ll probably still enter competitions for it if it’s available, but I much prefer Melee. In Melee I play Marth and Ganondorf in teams because Marth is kinda band in teams due to the ending lag on a lot of his moves. In PM I play Ganondorf because he’s better in that game, faster, better recovery and still hits hard.

I’ve already talked about how much I love Melee so I thought I’d focus mainly on this tournament. I went down with my ‘crew’ from Southampton. There were four of us and we met up with another guy who drove us from Basingstoke train station to the venue in London. At the tournament I personally did quite badly, I had the hardest pool with Fuzzyness in. Fuzzyness is the best player in the UK, no question. He recently competed at Evolution 2013 in SSBM and got a monstrous 17th place. That is insane. The UK scene is so small and the U.S. scene is so good, it’s hard to properly describe but just know that he is very good. I also had Kipotsky in my pool, a talented Fox player who ended up getting 7th overall. I also had pretty damn good French Falco player as well as two Marth’s, one of whom was better than me. I only beat the remaining Marth player, who wasn’t too bad really, but I don’t think he plays too much Melee. So I did manage to beat one guy AND I only got 7 stocked by Fuzzyness (as in I managed to kill him once whilst he killed 8 times), which sounds bad but when considering how much better he is than me it’s actually a feat for me to kill him legit once. In other news some of my crew did really well, fellow newby R23 (or Alex) nearly got out of his pool, which is pretty damn big considering there are two seeded players in each pool and only the top 2 got out. In bigger news, veteran X1-12 (Tristan) got joint 7th (him and Kipotsky went out in the same round on different sides of the bracket) which is awesome considering how the top 8 at UK Melee events can be pretty much confirmed based on who attends. So Melee didn’t got too well for me in tournament, it went well for some of my crew though so I was pretty happy. I also learned so much, I got to play some great players and got better in the time I was there. I could feel it.

In Doubles me and R23 (Alex), playing a Sheik-Ganondorf combo (me on Ganon),got knocked straight out in a quick one-two punch. We faced some tough opposition and just lost, some of the games were pretty close. The guys who knocked us out in Losers (Brado and Willz) are both pretty damn good and managed to beat Tristan (X1-12) and Alex (different Alex, I actually don’t know his I.D. which is pretty embarrassing really) who are both pretty damn good as well.  P:M was a bit strange in comparison. Only 23 entrants so no pools, straight into bracket. My first round opponent was Shifting Shadows, a good Falcon player and apparently a pretty scary Zero Suit Samus in PM. Luckily, he decided he couldn’t be bothered playing or he wandered off or something but one of the guys keeping the cogs turning, Jolteon, told me I got a bye and he was sent to losers bracket. I then faced Bullet-Bill, a former resident of Southampton who Tristan knew from when he used to live here. He’s good at Melee and plays a pretty brutal Lucas in PM. I lost to him pretty badly, no surprise really. Part of the problem in a game like PM, because there’s not too much of a scene for PM because it’s still in development, so sometimes people will do things with a character and you will not know what the hell they are doing. This is basically what happened to me versus Bullet-Bill’s Lucas. In Losers I faced Willz, who beat me earlier in doubles, he played a strong Captain Falcon in PM as he does in Melee and he beat me pretty handily. So I didn’t do too well in PM either but again, it was about the experience.

Overall, I had a great time. I got beat pretty badly but I learned so much. I want to keep playing competitive Melee, I’ll keep going to tournaments and fests at Tristan’s house. I’ll hopefully keep improving and maybe one day I’ll even place at one of those things. I can only get better.

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