Bay Area Sm4shers compete for the gold at “Come on and Ban #51”

Anthony Gutierrez
Staff Writer
March 23, 2016IMG_2570

The Sm4sh tournament called “Come on and Ban #51” brought together competitors from all over NorCal to test their Sm4sh skills against crewmates to power ranked players to hidden wifi bosses, all for the opportunity to come out in top 8. Some players are satisfied with just being on stream, some want to bring home the glory and some want to bring home the gold, and this gold being a nice 1st place payout of $216 is pretty hype. Who will come out victorious in this edition of “Come on and Ban #51?”

The Foundry located at San Francisco hosted the Sm4sh tournament which was streamed on Twitch by Showdown eSports, a notable gaming organization that streamed big events like Genesis 3. A number of hype matches that were on stream included: GIGA l Athena (Robin) against 8Bit l Lolo (Mewtwo), TA l Stark (Cloud, Ike) vs FONC l PxSLayer (Kirby), GIGA l Wimp Low (Donkey Kong) vs DMG l Kato (Falco) and TA l Stark vs TA l Trevonte. (Note: The Acronyms on the left hand side of a Sm4sh player’s name stands for the name of their crew, some do for their sponsors)

On the match featuring GIGA l Athena (Robin) against 8bitl Lolo (Mewtwo), Athena’s Robin burst through Lolo’s Mewtwo’s defenses sparking powerful hits on the Pokemon with Robin’s Levin sword followed by Arcthunders and Arcfires dealing close to 80% in damage.  Despite this overwhelming percentage, Mewtwo traded blows and nabbed hits when it counted. Both competitors were nearing triple digit percentage—the dangerous time when stocks can be easily taken.  It was Robin who took the first stock by use of a beautifully spaced Levin Sword skyrocketing Mewtwo to the ceiling of the stage. On the 2nd stock, Robin was on fire. Grab after grab. Follow-up after follow-up. There was no stopping Robin’s onslaught on Mewtwo and the match almost concluded with a wisely used elwind almost spiking a triple digit Mewtwo into the depths of Smashville. Mewtwo striked back with an Fsmash taking the stock, but swiftly Robin came back with an up aired Levin Sword, sealing the stock, and cementing the win to game 1 to GIGA l Athena. On game 2, Robin took the first stock with a beautifully spaced up aired by Levin sword that sent Mewtwo flying into a barren overcast of Battlefield. The second stock was Mewtwo knocking Robin off stage and unfortunately led to a swift death as her elwind broke and she could not properly recover, but this didn’t shake Athena’s focus as she kept pressuring her opponent into questionable stage positions. This resulted in Mewtwo self-destructing (SD) granting GiGa l Athena the win. She would later face 8BIT | M3 (Bayonetta). Unfortunately Athena took a loss at a respectable 9th place out of 75 players.

Another hype match that was on stream included TA l Stark (Cloud, Ike) vs FONC l PxSLayer (Kirby). The match started out well in Stark’s favor with his Cloud overwhelming PxSLayer’s Kirby who struggled trying to evade Cloud’s up air. Not to mention Cloud’s limit, this buffs him all-around exponentially. Cloud’s up air is known notoriously for racking up a lot of percentage very fast. Cloud took the first stock by use of his gigantic sword (Up Air) saying sayonara to Kirby’s dreams sending the puff ball to the ceiling of the stage but Kirby came back with a reality check shattering dreams of a stock advantage to Cloud’s stock soon after. Both competitors were on the edge of their seats, none of them giving each other an inch of advantage well into the 2nd stock. They traded some percentage in the neutral. Kirby attempted an up b sword spike on the stage, but Cloud tech’d it and this kept the neutral at a stalemate. This all changed when cloud tried to recover with his up b to the stage, thrusting his sword upwards then downwards and it just so happened Kirby was on the receiving end on the way down. A crying Kirby was sent like a meteor to pit of the stage and this left both competitors questioning, “Did that really just happen?” Some people from the player cam yelled out “$5.99” suggesting the result of the match came because of an ongoing Sm4sh joke on paying to winning when buying downloadable content characters, and Cloud being one of them. On the 2nd game, Stark changed his character to Ike. The match started out pretty even as both competitors neared the triple digit percents, each of them looking for the kill. Kirby was rewarded heavily with his upthrows, taking Ike on a trip to the ceiling bubble 1, 2,3,4 times until Ike was at kill percent and confirmed the kill for Kirby. Kirby kept up the pressure game but one or two reads and Ike brought it back and managed to take Kirby’s stock sending him up for a ceiling kill. An unfortunate SD happened when Kirby tried to up B but couldn’t snap the ledge after miscalculating his number of jumps. Stark took the win and advanced further in bracket.

An upcoming match was GIGA l Wimp Low (Donkey Kong) vs DMG l Kato (Falco). These two had a crew battle earlier in the night and both competitors were on fire bringing some quality Sm4sh entertainment between the hometown hero (DK) of Kongo Jungle and the airwing piloteer (Falco) of the Lylat system. Game 1 started off with both players playing the neutral pretty well, chipping at each other for damage until Wimp Low’s Donkey Kong got a good read and confirmed the cargo throw into the Ding Dong sending Kato’s Falco soaring high in the skies of Smashville. Kato was lit. He came back with a vengeance, putting hitbox after hitbox and grabs after grabs juggling Donkey Kong in the air flustered and uneasy about regaining stage position. DK lost the stock soon after. The match concluded with an attempt of a cargo throw from Donkey Kong and that converted to a beautifully read Ding Dong that gave Wimp Low the win for game 1. On game 2, Wimp Low was a grabbing machine. His knowledge on his grab percent and his follow-ups kept a beat up Falco juggled in the air. Falco was flustered until Donkey Kong landed questionably on a platform of Battlefield and Falco needed just this moment to nab follow-ups until an edge guard situation that had Donkey Kong falling victim to Falco’s back kick taking the stock. The match concluded with a very hype trade of stocks. Falco was in an edge guarding position managing to almost spike DK into the depths of Battlefield but Dk used his DK tornado trying to cancel out the spiking animation and soon enough Falco put himself in a questionable position getting stage spiked instead. The only problem was that DK had just 1 stock left and lost game 2 in the process. The commentators cheered on how hype the conclusion to that game was and cheers from the crowd filled the room. Game 3 started out with a fiending Falco connecting 3 twisting beak attacks (Fairs) on DK and a hype back kick punishing DK’s back air giving the stock advantage to Falco. This was soon followed by a DK upsmash, bringing down his arms like falling trunks of a tree on Falco, taking the stock. Both competitors were at their final moments of the set. Falco was on fire with his active hitboxes not giving DK any breathing room getting him to 50% but DK just needed one grab and grabbed he did and quickly converted the percentage to 70% on Falco. It was do or die. Both players knew one mistake could cost them the game. DK was put offstage in a trade of blows and he tried to recover on the stage, but Falco went for it all and forward smashed to the ledge. This caught DK’s recovery and sent him flying taking out his stock and giving the win to DMG l Kato. Kato advanced further in bracket until he got taken out by PXG l DjRelly. Kato got 9th place.

The championship match was TA l Trevonte (Bayonetta) vs TA l Stark (Cloud, Ike) in grand finals. Stark was knocked out in winner’s side early in bracket, but he made a Mango-like run in losers to get to Trevonte, who was waiting in grand finals. Both of these players were part of the same sponsor. The match started out great with Stark going Cloud on Trevonte’s Bayonetta. They both played the neutral pretty well with Bayonetta getting a slight lead in percentage with up air kicks on Cloud at late percents. The first stock was taken by Bayonetta who managed to find a witch time, which heavily delays a victim’s movement and thus becoming combo food. Bayonetta got two back air kicks on Cloud and the red lightning was ever present indicating these blows were deadly. Cloud had a hard time coming back in stocks as Bayonetta kept intercepting any follow ups Cloud had with her bat within and her evasiveness. Bayonetta managed to get another witch time punishing an upward lunge of Cloud’s sword. This sent Cloud offstage and after some trades Bayonetta got a dair read, dropping her leg, spiking Cloud into oblivion giving Trevonte the victory on game 1. Game 2 started off well in Bayonetta favor as Cloud had a troubling time trying to regain stage positioning. This all changed when Cloud managed to get a finishing touch on Bayonetta almost killing her at the ceiling of the stage. The percent were pretty much even now. Cloud regained stage position and kept it. The first stock was taken by Bayonetta with a down air leg drop which was followed by Cloud’s down air downward lunge of his sword. The final stock was well in Bayonetta’s favor having low percent and Cloud having high triple digit percentage.  Bayonetta was almost victim to an up b from Cloud but Stark managed to seal the stock with a beautifully spaced nair, sealing the stock and getting Stark the victory for game 2. Game 3 was the determining match. The first stock was taken by Bayonetta’s back air kick. Bayonetta put on extra credit percent well into Cloud’s 2nd stock and he managed to get the win with another back air kick giving him the victory and the cash prize payout of $216. IMG_2575

Top 13 of the tournament included: 1 TA | Trevonte (Bayonetta, $216), 2 TA | Stark (Ike, Cloud, $108), 3 8BIT | M3 (Bayonetta, $36), 4 GiGa | R-Senal (Megaman), 5 Ce | DSS (Diddy Kong, Metaknight), 5 SG | Hitaku (Mewtwo), 7 FONC | PXSlayer (Kirby, Cloud), 7 PXG | DjRelly (Sonic), 9 GiGa | Jodi Bleek (Greninja), 9 T17 | NitN (Rosalina), 9 GiGa | Athena (Robin), 9 DMG | Kato (Falco), 13 Andy Sauro (Bowser Jr.), 13 8BIT | Chinito (Mario), 13 8BIT | Keios (Raynstorm) (Yoshi) and 13 SRS | Byte (Donkey Kong).

During the tournament, there were friendly setups in the venue. Competitors were free to come and go and challenge anyone to some Sm4sh. Nico Pisciotta under the gamertag name of FONL (FistsOfNorCal) l Electric Soldier was manning one of the friendly setups eager to face any incoming challengers. He was thrilled that one of his matches was featured on stream despite a loss as Pikachu to Mewtwo. The game was close, last stock, last percent. This would be one of his last Foundry in quite a while and he’s hoping to come back stronger next time. “I got to be a bit more patient in the neutral and improve my punish game.” He usually attends tournys in Sacramento and Concord.

Andrew Wu, project manager at Showdown Esports, said he has some Sm4sh plans for the summer on weekends at the Foundry. His experience being a part of a notable Sm4sh tournament series had been interesting. “The most valuable thing I can say I got from this experience is that I truly had the opportunity to build something from the ground up,” he said, “and be a part of its successes and failures.”

Wu continued on saying he enjoyed being a part of the Sm4sh community. “I love the community. I love that the community keeps the game alive and really rally behind smash as a force in competitive gaming.” You can find Wu on Twitter at @Engdrew. Showdown eSports can be found at Twitter at @showdowngg and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/showdownesports and on Twitch at http://twitch.tv/showdownsmash.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, The Foundry hosts tournaments for Melee, Sm4sh and Street Fighter V along with other games that can be played on the side. Note: Melee tournaments are on Tuesdays and Sm4sh tournaments are on Thursdays. The Foundry is a 21+ over venue and minors should communicate with Showdown Esports officals in advance for entry. The venue is located on Folsom Street in San Francisco between 9th and 8th street. For more information, visit their website at https://www.facebook.com/showdownesports/info/?tab=overview.

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