Smash may not entirely be part of the esports world in Europe yet, but the French are definitely doing their part to make it so: they managed to get the Smash games into a prestigious fighting game event in Cannes, housed in the same venue as the famous movie festival. From this Friday until Sunday, Melee and Smash for Wii U players get to star in their own epic as they compete alongside Ultra Street Fighter IV (USFIV), King of Fighters XIII and Guilty Gear Xrd as part of Cannes Winter Clash, hosted by GamesLines in Palais des Festival during the International Games Festival, or as they say in France “Festival International des Jeux”. Cannes Winter Clash is the successor of two FGC events, the International Video Game Cup (IVGC) and the World Game Cup (WGC).
LeFrenchMelee is hosting the Melee portion of the event, which is in large part the responsibility of BseeD, while Leon runs Smash 4 for GameLines. At the moment of writing Smash 4 is leading in attendance over Melee with 102 against 54 entrants. With registration already closed, it seems that Smash 4 will be significantly larger, though not nearly as large as USFIV at a whopping 180 entrants.
As mentioned on the official event description, each player contributes €10 to the pot of any event they are entering. While this is a relatively hefty amount for the average European event, it remains to be seen how high the cash prizes really are with the attendance being significantly lower than anticipated. The payouts for B.E.A.S.T V were the highest so far this year, at €2.510 for first place in Melee and €680 for first place in Smash 4.
Though Cannes can be expensive due to its location in the French Riviera, not to mention that getting there is quite the trip for foreigners, some international attendants might be looking to combine their attendance with a short holiday as the venue only lies 10 meters from the beach. The LowLandLions crew, which includes LLL.Jeapie’s (Melee) Falcon acrobatics and LLL.Mr-R’s (Smash 4) Sheik trickery, will be travelling in large numbers and entering multiple events. LLL.Remen will not be among them, however.
Though attendance is on the low side, various top Melee players will be there. Leffen is confirmed and with [A]rmada absent is the favorite to claim first place. Most top players from France will of course be present, with Tekk’s Jigglypuff and Baxon’s Falco leading the charge. While the catchphrase “Cyr is missing” proves true once again, other strong contenders are Charlon and his extremely technical spacies, Mahie, who turned heads at RXM2 last month where he eliminated Adam, and DjaGoF, fairly new in the French top and already popular for his strong combo game with Falcon.
Smash 4 has a noteworthy guest from Japan in the form of Abadango, a Pac-Man and Wario main who placed 7th at APEX 2015. He will be facing off against European top players Mr-R and Leon, the first of which he already faced at a local prior to APEX, as well as in APEX pools. While he lost these sets 1-2 and 0-2, both players will surely not take their rematch lightly. Leffen will also be trying to fight his way through the bracket, having enjoyed good results in Smash 4 so far.
Some players might have chosen to pass on the event when they found out it only features singles for both games. Although unofficial team events are likely going to make an appearance, known teams specialists like Faab cite it as the main reason they chose not to attend. Mike Haggar was expected to provide commentary and had already traveled to France, placing 5th last weekend at Jinja 2. He unfortunately had to leave France early for personal reasons and it is currently unclear who will fill that void. Liva, who has left VGBootcamp and since formed GeekyGoonSquad, is in charge of the stream. It will likely get hosted on twitch.tv/gameslines and our own twitch channel.
Since the event is hosting multiple games, most of the Melee event will be hosted on Friday, which is unusually early. Smash 4 will take up the majority of Saturday and, if all goes as scheduled, both games will have their top 8 on Sunday. On Friday night and possibly Saturday night a gaming bar, the Hive bar, will be providing Melee setups. BseeD is looking to stream a SaltySuite type of event, which would be a first for the European community.
As mentioned in the intro, the event is part of International Games Festival. This a huge event where hundred of board games, card games and video games are showcased. An impressive event for Smash to be part of and we hope more will follow in the upcoming years. Perhaps Smash will one day even be part of the famous movie festival as “Armada”, the newest entry in the The Smash Brothers documentary family, keeps gaining popularity after it surpassed its funding goal last year.
Tune in to all the action starting 11 PM GMT on Friday and pay particular attention to top 8 from 9 PM GMT till 7 AM GMT on Sunday. See the full schedule below.