After eight successful events bringing in more and more players from all around Europe, HFLAN: Melee Edition will be the peak of the series, and the official start of the European Smash Circuit on May 9th, 2015. Hosted by LeFrenchMelee and streamed by SaltyPlayground, this tournament is looking to be a prime experience for all Smash players, with one of, if not, the best venues France has to offer. Its location in Paris is also a great asset for the tournament, since the city is very convenient to travel to for the majority of European players. Comfortable couches, free drinks and a huge theater for the top 8 matches: HFLAN has always been a great event for both spectators and players.
A handful of great names are confirmed. From abroad: [A]rmada, Amsah, VwS.Professor Pro, Fuzzyness and LLL.Jeapie. From France, the majority of the top is eager to make their country proud — players like Baxon, France’s best Falco; Cyr, the best Samus main in Europe and always a threat; and finally Tekk, best Jiggly main in Europe, ranked n°1 in France. A close runner-up on the French ranking is Salepate’s Marth, who is notably missing. However, the major attraction for this tournament will be the player from overseas. Last year, the community brought over aMSa to compete in RoF3; this year, the special guest will be Zhu, a well-known Falco player from the States who flew over earlier this week after his €800,- fund was reached only two hours before the deadline. Among the notable missing players is Leffen, and rumor has it Ice has opted to attend DGSmash2 in Germany on the same weekend.
The high level of competition and variety of nationalities in attendance brings some highly anticipated matchups: Zhu vs. Amsah in their first PAL encounter; Jeapie vs. Fuzzyness, which is looking to be an intense Falcon ditto, with Fuzzy picking up his former main again, riding the 20GX bandwagon; Amsah and Tekk have a tight score to settle after their sets at RoF3 and Avalon IV, and Baxon vs. Zhu could bring the Falco ditto hype to the tournament. There’s a lot of national pride at stake and, above all, ranking points for both the European Power Ranking and the aforementioned European Smash Circuit.
European Melee is taking off in 2015 and is looking more unified than ever! Everyone wants a top 10 spot on the ranks, and so every tournament counts. Aside from Armada being the dominant champion, it’s hard to predict who’s going to reach the podium at HFLAN, since top players from every country usually have extremely tight sets: anything can happen. It’ll be interesting to see how Europe will take on Zhu, the American threat. Will he reach grand finals easily, or will his crazy spacies be stopped and will he be on the receiving end of another WOMBO COMBO?
Although it’s called the “Melee Edition,” it doesn’t mean the HFLAN staff didn’t make room for the others Smash installments. There will be two side-events through the weekend with Smash Bros. for Wii U (Smash4) and Project M (PM). Player caps for both games are 128, so anyone coming to HFLAN will be able to compete in the Smash game they enjoy most. Though, them being just side-events won’t attract as much competition, it is safe to expect Professor Pro and [A]rmada to dominate PM with maybe some hardship from Zen* and Leon, who are currently the best in France’s young PM scene. The Smash 4 results would be anyone’s guess, though Leon and Brawl top player Glutonny are among the favorites. As a last addition to the hype, the Salty Arena, inspired by VGBootcamp’s Salty Suits, will take place in the evening in the big amphitheater. You can vote on what matches you’d want to appear, like a rematch between Amsah and Zhu, 3 man crews of each competing country, a Falco ditto between Zhu and Baxon, and way more. These will also be streamed by SaltyPlayground.
HFLAN will be the starting point of a new era for Melee in Europe: national communities coming together, more exchanges between countries, more training, more competition and more of everything we love SSBM for. Where will YOU be when that happens?
Registration is open until May 8th at smash.gg. Looking to learn more about HFLAN? Tomorrow evening around 9PM GMT+1 one of the hosts, Slhoka, will be joining From Funk With Love to talk about HFLAN and his involvement with the European Smash Circuit. Tekk, Amsah and LLL.Jeapie may join as well.
Photographs taken by Seya, Banner created by Joeri. Thanks to LLL.Remen and Joeri for help with the article