The Netherlands Profile

With two Dutch qualifiers coming up for the European Smash Circuit, namely Avalon M and Avalon U, it’s time to review the Smash history of the Netherlands. The oldest Smash scene in Europe houses many well-known veterans of the games, who to this day play an instrumental part in progressing the community.

History
Starting with the first known European grassroots tournament in November 2002, ran by local legend MrSilver, the Dutch scene has always played a significant role in the European scene. It was already during this age that veterans Marc, Remen and Utto joined the scene. Over the course of 2003, Remen quickly rose to the top and went fairly uncontested until Amsah took over the crown in late 2005.

During Amsah’s dominance, players like Faab, Adam and Zgetto also came into prominence. This ushered in a time period where Dutch players occupied most of the top spots in Europe, even after Armada’s rise in 2008. The only relatively new Dutch top player is Jeapie, who after a few years of competing joined the upper ranks in 2011.

In 2008 Utto created SmashNL, a website and forum acting as a hub for the Dutch Smash scene. Several other countries would follow this model, improving organization across the scenes. This more or less coincided with the release of Brawl, which quickly found itself a scene in the Netherlands. After a period of early dominance by Gaki, Mr-R became the best Dutch and, not long after, best European Brawl player.

In 2012, longtime players Marc and Remen hosted a series of 8 Melee locals to provide consistency for the Melee scene, which was starting to see a bit of a decline. Finding the interest was still there, they launched the Avalon tournament series in 2013, featuring both Melee and Brawl, replaced by Smash 4 as of late. The Avalon tournament series is now the premier event in the Netherlands, always drawing in both local and foreign attendance in great numbers. Avalon will be providing the SmashEurope circuit qualifiers for their country.

Because of the relative age of the Dutch Melee scene, a lot of players, including the top ones, have recently been unable to keep up with the game due to other responsibilities. Alongside diminishing presence on the international stage, the results among the upper echelon have also become largely unpredictable, there being no clear favorite. Amsah and Jeapie however seem intent on restoring the Netherlands back to its former glory and are traveling more frequently as of late. Newcomers Avalancer, $tijn and Jules are also quickly making a name for themselves and will be the ones to keep an eye on in the future. Furthermore, in early 2015 longtime Melee player mind trick created SmashRanking, a website compiling Melee singles results from 2014 onwards.

Smash 4 has been doing very well in the Netherlands since its release, with Mr-R at the forefront of international competition. As both competitive and casual events emerge throughout the country, an initiative by the name of Good Games, Well Played has proven itself as another consistent tournament series for Smash 4.

Community Leaders

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Marc
Main(s): Peach, Sheik, Luigi (Melee)
Meta Knight (Brawl)
Diddy, Luigi, Mario (Smash 4)
First tournament: DT1 (November 2002)
Notable recent performances:
Melee: Collision 8 (5th), APEX 2014 (49th), SF4 (2nd), Avalon V (5th), Avalon X (7th)
Brawl: Collision 8 (9th), Avalon III (5th)
Smash 4: Avalon VII (4th), GGWP2 (4th)

Marc was present at the first Dutch Melee tournaments and, barring several long breaks, has always been heavily involved with the local and international Smash community. Over the years he became a proficient competitor at Melee, Brawl and, recently, Smash 4, attending tournaments for these games in 8 different countries. In the meantime, he also rose through the ranks on SmashBoards, holding all staff positions until he ended up as administrator. Most notably, he was a leader for the Brawl Back Room (2008-2014), spearheading the creation of the matchup chart, among other initiatives. On the European side of things he was involved with the creation of the PAL Melee tier lists and the founding of SmashEurope. In recent years, he mainly adopted the role of TO: after being a co-host for the SmashNL events he started the HK (2012) and Avalon (2013-present) tournament series with longtime training partner Remen. He also regularly writes and edits for SmashEurope.

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Utto
Main(s): Jigglypuff, Peach (Melee)
Dedede (Brawl)
First tournament: DT4 (May 2003)
Notable recent performances:
Melee: SF4 (3rd)

Utto first entered the scene in May 2003 and has been around for most of its existence. A solid Peach player, he usually placed in single digits. He rose to prominence in 2008 by creating SmashNL, a website and forum catered specifically to Dutch players. At the time, he also dabbled in Brawl, winning one of the earlier large events with Dedede. Between late 2009 and summer 2011 he was the main TO for five SmashNL tournaments, co-hosted by Exalador and Marc. Still primarily a Melee player, he made the switch to Jigglypuff and beat Amsah in his last Dutch tournament (HK8, November 2012), before a long period of inactivity. In March 2014, he went on a 14-month trip to mainly Asia, during which he acted as an advisor to the creation of SmashEurope. While traveling he also attended SF4 in Japan, taking third place to countrymen Remen and Marc. He has recently returned to the Netherlands and begun work on new Smash-related projects.

Current notable Melee players

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Adam
Main(s): Fox, Falco, Sheik
First tournament: ZEST (September 2006)
Notable recent performances:
Melee: JCVD1 (2nd), Smash Brabant Tournament 2 (3rd), BEAST V (33rd), Avalon X (5th)

Adam joined the scene in September 2006 and took about a year to solidly establish himself as a Dutch top player. He has traveled a lot for Smash, notably winning a tournament in Spain and attending Pound 4 in the US. From early on in his career, he frequently practiced with Zgetto and the two became regular team partners with the exception of 2009, when Adam mostly teamed with Amsah. To this day, Adam and Zgetto can be considered the best static team in the Netherlands. Adam’s singles results started dropping somewhat throughout 2012, but the still rarely loses to players below his skill level. He has also begun hosting tournaments, the most recent one being Next Level in July 2015.

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Amsah
Main(s): Sheik, Fox
First tournament: DT10 (March 2005)
Notable recent performances:
Melee: Avalon IV (1st), Avalon V (1st), BEAST V (5th), HFLAN Melee (2nd), Avalon X (1st)

Amsah first entered the scene in March 2005, placing ninth at his first tournament. After a year of gradual improvement he established himself as the best Dutch and even best European player from late 2005 until 2008, most notably winning RoS3, ESA2 and RoS4 during this time period. He is best remembered for his 4-stock comeback against EK in the winners finals of RoS3, which to this day inspires people to never give up hope. Amsah got 3rd place at Pound 4 in 2010, where he ended up taking out Armada. This makes him the last person outside of the currently established top 6 to take a set against him. Health issues and real life obligations made him cut back on activity in recent years, but he fortunately resumed the attendance of international events in 2014. Though not as dominant as before, Amsah can currently be considered the best Dutch player.

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Faab
Main(s): Falco, Marth
First tournament: DT9 (September 2004)
Notable recent performances:
Melee: Avalon VII (4th), Avalon VIII (9th)

Faab attended his first tournament in September 2004, getting 25th place. Joining the scene just slightly before Amsah, the two would rise through the ranks around the same time. After an okay 2005, Faab started getting top 5 placings in the second half of 2006 and remained a high level Dutch player since. Between 2008 and 2010 he hosted several weekend smashfests at his house, which proved to be great practice for many Dutch players and even Ice from Germany. Though he has dropped off slightly in singles over the past few years, Faab is still probably the best individual teams player, frequently getting first place with Amsah. Internationally he is known as a troll, the most famous of his antics being the impersonation of Virus Blue Mage at Pound 4.

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Jeapie
Main(s): C. Falcon (Melee)
Bowser (Smash 4)
First tournament: X-TC (May 2008)
Notable recent performances:
Melee: BEAST V (9th), Avalon VIII (5th), Super Nebulous 3 (7th), Avalon IX (5th), Avalon X (2nd)

Jeapie started playing Melee competitively in 2006, but it wasn’t until May 2008 that he entered his first tournament. In the following period he did well at several locals and placed 13th at his first international tournament, Berlin Calling (April 2010). He hit his stride early 2012, making grand finals at both HK1 and HK2 and winning the latter. In May 2012, he decided to take a break from the game, citing diminished enjoyment. Jeapie fortunately got his passion back and attended hf.lan 5 in Paris (June 2013), coming back strong at a 5th place. He went on to never place outside top 8 while attending major events such as B.E.A.S.T 4, Republic of Fighters 3 and Avalon I through IX. In June 2014, Jeapie was picked up for a sponsorship by LowLandLions. Besides being Europe’s best Captain Falcon main, he can be credited as one of the first European players to heavily make use of shield platform dropping.

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Remen
Main(s): Falco (Melee)
First tournament: DT1 (November 2002)
Notable recent performances:
Melee: Sumabato DX Melee 11 (1st), MLG Anaheim 2014 (17th), Avalon VII (1st), Avalon IX (5th), Avalon X (7th)

Remen entered the Melee scene at the very beginning and quickly became a dominant force in tournaments. After several main switches he stuck with Fox and could be considered the best Dutch player and even first European champion between 2003 and late 2005, when Amsah entered the fray. In the years that followed he kept placing high and at some point made the switch to Falco, citing enjoyment as his main reason. In 2012, he ran the HK series with longtime training partner Marc, after which they launched the Avalon tournament series in 2013. In June 2014, having won the Japanese qualifier for MLG Anaheim while studying abroad, Remen was picked up for a sponsorship by LowLandLions. In recent Dutch events Remen has generally placed top 5, a notable exception being Avalon VII, which he won over longtime rival Amsah. While study and work provide a lot of distractions, he is expected to remain a competitor you can’t sleep on.

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Zgetto
Main(s): Fox
First tournament: SOTF (July 2006)
Notable recent performances:
Melee: JCVD1 (1st), Smash Brabant Tournament 2 (1st), BEAST V (7th), Avalon VIII (5th), Next Level (1st), Avalon X (3rd)

Zgetto got 17th at his first tournament in July 2006, but quickly worked his way up with training and teams partner Adam to become a consistent top player. Known for his technical Fox play, Zgetto has never switched mains and, although his activity has declined in recent years, continues to be a contender for top 3. Furthermore, Zgetto and Adam can be considered the overall best static Dutch team, though it is of note that Zgetto has also had past successes with Faab throughout 2009. Between August 2007 and June 2011, Zgetto hosted a series of ten monthlies that significantly contributed to keeping the scene afloat in meager years.

Current notable Smash 4 players

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Gregs
Main(s): Falco (Brawl)
Sheik, Luigi (Smash 4)
First tournament: The Balance Tournament (July 2008)
Notable recent performances:
Brawl: Avalon VI (4th)
Smash 4: Avalon VII (3rd), Avalon VIII (5th), GGWP3 (4th), Avalon IX (5th), GGWP4 (3rd), Avalon X (3rd)

Gregs entered the Brawl scene early on and was present at the first competitive event for the game, in July 2008. Throughout the years he became known for his technical and careful Falco play, frequently getting top 8 performances or better until the very end of Brawl’s life span. With Smash 4 he immediately started out strong and can overall be considered the 4th best player in the Netherlands. Barring the occasional upset, he rarely places outside top 5, using a combination of Sheik and Luigi. Hailing from a strong local scene, he recently founded GGWP (Good Games, Well Played) with longtime training partner iStudying. Together they host large Smash 4 events, reaching up to 100 attendants.

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iStudying
Main(s): Diddy Kong (Brawl)
Greninja (Smash 4)
First tournament: IBD (September 2008)
Notable recent performances:
Brawl: Avalon VI (2nd)
Smash 4: Avalon VII (1st), Avalon VIII (3rd), GGWP3 (2nd), Avalon IX (3rd), GGWP4 (2nd), Avalon X (1st)

Like many Brawl veterans, iStudying entered the Smash scene in 2008. Although he didn’t make it out of pools at his first event, he quickly improved and was placing in single digits by the end of the year. He kept attending events and from late 2009 onwards could be considered the second best Dutch Brawl player, typically losing only to Mr-R and foreign challengers. When Smash 4 hit he was an early adopter and has for the most part managed to continue his good performance streak, usually placing top 3. A student of the game, iStudying is technically proficient with quite a few characters across both Brawl and Smash 4. He is also at the centre of a strong local scene and in recent times founded GGWP (Good Games, Well Played) with longtime training partner Gregs.

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Mr-R
Main(s): Marth (Brawl)
Sheik, C. Falcon, Ryu (Smash 4)
First tournament: B@GO (March 2009)
Notable recent performances:
Brawl: Collision 8 (5th), APEX 2014 (9th), Avalon VI (1st), APEX 2015 (9th)
Smash 4: APEX 2015 (3rd), Avalon VIII (1st), GGWP3 (1st), Avalon IX (1st), CEO 2015 (9th), EVO 2015 (2nd), Super Smash Con (5th), Paragon LA 2015 (5th)

Though absent for Brawl’s first year, Mr-R took the Dutch Brawl scene by storm in 2009. He made his first appearance at a house local, where he got fourth. He went on to win his next couple of tournaments and after a few second place finishes in late 2009 and early 2010 would never lose a Dutch tournament again for the remainder of Brawl’s lifespan. He established himself as the best European player and attended several American events, where he placed in single digits. With the release of Smash 4, Mr-R was picked up for a sponsorship by LowLandLions and started competing even more seriously than before. He has yet to lose a European tournament and won it big Stateside for the first time when he claimed first place at Sky’s invitational, shortly after the game came out. During his next trip to the US he took third at APEX 2015 and hasn’t slowed down since. At EVO 2015, the biggest Smash 4 tournament to date, he took an impressive second place.

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S1-14
Main(s): Ness (Brawl)
Ness, Mario (Smash 4)
First tournament: TNOT3 (July 2009)
Notable recent performances:
Smash 4: Avalon VIII (2nd), GGWP3 (3rd), JST7 (2nd), Avalon IX (2nd), GGWP4 (1st), Avalon X (2nd)

S1-14 started attending Brawl tournaments in the summer of 2009. Being a character specialist for Ness, who was generally considered mid tier, he managed to turn some heads and place top 5 a few times. He eventually moved on to focus on League of Legends, but came back with a vengeance in Smash 4. His competitive mindset sharpened and once again maining Ness, now a top tier character, he consistently places top 3 and can be considered one of the best Dutch Smash 4 players. One of his more notable performances took place at JST7, where he defeated UK challengers J.Miller and IxisNaugus. Mr-R and iStudying are the main source of his losses and time will tell whether S1-14 can take it to the next level.

Thanks go out to Remen for his help with the History section and Joeri for providing the graphics and various input on the Melee players.

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