The 5th iteration of the highly successful B.E.A.S.T series took place on the weekend of the 9th of January in the city of Göteborg, Sweden. Lolex and Armada reprised their role as the main tournament organizers for the event. Their primary goal was to surpass the old turnout records held by the now legendary Epita Smash Arena 2 (Paris, 2008), which they ended up smashing with around 438 players from all over Europe, 369 of which participated in Melee singles. B.E.A.S.T V not only became the largest European tournament of all time but also the 5th largest Melee singles tournament in the world.
Among the 18 countries represented, Sweden unsurprisingly provided the main bulk of the attendance, with 205 home players attending and the United Kingdom also brought an impressive 79 players. While Germany, France and the Netherlands were lacking in numbers, many of their key players still showed up to compete on Europe’s largest stage yet. To add some American flavor to the event, #1 ranked player in the world Joseph “C9| Mango” Marquez made an appearance, as well as the always ever so exciting commentator D’Ron “D1” Maingrette. Outside of Melee singles and doubles, B.E.A.S.T V also featured singles events for Project M and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
In order to accommodate such huge numbers, the tournament organizers had to rent out a bigger venue, Hvitfeldtska Gymnasiet, a high school. Most parts of the building were made available for use, including a large gym hall for all the tournament setups, a conference room with a projector for the VGBootCamp stream and featured matches, as well as many classrooms for Smashers to sleep in.
The venue opened on a cold late afternoon on Friday the 9th. Beginning solely with the Project M side-event, B.E.A.S.T V had an unfortunate start as the gym hall in which the tournament was supposed to happen was also booked by a football team. This forced the organizers to reduce the stock rules from 4 to 3 and have all the TV’s and consoles be placed in the classrooms until the gym was free to use again to make the schedule. However, the players and setups being separated in different classrooms as well as the late start to the event still contributed to heavy delays. Players struggled to find their opponents and keeping track of matches proved to be a difficult task. At the end of the first day, the organizers decided to interrupt the Project M tournament at around top 16 and have the rest of it be played through the remainder of the weekend. Nevertheless, the side-event proved to be a thriller especially thanks to the British players being especially enthusiastic about the game.
On the bright side, once the gym hall was made available the event ran much more smoothly. Players were able to prepare for Melee singles during the evening.
Saturday was the big day for the vast majority of players at B.E.A.S.T V. Bracket pools were played for Melee singles and doubles, as well as Smash 4. In stark contrast to day 1, the tournament ended up running mostly as planned. The pool captains did a great job keeping track of the results and the schedule was adhered to quite closely.
There were sixteen bracket pools for Melee singles and eight bracket pools for Melee doubles and Smash 4. All pools were separated and assigned to four waves, players were informed the day before of the schedule. Four players/teams come out of each pool to go into the final brackets for each event. Pools were also generally streamlined in a way that players wouldn’t be playing two event at the same time (with some exceptions). The same can’t however be said about the players who were assigned to commentate on stream. There were many conflicts that made the organizers abandon the commentary schedule early on and improvise based on who was present and willing to commentate.
In the Melee singles bracket pools, the top players progressed through the pools quite smoothly and next to no upsets actually happened, except perhaps in the few pools that had multiple contenders for the top spot. In pool 2, Denmark’s #1 ranked player and Ice Climbers maestro Tomber made an impressive comeback against Dev in the Winners Finals. Humpe, a Swedish spacie took out Adam, one of the Netherlands’ finest to win pool 5. The British Peach player Vanity Angel (VA) defeated Beat 2-0 to take the 1st seed in pool 10.
A lot of the excitement and hype came from closely contended matches between the 2nd to 4th seeds. For instance, one such match was between Kiw1, a Fox player from Austria and Widl, a Norwegian Peach player. Widl managed to pull two stitchfaces, one on the last stock of game 2 to steal the round and another one immediately at the start of game 3 to take an early lead. Kiw1 managed to keep his composure to take the set. Other notable results include Timi, Austria’s best player defeating IVP to take the 2nd spot in pool 12 behind Amsah as well as Swedish up and comer Isac upsetting MikeHaggar in winners bracket (MikeHaggar managed to get his revenge in losers bracket later on).
Initially, a 20 vs. 20 “Scandinavia vs. The World” crew battle featuring the finest players in Europe (which was planned out by Kiw1 and myself) was set to take place at 22:00. Sadly, the time it took for Melee doubles bracket to get to the later stages was severely underestimated and the official crew exhibition had to be cancelled as a result. But just as we had all but abandoned the idea of a crew battle, Salepate from France decided to take matters into his own hands and gather people for an event anyway. After long discussions between the players involved, a 13 vs. 13, 3-stock crew battle between Scandinavia and the EU started at 3 AM in the conference hall. It was neither streamed nor recorded but was shown on the projector to a crowd that was split in two to support each camp. While the teams may have been suboptimal (many of the top players were asleep), it still ended up being a fantastic experience with lots of exciting moments.
Even though the EU proved to be a more solid team across the board, Leffen put up a dominating performance by taking 8 stocks. Tomber and Hack also allowed team Scandinavia to retain a solid lead and keep the counterpicking advantage. This culminated in one of the funniest endings to a crew battle we have ever seen. Daümling’s Ice Climbers faced the near impossible odds of battling Widl’s Peach on Fountain of Dreams with only 1 stock remaining versus 3. Things went from bad to hopeless very quickly when Widl immediately pulled a stitchface (again), threw it at the Ice Climbers, instantly separating them and proceeds to kill Nana in less than 5 seconds. Daümling consequently concedes the match and Scandinavia takes the exhibition.
Though the crew battle sadly wasn’t streamed, some people managed to capture parts of it on their phones etc. The lineups and results were as follows (or at least what I can recall from memory).
Scandinavia: Eagle (Dr. Mario), King Funk (Falco), FlikkFlakk (Fox), Smasher89 (Ice Climbers), Taka (C. Falcon), Leffen (Fox), Kriz (Marth), Askeflink (Falco), Tomber (Ice Climbers), Bose (Fox), Pop (Sheik), Hack (Falco), Widl (Peach)
EU: Alpha Dash (Ice Climbers), JiM (Dr. Mario), JD (Falco), Avenger_Angel (Falco), Fauster (Samus), Salepate (Marth), Mahie (Marth), Baxon (Falco), L (Fox), Deathgazer (Falco), Professor Pro (Fox), Jolteon (Sheik), Daümling (Ice Climbers)
Scandinavia – EU
|Crew Match Results|
|Eagle (2) > Alpha Dash|
|Eagle < JiM (2)|
|King Funk (2) > JiM|
|King Funk < JD (2)|
|FlikkFlakk (3) > JD|
|FlikkFlakk < AvengerAngel (1)|
|Smasher89 (3) > AvengerAngel|
|Smasher89 < Fauster (2)|
|Taka < Fauster (1)|
|Leffen (3) > Fauster|
|Leffen (2) > Salepate|
|Leffen (1) > Mahie|
|Leffen < Baxon (2)|
|Kriz (2) > Baxon|
|Kriz < L (2)|
|Askeflink (1) > L|
|Askeflink < Deathgazer (2)|
|Tomber (3) > Deathgazer|
|Tomber < Professor Pro (1)|
|Bose (1) > Professor Pro|
|Bose < Jolteon (3)|
|Pop < Jolteon (2)|
|Hack (3) > Jolteon|
|Hack < Daümling (1)|
|Widl (3) > Daümling|