Last Sunday the second offline edition of Good Games Well Played took place in Almere, the Netherlands. This Smash 4 oriented series is run by Gregs and iStudying and previously featured a 3DS event and online tournament. After Avalon VII, the trend of capping out Dutch venues was continued as Smash Bros. for Wii U had 99 players compete for glory. Due to low interest in the originally scheduled Melee portion of the event, this game was replaced by Project M, which ended up with roughly 20 entrants. Marc and Joeri attended and entered Smash 4 and PM respectively.
Marc on Smash 4
As is common for Smash tournaments, teams was the first event of the day and it was hard to predict the top placements, even with Mr-R thrown in the mix, who was absent from Avalon VII to compete at APEX 2015. The biggest upset was no doubt Melee veterans Dave (Villager) & Thomau5 (Little Mac) claiming third place over teams such as Gregs (Luigi) & Jumpman (Diddy) and myself (Diddy) & T (Iggy, C. Falcon). Mr-R (Sheik) & kaak (Yoshi) debuted as a team and unsurprisingly went quite far, but ended up losing the event to Avalon VII doubles champions S1-14 (Ness) & Pika4Life (Pikachu), who once again showed great chemistry and made extensive use of team healing mechanics.
The singles bracket was in many ways similar to the one at Avalon VII, with a healthy mix of newcomers, Brawl veterans and even a few old school Melee players. Almere has a large local playerbase and they came out in force. As the bracket progressed it turned out that the top 8 of Avalon VII would for the most part reprise their roles. First to fall was Gymmo (Rosalina), who left early for personal reasons, making T’s life somewhat easier. The first actual confrontation among these players was between myself and Gregs, with me winning 2-0 to secure a spot in winners semis against Mr-R. On the other side of the bracket, iStudying (Greninja) beat T and S1-14 beat his team partner Pika4Life.
While iStudying won Avalon VII, S1-14 has previously shown to be quite capable against him and it was he who took their set in winners semis 2-0. My set against Mr-R was onesided, although Mr-R would later state to have only seen his last stock against myself and S1-14. This lead to a winners finals set between Mr-R and S1-14, with the first winning in dominant fashion.
In the losers bracket, things quickly became heated with Pika4Life winning a last hit set against T and Gregs also winning a 2-1 set over Rog (Rosalina). I won my set against Pika4Life 2-0, as I had done with all sets besides Mr-R up to that point. The biggest upset of the singles bracket happened when Gregs played his co-host and longtime training partner iStudying, beating him with Sheik in a very intense set. This resulted in a fifth place for the Avalon VII champion, whom I feel had a relatively bad day combining his performance with his TO duties. Gregs moved forward with all the momentum to also beat me in the rematch from the winners side of the bracket, opting for Luigi again. He couldn’t quite keep this up, as S1-14 bested him in losers finals with a 3-1 victory, before Mr-R took the whole thing.
As it currently stands we have a consistent top 5 of which 4 players (iStudying, S1-14, Gregs and myself) have gotten themselves in some intense back-and-forths. Mr-R is simply in a league of his own and it remains to be seen whether anyone in Europe can actually threaten the #3 of APEX 2015.
Joeri on Project M
I was asked to record PM and am primarily a Melee player, thus I hung around the PM setups the majority of the time. Some of the best Dutch PM players were in attendance in the form of LLL.Mr-R, Amsah and Ace, with LLL.Jeapie and Faab notably absent. Players like River (Snake), Mr9 (Zelda, Link), Ivra (Marth) and Jumpman (Fox) worked hard to challenge the top 3, but all fell short. I had a pretty good run myself and took my first game ever against Amsah in tournament with my Fox against his Marth on DL64. I also lost to Ace 1-3 for a 4th place finish.
In winners finals Amsah lost 1-3 against LLL.Mr-R. Though neither of them had really played the game much recently, Mr-R’s signature Lucario still clearly had the upper hand. Amsah nearly managed to pull one of his famous comebacks using Falco but Mr-R showed he knows his smash history and made sure he got the momentum back on his last stock.
Losers finals came down to Amsah and Ace, who are no stranger to each other as they have practised often on Ace’s houseboat in Amsterdam. Their umpteenth set ended 3-1 in Ace’s favor, with Wario vs Sheik being the deciding matchup. Ace tried his hardest against Mr-R in grand finals, but had to accept a 0-3 defeat.
There were only 6 PM teams. Amsah & Ace won winners finals and grand finals quite convincingly over LLL.Mr-R and iStudying (Falco). The team placing third, Jeffz0r (Ganondorf, Peach, Sheik) & Jumpman (Fox, Sheik, Falco) had a surprisingly strong performance, losing twice to Mr-R and iStudying with 1-2 and 2-3.
The GGWP organisation can look back on a great event. The venue was conveniently near a train station and supermarket, there were enough setups and no noteworthy hosting mistakes. Smash 4 however once again proved to be a challenge to finish in a timely fashion, with both this event and the recent Avalon VII needing at least an hour beyond the projected closing time. Overlap between Smash games, the same people going far in both singles and teams and Smash 4 being an inherently slower game seem to be the main reasons, coupled with the currently large turnouts.
With the large turnouts for Avalon and now GGWP, the Dutch tournament scene is thriving for both Melee and Smash 4. Avalon VIII, featuring both games, will take place on April 4th and registration will go live this week at the Avalon website.
It was a strong weekend for Europe in general with Heart of Gold in Sweden, Jinja Ranking 2 in France and House of Melee in Norway. Europe is picking up the pace with larger events as well, with Cannes Winter Clash being the first prestigious event in line for which a preview will be up on SmashEurope soon.