Unless you’re running a 30-man bracket off of two Toshibas and a laptop with Dolphin, most of the time at a Melee tournament is spent playing friendlies. Here are a couple of the players you typically run into while you’re waiting to get 0-2’d.
The Serious Friendlies Guy: He’s here to fuck you up kiddo, and if he doesn’t he’s gonna sigh really loud. Though skill may vary, beating him is endlessly satisfying. When he’s off the rotation, he can be seen angrily scrolling through his phone and shaking his head. Loves to nod proudly at himself after edgehogging the Falcon player who picked up the game two weeks ago.
The Swag Falcon: Make sure pause is disabled when you play these guys. Loud, obnoxious frat boys that will do whatever it takes to make sure you get moonwalk ledgecancel bair to walljump reverse falcon punched. These players are like blowjobs: when they’re good, it’s amazing; when they’re bad, it’s just a waste of time, but you still have to appreciate their effort.
The Bad Teacher: Gives unsolicited, shitty advice, often while losing. “You should’ve done a bair there instead,” he says while soaring downward into the blast zone. Other valuable tips include telling you that your option is unsafe while constantly failing to punish it.
The E-Sports Guy: “Oh man, that was totally a Mew2King Angle!” Evolved form of the documentary kid; consumes surface-level content at a staggering pace and talks shit on Smash 4 to fit in. Avid redditor with worryingly strong opinions about Leffen and is a guaranteed win if he’s in your pool.
The Hipster: Will refer to obscure players from a grand finals set that took place outside of an Alhambra pawn shop in 2003, then roll his eyes when you say your favorite player is Zhu. “Have you even heard of GhettoBlush?”
The Skill Hawk: Marginally better than you, but leaves the setup quickly in search of ~greater competition~. Ends up sulking on a rotation with a Ness main and the guy who uses a keyboard controller.
The Girl: 50 thirsty dudes in one venue staring at your ass and you just want to play some competitive video games. Just be cool. Like the rest of us, she also probably has an array of devastating social disorders and at times gets creeped out by Westballz.
The Ranked Player: Holy shit, he’s actually sitting down here. Alright, play it cool. Oh man, look at him. He’s so good. So mysterious. So powerful. And then you get four stocked. And then he leaves. Ranked players in friendlies are valuable resources for learning, so take advantage and leave the dickriding and cube signing for EVO. Put up your A-game and try your best to keep them on the setup.
The Low-Tier Main: Live and breathe for the precious first few games that they crush you until you adapt to the jank and proceed to shit on them. May rotate through a few unpracticed high-tiers and then leave the setup.
Your Buddy: Don’t fucking play with this asshole. You came here to play other people, not the same dude you play with four nights a week. Plus, he knows all your habits and he’s just gonna keep forward smashing you off the ledge and get you all pissed off and then in pools you’re gonna lose to some shitter GODDAMNIT SCOTT I WISH I WOULD HAVE LEFT YOU AT YOUR HOUSE FUCK YOU.
The Up-and-Comer: A player from your local scene that is somehow progressing much faster than you ever did. Gets attention from the ranked players but is still considered the same tier as you. Cherish this time on the setup. Shame them, disrespect them, trash talk them while you still can, before you become dots in their rear-view, before they leave you waist-deep in round one pools where you want so bad to escape from but you know in your heart that it’s where you belong.
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