My thoughts on the Super Smash Bros. Invitational

A few days ago, Nintendo posted a video about the Super Smash Bros. International, a tournament hosted by Nintendo at E3 this year to showcase the next installment of the Super Smash Bros. series. It will feature 16 players that receive an invite from Nintendo, and feature casting by well-known competitive Smash Bros. casters Prog, Scar, and D1. I think this tournament is awesome, and to see them including Prog and D1, my two favorite casters, is really cool. Really, the whole idea that Nintendo is trying to embrace competitive Smash Bros. is a good feeling. Other competitive games are usually supported by their creators; it’s nice to see Smash Bros. is finally getting some of that support.

I’m not going to dive into the players invited, but there are a lot of big names and I’m mostly happy with Nintendo’s choices. A lot of the players not only help with the community but are long-time players of competitive Smash Bros., with a few new names thrown in there that I don’t know at all.

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the Invitational: the rules.

Draft:

Basically, there are 20 characters and 16 players. Each player picks a number and then picks a character in the order of the number (starting with 1). The player’s aren’t allowed to switch characters – they must use the same character throughout the duration of the tournament.

Here’s a quick list of the characters (in alphabetical order):

– Bowser
– Donkey Kong
– Fox
– Greninja
– Kirby
– Link
– Little Mac
– Mario
– Marth
– Mega Man
– Pikachu
– Pikmin & Olimar
– Pit
– Rosalina & Luma
– Samus
– Sonic
– Villager
– Wii Fit Trainer
– Zelda
– Zero Suit Samus

So that means that 4 characters will be left out. That’s nice because then the last person still has characters to choose from rather than just being stuck with whichever character isn’t picked. I’m predicting that some characters like Mario, Pikachu, Link, Donkey Kong, Fox, and other old names will be less favored than the new characters. At least, I hope they choose the new characters over the old ones.

Gameplay:

– Single-Elimination
– 4 player Free-For-All (FFA), 4 stocks, 5 minute timer (top 2 advance)
– Winner is determined by score?
– A tie-breaker for second involves most KO’s, and if that’s a tie, then by a fan vote.
– Quaterfinals have Items on Medium
– Semifinals and Finals have Items on Low
– Grand Finals have no items.

And taken directly from Nintendo’s E3 website with the rules:

Grand Finals is a 4-stock, 8-minute, 1-on-1 match on Battlefield as an homage to the competitive Smash Bros. community.”

How cool is that? That’s a really big deal for me as a competitive Smash Bros. player.

So, the rules aren’t exactly crystal clear on how the winner is determined. Is it the last player standing, or the player with the most KO’s? I don’t know, but I’m going ahead and assuming it’s whomever is last standing. Also I have no idea whether or not the matches before Quarterfinals have items on or off. I’m pretty sure it’s on, all things considered, but we’ll see. The stages used will be shown off at the event, which I’m okay with.

There’s also this “Fan Favorite Bracket”, which is basically fans wanting their favorite players to play again in a separate bracket where the second place winner is determined by a vote. The Fan Favorite Bracket matches are timed FFA’s instead of stock, so the winner is the person with the highest score. Items are always on Medium.

All in all, the rules are looking good. I didn’t expect any kind of hyper-competitive rules, so the FFA matches are fine with me. I’m just happy they’re paying an homage to the competitive Smash Bros. community.

I’m very excited for this tournament. If you want to check it out, it’ll be streamed on Nintendo’s Twitch channel next Tuesday, June 10th, at 4 PM PT. I’ll be tuning in and probably updating my Twitter as I do, and I’ll (hopefully) be going to the Best Buy Smashfest in my area to write a post about my thoughts on it in the next couple of weeks.

Just Sayin’.

Link to Nintendo’s E3 website: http://e3.nintendo.com/

Link to the Super Smash Bros. Invitational Rules: http://e3.nintendo.com/invitational/info.html

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