After five succesful editions of this Dutch tournament series, Smash Bros. veterans Marc and Remen present Avalon VI on November 29th, 2014! The cap of 100 entrants has once again been more than reached and there will be significant international competition. If you didn't secure a spot, you will be able to keep up with primarily the Melee action by watching the Salty Playground livestream.
The Dutch Melee scene went through a bit of a lull since late 2012, but has consistently been bringing the numbers since the first Avalon in October 2013. The American hype for events such as EVO has further cemented Melee's longevity. As a result, many Dutch competitors got more of a reason to step their game up and various community members were inspired to start hosting events of their own. This lead to the creation of a new Dutch power rankings, the first in years.
Competition among the Dutch top players has never been fiercer. The past two years the top spot at each Dutch event usually went to either Nihonjin, better known as Amsah, or Zgetto, with the occasional win by Remen. However, this year Amsah has lost sets to several Dutch players. Though he's recovered from most of these sets in the next tournament and has proven himself where it mattered by taking both Avalon IV and V, it does show that the gap between the high level players has been growing ever smaller. The question remains which Dutch player will manage to get the highest placing at Avalon VI, with Zgetto sadly not attending and 3 very strong international competitors present in Armada, -Ice- and Over Triforce.
Jeapie vs. Amsah
Jeapie vs. Amsah
The rivalry between Amsah and Jeapie has been compelling as they’ve traded tournament wins back and forth over the past months, both with dominating performances over the other. Jeapie knocked Amsah into losers bracket at Republic of Fighters 3 in France during his Sheik gauntlet bracket. As a result he was picked up as the first Melee player by sponsor LowLandLions earlier this year. Though Amsah and Jeapie missed out on each other at Avalon IV, they battled for the crown soon after at RSDxMelee. Expectations were high for their set, but it wasn’t even close with grand finals surprisingly ending up as 3-0 in Jeapie's favor. However, Amsah answered with a 3-0 of his own at Hall of Melee 5 shortly after. At Avalon V, their winners finals set ended 3-2 in Amsah’s favor, with Jeapie not able to make it back to grands for the rematch. Schuurfest 2 saw Jeapie recover from a loss in a winners finals set that went 3-2, taking grand finals with 2 sets that went 3-1. Amsah refound himself and won Smash Brabant, where Jeapie had to settle for 3rd place after Zgetto. With such variance in their results, their potential clash at Avalon VI seems like it could go either way and is definitely one to look out for.
Another wish-list encounter we've been anxiously awaiting is Amsah against Overtriforce. They met a few years ago at a tournament in Spain where Over succeeded in knocking Amsah into losers bracket. Amsah however managed to recover in grand finals and won the tournament. Since then, the two haven’t run into each other in tournament, but Over has been showing significant improvements lately with strong showings in both the United States and in Europe. As a result he's currently ranked higher than Amsah.
The situation around Remen has been interesting. He left early in the year to study in Japan, where he managed to win a tournament, conveniently avoiding aMSa in the process. This tournament so happened to be a qualifier for MLG Anaheim. As a result Remen was the first and only Dutch player to ever attend an MLG event, not to mention in Championship Groups. After Republic of Fighters 3 both him and Jeapie were picked up by LowLandLions as the first Dutch players securing a sponsorship. Though he had a good performance at the MLG final he didn't make the prize spots. When he returned to the Netherlands he got 5th at Avalon V and didn't enter any of the other events, apart from START 7, a relatively small event in Rotterdam. Here Remen got knocked into losers in the 2nd round of winners bracket, but came back strong to take 2 sets from Amsah for the tournament. This showed he's still not someone to sleep on, but previous Avalon results indicate that he’s more often than not unable to make a splash while also juggling his hosting duties.
A set between Ice and Amsah is highly anticipated. Last year Amsah showed that even though he had been out of the running for a bit, he was not someone to ever underestimate. Against all expectations he sent Ice into losers bracket at the first Avalon. Ice still managed to win the tournament after beating Amsah in losers finals and Remen in grand finals. Ever since, Ice has been absolutely dominant. While Amsah is definitely the underdog once again, he has proven time and time again that he fights well from that position. While Ice has switched his main to Fox, the outcome is certainly not a foregone conclusion.
Ice vs. Amsah
Ice vs. Amsah
Ice vs. Armada
The set that is projected to be grand finals is the set between Ice and Alliance.Armada. Armada has shown an extreme amount of dedication this year, winning nearly every European event, with only the occasional loss to Leffen. Ice has given the champ some good matches, but none of the sets were close. Besides Armada, Ice will have to consider Over, who beat him 3-0 just a few weeks ago at DrommeLAN 4.0.
Avalon VI marks the first appearance of Smash 4 at Avalon and one of the first Smash 4 events in Europe, on the 3DS. Mr-R is already making big waves in the game, having won Sky's invitational in the US over players such as ESAM, Nairo and ZeRo. High level Brawl players tend to do very well in Smash 4 and it is no surprise that Mr-R is looking to be the favourite for Avalon VI as well. While the game is relatively new, it is safe to assume that Dutch Brawl veterans such as istudying will get far. Armada will be present as a dark horse of sorts, having made grand finals at a at DrommeLAN 4.0, but with little playing time under his belt and more of a focus on Melee. Mr-R vs Armada would be an exciting match-up for sure, but even if it doesn't happen in Smash 4, arrows might fly in a different arena...
It is also of note that this will likely be the last time for Brawl to appear as a main event at Avalon. Dutch veterans such as Mr-R and iStudying will duke it out one more time, with Mr-R being the favourite to win.
You can tune into all of the action this Saturday over at Salty Playground starting at 13:00 GMT. The stream will focus on Melee but other Smash games may also make an appearance.