Do We Still Need IRL Melee Tournaments?

real_life_melee.jpg
Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect those of Smashboards. Smashboards makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

The release of Project Slippi, the rollback-enabled netplay option for Super Smash Bros Melee, has opened up the possibilities for online tournaments. Project Slippi enables nearly-lagless online play across internet connections, with little regard to the actual internet speed of each competitor. This demands the question: do we still need Melee tournaments to be held in-person?

In order to start this conversation concisely and with precision, I’ll list out the negatives of the two most obvious options - in-person tournaments on traditional Melee setups versus online tournaments on Project Slippi setups. There are alternatives in-between these two, but beginning with binary options allows for common reference points for further discussion.


Issues with In-person tournaments
  • Will be delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic
  • Requires travel, resources and housing for players at long distances
  • Often requires expensive Melee setups
  • Risk of player misbehavior much larger
  • TOs have to coordinate venues and collect entry fees

Issues with Project Slippi tournaments
  • Opportunities for cheating are larger (lag switches, client hacks)
  • Gameplay may have small lag delays that interrupt high-level play
  • Requires computers and internet connection powerful enough to run Project Slippi
  • Potential legal issues with Melee ISO
  • Controllers and coaching cannot be regulated
  • No way to verify with certainty the individual player in the tournament
  • Competitive play will be taken less seriously by bystanders and results will be considered subpar to in-person tournaments

Given these issues, it seems reasonable that lower-level rounds of tournaments could operate using Project Slippi. The possibility of a few frames of lag wouldn’t often impact the more casual and low-round matches, and bylaws could allow for rematches in situations where a few frames determine the very close outcome of a match. Project Slippi wouldn’t require as much of a resource commitment for players, and lower-level rounds might function well as “qualifiers” for the final rounds of the tournament.

Large tournaments could consider hosting the final rounds of tournaments in-person to further facilitate lag-free competition, and we can keep personal interaction between competitors, interviews, live commentary and all the other benefits of in-person tournaments that the scene has grown with.

Author’s Note: I’m personally indifferent to the idea of online tournaments vs. in-person tournaments, but I think it’s an important outcome to consider! Are you considering this possibility? Let me know in the comments below!

Credits
Editing
( Thirdkoopa Thirdkoopa and Zerp Zerp )
Graphics ( Zerp Zerp )
Social Media ( Zerp Zerp )
 
Last edited:
Amiibo Doctor

Comments

Nope. Smash Ultimate exists.
Why would you play an outdated game (besides for nostalgia) with four viable characters when Ultimate has over 70 viable characters and is superior in every way?

I understand that this joke may be offensive, but I genuinely do not understand the appeal of every Grand Finals being Fox dittos with the occasional Jigglypuff, Shiek, or Marth.
 
Nope. Smash Ultimate exists.
Why would you play an outdated game (besides for nostalgia) with four viable characters when Ultimate has over 70 viable characters and is superior in every way?

I understand that this joke may be offensive, but I genuinely do not understand the appeal of every Grand Finals being Fox dittos with the occasional Jigglypuff, Shiek, or Marth.
Because they enjoy the gameplay, which is wholly different from Ultimate. Now please, keep your comments focused on the actual topic at hand instead of derailing it into an Ultimate Vs. Melee debate.
 
I'm of the opinion that we still need physical events, although that isn't to say Slippi isn't great, I absolutely think Slippi tournaments and physical events both have their time and place. Slippi is amazing at letting people play regardless of location and giving players something very similar to local play, however, I don't think it can ever truly replace local play. Reason being that even at lower levels of play something like minor lag is still capable of changing the outcome. It's also pretty much inescapable, I doubt any amount of rematches is going to make some super slight lag vanish. Then there's also the issue that not everyone is able to access acceptable internet. So yeah, I can't see in-person events ever going away unless the internet changes vastly in the coming years.

That said, in-person events shouldn't be happening until it's actually safe to have them, and that's going to take a looooonnngggg time. So, for right now I'd say every tournament should be using Slippi. However, I don't think Slippi needs to go away or anything like that either once it's safe to have physical events. There's no reason not to just run both kinds of events really, as long as they have separate rankings I doubt there'd be any issues.
 
I'd consider the Coronavirus period a sort of 'trial'test for Slippi. If Slippi really is that good, the community may want to look at how other games with feasible do IRL and internet tournaments. Specifically, Rivals of Aether, since they're also a platform fighter.
 
Nope. Smash Ultimate exists.
Why would you play an outdated game (besides for nostalgia) with four viable characters when Ultimate has over 70 viable characters and is superior in every way?

I understand that this joke may be offensive, but I genuinely do not understand the appeal of every Grand Finals being Fox dittos with the occasional Jigglypuff, Shiek, or Marth.
Not in every way. Melee is way more fun to watch, and has a better combo game.

That said, in-person events shouldn't be happening until it's actually safe to have them, and that's going to take a looooonnngggg time.
Wouldn't say its going to take a long time for it to be safe, but it'll be forever until ppl stop being so paranoid.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Do we need them? No. Should we have them? Yes. The issues with in-person tournaments are very strong and valid but I still think they should exist once it's safe again; there's way too much you have to sacrifice. I think it's obvious.
 
As someone who will probably never attend tournaments in person, they should still be a thing (need is a strong word). It's just too different from online tournaments for so many reasons.

I'm actually surprised this topic came up at all. Unless affordable and significantly better AR/VR stuff was available to ever smasher (which aint happening, especially not anytime soon) so that people could interact with each other almost like real life, then it could be a discussion. Even then it wouldn't be exactly the same anyways. So there will always be a place for offline tournaments.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dan
Hmm, considering the inherent legal implications, don't expect ot to go well if majors start picking up a lot of traction with it.
 
I think online should be supplementary, and not replacing the actual meeting. In these times, it's a must that we do online only temporarily until we go back to normal. Being in the same vicinity of others that also love melee like you do is amazing.
 
Of course we still need IRL tournaments if anything the upcoming Slippi Champions League and the Smash World Tour allows us the opportunity to work out an online-offline tournament infrastructure ala Capcom Cup. Once it is absolutely safe to have offline tourneys again in addition to online tourneys via Slippi I'm very optimistic about Melee's competitive future.
 
Melee Netplay doesnt have the same magic that irl melee tournaments do. Just watch a couple of clips from big irl melee tournaments and you'll see it. like in netplay you cant shake your opponents hand after a set. Irl Melee tournament will always have their place in my opinion.
 
I think we shouldn't have IRL tournaments until its safe to attend them. The risk of a super spreader event is just too great.
 
Obviously we should wait until it's safe to have irl tournaments, but we should get back to them when we can. They offer the most authentic experience. And we should continue to host netplay tournaments too, for people with compromised immune systems who may not feel very safe going to an irl tournament even after covid passes. Can't see why we can't have both
 
I think this post is about the bigger picture and the future.
You know, it kinda is, but it's kinda not. I figured at some point somebody was going to ask the question, so I wanted to get out ahead of them and be the first.
I'm glad that most of the scene still wants in-person tournaments.
 
Top Bottom