Frostbite 2017: USA vs Japan in an All-Out Crew Battle!

This weekend, Frostbite 2017 is coming up. But before the main singles event, we will have an enormous 10v10 crew battle between Team North America and Team Japan. Interestingly, there will be no prize money involved, and the teams will be playing for the love of the game, and to bring honor to their side. With both teams bringing the best players into battle, who will emerge victorious?

The Backstory

Traveling back to Jan., Genesis 4 featured a round robin crew battle with three teams: the United States, Japan and an amalgamation of Canada, Mexico and Europe. The US’ players took home the gold, defeating their Japanese counterparts solidly.

At Frostbite 2017 on Feb. 24 - 25, Japan will be looking to reclaim their crew battle pride, this time bringing the country’s best to compete in the match.

Team Japan

  • T :4link:: A true Wi-Fi warrior, T is considered to be the best Link main in the world. His impressive survivability allows him to use the rage mechanic to give Link’s attacks an explosive amount of power. While this will be T’s first event outside of Japan, he has demonstrated that he’s capable of great things. Having defeated Ranai and getting 2nd at Umebura 24, he’ll surely be a great addition to the team

  • Shuton :4olimar:: Even though Shuton never leaves the country he’s not exactly an unknown. He’s been recognized by fellow top player Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby as the best Olimar main in the world.

  • Tsu- :4lucario:: Tsu- is considered the best Lucario main in Japan, and has got a couple of top 5 placements in his repertory. Lucario can be a great addition to a crew battle thanks to the raw power of aura and rage combined.

  • Some :4greninja:: This Greninja main is a relatively unknown addition to Japan’s roster, but he’s managed to get good placings at his home tournaments. While he has not been as active as before, he has access to top tier practice partners in the form of his teammates.

  • Kirihara :rosalina:: Another japanese player that’s more comfortable in his homeland, Kirihara is different in that he has in fact traveled overseas to compete at EVO 2016. Even though his placings aren’t the best, his Rosalina has gotten him wins over many of his fellow japanese teammates, as well as nabbing him a spot at the PGR v2.

  • KEN :4sonic:: The Sonic sensation is traveling to the US for the first time since last year’s EVO to get another chance at fighting. With excellent placings across the board, KEN gave Nairo a run for his money during the latter’s last visit to Japan, and is looking to do it again.

  • kameme :4megaman:: Surprising everyone by 3-0ing Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios and taking 2nd place at EVO, Takuto “kameme” Ono will be a strong contender in this crew battle. Well known for his usage of Mega Man’s deadly footstool combo, kameme can quickly turn the tide of the battle, which makes him a great addition to the team.

  • Ranai :4villager:: The best Villager in the world comes back to prove himself in this crew battle. With a dominant performance in Japan, Ryuto “Ranai” Hayashi also proved himself at Genesis 3 and EVO 2016, placing in the top 5 at both events.

  • komorikiri :4cloud2::4sonic:: Rei “komorikiri” Furukawa is ready to storm the battle. He’s known to perform well at crews events, using either Sonic or Cloud to use a defensive or aggressive style whenever they’re needed.

  • Abadango :4mewtwo:: A fan-favorite, Yuta “Abadango” Kawamura is a strong player, whose consistency allows him to place within the top 8 at almost every major he has attended at the US. He plays Mewtwo at an extraordinary level, using every trick in his arsenal to decimate his opponents. Considering the strength of the rival team, Abadango will be one of Japan’s best bets in the upcoming battle.
Team North America

  • ZeRo :4diddy:: Starting off with Team North America with the best of the best, ZeRo is still considered the greatest player in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. He’s well known for his impeccable aggressive playstyle, leaving his opponent with no chance to escape. Definitely will be the rival to beat in this crew battle.

  • Ally :4mario:: The man, the myth the legend. Elliot “Ally” Carroza-Oyarce is known to give a strong showing at crew battles, using his unpredictable movement to take stocks with ease. Definitely a force to be reckoned with.

  • Nairo :4zss:: When it comes to flashy play, Nairoby “Nairo” Quesada is the one who shines best. While having the best Zero Suit Samus is one of his strong points, he’s known to play many other characters at a top level, including Bowser, which he used the last time he faced Japan.

  • Dabuz :rosalina:: If those three weren’t enough, Dabuz comes to round the team of North America’s best players. His patient playstyle will be a great asset to the team, giving him the ability to tank stocks easily and still take the opponent’s.

  • VoiD :4sheik:: If Nairo’s flashy playstyle isn’t enough for your taste, James "VoiD" Makekau-Tyson brings his patented Sheik combos to the table. Using a surprising amount of technical play, VoiD can quickly take his opponent’s stocks with ease.

  • Salem :4bayonetta:: Considered to be one of the best Bayonetta players, the Brawl legend Saleem “Salem” Akiel Young made his triumphant return to Smash 4, where he became one of the few people to defeat ZeRo. Which he did twice in the same tournament. With his mastery of Bayonetta’s combos and the power of Witch Time, he’s a great addition to Team NA.

  • Zinoto :4diddy:: Michigan-native Julian “Zinoto” Carrington will be looking to defend his home turf from the Japanese visitors. Known to be one of America’s premier Diddy Kong specialists, recent highlights include a 2nd place finish at CEO 2016 and a victory at Midwest Mayhem 6.

  • Tweek :4cloud2:: Recently sponsored by Phoenix1, Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey proved himself at 2GGC: Midwest Mayhem Saga, getting taking second place after defeating komorikiri at Loser’s Finals. If his Cloud is not enough for the upcoming battle, Tweek still has his trusty Bowser Jr. to keep himself in the lead.

  • Mr. E :4marth:: Eric “Mr. E” Webber is a Marth player from the Tristate area, he became the 12th player to take a set of ZeRo at EVO 2016.

  • WaDi :4mewtwo:: Hailing form MD/VA, Chris “WaDi” Boston is a Mewtwo main that has several top player wins under his belt. Currently ranking first in his region, the main question is if he would able to defeat his fellow Mewtwo main Abadango to help take this crew battle home.
Matchups & Predictions

The first thing that is notable about this crew battle is the character diversity. Aside from Diddy Kong and Sonic (If komorikiri decides to play him) there’s no duplicate character in either team. This will allow for some interesting matchups that may not be seen as often in tournament. About who will be playing whom, that’s something we can only speculate on.

Even though Team North America may seem overwhelming, if Japan plays his cards right, they have a high chance of taking this event.

The main problem is obviously ZeRo himself, and depending on where he’s sent out, they might send kameme, komorikiri or even Ranai to take him out. Nairo and Dabuz are also monsters of their own, with the former having strong options in the form of ZSS and Bowser, while the latter’s patient playstyle can transform the crew battle into a test of endurance if sent against KEN or komorikiri’s Sonic. Shuton and T, while inexperienced in this continent, they can be a threat to team NA, with the potential to take out Zinoto and Dabuz, respectively.

Ally can be a problem for team Japan to deal with, but they have a strong answer in the form of Abadango who has beaten him before. VoiD can be tricky to deal with, forcing Team Japan to send in Ranai to try and take him out. T can be used to counter WaDi’s lightweight Mewtwo, but bust be wary of not becoming combo food. Japan must be exceptionally wary with Some and Kirihara, as their lack of experience can be a hassle, especially if sent out against experienced players like Nario or Dabuz.

Because this is a crew battle, Tsu- can take advantage of Lucario’s aura when he’s behind in stocks, so that in the event that he’s not completely taken out in his first battle, he can take a couple of early stocks before going down. Finally Mr. E and Tweek can abuse their characters’ disjointed hitboxes to give them an edge in the match. Marth’s tipper can be abused to nab some early stocks of Abadango and Kirihara, while Tweek has beaten komorikiri twice at the Cloud ditto, but most be wary of Ranai’s experience in the Cloud matchup.

In this writer’s humble opinion, the battle can go either way. However, the raw power present in Team North America’s roster, with 5 top 10 PGR players, definitely gives them the advantage. Team Japan has to carefully pick his players and have near a perfect strategy to counter each and everyone of Team NA to have a shot a winning the event.

What do you guys think? Which team is the one who will be taking the honor of winning Frostbite 2017’s crew battle? Let us know in the comments below!
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Alberto "RedNova" Vásquez


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