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NetPlayer Analysis: Goosekhan


Photo provided by Waves Gaming

East Coast Fridays is one of the most consistently stacked online Melee weeklies, so getting third at one is not an easy feat. It looked impossible for Muhammad “Goosekhan” Khan (who goes by Usman) when he dropped into losers before top 24, but he didn’t give up. He proceeded to win the next six sets in a row, defeating the likes of Roy “Trail” Valle, “bobby big ballz”, Dylan “Dawson” Dougherty and “mgmg”. In losers finals he took a game from Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma, the eventual winner of the tournament.

I decided to interview Khan because of a lack of information on him outside of tournament posts. It’s easy to look at a smash.gg page or result on Twitter and only see a tag or final result. In my opinion, the journey is just as important as the final destination. In a time where the very fabric of online competition is being questioned by top 10 players and 0-2ers alike, I think shining a spotlight on some overlooked but incredibly important netplay grinders is needed.

Like so many others, a friend of Usman’s introduced him to Project Melee in 2014. He spent spare time watching combo compilations and Alpharad videos, inspired to do what he saw on the screen. Competitive Smash was just an end to means of styling on people just like he saw in combo videos. Turbo PM was a favorite of the Ontario native, as the speed was alluring.

Eventually he would find his way to Melee. The first set he remembered watching on YouTube was Kevin “PPMD” Nanney vs. Joseph “Mang0” Marquez at SKTAR 3. His first live viewing experience would come about a year after that set was played during EVO 2015. Goosekhan would spend hours playing on Anther’s Ladder on his keyboard, and that’s where his love of competing began.

His first tournament was organized by fellow Ontario staple Jacob “Faust” Fischer and was held at his high school where they both attended. Usman and Jacob would spend hours at the latter’s house practicing Melee, during which Usman’s skill at the game would slowly grow. He then graduated high school and started going to Smash tournaments at Ryerson University, which was “only” a forty-minute bike ride into downtown Toronto.

The Toronto scene has had a deep history of Melee competition, with many top players coming to compete while Usman was cutting his teeth. Edgard “n0ne” Sheleby, “Ryan Ford”, Camilo “Weon-X” Morales, David “KirbyKaze” MacDonald, and so many more. People in the Canadian Smash scene would joke that Toronto was “the center of the universe,” but there is an argument that there is no better place to be if you want to improve at Melee.

Get On My Level 2019 would provide Khan with his first major tournament experience, where he would only lose to William “Leffen” Hjelte and Miles “Soonsay” Foster. The latter is someone Khan had fought many times within Ontario. Usman remembers all the times spent netplaying against all of the Ontario-based Foxes, including Kurtis “moky” Pratt, “Zuppy”, “Plat” and “jon”.

Khan with “Zain” Naghmi at GOML 2019

Goosekhan credits much of his enjoyment of the game to the Toronto scene. Teammates “Cheeri0head” and “PRIN$E”, friends Faust and “Maple”, members of the “lagger crew”: mgmg, Jacob “Koobie” Dinka, Rene “CoolDudeRene” Suarez, and the city itself. Toronto is extremely diverse, both in Smash and out. The abundance of food trucks and burger places are common respites for a college lecture room.

Khan would use Captain Falcon in Project M and would do the same in Melee, relishing the character’s fast speed. Goosekhan’s favorite Falcon player is Johnny “S2J” Kim, followed closely by n0ne. In his opinion the “20GX” Falcons (a group of Floridian Captain Falcon mains headed by Jason “Gahtzu” Diehl, Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett and Dustin “Gravy” White), don’t get enough credit. Khan notes that the Floridians gave credit to Mang0's Captain Falcon secondary for its control of space.

Usman’s short term goals for Melee are to enter three major netplay events each month. Long term he comments on the thing that first got him into Competitive Smash: combo videos. He envisions them as a higher form of art, used to express ideas that seem too big for Melee. Using the game as a medium to explore physics, psychology, creativity, and philosophy.

To keep up with everything Goosekhan you can follow his Twitter here, his YouTube channel here, and his Twitch page here.

Special thanks to Waves Gaming for providing the photo used in the thumbnail! You can check out links to their socials here.

Writing: Speedy Sloth Speedy Sloth
Editing: @Sari
Thumbnail Graphic: @Zerp
Social Media: @Zerp

Authors Note: What other netplay grinders do you want to see interviewed? Let me know in the replies!
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Speedy Sloth


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