Smash in 2007: Year in Review

AlphaZealot

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#1
Smash in 2007: Year in Review
The first annual Smash tournament industry report


Overview of 2007
Many wondered what 2007 could bring after Major League Gaming announced it would be pulling Smash from its Professional Circuit in March. MLG powered much of the Smash’s success in 2006, including record turnout levels (MLG New York: Playoffs - 204 entrants) and the biggest prize checks ever awarded (MLG Las Vegas: Championship – 1st place $10,000). With the company seemingly out of the picture early, Smash’s future in 2007 seemed bleak. The feelings of despair didn’t last for long though, as an unlikely source decided to finally step into the action.

The Evolution Championship Series picked up Smash just weeks before MLG’s announcement, restoring the professional look and feel only a major sponsor could provide. Smash’s addition to Evo came after years of debate between a young Smash community and the older Fighting Game Community. Smashers viewed Melee as a fighting game, but the same was not true for players within the FGC, who often ridiculed the game for its “kiddish” looks. The debate between the two communities was fierce until 2005, when MLG stepped in and provided Smash its own route to success after flirting with the community for half of 2004. With MLG out of the picture in 2007 and tensions between the two communities low, Evo’s move to pick up Smash came at just the right time.

Roughly one month after Evo picked Smash for its 2007 series, MLG announced it would be sponsoring four independent tournaments as part of its Underground Smash Series. The announcement was met with enthusiasm, as the potential for 2007 was just beginning to be realized. Though the first half of the year featured only a few noteworthy events, the year from June onward showed that the initial gloomy outlook was far from accurate.


(from left to right: Mew2King, PC Chris, Taj, and Forward shake hands during at Pound 2, in Mount Airy, Maryland)

The summer kicked off in June with Pound 2—MLG sponsored and in one of the largest Smash communities in the world. Hosted by Plank and the rest of Team Arlington, the Maryland event became a spark for the rest of the community. Not only did Pound 2 shatter all previous Maryland records with its 200 attendance figure(the previous high belonged to GS2 from June 2005), but ChuDat’s first place prize payout of $2,400 reigns as one of the biggest payouts for an underground tournament ever. Pound 2 was just the start though, as large tournaments were held each and every month for the rest of the year.

With July came FC Diamond, an MLG sponsored tournament in South Bend, Indiana. Each and every year that Kishprime and Squared host FC they impress everyone in attendance, and 2007 was no exception. FCD became the largest Melee tournament ever, with 256 players competing over 3 days. Between all the tournaments (Singles, Doubles, Crews, 64) more than $10,000 was given out to the winners, including a $2,000 first place singles prize to Mew2King. FC also continued a trend for large tournaments, paying out the top 8 players instead of the traditional top 3.


(The crowd at FC-Diamond, in Southbend, Indiana)

The fun didn’t stop with FC as another large tournament occurred just a week later in California. OC3 was the third installment in a tournament series hosted by Ken along side his crew and family. While initial figures for the tournament were shaky, when the dust settled Arash put attendance at 228 individuals (down from more than 300 registered). The tournament was dominated by the same top 3 that took Pound 2 and FCD, except this time PC Chris came out on top and grabbed the $1,250 first place prize. Ken placed a disappointing fourth, but anyone who doubted his ability to win a tournament would be silenced just weeks later.

Augusts’ Evo World was the final event in the Evolution Championship Series and it gave players a chance at more than $10,000 in prizes. The 270 attendance figure trumped the previous record set just a month earlier by FCD. The tournament also saw a resurgence of two veterans to the community. Ken came out and avenged his previous loss at OC3 by taking first and Eddie made his first top 8 finish in more than a year at a major tournament. More importantly, the top 3 finally featured players whose names weren’t ChuDat, PC Chris, and Mew2King. Mew2King had his worst finish of the year after losing to Mango in a best of 1 set, while ChuDat and PC Chris both placed just outside the top 3. The final placements showed that the west could still compete with the best in the east.

Evo World also allowed Smash a chance to be in the spotlight of a traditionally hostile Smash environment. Evo staff member Jchensor stated after the event that “as a brand new community added to the Evolution line-up, the Smash Bros. players had every reason to come in very skeptical and behave very poorly. But instead, they decided to prove why they deserve respect and why they deserve to remain at future Evolution tournaments. The players came out in droves, becoming instantly one of the largest tournaments at Evo in terms of number of contestants.”

Getyourtournament's owner Glenn Cravens described the event in a recent email, "the crowd at the Evo's Championship Sunday was emotionally drawn in at the start and finish. Nearly 1,000 people were in the building, and they went crazy when Mango upset Ken in the first match of the final eight. Then in the final moments of the championship, the crowd was chanting "Hugs! Hugs!" as he tried to hold on in that final stock. By then, the crowd was about at 1,200. About 1,200 people going for one guy; I had never heard that before anywhere in any game. To hear it at a tournament where many people thought Melee was their dinner break, that was amazing. "

Many of the same sentiments were later murmured across both Smashboards and the SRK forums.

Summer was at its end but that didn’t stop the momentum gained over only 3 months time. The next big tournament was another MLG sponsored event, this time in California. With Brawl just a few months away from release many began to suspect that SCC would be the last big Melee tournament. Indeed, 200 players showed up from all over the world. The biggest news of the tournament was Mango, a Jigglypuff player that many thought had the best chance to consistently overthrow the iron curtain that was Mew2King, PC Chris, and ChuDat.


(the line to enter Super Champ Combo, in San Bernidino, California)

Mango didn’t disappoint, he ended up placing third in a field of 200 and managed to defeat PC Chris before losing to Mew2King. He ended up losing a rematch with PC Chris in the loser’s bracket, but his finish proved he had reached the highest echelon of talent.

Viva La Smashtaclysm was the year’s final hoorah, making a run to be the 6th tournament in 2007 to break the 200 attendance mark, it ended up falling just short with a respectable 188 players attending. VLS was not without controversy though, as the Crew Tournament prize pot was stolen and the tournament hosts were forced to use East Coast Circuit money to make up the roughly $1,000 missing cash.

So where do things stand now? Brawl was delayed not once, but twice and is now slated for a March 9th, 2008 release here in the states. Melee’s sequel was released in Japan on the 29th of January and videos have been flooding the internet ever since. Pound 3 took place in early February, becoming the 8th tournament to break the 200 player mark and the largest tournament on the East Coast ever. These early signs signal that the community is ready for another record year. Brawl should replace Melee as the main competitive Smash game of choice, and despite early displeasure from some competitive players, overall the new version of Smash is shaping up to be a healthy, competitive tournament title. The tournament community will grow at an even faster rate than we’ve seen before, largely because of 2 main factors.

1) An influx of new members and returning players who are excited about the prospects of Brawl
2) A higher awareness by the general public about Smash tournaments because of online play

Expect 2008 to be the first year a tournament breaks the 300 attendance mark, if not more. Furthermore expect online tournaments to take off from the start of Brawl, with many of these tournaments capable of shattering any live event record.

To handle the welcomed burden that is Brawl, Smashboards is working on a Friend Finder to make finding people to play easier. The old Tournament Discussion room has also been split up into Tournament Discussion and Tournament Listings, so that players can discuss the competitive aspects of Brawl, Melee, and 64 without cluttering the room where tournaments are actually listed. The Brawl section of Smashboards is now fully functional and running, with a General Discussion area along side Stage and Character Specific discussions.

25 Noteworthy Smash Tournaments from 2007

This list is based on popularity and importance as determined by number of participants (EVO World), prize money (Newegg Lanfest), and prestige (Midwest Circuit Championship).

IV.E.S.T.I.C.L.E (70 Participants) (TIO: Yes)
January 6th
Wallingford, Connecticut
1. KoreanDJ $450
2. PC Chris $225
3. Darc $112
4. Vwins

MD/VA Presents: C3 Smash Battle (94 Participants) (TIO: Yes)*
February 3rd
Ashburn, Virginia
1. Drephen $470
2. Azen $235
3. KM $118
4. Wife $59

Cataclysm III (112 Participants) (TIO: Yes)
March 3-4th
Spenser, Massachusetts
1. Mew2King $1008
2. KoreanDJ $504
3. ChuDat $168
4. PC Chris
5. Forward
5. Husband
7. Cactuar
7. Cort

Evo South (128 Participants) (TIO: No)
March 10-11th
Austin, Texas
1. Wobbles $700
2. Caveman $200
3. Darkness of Heart $100
4. Xzalla

UCLA Monthly II (96 Participants) (TIO: Yes)
March 24th
Westwood, California
1. Hugs $240
2. SilentSpectre $144
3. Bob Money $96
4. BloodoftheFallen

SMYM 7: 2006 Midwest Circuit Championship (95 Participants) (TIO: Yes)
March 24th
Champaign, Illinois
1. Dope $757
2. Forward $379
3. Darkrain $126
4. Trail

Innsomnia V: Southern Circuit Event (116 Participants) (TIO: Yes)
West Memphis, Arkansas
March 30th
1. Forward $1370
2. Darkrain $685
3. Tink $411
4. DaShizWiz $274
5. Tope $137
5. KeepSpeedn $137
7. Meep
7. Kishprime

V.E.S.T.I.C.L.E. (70 Participants) (TIO: Yes)
April 7th
Wallingford, Connecticut
1. KoreanDJ $315
2. PC Chris $210
3. Darc $105
4. Kaiser

Smash Royale III (108 Partcipants) (TIO: Yes)
April 28th
San Bernardino, California
1. Ken $324
2. Isai $162
3. Bob $54
4. BoA
5. DieSuperFly
5. Mango
7. Romeo
7. DC

MLG Underground Smash Series: Farmingdale (71 Participants) (TIO: Yes)**
May 5-6th
Long Island, New York
1. KoreanDJ $835
2. Mew2King $434
3. PC Chris $200
4. Bum $100

Evo East (64 Participants) (TIO: No)
May 25-27th
Stamford, Connecticut
1. Mew2King $448
2. PC Chris $128
3. Cactuar $64
4. Cort

UCLA Monthly III (91 Participants) (TIO: Yes)
May 26th
Westwood, California
1. Ken $228
2. DieSuperFly $137
3. BloodoftheFallen $91
4. Mango

Smashtality III(64 Participants) (TIO: Yes)
June 2-3rd
Wayne, New Jersey
1. Mew2King $230
1. ChuDat $230
3. Forward $52
4. Zanguzen

MLG Underground Smash Series: Pound 2 (200 Participants) (TIO: Yes)***
June 16-17th
Mount Airy, Maryland
1. ChuDat $2400
2. Mew2King $1040
3. Jiano $520
4. Chillin $260
5. Drephen $156
5. PC Chris $156
7. DaShizWiz $104
7. Taj $104

Evo North (43 Participants) (TIO: No)
June 22-24th
Northbrook, Illinois
1. Drephen $301
2. Viperboy $86
3. Mathos $43
4. Eddie

MLG Underground Smash Series: FC Diamond (256 Participants) (TIO: No)
July 12-14th
Southbend, Indiana
1. Mew2King $2,000
2. PC Chris $1,000
3. ChuDat $500
4. Drephen $350
5. Vidjo $225
5. Taj $225
7. Darkrain $125
7. DaShizWiz $125

OC 3 (228 Participants) (TIO: Yes)
July 20-22nd
Santa Fe Springs, California
1. PC Chris $1250
2. Mew2King $600
3. ChuDat $300
4. Ken
5. Drephen
5. The King
7. Vidjo
7. SilentWolf

Evo West (128 Participants) (TIO: No)
July 27-29th
San Diego, California
1. Mew2King $896
2. PC Chris $256
3. ChuDat $128
4. Edrees
5. Hugs
5. Mr. Ganondorf
7. Roy
7. Mango

EVO World (270 Participants) (TIO: No)
August 24-26th
Las Vegas, Nevada
1. Ken $5,000
2. Hugs $2,000
3. Mango $1,000
4. PC Chris $750
5. ChuDat $500
5. Eddie $500
7. Chillin $250
7. DieSuperFly $250

MLG Underground Smash Series: Super Champ Combo (200 Participants) (TIO: Yes)
September 29-30th
San Bernidino, California
1. Mew2King $2,000
2. PC Chris $1,000
3. Mango $400
4. Cort $280
5. ChuDat $160
5. Wobbles $160
7. Forward
7. Ken

Newegg.com Lanfest 2k7 (Unknown Number of Participants) (TIO: No)
October 6th
Ontario, California
1. Ken $1000
2. Hugs $500
3. DSF $300
4. Manacloud

Midnight Gaming Championship 2007 Finals (Invite Only) (TIO: No)
October 6th
Dallas, Texas
1. KOS-MOS $3000
2. Wobbles $1000
3. Sideeffect
4. LegendofZeldaRules

Viva La Smashtaclysm (188 Participants) (TIO: Yes)
November 10-11th
Torrington, Connecticut
1. Azen $1692
2. ChuDat $846
3. KoreanDJ $282
4. Mew2King
5. Drephen
5. PC Chris
7. Chillin
7. Darc

UCLA Monthly IV: The Return (120 Participants) (TIO: Yes)
December 1st
Westwood, California
1. Mango $300
2. Hugs $180
3. Edrees $120
4. Lucky
5. Bone
5. Gimpyfish
7. DEHF
7. Aesis

MSOP: 2007 Midwest Circuit Championship (41) (TIO: Yes)
December 8th
Charleston, Illinois
1. Dope $421
2. Jiano $181
3. Darkrain $99
4. Tink

* C3 Smash Battle: Chillin and Doll won $30 for 5th place
** MLG Underground Smash Series - Farmingdale: ChuDat won 66$ for 5th place. Chillin won $33 for 6th place
***MLG Underground Smash Series - Pound 2: KeepSpeedn, KM, Forward, and Cort won $65 for 9th place

Important Notes and Other Information:
-Top 8 players are listed for tournaments with at least 100 participants
-Top 4 players are listed for tournaments with less than 100 participants
-More than $50,000 was given out in singles across these 25 tournaments
-The summer continued to be peak time for Smash events with Pound 2, Evolution World, FC Diamond, and OC 3 all breaking the 200 attendance figure. Collectively these four tournaments distributed $23,950 in singles prizes and close to $35,000 across singles, doubles, crews, and 64 tournaments.
-The TIA tournament archive has more than 800 members and more than 340 tournaments currently listed. To check out TIO or TIA check out Neal's website.
-17/25 tournaments listed here are also listed in part or full on TIA
-The average attendance over 23 of these events is 124 players (excluding the Newegg Lanfest and The Midnight Gaming Championship).
-The Global Smasher Compendium has more than 1000 members
-In 2007 alone an estimated 400 tournaments were listed through the Smashboards Tournament room or Regional Discussions
-EVO was Smash’s biggest supporter in 2007, followed by Major League Gaming
-A well backed conservative estimate for the number of unique tournament attendees in 2007 is 1000 players. This figure is on the extreme end of conservative estimates though, a better estimate is closer to 4000 players (400 tournaments * 10 unique players per tournament). The most generous of estimates could pin the number of players closer to 8000 (400 tournaments * 20 unique players per tournament).

Videos
Top 5 Smashboard User Videos:
SSBM Hardcore Match: 280,000 views
SSBM: Special Movie 2: 265,000 views
Advanced How to Play: Part 1: 230,000 views
SSBM: Target Test Records: 220,000 views
Perfect Control: 215,000 views

Top 5 Tournament Smash Videos Overall:
Ken(Marth) vs Aniki(Link) 3: 100,000 views
EVO East 2007: SSBM Finals: 95,000 views
SSBM Ken (Marth) vs BombSoldier (Falco) JGT Finals Six: 56,000 views
SSBM Ken (Marth) vs Isai (Fox): 52,000 views
SSBM MLG New York Finals 2006 - Ken vs PC Chris: 52,000 views

Growth
2004’s largest tournament: TG6
100 people: 2 (TG6 and GO)
200 people: 0

2005’s largest tournament: FC3
100 people: 6 (FC3, GS2, MLG DC, MLG San Francisco, BOMB 4, MOAST 3)
200 people: 0

2006’s largest tournament: MLG New York (Playoffs)
100 People: 10 (MLG New York (Opener), MLG Dallas, MLG Anaheim, MLG Chicago, MLG Orlando, MLG New York (Playoffs), FC6, OC2, SMYM 6, Gauntlet)
200 People: 2 (MLG New York (Playoffs, FC6)

2007’s largest tournament: EVO World
100 people: 12 (OC3, FCD, Cataclysm, EVO South, EVO West, EVO World, Smash Royale, Innsomnia, Pound 2, SCC, VLS, UCLA Monthly IV)
200 people: 5 (FCD, Pound 2, SCC, EVO World, and OC 3)

Special Feature: The Life of a Traveling Smasher



(The shoes of the players staying at AOB's (Illinois) the night before SMYM 6, in November 2006)


(Players sleeping at AOB's the night before SMYM 6)


(MD/VA players enjoying dinner)


(KoreanDJ (Massachusetts), AlphaZealot (Maryland), Chillin (Virginia), and Azen (Virginia) at MLG Chicago in June 2006)


(NOD3 in August 2006)


(Traveling with TV's)


(Soap (Ohio) driving at 10pm in November, with no car window)


(Bum (New York) playing Isai (California) at Farmingdale)


(ChuDat (Virginia) and Forward (Arizona) showing off the "ChuDat Pose" at Pound 2)


(Isai and Mew2King (New Jersey) playing PC Chris (New York) and Cort (Connecticut) at FCD)


(Chillin and ChuDat playing PC Chris and Cort at FCD)


(MLG Tournament Organizer JV (Michigan) running Farmingdale)


(DA Dave at Farmingdale)


(PC Chris holding his check after winning MLG Las Vegas in November 2006)


(MD/VA Smashfest at Fonz (Maryland) house)


(SMYM 6)


(ChuDat and Husband (Maryland) playing PC Chris and Kaiser (Maryland) at C3 in September 2006)


(FCD)


(Azen (Virginia) sleeping)


(Forward sleeping)


(Forward enjoying a Baysian hair styling)


(Players sleeping)


(6am in the morning at SCC)


(MoMo's)
 

Dodger

Smash Ace
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Messages
621
#6
zomg I'm in the picture of the line at Super Champ Combo! :-D

Seriously though, that was a great read. Thanks AZ!
 

AlphaZealot

Smashboards Owner
Administrator
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
13,068
Location
Bellevue, Washington
#8
Helios: Actually I wanted to make a section for just foreign tournaments, but I simply didn't know enough to do it. We could compile something to add to this, lets talk in the staffer shack.
 

S2

Smash Lord
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
1,503
Location
Socal 805 (aka Hyrule)
#9
Wow, AlphaZealot.

Great compilation of all that info. This is the kind of thread that years down the road, it'll be interesting to look up and read still.

As for the Europe guys... given the scope of the American tournament scenes - its very hard to keep up with what's going on across the Atlantic. If someone wants to report on the Europe tournament scene, I'd love to read that too. But you can't blame Alpha for not knowing this stuff off-hand.
 

TelpeFion

Smash Lord
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
1,203
Location
Helsinki, Finland
#12
Amazing stuff AZ. I was going to mention RoS4 to you, and tell you to ask Helios about the number of attendants and stuff, but he already posted here. I think someone should write about that as well, since it was biggest Smash event of the year in Europe.
 

DeadtoSin

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Feb 6, 2008
Messages
171
Location
Texas
#17
I can't wait for 2008 to start off with some Brawl! I'll actually be going to tournaments this time around and I'm ready! (Though I need to get owned at enough tournaments to get de-noobified.)
 

DJcream

Smash Rookie
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
22
#19
Very good write up. Every year on my blog, I write up a comprehensive piece on the history of fighting games. With the Smash community recently taking off with MLG and most notably EVO, I was waiting for something like this to give me a bit of insight into this particular fighting game community. For those interested, my last one done last summer is broken into two parts:

Part one - http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=8302192&publicUserId=5606215
Part two - http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=8302121&publicUserId=5606215

I can't wait to update this to include Alpha's Smash write up as well as some other emerging game communities (frankly meltybread.com)
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
2,620
#24
Well I'm pretty content having hosted two of the largest tournaments this past year. Amazing read AZ.

EDIT - Spencer is spelled wrong up there.
 

Chexr

Smash Ace
Joined
Jan 23, 2004
Messages
817
Location
Minnesota
#28
Wow, hopefully smash continues to grow and progress at the same rate it has been for the past 4 years. So many good times are in this thread and there will be so many to come. This is why we play this game.
 

Aesis

Smash Ace
Joined
Feb 16, 2006
Messages
583
Location
Los Angeles, CA
#29
The last major Smash tournament was at UCLA V: Melee Strikes Back, a week before Brawl came out.

The tournament had 147 Singles Entrants, and exactly 64 teams.

It featured the California debut of WA's Luigi Ka-Master, along with spectacular performances by some of NorCal's best fastfallers: Zhu, Falcomist, TANG, and SilentSpectre.

The last match is chronicled by Glenn Cravens on his website at Game Riot,

Get a director, because UCLA Monthly V was worthy of being a movie

Ironically, the last major melee tournament results were LOST as everyone stormed the room to congratulate its winner, HugS. The USB drive is still nowhere to be found! HAHA :)

Yay.

OOPS
THAT WAS 2008 lol
 

Metà

Smash Master
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
4,248
Location
Coquitlam (Vancouver), BC
#32
I hosted a tournament in early 2007 that had over 50 attendants in SSBM singles, with over $300 for 1st place. Notable attendants included Forward, Gimpyfish/Silent Wolf/some other notable WA players, and a few members of SKYPAL (can't remember exactly who).

You don't have to include that though, since it was in Canada, just like you didn't include RoS4 in Europe, LOL. Jk, this was an amazing article. Loved the pictures too : )
 

ROFL

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
212
Location
PALMDALE
#35
oh man the glory days. tho i think 06 might of been the best year ever with the MLG main circuit and stuff.

i love brawl.....and i only hope it brings the feelings that melee had given me last 2.5 years.

but man melee was good to me.
 
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