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Vayseth's Voyage: Japan's Love of Team Tournaments

Vayseth's Voyage is an article series written by The Big House 5's Wii U Head TO Vayseth straight from Japan. Every week, he will be bringing you articles on various topics regarding the Japanese Smash Community. Bringing Smash Communities around the world closer and closer together with every article!

Previous Articles:
Vayseth's Voyage: Japan's Top 3 Wii U Tournament Series
Vayseth's Voyage: KARISUMA 6 Results and Review
Vayseth's Voyage: SUMABATO 9 Results and Review
Vayseth's Voyage: Japanese Game Bars
Vayseth's Voyage: KVOxTSB 2016 Review and Results

We are KUSO (left) takes on Hukutoku-Shokudo (right) in the A Class Grand Finals at Karisuma 3 vs 3.
This weekend I had the pleasure of attending my first Smash Brothers team tournament. It is not teams in the traditional sense; these teams tournaments run more like crew battles, only as a main event. Make no mistake, Japan loves their team tournaments. At KVOxTSB2016 there were many games that only had tournaments in a teams format. Maybe that is why they took the Genesis 3's Crew Battles so easily?

There are many different teams formats besides the one we are accustomed to, but the most popular styles in Japan are "Waseda Style" and "Pokémon Style". Waseda Style is a 2-v-2 format where each match is best two out of three, but it settles its games in a unique fashion. Imagine there is an A Team with members A1 and A2 and a B Team with members B1 and B2. A1 and B1 play a match and then A2 and B2 play a match. If both matches are won by the same team, that team wins 2-0. If each team gets one match then the winners of the first two matches play off in a final match to win the set. This is a very exciting format and can be pretty fun for a side event if you want to try it at your next tournament.

Pokémon Style is basically our crew battle format and the same format used for Karisuma's 3 vs 3. Each player has a set number of stocks and any stocks lost remain even if a player defeats their opponent. Because this was the main event, Karisuma capped the tournament at 32 teams of three players each and 2 stocks per player. The only stages available were Final Destination, Smashville and Battlefield and players could not change characters during the tournament. However, more than one player on the same team could use the same character if they wanted. @FILIP used this opportunity to gather up all the strong Mario mains into one team.

The 32 teams were split into four round robin blocks where the top four teams from each block moved onto the A Class single-elimination bracket and the bottom four teams from each block would move onto the B Class single-elimination bracket. Japan seems to do this at every one of their tournaments and the more I see it in action the more I wish I had used the same system at my locals back in Michigan. Please try out the A Class and B Class system at your tournaments!

Hukutoku-Shokudo's custom-made Team Image. Teams is serious business in Japan.
All regions were represented and all of the players you have come to expect to see were in attendance (except for the three players traveling to Australia for Battle Arena Melbourne 8). The strongest team in attendance had to be @Kameme (winner of KVOxTSB2016), Daiki (Kameme's doubles partner) and @Nietono coming all the way from the Kanto region. Unfortunately, the Kansai region's teams (@Ranai's team, @Komorikiri's team, @Nasubi's team) were all mostly placed into one block so they all had to cannibalize each other before the main brackets. @Earth and @ikep were also there with their own teams. Competition was fierce: at any given moment all across the hall there were hype, rarely-seen match ups happening all at the same time.

In the end, Earth's team fell, ikep's team fell, Ranai's team fell, Nasubi's team fell, and the tournament approached Grand FInals. Komorikiri's team made it to the finals, but their expected opponents - the previously-mentioned dominant Kanto team of Kameme, Daiki, and Nietono - were defeated by another team from the same region: Hukutoku-Shokudo. This team was made up of @Raito (Duck Hunt), @KEPT (Villager), and @Takera (Ryu) and they had by far the most exciting run of the tournament. No one could have guessed that Hukutoku-Shokudo would have made it to the finals, especially on the same side of the bracket as both Ranai's team and Nietono's team. However, they met their match in the finals against the strongest Kansai team in Komorikiri (Cloud), Shogun (Fox), and DIO (Yoshi).

The first match was set between Takera's Ryu and Shogun's Fox on Smashville. Takera dominated the match but unfortunately did lose one stock in the process. Sadly, all of the upsets and hype matches caused by Hukutoku-Shokudo all day would come to an abrupt end at the hands of Komorikiri's Cloud. He quickly took Takera's stock and two stocked KEPT's Villager. Komorikiri did not even drop a stock until the very last match against Raito's Duck Hunt but, by that time Raito was also on his last stock and the match was all but over. Komorikiri's team won the tournament with half of their team's stocks left.

The B Class Grand Finals were also on the main stage and was probably the most exciting set of the day. A Donkey Kong player by the name of daiya was the anchor for his team, Team Nodo ga Itai. All of his teammates were taken out one by one by the opposing team's top batter, but daiya was able to run it all back and take the B Class Grand Finals all by himself. It was quite a match and just more proof that tournament organizers should consider running A Class and B Class brackets and give both finals their chance in the limelight. You never know what will happen and you never know what hidden players might put on display when they finally get their shot on the main stage.


1st Place: We Are KUSO -- Komorikiri (Kansai, Cloud); Shogun (Kansai, Fox); DIO (Chubu, Yoshi)
2nd Place: Hukutoku - Shokudo -- Raito (Kanto, Duck Hunt); KEPT (Kanto, Villager); Takera (Kanto, Ryu)

1st Place: Team Nodo ga Itai -- demodori (Chubu, Palutena); Suma (Chubu, Ryu); daiya (Chubu, Donkey Kong)
2nd Place: Tetsuya Shinjatachi -- Isotaku (Chubu, Diddy Kong); Umiushi (Chubu, Yoshi); AGO. (Chubu, Mewtwo)

Everyone who enters Karisuma gets a custom name card drawn by none other than Chubu's own @Fuwa
Unfortunately due to the layout and the inability to show certain attendee's faces in photos I only have these for you today. The final picture shows the great artwork by the extremely talented @Fuwa. Everyone who enters Karisuma gets a custom name card drawn by her. This month's featured Kirby, Marth, Meta Knight, and Ike, while last month's featured Villager and Corrin. Please give Fuwa a follow on Twitter and show your support! This is yet another small thing that anyone could do at their tournaments to make the experience more enjoyable for their attendees.

How does your region do teams tournaments? Would you ever consider making it the main focus of your tournament? Sound off in the comments!

Sayonara until next week.


The more I see about Japan's competitive smash scene the more I think to myself, "I gotta get over there" lol. Srsly, though, really considering moving to Japan for multiple reasons and would love to get involved in the smash scene over there :)
The more I see about Japan's competitive smash scene the more I think to myself, "I gotta get over there" lol. Srsly, though, really considering moving to Japan for multiple reasons and would love to get involved in the smash scene over there :)
Come to Osaka. Best in the NATION.
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