So you’ve basically mastered casual smash: you’ve beaten World of Light and kicked Pigeons-In-A-Blender Lookalike 2018 Winner Galeem to the curb – maybe you’ve even gotten all of the spirits, if you’re a complete loony like I am. You like your CPUs on level 9, your online matches on Elite, Kirby and Pikachu players spamming down-B don’t even phase you. You’re looking for a challenge, looking to take the next step. Well, you’re in good company.
The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate competitive scene has been growing non-stop; we’ve gone from barely scraping 20 players at tournaments during the Bayonetta-riddled swansong of Smash Bros. for Wii U to recently hitting our player cap of 48 for the first time ever, and it’s a similar story across the UK. Old and new players alike are coming to the game in volumes we haven’t seen in years – and while the meta is young (we don’t even have all the DLC characters yet) and players are learning is the perfect time to jump in.
My name is Kazooey – well, my tag is Kazooey, I’m not quite enough of a rockstar to go by a mononym 24/7 – and I’m a member of the Koopa’s Keep team. Based in Cardiff, Koopa’s Keep is the premiere Smash Bros. tournament in Wales, and is in turn part of the Smash Bros. Ultimate Circuit running across the United Kingdom. Once a month (typically the last weekend of the month) we run our ingeniously-named monthlies, our main “serious” tournaments with singles and doubles brackets, prize money to be won, names to take and scores to settle – a real chance to flex your finely-honed smash muscles. To compliment these, every week on Tuesday we run our equally brilliantly-named weeklies, a much more casual affair (though a bracket is still run); an opportunity to get some friendlies and practice in, and get to know the wonderful and only slightly sarcastic Smash community. If of course you’d like to have a chat with a few of us prior to coming to a event, there’s channels for that as well: we have a Facebook group, SmashWales (we’re just so good at names) where we post events and updates, and a Discord server for discussing just about everything and anything else – links to both of those here, and we hope to see you real soon!:
Q: Where are these tournaments actually held?
A: That’s a good question! I’m surprised I didn’t actually get to that, too busy cracking wise. The venue is called Talk & Surf Gaming, and they’re great: good food, high-quality monitors, very comfy couches. Their address is:
62 Tudor St
Weeklies are held here every Tuesday – doors open at 5pm, and the bracket typically starts between 6 and 6:30pm. Monthlies are also held here but vary a little more in day and date, and we run pre-registration – keep your eyes on the Facebook and Discord to be sure.
Q: Do I need to bring anything?
A: Just yourself, and your controller of choice. We typically have enough consoles to facilitate a tournament (though extras never hurt, if you’ve got a Switch and don’t mind bringing it please do!) and the venue provides monitors – we just ask that if you use a Switch Pro Controller, you bring the cable for it as well so we don’t spend our entire lives trying to get the damn things to sync up.
Q: No items, Fox Only, Final Destination; that’s you guys, right?
A: You’re thinking of Super Smash Bros. Melee. Very different games, same fat plumber on the box. We do run a competitive ruleset, namely so you don’t spend every match against a Sonic on a massive stage literally running the timer down, and you can find that here: https://bit.ly/UKIERuleset
Q: Your tag is Kazooey? So where’s Banjo?
Q: Any advice you’d give to a newcomer?
A: Well, nothing that couldn’t apply to any fighting game: pick who you want to be your “main” character as soon as possible, and be prepared to have your ass handed to you like Dr. Strange handing himself to Dormammu. It’s typically best for players to start with one character they enjoy at a competitive level – that way all your practice time can go into that one dude instead of being spread across multiple dudes. As for the latter point, learning and losing go hand-in-hand in fighting games – you learn a lot more about the game and your character from a loss than a win, so don’t be disheartened; it’ll make your wins all the more satisfying. If there’s something more specific you want to know, the players on the Discord are among the most helpful group of humans I know, so pop a question there and you won’t be waiting long for an answer.