Where are you from, and how did you get into competitive Smash?
I’m from Chicago originally, but I’m currently bouncing back between Bartlett and Hanover Park. I’ve always played Super Smash Bros. but I didn’t start playing it competitively until about four or five years ago. One of my close friends has played competitively for much longer and he got me into the scene. It’s just something we can both do together and I enjoy the challenge.
Why did you pick Mario for this tournament?
Mario has been my main since the N64 original. It’s really hard to put into words why I choose Mario, I just do. I joke and look at it as though Mario chose me. He complements my playstyle well and he‘s versatile. If I want to camp and space my opponent, I can do that. If I want to rush them down, I can do that, and if I want to take it to the sky, combo or focus on punishment, I can do that. He’s not the best at anything in particular, but he’s a jack of all trades. Currently in Wii U I think I’m playing the best iteration of the character, as there are a lot of changes from Brawl that make him a far more offensive and dangerous. His aerial attacks are stronger with more priority, giving him the ability to combo in the air like never before. His F.L.U.D.D has also been changed up to be more viable. Mario is a solid all around character and I love him.
The rules for this tournament were a bit looser and different than normal Smash tournaments. What were the rules, and how did they affect your strategy?
Yeah, the rules were almost as though there were no rules. They handled pools/preliminaries through free-for-all matches and they were on random stages, not the normal tournament legal ones. Furthermore, in the bracket we had to do four-stock matches and it was single elimination, with no losers’ bracket and no counter picking of stages or characters. I had just gone to a tournament in Chicago a week or two prior that honored all the competitive rules and a tournament the day after Kollision that also used the standard rules, so it was a bit jarring at first. I switched up my play style throughout preliminaries to be more ranged and play “keep away”, it was “cheesy” as my friends and I would call it. I just kept opponents away from me and if they got to close in I’d punish them. It ensured I’d come in first throughout the qualifier matches so that I could make it into the bracket.
In the finals match, you were up against a player using Yoshi. What was your first reaction?
Interestingly enough, I haven’t fought too many Yoshi users in the competitive scene, despite the character being pretty good. So, I haven’t gotten the perfect storm of a good player and Yoshi so this was a lot of fun.
How did the match play out?
At the start of the match he was running the entire thing, getting in on me, throwing out kicks whenever I attempt my usual down throw combos, he even gets a great spike on me. During my second stock I thought for sure I was going to lose embarrassingly, but then I stopped and started to think. I studied Yoshi’s movement pattern and just danced around it.
Is there a lesson here?
I’d say when fighting a character as fast and with as much damage potential as Yoshi, you just have to keep away and be patient, find an opening and strike.
What was the last part of the match like?
By his last stock I was just running down the clock, since I was a stock up. He got in a kill to even the stock, but I was still content with whatever happened in sudden death, because in tournament rulings the winner when stock is tied is determined by damage.
What are your thoughts on the new Smash Bros. games overall?
The new Smash Bros is a mixed bag for me. It’s hard for me to comment on a lot of things since the game is still new. Things are still being figured out, like Perfect Pivoting (a technique similar to Wavedashing in previous versions), and characters are constantly fluctuating in terms of viability. There are things I miss from previous games, obviously wave dashing, and I personally loved the ledge hogging options in Brawl, it made gimping (turning players around during recovery) with the cape so much more satisfying. Some of the new characters do bother me a bit, but that’s because I’m not used to them...I’ve fought all the other characters for years, I’ve had time to figure out ways to combat them as Mario, with some of the newer characters it’s going to be a while before I truly understand the match ups completely. As far as overall improvements over its predecessors, I do love that this game almost takes the best elements of Brawl and Melee and acts as some sort of amalgam of the two.
Any opinion on the upcoming Mewtwo DLC?
I’m extremely glad to see Mewtwo back. Outside of being my absolute favorite Pokémon, it’s awesome to see such a unique character return. I never quite understood taking out such a unique moveset, especially when there were clones in melee you could have just removed, but it’s still really awesome to see him come back, and I really hope a similar treatment is done for The Ice Climbers, Lucas and Wolf. I am a bit upset that it’s only free for owners of the Wii U and 3DS title (though I already own them both), as it seems like a ploy on Nintendo’s part.
What else did you do at the convention?
Lots more Smash (laughs). I came to play Smash Bros and DDR and so I did that for pretty much the entire convention. Got to meet a lot of old smash friends who’d been out of the game, and are back because of Wii U, and also met some new friends at the tournament. It was an overall fun experience.
You can see a video of the finals match here:
You can also check out some of Thaddeus and his friends’ other work at Name Pending Creations.