Tourney News – Apex 2015 Comes to a Close
An abundance of exciting competitive Smash Bros. was on display at Apex 2015 over the weekend, on every single official console entry in the Smash Bros. series. In the Smash Bros Wii U singles tournament, the world-renowned Chilean player ‘Zero’ took the spoils after a very convincing final, playing as Diddy Kong against the American player ‘Dabuz’, one of the best Olimar users in the game. Smash Bros. Melee received the most attention and had a much more hotly-contested grand final, as ‘PPMD’ – as Marth – defeated ‘Armada’, playing as Fox.
The tournament was thrown into jeopardy after the original venue was forcibly closed by fire marshals following a collapse of part of the hotel. However, the organisers, players, and volunteers all banded together to move the entire event – including all that equipment used for playing, recording and streaming – to another venue several miles away. This was an important milestone in competitive Smash, as Nintendo were sponsoring the event for the first time.
Among the UK players in attendance was James Miller – known in Smash as JMiller – who recently won the StreetPass UK Smash tournament. More impressively, he became the B.E.A.S.T. 5 champion in January, beating many of Europe’s top players with his amazing Luigi play. In a NintendoScene article posted before Apex, Pikachu-prodigy Michael St Louis kindly offered some input into the world of competitive Smash, and James has now added some words of his own regarding his experiences in the scene and last weekend’s tournament. Similarly to Michael, James began playing when Super Smash Bros Brawl was released.
“The Smash community is amazing. It has brought all kinds of people together to share a passion for the franchise! I do not have any plans on stopping to improve as a player, or leaving the scene any time soon. Whether it be through watching as a spectator or playing, there is so much this community offers through either entertainment, the sharing of knowledge, similar pastimes and memories.”
James expresses a strong fondness for the social side of the competitive scene too, which for him takes precedence over tournament performances. “Do not misunderstand me – winning is nice. Though my favourite memories are usually created at ‘smashfests’ and chill sessions with my friends, or new people I encounter through coming to tournaments. Without enjoying what you do and having the desire to get better at the game, anything you do as a pastime will quickly become a chore you begin to dislike. I will never want that for myself.”
James also explains that commitment and patience are absolutely essential for anyone wanting to take their Smash skills further. “Be ready and willing to play long sessions. Do not be lazy in reviewing or understanding game mechanics. Have an open mindset about losing. As long as you are learning and adapting from the experiences in the long run it will improve your mentality and efficiency. Even when things look dire in a match, please do not give up or give in to your opponent.”
“Accept that the process at becoming a better player may be a long one (maybe not for all gamers) but with enough perseverance and a strong mentality – maybe even character changes etc – there is nothing to physically stop anyone placing well at a tournament regardless of who you have to go up against.”
If anyone feels inspired by James’ words and Smash abilities, Facebook group SmashUK is a great place to find like-minded players. Following his Apex experience, James had some final words for us:
“I am very grateful I was given the opportunity to be flown out here to compete with the best. Apex was an empowering experience that has made me even more passionate to achieve a personal goal to become a better player than where I am now.”
A big thank you to James Miller for contributing to this article