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Thursday, June 20, 2019

You're Invited to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Online Open June 2019 Tournament!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - May possibly be referred to as the Super Smash Bros Ultimate North America June Open 2019, depending on its mood.

You may remember I advertised the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North America Open 2019 some months ago. That was the series of three tournaments that could get the winners an invitation to PAX East, where they competed to be the North America team in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate World Championship 2019 3v3. ...Which Japan's team ultimately won.

At the end of the World Championship 2019 was an announcement that the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North America June Open 2019 is open for registrations. I joined right away, since I personally had a good time with the three tournaments in the non-June Open 2019 when I wasn't fighting against a Pichu in the main bracket semi-finals. Pichu got nerfed after that, so I personally think I'm unstoppable.

But why should YOU join the tournament, and how is it different than the non-June Open 2019? Well, I'll give you the details and the rationale in this article. Plus, to add value, I'll share some TIPS!

Basic Registration Information and... What the Tournament Is

The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North America June Open 2019 is an online-based tournament sponsored by Nintendo and hosted by Battlefy, an organisation dedicated to hosting eSports competitions through their web portal at It's divided into eight regions (for maximum proximity-based pleasurable wi-fi experience) competing on either June 29 or June 30 depending on where you live. Ultimately (after a bracket and a regional winners round), four winners will emerge (one per two regions) and they get a roundtrip plane ticket to Las Vegas for EVO 2019, the premier fighting games tournament in the world, and they get to compete in EVO 2019's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament. Plus lodging and $50 a day.

Registration and participation in this Open is free, and since it's online (until you win the whole thing), you don't have to leave your house. In other words, there's no reason not to enter if you live in Canada, the United States, or Mexico. Unless you're in Quebec or a United States territory like Puerto Rico. Then you're not allowed.

Logistically, all you have to do is know how to make and/or join Battle Arenas on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (requiring a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online). And if you don't know how Battle Arenas work... you really should, since it's the best part of online play in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Register here by selecting your country/state, and you'll be brought to the appropriate regional tournament page. Have your Nintendo Switch with you, because you'll need to provide your Nintendo Switch customer support number found in your Switch's profile settings, and I highly doubt you have that memorised. 

Differences Between February–March and June 2019 Tournaments

You may remember the first set of tournaments as being littered with all items and weird stages like Skyworld and Gerudo Valley. It was seven minute Time mode and best of one in a single elimination bracket.

After the February–March tournament ended, Nintendo/Battlefy sent out a survey to participants and solicited feedback. They took that feedback into account, and changed the rules up a bit. Here's how they did it in Battlefy's words:
  • Items will be greatly reduced during the first part of the competition and then off during the finals.
  • Games will be 7 minutes, 3 stock for the entire event
  • Stage list has been adjusted
  • We've divided the qualifiers into smaller regions to increase the consistency of your connection.
  • Lastly, all registered players who check-in will be able to play, there will be no waitlist on this event.

Looks better, right? Well, I've been doing a lot of theory-crafting and philosophising (and a little practicing) on this new ruleset versus the old one.

All of the whacky items from before sort of balanced out over the course of a seven-minute Time battle, which is actually a very, very long time to play one match. Because it's not stocks, you could be exchanging, say, six lives or so over the course of the match. One KO from a Final Smash is less likely to have an impact overall.

Take a look at which items are now considered legal:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Online Open June 2019 items ruleset
The items portion of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Online Open June 2019 ruleset.

Notice something? Every item that appears can potentially be lethal (either by itself or it sets up into a very easy combo), or at least game-changing. Now very dangerous items have a much higher chance of spawning, compared to if any item has a chance of appearing. With the new ruleset, an item appearance has a greater chance than before of affecting the outcome of a match, and since it's now Stock matches, losing one life is significantly more impactful. All items means the dangerous items were diluted with more benign items.

At least each match is Best of 3, which should make the results a bit less volatile than a Best of 1. The seven-minute Time match essentially had the same effect as making it a Best of 3, however, with the exception of stages. The stages are much more fair this time, and they are now randomly selected by the Battle Arena, instead of players getting to choose which stage they want and the luckier player winning out.

On average, the most skilled player should still be able to advance, and if you take these tips into account, that should help your chances of victory:

Tips For Victory

As awesome as I am, don't pick me or my siblings as your character of choice. The Yoshi's Island stage from Super Smash Bros. Brawl is on the stage list, and that stage invalidates our Side-B car.  Perhaps consider characters with high mobility and a useful Final Smash?

You can counter-pick your opponent's character choice in the Battle Arena by pressing B when it shows your respective character choices and it's prompting a “READY...GO!” Your opponent won't respect you, but you're playing to win and it's not prohibited by the rules.

You may wish to brush up on the items and now they can affect the match, and their properties. For example, Lord Bowser's fire breath can make your opponent regret ever trying to throw a bomb at you if you use it as they're throwing it. You'll want to know that you can safely ledge-attack someone waving a Hammer around, and you may even want to let your opponent grab a Hammer if you have a nice projectile that you can hit them with from afar. They can't recover back on the stage while they have a Hammer.

While Nintendo's legal department thinks that the Nintendo Switch's video capture is compatible with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (it's not), you should take screenshots of the results of your matches. You know, just in case your opponent is a dishonest twerp. Speaking of which, if you're joining someone's Battle Arena, be very familiar with the tournament's ruleset and make sure you check if their arena complies with the rules before starting any battles with them.

Please be near your router while playing. Don't join the tournament if your Internet connection is a disgrace.

The tournament is fun. I really do encourage you to join it. And if you're not in Regions 7 and 8, you may even get a trip to EVO 2019! Just don't expect any items there.

Ludwig will post his tournament experience in this article's comments section when the time comes. In the meantime, you can feel free to use the article's comments section to ask for additional tips, advice, or battle practice. Ludwig can be a pretty helpful Koopa when he isn't focused on being diabolical. You should consider Ludwig's advice to be of excellent quality, since the Battlefy admins owe him baked goods for his knowledge and willingness to help others, as well as him being a top 1% competitor.
Disclaimer: Battlefy liked Ludwig's article so much they sent him a free Battlefy-branded shirt and bag after it was written and published. This had no impact on the opinions expressed in the article, or his placement in the tournament.

You can see a picture of Ludwig wearing the shirt in the June 2019 newsletter.
See the names and placings of the four winners of this tournament who got to EVO 2019.
By the end of EVO 2019, the August 2019 Online Open was announced, and the ruleset is better than this one.


  1. Not long ago, I decided once and for all to stop attempting to give a rat's ass about playing in Smash tournaments. I'm at least DECENT at the game, I could very well be competitive if I put in the work to learn the nuances. But I believe that games should be played for fun and so putting in work in order to enjoy a game is an anathema like few things are to me.

    1. If that's your mindset, look at it this way:

      The tournament is a way to play a novel ruleset against other willing people, and you can play it "for fun." without delusions of grandeur.

    2. But getting absolutely wrecked ISN'T fun, and that's what happens when I go up against anyone who actually has a proper idea of what they're doing.

    3. Well... it should probably be somewhat close, at least in the first round.

      (We could play against each other and see!)

    4. In my experience, the first round in any tournament I've entered has the right to be nothing but an unmitigated disaster. Of course, those are LIVE tournaments.

    5. You'll beat the odds if you keep trying.

  2. HERE'S HOW LUDWIG DID. In Region 7, Group 7.

    Round 1: Bowser vs. Cloud... I won because Bowserciding is great. Same thing happened in Game 2. Kinda simple and classic.
    Round 2: I fought a Dark Pit who apparently didn't know how to set his controls directly and greeted me with "I'm new." Bowser thrashed him. In game 2, he switched to Dr. Mari0 and I switched to Pokémon Trainer. He actually did rather nice stuff with the Doc Sheet but... then he kept using it even when there was nothing to reflect.

    Round 3: Easily the scariest. I had to face off against SassyFlygon. You may remember him as the finalist against John Numbers in the Qualifier #2 in the Northeast region finals for the first Battlefy set of tournaments earlier this year. He also beat GoldenVenu (who beat me in that tournament). He's a Green Plumber solo-main. I used Pokémon Trainer against him. We got Castle Siege in the first game and I actually... had a rather comfortable win against him. Felt great. Then we rematched... and it was again Castle Siege. This time he two-stocked me.
    I once again stayed as Pokémon Trainer, and for a third time in a row, we got Castle Siege. (That's 1/7 x 1/7 x 1/7 chances, folks.) I SD'd on our first stock with Charizard by buffering an air dodge off the side of the stage... and he homie-stocked, meaning that he jumped off too, making it 2 stocks each. And then I won with a combination of maniacal Final Smashes and other item abuse. I only beat him because of homie-stocks and items.

    Round 4: I faced in Bowser dittos vs. IDC. I won them. We were both pretty evenly matched and Whirling Fortressed a lot, but I got a Bowser Bomb shieldbreak and he didn't. (He did hit me with two Bowser Final Smashes though.)

    Round 5: This is the semi-final of Group 7. I faced off against a Ness player with Bowser and lost, because I didn't realise until it was too late that throwing a Gooey Bomb on Ness allows him to recover with it with PSI Magnet. Fearing that, I had my Bowser up-air him... which hit him, and also sticked the Gooey Bomb on Bowser, losing the stock. Then in my second match, I played with Jigglypuff, which was going very well because he didn't know how to play against a character that was floaty and didn't just get comboed endlessly by PK Fire and forward-airs. But he won due to PK Starstorm... and PK Thunders that didn't let Jigglypuff land because the PK Thunder moves faster than she does. It was a last stock situation and I was edgeguarding him... until he spiked me and I lost. Yikes.

    The Ness player would later lose to John Numbers in the round 6 finals, which meant that the bracket was supposed to be a SassyFlygon vs. John Numbers rematch. But I got in the way of it.
    (It also meant I was in the most difficult bracket for Region 7.)

    1. By the way, I got this awesome KO on SassyFlygon with a KOOPA SHELL. (Good sign)

      He also identified me as...

      "Oh I know you. I found you in an arena before. You post stuff as Ludwig on the website, right?"

      Good guy.


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