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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Check out the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open May 2020!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The majority of it doesn't actually occur in May...

It seems like Nintendo is being defiant. Defiant of people's expectations. Defiant of life's situations. And defiant of their own communications.

They are once again teaming up with eSports tournament platform Battlefy to bring you the latest in the North American Online Open series... The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open May 2020! (Register there. It's free, but there are prizes.)

They just announced a May tournament? Today? Ah hah, well, you see, here are the dates: 

(Essentially, the East Coast goes on May 30, and then as you go further west, it's pushed out throughout June.)

It's not much of a May 2020 tournament then if 3/4 of the dates are in June, even if Regions 7 and 8 are the biggest regions. You may remember the previous tournament, the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open Spring 2020, was named such because it occurred on February 29 and March 1, so it wouldn't be fitting to name it after one month. ...At least, those were the standards three months ago. Those have changed.

You may note the bit about Sunday finals and livestreaming. This contradicts what I wrote just last week about how Nintendo no longer livestreams their Online Open tournaments because the last time they did, during the February–March 2019 season, it was a visibly laggy disaster. (Receipts are in the hyperlink in this paragraph.)

People have been complaining about the quality of the online play, and Nintendo can't fix it right now. ...Yet this tournament is happening anyway. According to a Battlefy representative, Nintendo was set to have tournaments prior to this point, but the Chinese Communist Party Virus shutting down most of North America stopped that.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open May 2020 logo Nintendo Battlefy
This logo is pretty much the one from August 2019.
(They were recolouring it for the past several.)

So what's different now? Nintendo changed the ruleset slightly, as well as the prize structure. The prize will no longer be a round-trip flight with lodging and a Visa card with hundreds of dollars on it. Instead, the Approximate Retail Value has been reduced by over 90% to offer a prize package of:

  1. A download code for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass Volume 2
  2. A download code for Splatoon 2
  3. A download code for ARMS  
I pledge to you, tonight, that if I win, I'll be using those download codes as prizes for the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program. Between me already owning Splatoon 2 (and I'm playing it this weekend) and me hating ARMS and not wanting an ARMS character on my character selection screen, the July to August KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program round would feature the above as prizes. I just need to train and win it. Difficult? ...Yeah, but I'm just one or three really good training montages away from success.

(The round from May to June still has a good prize in a $10 Amazon gift card code, too.)

Ah, I mentioned a ruleset change. Alright, listen up. It's still the same set of stages as before, with no items, best-of-three games. It's a ladder format. That means you get three hours to play as many matches as you can (as assigned by the Battlefy platform's match-maker when you click a red search for match button). Every win gets you +1 point. Every loss gets you -1 point. The top 32 people with the most points by the end of the three-hour period advance to a single-elimination bracket.

Here's where it differs from months past. The top four from those Top 32 get to move on to the next day (Sunday)'s Finals Round. Since two regions are going per day, that means the Finals Round is between four total people, two from each paired region. This is a double-elimination best-of-three games bracket. The top one person gets the prize, and these matches are apparently livestreamed.

That means four total people will get a prize, one for each region pairing.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments section. I'll be posting my tournament journey in the comments section as well, as it happens. I'll also be publishing usage stats, but... I'll consider them June 2020 usage stats. I don't have to play by Nintendo's inconsistent nomenclature. Just by their rulesets and through their lag.

Which I'm really looking forward to seeing livestreamed, because I guess they haven't learned their lesson. If you want to contradict KoopaTV, you better be prepared for FAILURE!

By the way, even if you're on the west part of North America and you're not playing until later in June, you have until the morning of May 30 to register for the tournament, so I suggest doing that. You need to have your Nintendo customer support number ready, so have your Switch nearby.

Ludwig better be prepared for failure too, since Pichu players are still his bracket bane, along with several others like Snake, Sonic, Mr. Game & Watch, Mario, and lots more. ...If you're interested in helping Ludwig be better at poor match-ups, let him know that in the comments section, too. He can help you with the Bowser, Ludwig, and Jigglypuff match-ups that you... probably don't actually struggle with.

Here are the usage stats from this tournament!
The next Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament sponsored by Nintendo takes place... in-game?! And in September 2020.
Waiting for the next competitive Nintendo-sponsored tournament? It's in October 2020, with Battlefy, and with big prizes.


  1. Set 1: NaifuNaysh. Claims he's done these tournaments before and knows the rules, but his arena was set to Stage: Choice instead of Stage: Random, soooo… After several minutes, he got a rules-compliant arena. Game 1: Gold Joker vs. my Bowser! Final Destination. Ironic location for a first match. But I won 2-stock.
    Game 2: They picked Byleth vs. Bowser. Yoshi's Island. I 1-stocked him, but I gotta say, the Sword of the Creator up-b whip is very tricky with the Yoshi's Island platform, since he can grab me if he's on the stage and I'm up on the platform.

    Set 2: VS. Mike. His arena ALSO had Stage: Choice instead of Stage: Random. So I made the arena for him. He's a Captain Falcon player. I picked Ludwig. We went to Kalos. He actually got the first stock fairly easily, so I slowed down the pace and tried to wall him out with projectiles instead, getting me a much more comfortable win. Then he switched to DARK PIT. On PS2. I guess he thought since I camped him with projectiles in the first game, he'd go with someone with a reflector? But I don't think he's as experienced with Dark Pit as he is with Captain Falcon, and I hit him with projectiles anyway. His reflector was just a good opportunity to hit him with an aerial attack, so I won.

    Set 3: VS. Skynut. Dude has amiibo functionality set to "on" though he didn't use it. I might as well go Jigglypuff. He's going SCHOOLGIRL INKLING. Town and City Jigglypuff was a disaster. I got two-stocked, and it wasn't even a close two-stock. Inkling's back-air is disjointed, or their aerials can easily clash with Jigglypuff because Inkling has great frame data, but Inkling also has combo throws and Jigglypuff doesn't. So I'm switching to Bowser. …BUT THEY PLAY MR. GAME & WATCH ARRRGH. Yoshi's Story. Fortunately, I have match-up experience vs. Mr. Game & Watch. Yes, it involves losing to Mr. Game & Watch, but Skynut's isn't as good as 4xsteel's, so I won. Then he switched back to Inkling on Yoshi's Story, and I lost in a close one-stock. I lost all of my stocks from Roller → Inkbrush side-smash. All three of them that way. It's hard to maneuver around Roller in a tight stage like that with such a big Bowser. That's my first set loss of the day.

    Set 4: Vs. Berto. Well, Jigglypuff and Bowser are both tilt-y now, so going Ludwig. And that's a good idea, since Berto chooses Ganondorf, and Ludwig is my designated Ganondorf pwner. First game in Smashville. I two-stocked him after he missed a Wizard Foot ledge-guard but I Koopa Clown Carred spun-out him off stage instead. Second game was in Town & City, and though he somehow took the first stock, I quickly made up the deficit and pwned him.

    And so we're one hour in and I have 3 wins and 1 loss.

    1. Set 5: Versus KongoMan. He's been in every single Online Open since they began in February 2019, and yet his arena still isn't rules-compliant (with Stage: Choice instead of Stage: Random). "Oh ok thank you for catching that tho i didnt know if it had to be set like that or not" Like, you've been in all of these, man. Anyway, I told him nicely, and he nicely made a new arena, so let's start. I'll try Jigglypuff and see what happens. Oh yikes he's a BANJO player. Different Rare Ltd. Fan. Town & City. Lots of open space to jump around and be non-committal. I lost because I'm an idiot and Rollouted versus his wonderwing. And he caught me in dash-back smash attack. Well, Ludwig hasn't lost yet. So I picked Ludwig and got greeted with Battlefield, which is an awful stage. But I won, down to the wire, licking his ledge get-up. Apparently KongoMan has been featured on Hungrybox's stream before. (He seemed familiar to me. Hungrybox frequently decries Banjo.) He also said, "Also your ludwig is really good" So using Ludwig again, and again, on Battlefield. And this one got to 100%s for both of us on the last stock, but I got to jab KO him at the end. I failed to punish his missed Wonderwings every single time, so bad on me for that. (And I was cursing out loud.)

      Unfortunately, it's only gonna get more difficult from here. And it's 12:43 now, and so we're halfway through.

      Set 6: Vs. Rex. Alright, so Ludwig is the star performer so far. Lord Bowser wants redemption, so I'm picking him. Rex is a Pikachu player, and I… don't really know what Pikachu does. I know what Pichu does. Eek. We fought on Smashville and HE IS SO AGGRESSIVE. He basically never does a defensive option. Constant attacking, even using Quick Attack as his escape option. Back-air from Pikachu combos Bowser into itself mercilessly, just like Pichu. I was behind the whole game, but taking revenge stocks soon after I lost mine. I took his last stock with a very well-placed BACK-AIR. Unfortunately, he accidentally reported that he won Game 1 as Bowser and I lost it as Pikachu, so he reported the match to the admin to get this corrected. The admin did, though they said I'm a Pikachu who won against Rex's Bowser. Hmph. So it's 13:00 now. One hour left. GAME 2. Pok√©mon Stadium 2. I did better in this game than I did in game 2, though it was still quite close. I two-framed him with a downward-angled forward-tilt for the KO, which makes me happy. Bowser redeemed himself!

      Set 7: Vs. Spaul. He plays LADY PALUTENA, who is quite good but I haven't seen much of. Using Jigglypuff since she won't get neutral-air comboed. Battlefield. I got an awesome Sing ledge-cancel into forward-smash for an early KO on stock 2, and actually wall-of-pained Palutena successfully to win stock 3. Game 2… Yoshi's Story. I got a Sing Rest to close his second stock, and he back-aired me to start my second stock. So it wasn't close. He did normal Palutena back-airing and neutral-airing a lot, but I don't think he's played Jigglypuff before, so that's to my advantage. Jigglypuff finally at least won stuff.

    2. Set 8: VS. EvoEli04. His in-game avatar is MegaMan.exe and he plays Mega Man. Might as well keep using Jigglypuff. I got some match-up practice vs. Mega Man with her last night. We played in Smashville. Unlike that Mega Man, who did Up-Smash out of shield constantly, this Mega Man prefers grabbing out of shield, which is a worse option. I took Game 1. Unfortunately for me, he stopped doing that in Game 2 and he kinda just neutral-aired out of shield. He took Game 2. He really wanted to use his up-airs to blow Jigglypuff off the screen. Alright… Do I stay as Jigglypuff? I think so. Going Jigglypuff vs. Mega Man game 3. It's on Yoshi's Story and I kinda forgot that Yoshi's Story is awful AND I ROLLOUTED OFF THE STAGE AND BLEW A WHOLE FRESH STOCK AND MY LEAD AND LOST FDHTSHSEDFNDXDXH

      Well I finally did 8 matches. 6 wins and 2 losses puts me at rank 116. If I wasn't an idiot, I'd be around rank 43.
      There's only 27 minutes left.

    3. Alright, not using Jigglypuff for the next match. Way too tilted.

      Set 9: Vs. [SFP]Water. Little Mac. Going Bowser. Battlefield. Gotta do this quickly. Unfortunately the guy is unbearably laggy (and I recorded my screen with a digital camera if you ever wanna see it). I reported the match to admin and they nulled it.

      Unfortunately I got 17 minutes left.

      Set 9 (real): Vs. Trisbri. He promises he has a good connection. He uses DK. I'm going Bowser. Finally the DK player. Stadium 2. I won. I parried a Giant Punch but was so surprised I didn't do anything. Game 2. Yoshi's Story. I won too, even if the stupid slope negated by Bowser Bomb shield-break at the ledge.

      Set 10: Vs. (GBG) Goji. Their avatar is a squid. Sure enough, they're going Hero Inkling. Well, Bowser and Jigglypuff lost to the other guy's Inkling. Will Ludwig win? Yes, I did, since it's Kalos, and it's a wide stage. His entire game plan was spamming back-air. Game 2, he switches to Fox, much like the first guy switched to Dark Pit because reflector. I won easier than I did vs. Inkling because I don't think the guy knew what to do.

      …And the game ended at 14:01… so the ladder is over.
      I got to rank 58 with 8 wins and 2 losses. If I wasn't an idiot with Rollout, I'd be in the Top 32.
      Incidentally, if I was fast enough and got another match in and had 9 wins and 2 losses, I might be Top 32. As I'm writing this, Skynut is 32nd with 9 wins and 2 losses, so…

    4. Ended up at Rank 60.
      Skynut ended up at rank 19 but lost in Round 2 in the Top 32 bracket to Stretch, a very good Lucina player.

      No one else I played got into Top 32, though EvoEli04 got Rank 37 (10 wins, 3 losses, which was the cut-off for Rank 32) and NaifuNaysh got Rank 46 (11 wins, 5 losses).

    5. Bowser: 7 wins, 1 losses
      Ludwig: 8 wins, 0 losses
      Jigglypuff: 3 wins, 4 losses


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