Starting in 2015, Smash ‘N’ Splash has been quite the successful series. Dubbed “The Waterpark Series,” it gave players something a national tournament had never done before. The venue was hosted in an Illinois waterpark resort, giving attendees more options in local entertainment. The original iteration had over two hundred attendees, with notable Melee names such as Mew2King, Plup, and Wizzrobe. For 2017, the tournament has found a new home at the Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin. With nearly quadruple the amount of attendees across all games, with ranked players across the board, Smash ‘N’ Splash has earned its place as a respected National.
Out of the 2016 SSSMRank players, 32 are in attendance. Of those, 8 were part of the top ten. Out of those that did not make SSBMRank, there are still many players who hold strong regional rankings. With this many skilled attendees throughout the bracket, Smash ‘N’ Splash promises high-level play throughout.
If there was to be a favorite for this tourney, it would be hard to say anybody but Adam “Armada” Lindgren. The Swedish champion has had a dominating first half of 2017, with only two sets dropped at any major tournament. After having some character identity trouble in 2016, Armada has stabilized as an unstoppable Peach. Refocusing on hard punishes and a controlling neutral, he formed an iron mindset that didn’t seem fallible. Tournament after tournament, he won. That is, until Mother’s Day at Royal Flush, where he was shown to bleed by Joseph “”Mang0” Marquez.
The only player to make the titan falter, Mango has shown that he still has it in him to win. He has had a rough 2017, with results being sporadic each tournament. He can challenge and defeat Hungrybox, Leffen, and Mew2King. However, he has also dropped sets to Plup, Axe, Kels, and Drunk Sloth. Most well known are his three set losses to Chu Dat. While his consistency has been in question, his skill is certainly not. Royal Flush gave viewers the Mango that fans adore. For Smash ‘N’ Splash, it’s all a question of which Mango will attend. Will it be the unflappable champion of old, or the Mango that just can’t seem to get his head in the game?
The last two with the best chances are Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma and William “Leffen” Hjelte. Both have had solid 2017 placings, and have continued to dog Armada with potential wins. Hungrybox in particular has shown just how solid his second place ranking is. While he has had trouble with Wizzrobe, SFAT, and Mango, he has had little trouble keeping himself ahead of the pack. While not the most popular among viewers, you would find it hard to not find any player who does not respect his skill. Leffen, on the other hand, is a bit of a wildcard. He has secured himself as part of the top five, but has shown that his mood and playstyle can vary. Top 8 should be no problem for him, but the question is his placement as a top three for this tournament. With the proper setting, there is no reason he can’t make it through. Yet, it is hard to predict if we will get A-game Leffen, or B-game Leffen.
Other notable entrants: Plup, SFAT, Axe, Wizzrobe, Shroomed, Westballz, Duck, Ice, Lucky, PewPewU, n0ne
Returning for the second year is the Project M Championship Circuit, with Smash ‘N’ Splash returning as one of the major qualifiers. The PMCC saw a successful 2016 run, and 2017 has started out strong with two high profile events under its belt. 2016 was also the formation of the PMRank, which featured the fifty best players with the Project M competitive scene. Smash ‘N’ Splash features 12 ranked players, with a good number of regional bosses right behind them. With the Project M meta still developing around the standard 3.6 build, there is huge potential for high-level play at Smash ‘N’ Splash. As such, there is not one favored player to win. Rather, the seat of winner is a highly contested throne.
The highest ranked player in attendance is Zachary “Lunchables” Sain. Having been part of the PM development team, and integral to the development of high-level meta, Lunchables’ story is deeply entwined with PM. Yet, during the 2016 PMCC, Lunchables gave the unfortunate news that he was retiring from Project M. Since then, he has been to several Project M tournaments, and has shown that he is not to be underestimated. Whether this negates his retirement statement or not, there is no doubt we will see a strong showing from him at Smash ‘N’ Splash.
If there is any player to keep an eye on, it is the champion of the 2016 PMCC, Arjun “Junebug” Rao. His results are not the most consistent of the bunch. Yet, he has developed his Diddy Kong into a true threat for any player. In fact, many point to Junebug as the biggest reason that Diddy was pushed to the top of the Project M 3.6 Tier List. While his victory is not guaranteed, there is no doubt that Junebug is one of the biggest threats in attendance.
With one 2017 PMCC victory under his belt, Kyle “Switch” Carlon is looking to secure his place as a multi-tournament winner. He had a strong showing in 2016, but had issues pushing his way into the top. This year, he has come out swinging, and there is no doubt that he will try to recreate it again. He has a chance to show that the victory was no fluke, and Smash ‘N’ Splash has a great lineup for him to try and take down.
Other notable entrants: Hyperflame, Professor Pro, Dirtboy, LloD, Hungrybox, Phresh, Sothe, Sorta
Smash ‘N’ Splash 3 will be a tournament experience for players and spectators alike. With strong brackets in Melee and Project M, as well as Smash 4 and Smash 64, it is set to be a weekend for Smash enthusiasts of any kind. If there is any tournament to kick off the summer of Smash, then the Waterpark Tournament is the one to do it.