“The best grassroots tournament series ever” – Hungrybox
“If you had to go to one tournament next year make it Big House” – Armada
Big House 6 is finally here! It is undoubtedly one of the best run tournaments in smash from both a player and viewer perspective. This tournament series is a staple in the community and has never disappointed us. Only the Genesis and the EVO series could, maybe, compare to the amount of historic sets that has happened in the past. Classic such as Mango vs. Lucky at TBH4, Upsets like Kels 3-1’ing Axe at TBH4, and unexpected surprises like the ending of the Abate vs. S2J set at TBH5. With such a good record for memorable sets, I personally can’t wait to see what the Big House 6 has to offer this upcoming weekend.
1. No clear favorite
A quiet September along with the lack of any dominant wins among the Gods leaves this Big House with no clear favorite. From a viewer’s perspective, this is a particularly unusual and exciting situation. Throw in a fight for the #1 spot for the 2016 rankings and this becomes even more interesting. Currently, Hungrybox, Armada, and Mango are all relatively close and Mew2King and Leffen are trailing slightly behind. Either way a win at Big House is pivotal in clinching the #1 spot for 2016 especially since this is one of the more weighted wins. So with everything to lose lets look at why each player can’t win Big House 6.
Liquid|Hungrybox: While he isn’t a clear favorite to win, Hungrybox definitely has the most advantage going in. Finally being seeded as #1 will prevent him from facing Mango in Winner’s Semis but based on his recent performances at the tail end of summer it is questionable whether he can win Big House. In addition, Hungrybox has recently admitted that his move due to work might affect his level of play because of the lack of training partners. With this in mind, I am sure the HFam will be hoping to see EVO “Hbox” at Big House.
[A]rmada: While Armada has looked very dominant in Europe at Syndicate and Heir 3, his performances were previously questionable and it seemed that he has just less confidence in his Fox. However, Armada is a model professional and he could easily show up in peak form. What probably is the biggest negative for him is his seeding. Now being seeded #2, he will have to face Mango who has a very good record over Armada this year. Either way, if they do meet in bracket the set will be one to watch.
C9|Mango: His performance throughout the year has been relatively consistent even though Mango has been unable to claim the top spot in many of the majors. If you consider that and his decrease in melee practice (based on his streams) Mango could be lacking the sharpness he needs to beat the Gods. Of course being the type of player that he is, if Mango can make it to day 3, there is a chance that “Neo” will emerge and run train on everyone.
FOX MVG|Mew2King: After his win at Shine it might be harsh to argue against him but it is important that to note that he did not play against another God at Shine. True, SFAT was playing “like a God” but it still was in one of Mew2King’s best match ups. If he ends up running into Hungrybox or Armada instead then honestly it is a toss up. Mew2King can and has done it before but it will probably be a close one like always.
RB TSM|Leffen: After finally getting his visa, Leffen can finally travel to U.S. tournaments. However, with Leffen’s motivation previously at an all time low, some may question his ability to repeat his run at GOML with all 4 of the Gods in one tournament. However, it is important to mention that he publicly announced that even with his visa approval the Big House is still up in the air.
The doubles event has been garnering more popularity over the last year as viewers are taking tuning in more for it’s Top 8’s and TO’s are giving it a better slot time in its streaming schedule. For Big House 6, it seems that Top 8 for melee doubles will be just before Top 8 of melee singles. From a viewer’s perspective it is everything we wanted for a championship Sunday. Hopefully the schedule will work around players who are in both events so that there is not as much burnout or mental fatigue in Top 8 of melee singles. It is something new and could really be a game changer in retaining viewers on the stream. Now that that is mentioned, lets look at the competition itself.
Among the teams entered, three stand out as the favorites for this year. CLG|PewFat, UGS|Armada and Android, and Hungrybox and Mew2King. Whoever gets the first seed will have a huge advantage as they will not have to play the third in the Winner’s semifinals. Each team has their big wins and have played enough together to allow a lot of team combos in 2 v 1 situations. While PewFat and team UGS will have the advantage in terms of damage output in team combos, Mew2King and Hungrybox’es survivability will play a key role in securing wins. In addition to these three, the rest of the competition looks fierce and some have potential for upsets. Two that in particular stand out are Plup and Westballz, and MacD and Ice. Both teams have the ability to place in the Top 3 of this competition but are unproven since they have never teamed up before. Regardless of who wins, this doubles event is a must see as this Top 8 is probably one of the most stacked doubles event in Melee history.
Team Grab n’ Go (The Moon and DJ Nintendo)
Lucky and Reno
Chillin and Chudat
Professor Pro and Vanity Angel
Silent Wolf and Bladewise
3. Crew Battles
It is safe to say that Big House 5 brought us the most exciting Day 1 in smash history with the regional crew battles. In a single elimination bracket, regions were pitted against each other and upsets did happen. Who can forget the Midwest last valiant effort vs. Europe or Kage putting Canada on his back to defeat NorCal, and last but not least, Mango ending Europe’s run in stylish fashion to give SoCal the win. It was one of the most entertaining side event in recent history and thank god it is back! This year the 8 regions voted in are, Socal, NorCal, Europe, Midwest, Canada, Southwest, MD/VA, and Florida. The storylines going into the crew battles are bigger than ever. Will SoCal retain the champion title? Will Leffen join up with team Europe? Can NorCal redeem them? Unfortunately we will have to wait till Day 1 to find out. To find out more details about the crews, Tafokint’s wrote a wonderful piece breaking down each of the crews on Yahoo Esports.
4. Player Compendium
The Big House series is one that always has pushed the boundaries of what a smash tournament should be. They should be considered a model for all other grassroot events for any eSport tournament. This year, the Big House crew introduced the “Player Compendium” allowing the public to make a case on why they should get to the compendium to fund the Big House. While anyone could enter, the compendium slots went to professional players who needed some financial help getting to Big House. It seems that this can be the new format in choosing which players are able to attend since they are chosen by popular vote. Overall, the player compendium for both Melee and Smash 4 raised a total of $8,574 to fund 15 players from 6 different countries (U.S.A., Germany, Mexico, Brazil, U.K., and Canada). For Melee specifically, there are 10 players being funded in the form of Ice, Vanity Angel, Aisengobay, Eddy Mexcio, Slox, Mafia, Alex19, Spark, Tai, and Blea Gelo. It will be exciting to see what upsets will happen since some of these players are rarely able to travel.
Be sure to tune into both VGBootCamp streams to cheer for your favorite players!