I’ve spent most of the day watching the EVO Melee livestream. In fact, it just ended. It finally gave me a reason to use the Twitch app on Xbox One. On a side note, it is really refreshing to finally be able to watch streams on my tv instead of my laptop. Anyway, tonight I will make my drive to Las Vegas and join the masses. This world renowned tournament series has a lot of sentimental value for me and I’m excited to be going back for another year.
EVO 2009 marks my entry into the Smash Bros. tournament scene. And what a great first tournament to join in. All the biggest players were there. All the legends that I’ve seen tear through competitors on livestreams were there in my midst. They were no longer just faces in photographs; they were real. Alive.
In those days, I wanted to be a filmmaker. I was particularly interested in documentaries and decided to make a short doc of the event. It was incredibly cheesy but the video was featured on All is Brawl, a social network for Smash players.
I finally had the opportunity to meet the handful of close friends I made on the online Smash Bros. AiB. After meeting these people in person, it no longer felt weird telling others that I met many of my lifelong friends online.
I was a well-known figure in the All is Brawl community, but not for my playing ability. I was a moderator on the site and because of this had many friends and enemies. It turned out though, that whatever qualms you had with someone online were dropped at a tournament. Meeting someone in person effectively made the Internet drama irrelevant.
I’ve been to EVO several times since and it continues to be a great source of joy for me even though I’m very removed from the Smash community. This time tomorrow I’ll be back at this year’s tournament ready to reconnect with old friends and hopefully make some new ones.