The thing about majors, is that it feels like the city or hotel you’re staying in becomes this “Melee-City”. Where you walk down the street a couple of blocks late at night and run into some homies from a region not too far from your own. Conversation starters usually go “How was your pool?” “Did you make it out?” “How was playing *top player*?” It’s one of my favorite things about attending these events. You’re so far away from home, yet you feel like you’re at home. You feel you belong. I appreciate Smash so much for this. If you’ve never attended a major, go attend one, or two, or twelve. You will not regret it.
Genesis Five was the second Genesis I have attended, but it was the first one that I was able to compete in. I missed Genesis Four, and for Genesis Three I super-noobed and messed up my registration, only paying for venue fee and did not actually check “MELEE SINGLES” during sign up. I remember just being so sad that I couldn’t compete once I got to the venue on day one, seeing my name nowhere on any pool. I really love competing in Melee, and for that to have been taken away from me was the worst. Since Genesis Three, which feels like ages ago now, I’ve matured as a player, and this year I finally got to show what I can do on the big stage! It was actually a side-stage. Against Hugs. And during my set with Hugs I kept double jumping near the ledge and he would take my stocks for that every single time, leaving my head shaking at the end of the set and salty for a rematch in the future.
Day Zero of Genesis Five I flew into Oakland with my roommate, we packed all of our stuff into the Hotel room then headed out for lunch. We ate at this bomb-ass Katsu restaurant where after we finished our meals we both agreed that we would eat there every single day we were in Oakland, except the next day we found out that it was closed on weekends. The rest of the day we explored the many food choices around the hotel, grabbed groceries and alcohol at the Smart&Final, then I plopped myself in bed and played Breath of the Wild until it was time to pick up my badge.
Day One. At this point in time I tend to get the most nervous before my very first match. I practice avoiding using the word nervous to describe the feeling, usually opting to replace it with “excited”. Either way, I get the most “feeling” before my very first match in pools. You never know if you’re facing a sleeper, a hidden boss (Chillindude829 didn’t!) early in bracket. My round one was against a Sheik, a matchup I’ve been practicing a lot more lately so I felt ready. I reminded myself “tight dash-dancing, up throw punishes. Keep her in the air”. (A mental practice I’ve just started doing to help calm myself down before sets and get myself thinking about important in-game stuff). It worked well, I walked away from the set 2-0. I reported the score to the TO, put my headphones back in and absorbed the vibe from the crowd while I waited for my next match. The next match was against a Fox player. This time I thought to myself “Do anything it takes to win, up throw.” This match was a little trickier. The Fox player was spot-on with his ledge play and corner pressure, but not so much when it came to center-stage or platforms. He would get me up against the ledge and would make swift work of my stocks that way, but I edged it out by playing closer to the middle of the stage and juggling him, not giving him a chance to play his game. I won the first game, and was surprised that he took me to Pokemon Stadium game two, where it would take longer for him to get me to the ledge, and I had much more room to juggle him. I won the set 2-0.
I was soon told I had to play Hugs on the side-stream. I was able to warm up in the Secret Top Player Training Room behind some black curtains behind the main stage, where a few Secret Top Players were training! So exclusive! Hugs was there too, and he jokingly told me he didn’t want to play me in friendlies since we were about to play a tournament set. I think we had to wait about half an hour or so for other stream matches to finish before we could go on.
I’m honestly a little disappointed in how the set turned out. I think in neutral I did alright, but whenever he had me at the ledge I fell apart and haphazardly used my jumps way too often. My punishes were meh, but overall I have material to learn from and I’m definitely more ready and prepared for this matchup now that I know how it’s played at a high level.
After that set, I thought I was put into losers bracket so I spent the next 20 minutes frantically trying to find my TO so I could play my “next match”. I was eventually told that I was put into round two pools for day two, and that I was done for the day. I walked back to my hotel room and chilled for the later half of the evening before going downstairs and playing friendlies the night away and hanging with my roommates from San Diego.
Day Two. Day Two sucked and I lost to an Ice Climbers from Arizona my first round, the end. Just kidding, Day Two was pretty sweet. There was this awesome hipster coffee place right down the block from the venue called “Blue Bottle Coffee” which we went to every morning (Not closed on weekends!). I bought nine dollar avocado toast from them. Worth every penny. The hot coffee’s were delicious, and one even had flavour notes of Sweet Tomato. The cold brew and iced coffee’s were so smooth and roasty. Oakland had some pretty awesome food choices surprisingly and I’d definitely go back just to eat at some of the places we tried. My round two pools weren’t until four o’clock, so I was able to sleep in and chill and eat before an hour of practice with a friend from San Diego before my pool started. I arrived at my pool on time, put my headphones in and I watched Chudat’s set with a Samus player while I waited for my match.
It was an Ice Climbers player, and I got wrecked. I felt like I wasn’t good enough yet. I knew what to do in the matchup for the most part, but of course I didn’t know what to do to be able to secure a victory. I lost 0-2. I felt paralyzed during the match. It’s that sinking feeling in a match where you feel that it’s over before the match is actually over. I definitely felt that. I lost and then I was out of Genesis Five. I felt pretty bummed, so I walked over to the nearby marketplace across the street and ordered some Fish Tacos and ate my salt away. The rest of the evening was spent money matching and friendlies and alcohol in the hotel room.
I woke up the morning of Day Three with a soar throat and a cough. I didn’t want to get my roommates sick so I kept my distance from them and left all my water bottles by my suitcase. It’s strange, I felt sick but I had energy to play Melee. Picking up the controller and sitting down in front of the CRT gave me energy, but whenever I walked away from the setup I felt like collapsing. I somehow mustered up enough energy to take a trek to this far away cafe a roommate suggested, which was worth every single sneezing-step. This place was fucking delicious. I ordered the Salmon-Benedict and we shared a plate of nine-dollar donuts. (Which only came with three donuts). Worth every penny. Top 8 wasn’t until seven o’clock so we had lots of time to kill. And kill it we did, with friendlies and inside jokes and random conversations about who knows what. Overall I had an amazing time from start to finish, and I’m highly anticipating Genesis Six!
Thank you for reading 🙂