Personas in Smash

Dunban - December 4, 2017

How do Persona's Affect Tournament Performance? 

A persona is a character and/or personality one tends to portray in a certain setting. Everyone has a persona they use. You may act differently depending on where you are, or who you are with. Common examples could be your student persona, your persona around your parents, your persona while doing work, and, the highlight of this article, your persona within the Smash Brothers Community. When you attend events, you may act a certain way that you do not act around your friends, parents, loved-ones, etc. This may include being more open about yourself, being honest, being happy and cheery, or having a state of reservation or stoicism. Personas are, essentially, apart of your career and tournament life. Smash Brothers especially is well known for it's very unique, captivating personalities. I can take myself for example- I am a very personality-driven player. Anyone who attends events with me on a regular basis would know this about myself. I tend to act very to myself when I am alone, or in another public embodiment. However, when around my friends and other such people at events, I am a very open, honest, fun-loving person.

Personas can be often credited to one's success and confidence in tournaments. Someone who I like up to a great deal and is a huge aspiration to me as a person, as a competitor—Zack "CaptainZack" Lauth. Lauth is a professional Smash Brothers player, sponsored by the team Phoenix1. He's made many top 8 placings, is currently ranked 7th on the PGR as of writing, and even placed 4th at 2GGC: Civil War, the largest smash tournament held to date. All of these accomplishments he's done by age 15. I'll be accrediting his amazing story in the Kotaku article written by Eric Van Allen, here: https://compete.kotaku.com/the-15-year-old-smash-pro-who-finds-confidence-in-danci-1796171699

I'm sure you are plenty aware of the controversy surrounding Bayonetta in Smash 4 and the controversy surrounding CaptainZack. His blend of stylish, aggressive gameplay and flashy dance moves screech controversy, as I have said many times; CaptainZack may just be one of the most hated, disliked players in Smash history. He is constantly downplayed as both a competitor: “I’ve gotten death threats before, I’ve been called derogatory terms, it’s been said the wins don’t count, they shouldn’t count because I’m not that good,” -CaptainZack, in an interview with Kotaku. Despite all of this—his persona helps him build confidence and shine through as a competitor. 

CaptainZack has shown many people, including me, how to be yourself, to be the person who you want to be; the best version of you. He's shown all of us how in many ways. Before knowing CaptainZack existed as a player, I went 0-2 in tournaments, struggled with confidence, I was shy, I didn't think this was the sort of thing for me. After seeing CaptainZack as a player, through his story and accomplishments, I realized something. I realized how I could be myself. Now I can consider myself skilled, confident, full of strong mentality, and most important, I have people who I'm friends with. People who'll encourage me. People that I can be myself around. CaptainZack helped me develop and discover my own persona through his, allowing me to discover more about my self as a person. Since then, I've become a better player, I've been more confident in tournaments and life. I've been better—I've chased my dreams. 

In review, personas not only help better players confidence, but they also show you how to be yourself. They help you discover everything about yourself.

They help you find you. 

For that- I believe with upholding grace that persona's help people be the best they can be. Even if they struggle with motivation and confidence. 

-Anthony "SnagLeopard" McGannon

With credits to Kotaku for the article on CaptainZack.

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