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The Midwest Spirit: A Different Community

Colinies - May 9, 2017

While the rest of the US Smash 4 scene was debating over the legality of Delfino Plaza and Halberd, I spent my time at tournaments that thought "Peach's Castle 64" was a good competitive stage. While I continously complained to TO's on Facebook, I soon learned that I was fighting a battle that has dated back as far as Competitive Smash in the Midwest.

Smash 4 was my first venture into the competitive scene hands on, I was more of a distant observer of the Melee scene during the prior year of the game's release. What I would soon discover was my ignorance to a culture that was much different than the one I saw on big streams at major tournaments. That culture is what makes the Midwest scene incredibly frustrating at times, but also fun and personable at the same time. I can't provide a Brawl history lesson because, well, I was 8 years old when the game came out, but what I can tell you about is what I've seen during my travels across only a small area of the vast plains of America's heartland. 

Smasher1001 vs. exJORDANary at

The idea of Midwest Values is not lost upon it's Smash community. The friendly tournament atmosphere draws hundreds to tournaments in much more remote locations than it's coastal counterparts. It's not unlikely that myself and many others will make 5+ hour car trips for these heavily spaced out tournaments. What compels us to do so? Well, it could be the growing level of competition present. However, I'm also sure that the post tournament restaurant gatherings with incredibly cool and chilled out people doesnt hurt, either. 

Even with it's regressive history and often behind the times rulesets, in most larger scenes in the Midwest you'll find something very similar to what you might see at a 2GG Saga. 

Ned beating Zero at Midwest Mayhem 8, with a huge Midwest crowd.

 Even with that said, anyone that visits can tell you, there is a certain grassroots spirit you can't quite get anywhere else, at least not anywhere I've experienced. Even with this grassroots spirit, our scene is rapidly advancing with the help of production teams like UnrivaledTournaments, NewAgeGG, GooshiGaming, and more as well as incredible TO's like the E2C Team, Ori, AmiiboKing, Ridlr, and many others all across the Midwest powering their growing independent regions with pride.

 UR Sage working at

It's not easy to grow a Smash Bros scene from corn fields, so it's understandable that there is plenty of pride to go around in these unique and varied small scenes that make up the large Midwest region. It's something that I hope we never lose as we continue to asimilate to the expected standard of large professional tournaments. It's what makes us different, it's the Midwest Spirit. 

The Midwest Spirit on full display at The Michigan Unification Series Debut,

 

all photo's taken by Jeff Mahieu Photography and Jonathon Palombo

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