My thoughts on the first 2 months of EU Melee in 2024

Hey I haven’t posted on here in like a year so I’m giving you my unwanted thoughts on what has transpired recently in EU Melee and just some general thoughts cause this is fun and I missed doing this.

So the first 2 months of the year have actually been quite eventful, usually it feels like the winter period is always a bit of an off-season for Europe until Valhalla/HFLAN in the late winter/early spring. This year however we’ve been treated with of course Valhalla 4 which I have lots to say about, but also many big regionals in many different regions, Bigger House of Smash and Smash @ SU - 10 year Anniversary in Scandinavia, Crescendo 2 in England, What The Duck ?! in Scotland, DSEA Winter 2024 in the Netherlands (TO’d by yours truly) and Breizh Touch 2 and The Truce in France.

Neue Deutsche Melee, the DACH Summit

We were also treated with Neue Deutsche Melee, a summit-style event held for the DACH-region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) that managed to accomplish the rare feat of having most of the German and Swiss top players actually at the same tournament at once (No Kins0 because of covid and meager Austrian attendance). I feel like this event may have fallen a bit under the radar for any outsiders to the region, but it was quite a sight to see sets such as astar vs Rikzz being played in pools.

While some of the eventual results were quite straight-forward such as Nicki winning the entire event dropping only 2 games to irfan throughout, some of my personal highlights were irfan placing 2nd beating BlackH4ze, Rikzz (right after asking melee stats how to deal with instant bair spam lol) and astar. Though perhaps the biggest thing that happened was astar 3-2’ing Rikzz in pools and going on to 3-0 Jah’ Ridin’ in the Losers Semifinal, ultimately losing to irfan to place 3rd.

The results of this event have made me quite excited for the future of the DACH-region, the scene has a very bright future with the recent announcement of its first major since 2019 in the form of SAPF in November (go sign up and it’s great to see that the top 3 featured two players who have been on an upwards trajectory in the last few years and managed to beat some of the more established top dogs of the region.

Quickfire thoughts on all the regionals

I feel like it went a little under the radar that besides Valhalla 4, we had 3 regionals in January that had more 80+ attendees, Crescendo 2, DSEA Winter 2024 and Smash @ SU - 10 Year Anniversary. All of these events had wildly different vibes from the other, starting with the SU Anniversary event.

The Stockholm regional celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Smash @ Stockholm University local had absurdly strong attendance for what was effectively just a mid-January Sweden regional, with players from all across Sweden showing up and even a couple out-of-region players from Norway and the UK. It featured stalwarts of the modern Swedish scenes such as Sharp, Pipsqueak, but also many names we haven’t seen in a while or have been mostly inactive ranging from the Samus duo of Daydee and “Ranked Goon” Sprak, to effectively retired players such as Manio.

Manio is probably the player that surprised me the most of anybody at the event, the Marth had effectively not attended a tournament since Red Bull EWKND back in 2018 and came very close to beating Humpe in the two sets they played while beating Sprak, smushmarth, Nobody and Saftblandarn on his way to 5th place.

Other stuff to note at the event is Tellmis’s run to 4th place beating basically every mid-tier player in the venue and barely losing to Humpe game 5 in Losers Semifinals and of course Winners Finals and Grand Finals which included a 3-0 win for Sharp over Pipsqueak and then Pipsqueak clutching out a game 10 Grand finals victory. Also you should watch Daydee vs Sprak, that set geniunely took 30 minutes but I think Samus dittos are profoundly funny to watch.

On the other hand Crescendo 2 felt like a relatively mundane event, the Bristol regional series has become, together with Dragon’s Dojo in Cardiff, the main large tournament series in the Southern United Kingdom, besides some curious early upsets and the appearance of post-Pantheon MagiMagi taking a game from Frenzy, nothing out of the ordinary really happened. I would like to give a big shoutout to the South West of the UK for picking up the slack to fill up the southern UK calendar since Okameed’s partial hiatus from TOing.

Finally there was DSEA Winter 2024, which chronologically was actually the first event of the year but anyway, I TO’d this tournament. I feel like this event ended up being quite eventful as the top 16 was quite varied. It included the return of Mezzy to competition after a short hiatus to focus on his studies, the first appearance of rectangle falcon main MAX-THE_MAX-MAX at a weekend event where he beat Pixel to make top 16. Nuckels beating $TYN and of course, Xin’s absurd loser’s run to make it all the way to Grand Finals where, naturally, max went on to win it all.

All things considered I’m pretty happy with how the event went, the head TO got sick a week before the event which resulted in this event being the first weekend event I head TO’d and it went quite well! Anyway this is where I shamelessly promote the next edition of this tournament, DSEA Spring 2024 on May 25th please sign up PLEASE THANK YOU. We have a majority of the Dutch PR + Mezzy and FoutNL already signed up plus some out of region players like Freezus, IuDKING, Silas, Stylo and more!!!!

Also Bigger House of Smash and What The Duck?! also happened and I do not have many strong thoughts about these events so I would like to just quickly shoutout the Norwegian and Scottish scenes and tell everybody that you should go to their events. Also ShiftingShadows is the GOAT and after not playing for a year showed up and beat Joefish, GG and barely lost to Madness to place 4th. In Oslo MY GOAT 50TH IN EUROPE TheLabMaster had a rly strong losers run after losing to Zorc in winners, where he beat Little Bear, voff3, dank, Sverre and Nobody to place 2nd to Sharp at Bigger House of Smash. This surely justifies me putting him at 50th on that meme PR SURELY.

ohh yeah valhalla 4 also happened

Have you heard of our lord and saviour Tommy “Pricent” Lindås? If you hadn’t heard of their solid run at Arcamelee #4, you better be paying attention now. This motherfucker is the GOAT and they have also now signed up for Avant Deux so we’re gonna have more Pricent in our lives and we are all better for it. I’m glad we also got to confirm that Nicki is also like absurdly good. Fat Tino’s run was also kinda crazy, he’s not winning against Frenzy domestically, but he’s now 2-0 against Frenzy at majors (even if the fete 2 win was a bit mickey mouse).

I would like to also quickly note that Steff$ got 9th at Valhalla 4 and that he doesn’t consistently win his own region’s locals and it makes me extremely curious about how good the rest of Austria is in the year 2024. Honestly the rest of the event felt kinda like a blur as it was my first time TOing a major/multi-day event so besides that all I can say is that it was really cool to see so many people come out to this event and supporting. Also thank you max/jadde for preventing NA from entering the top 8 thanksssssss.

So what’s up with all these new frenchies nowadays?

As I already eluded to on the bird site, I’ve been very intrigued by the state of French scene currently. I feel like the French scene has been a weird state for the last few years, besides raoul, veteran Tekk and ultra-veteran Mahie who have all entered a state of relative inactivity, the big appearances of French melee at international tournaments have been limited to Madness, a beloved Luigi player who somehow feels consistent as a rock, 2 top tier mains in Psylo and NekoKaze, two players who both have a decent amount of tournament-to-tournament variance and Fecfec and i4 who predominantly excel in doubles and not singles.

What I’m trying to get to is the question of, where is the rest of the French scene at? I am very aware of the fact that French Melee discord is absurdly large compared to other national/regional European discords and I’m quite aware of how a large portion of all attendees at EU netplay tournaments in recent times are all frenchies. Also the French scene is extremely regionalized, with all the different scenes not really interacting with each other much outside of the bigger national events. So after the results of the two recent “big” French tournament, I would like to quickly shed a light on some people that I’m excited to see more of in the coming years. Quick caveat before I start though, this list is made purely from memory so if I forget anybody sorry but also you’re probably one of the like 20 floatie mains that may be good, but I can’t tell cause you barely go to IRL events and mostly just attend netplay tournaments.

The Northern slippikids

I’m not 100% sure if all of these are slippikids but I’m just gonna assume they are.

Starting with the spacie mains we have FuzzT, Metarix and Chwepsi. The first two both had great runs at The Truce with FuzzT playing 7th getting wins over JvJ and a game 5 squeaker over ILikeTurtles, the presumed best Marth in France post-Mahie switching and Nova quiet quitting. Metarix had a more quiet run with a JvJ win of his own and win over NuclearLunch. Metarix has developed a sneaky little resume of strong wins in the last year attending tournaments in Lille and the Netherlands and acquiring some wins over nationally ranked players Psylo and ThommyN while he was there, he also picked up a Vrad win at the most recent Pepite Stadium, showing his comfort in the Sheik matchup, perhaps after many sessions with his Bagarre Gang compatriot NekoKaze.

Chwepsi is a bit more of an unknown commodity as he’s from the isolated Brittany region in the west of France, but he has gotten some strong wins at its main regional series Breizh Touch. He has picked up many a win on at the 2 installments from this year and last year such as a 2-0 record on Touffe and wins on southern Puff demon Sekanor, soon-to-be-mentioned Netplay warrior Metony and already-mentioned Metarix. He also attended his first major Arcamelee #4 last November, where he beat nationally ranked French players Snouk (ranked in Germany lol) and Shotwin.

To break with the pattern of endless zoomie mains, there are Metony (a Marth) and Linkze (a Peach). Both of these people have existed in my head for the last 2-3 years as people without a corporeal form as all I see them do is enter netplay tournaments. They both recently attended The Truce with the duo double-eliminating RestlessWhale from the tournament and Linkze also adding on a win over Metarix. Metony doesn’t really have many events outside of The Truce but has a lot of small inexplicable wins at locals that are quite impressive with the highlight being a bo3 win over Psylo. Linkze on the other hand attended Arcamelee #4 last year and beat Oolonk, Lil Chief and BlackH4ze and probably the most unexpected run of the event in my eyes.

Quick shoutout to ICs main Galan here who isn’t a slippi kid but he’s been breaking out a bit recently too and is winning/even with most of the people I just mentioned, he also somehow has wins over Sekanor which I don’t understand. He apparently likes wobbling though which is kinda cringe.

The mysterious southerners

As much as the recent resurgence of the South of France has been focused on the Lyon scene and all the large events that have been held there in recent times, the players I’d like to talk about are all the people from other parts of the south. A lot has already been said about i4 and Fecfec (and Mr. Rit) in the last few weeks, so I will not repeat too much of what has been said.

While i4 was the talk of the town at Fete 3, due to DQs, she never quite had a super challenging set to play and left the venue with a fine win in R23, a very good doubles run and eliminations at the hands of two brickwalls for her skill bracket in Foxy Grandpa and Professor Pro. Her best win right now is a win over then-unknown quantity Steff$ at Arcamelee #4 and I’m very excited to see her run at the next tournament as I believe her breakout is definitely imminent.

Fecfec’s breakout on the other hand doesn’t feel as imminent yet, but she has way more actual wins than i4 has as she boasts wins over Happymealz, Saftblandarn, Lil Chief and as of 2 weeks ago a set win over NMW. As much as that win at Genesis X is a very good win, the general spaghetti nature of the set has left me feeling like it was Fecfec’s more repeatable and consistent playstyle winning over a flustered opponent more than the appearance of a new peak for her as a player. This still shows a very positive trend for both players and I’m looking forward to their next appearance at a large European event.

The way more mysterious southerners in my mind are the local Toulouse rivals of Wolf and chaos6. The latter of which has sneakily become one of the stronger players in the French scene since his amazing run at Arcamelee #4 beating Tony Bomboni, Rikzz and Skullbro. I feel like he barely deserves to be mentioned amongst all the players mentioned previously as he basically already had his breakout, but I don’t believe people know about it enough unless you’re a Melee Stats Nerd such as myself.

So let me pitch you on Wolf real quick, Wolf has existed almost exclusively within netplay tournaments until last year when he started attending the Dice Dance monthlies in Toulouse. Since then he has developed a 6-5 record against chaos6 and after a mediocre Arcamelee #4, attended Breizh Touch 2 where he beat Touffe, Chwespi and Galan to place 2nd. He also attended a Paris regional last summer where he got a win on i4. Those are basically all the results he has and he’s probably the hardest person to estimate out of anybody on this list, but seeing him go to regionals in recent times makes me extremely excited to see more of this Falco who prior to 2023 was effectively just a netplay warrior.