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FTRS March Madness, Part 1: Super Smash Bros. Tournament

Presenting the start of a Smash Ultimate tournament and an appropriately-themed exhibition match

Seventh Annual Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for Amazing Comic Conventions

Before the entire nation came to a standstill, today was supposed to be the first full day of March Madness: the unofficial national holiday when Americans come together to watch utter chaos unfold in basketball arenas across the country, tear up their brackets after that 3-seed they felt so smart picking to reach the final loses to a 14-seed on a buzzer-beater, and ultimately come together to deliver one of the two least productive workdays of the year. The usual shenanigans won’t be happening this year for plenty of perfectly valid public health reasons, but... the absence of the year’s most fun tournament doesn’t mean we can’t have tournaments of any sort on this normally-blessed day.

In that spirit, and as part of this site’s push to fill the sports void with a series of elaborate and entertaining [Styx]posts, today marks the beginning of From the Rumble Seat’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament/league/tournaleague.


The tournaleague field will feature five players: three FTRS regulars (there is a rather unfortunate lack of staffers who own Switches) and two friends. Here are the contenders:

  • Chau (main: Link)
  • Kieffer (main: Zero Suit Samus)
  • Nishant (main: Pikachu)
  • Hank (main: Link)
  • Andy (main: Link?)

The rules allow for players to use multiple characters, but one thing is certain: there will be no lack of Links involved.

Format and Rules

The “regular season” will consist of two* round robin series. Each player will face every other player in a best-of-three matchup, and then the sequence will be repeated. So in the end, each player will have played eight best-of-three matchups consisting of 16-24 total matches.

The rules for round robin:

  • Three stock, 7:00 time limit, no items, no final smash
  • Match tiebreaker (if equal stock at end of time limit): fighter with less damage wins
  • Best-of-three series—first match on Omega-style map, second match on Battlefield-style map, third match on a map randomly selected between the two styles
  • No limit on character selection; use one fighter for every match, switch between matches, or go random because hey, it’s March Madness season—what better time to embrace chaos?

The “playoffs” will use a climb-the-ladder format with best-of-five series. The five players will be seeded based on the results of round robin play, and the fourth and fifth seeds—the bottom two in the standings—will face off in the opening round. The winner of that will face the third seed in the next series; the winner of that matchup will advance to face the second seed; and finally, the winner of that will face the top seed in the championship round.

Playoff rules:

  • Three stock, 7:00 time limit, no items, no final smash
  • Match tiebreaker (if equal stock at end of time limit): fighter with less damage wins
  • Best-of-five series—first match on Omega-style map, second match on Battlefield-style map, higher seed chooses between Omega/BF for third and (if necessary) fifth matches, lower seed chooses for (if necessary) fourth match
  • No limit on character selection

* Given that this entire tournament is essentially one giant [Styx]post, we reserve the right to increase or (more likely) reduce this number depending on how things go.

Preseason Smashketball

The actual tournament hasn’t started yet, but to fill the void left by March Madness this weekend, two of the players had a little basketball-themed fun by playing a match on New Dunk City, a Stage Builder map created by Hank himself. Hank chose Link because he wanted to win, and Nishant chose Terry because being able to Power Dunk foes seemed appropriate in this approximation of basketball.

For those craving anything resembling basketball in these trying times, please enjoy the highlights. And for those desperate souls craving film review, please enjoy that below the video.

Match Highlights

Film Review

0:00 (5:00 left in match) - Sloppiness abounds as spectators wonder if these players actually showed up to play today. Hank, for his part, gets his act together first and draws first blood. While it technically isn’t a basket, we’ll chalk it up as goaltending on Nishant to mock him for such a terrible recovery attempt. Hank 1, Nishant 0

0:16 (4:35) - Nishant, who is abusing Power Dunk in this match for maximum meme power, absorbs a couple hits and then gets on the board with a well-timed slam. Tied 1-1

0:26 (4:16) - Nishant embraces his inner Bill Laimbeer to put Hank on the ground and promptly whiffs horribly on the Power Dunk attempt, leaving Hank open to score and take the lead. Hank 2, Nishant 1

0:33 (3:52) - As both Final Smashes activate, Nishant strikes first, knocking Hank around the stage with Terry’s Buster Wolf before dodging Link’s arrow and burying a long-range jumper in one fell swoop. Tied 2-2

0:56 (2:54) - Hank’s post presence reigns supreme as he swats away a pair of Power Dunks and lands a devastating close-range finisher to take the lead. Hank 3, Nishant 2

1:03 (2:42) - It doesn’t last long, though, as Nishant scores from midcourt with a Burn Knuckle to tie things up. Tied 3-3

1:09 (2:29) - Nishant blunders right into the path of Link’s Final Smash and gets exactly what he should have expected. Hank 4, Nishant 3

1:18 (1:50) - A solid Power Dunk activates Terry’s Final Smash, and Nishant closes the distance and delivers a finisher that sends Hank all the way across the court—and into the opposite bucket. Luckily, in this quasi-basketball match, it still counts. Tied 4-4

1:34 (1:16) - In the highlight of the day for Nishant, he tries and fails to dodge a Final Smash but manages to save himself—and, in the process, crosses the 100% threshold that activates Terry’s special moves. He charges in and throws down a Power Dunk, then goes straight through an arrow to deliver a Buster Wolf to score and take his first lead of the day. Nishant 5, Hank 4

1:50 (1:00) - ...and that lead lasts all of seven seconds, as Hank knocks a weakened Nishant right into the bucket to tie things up. Tied 5-5

1:57 (0:42) - Nothing to see here beyond Nishant whiffing on a Final Smash at a crucial moment.

2:01 (0:25) - As the clock ticks down below the 30-second mark, Nishant charges into the lane aggressively and scores with 16 seconds left to pull ahead. Nishant 6, Hank 5

2:16 (0:10) - Both players meet and connect with fast, aggressive attacks, and Hank expertly drops Nishant right into the bucket for a game-tying, game-saving score. Tied 6-6

2:29 (OT) - As the players enter sudden death, Nishant inexplicably creates distance despite having essentially no ranged attacks. Before he can close the gap, Hank pelts him from downtown—and though it’s hard to see, Nishant flies right into the bucket for the final score of the game. Turns out Hank was saving his best shot for last. Hank 7, Nishant 6 - FINAL