ByAn Nguyen, writer at
College student studying English who knows more about the Batman mythos than he'd like to admit.
An Nguyen

Welcome! You must be asking yourself: "how did I end up on this article?" Well, you must have been thinking one (or all) of several things:

  • Hey, I play Super Smash Bros 4! Is it competitive as well?
  • Melee is competitive? I never knew! I want to learn more!
  • No way is Melee more competitive than Super Smash Bros 4, Sm4sh is a way better game.
  • How did Melee become competitive? I thought it was a party game?
  • I know how to play Melee, wavedashing is easy to me. I've competed in tournaments and I've beaten all the top players before (if this one applies to you, please give me your autograph.)

If one or all of the above apply to you, then you've come to the right place! This is your quick start guide for getting into one of the greatest spectator sports and competitive e-sports that has risen to prominence in the past couple of years!

So lets get into the down and dirty: Melee was never meant to be a competitive game:

Personally, I feel that if you want to play a fighting game seriously, there are other competitive fighting games that are more suited to that, and people like that could have fun playing those. If you play Smash Brothers seriously as a competitive game, the game itself has no future."
-Masahiro Sakurai

The creator of the Super Smash Brother's series has always gone on the record stating that he's never wanted his games to be competitive, worrying that implementing a deep learning curve to his games would discourage casual players from the series.

Nintendo has even blocked EVO (the biggest annual fighting game tournament in the world) from streaming Super Smash Brothers Melee in 2013.

But controversy and fervor for the game were so high that Nintendo had to relent, and as a result, Melee became the highest viewed game for Evo that year.

As you can see, it was the community, that made Melee into the huge presence at EVO that it is today.

Without the fans, early tournaments wouldn't have had support to run, since competitive Melee requires GameCubes and CRTs (an old type of TV) to run properly without lag.

Without the fans, Melee would never have become the top voted game to play at Evo 2013. Without the fans, Melee would be nothing.

With such a passionate community backing up the game, there really is no way to imitate the fervor and enthusiasm that one feels when surrounded by thousands of screaming audience members watching an intense Melee game between two top players, so here is a little taste of that experience:

Now with all of this being said, if you're a new player and you want to enter the scene and become a part of the community, it's not quite as daunting as you may expect. The Melee community is a very accepting place, and new players are always welcome. I myself attended my first tournament last weekend, and I lost both my sets: but I had so much fun and learned so much from everyone playing that I honestly did not care at all.

Here are a few resources to get any new players reading this article to dive into the history of smash and start playing on your own, and for veterans to brush up on their knowledge and take a nostalgic look at the past:

The Smash Brothers by Eastpoint Pictures is a great documentary that outlines and shows us intimate looks into how Melee has evolved as a game, and how pioneers of the game defined distinct eras of its history. A must watch for anyone expecting to become a part of the community.

Here's a playlist of beginner techniques to learn by SSBM Tutorials. They're a great channel to learn advanced, intermediate, and beginner techniques in Melee, and they cover what to do at your first tournament, and other small basics of Melee as well.

GRSmash is a channel dedicated to Top 10s and other montage edits. His videos are a great way to catch up on past Melee moments, and begin watching and understanding it as a spectator sport.

As a last note, if you don't own a GameCube and/or a CRT, Anther's Ladder has a lot of great resources for those who want to get into competitive smash, but don't currently own the resources. After that, you'll need to drop about 50$ on equipment by buying both a Wii-U USB adapter and a GameCube Controller. With this setup, you'll be able to play on your computer and play online against other people!

And there you have it! This was my comprehensive guide to begin your journey into the world of competitive Melee. While the resources that I've covered are not all that you should be watching to become a top smash player, they're great places to get started, and hopefully this article will help kickstart your journey to playing one of the best fighting games to ever be created .

Feel like I missed something? Disagree with something I said? Let me now in the comment section below!


How excited are you to start playing Melee?


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