I grew up playing many of Nintendo’s major titles. I played Kirby, Mario, Zelda, Animal Crossing, and, of course, I played Smash. Super Smash Bros was an intoxicating title from the start: what could be better than fighting against your friends as one of your favorite game characters? Even years after the game came out, me and my friends would occasionally go back and duke it out both for bragging rights and nostalgia. But late into high school, long after I had put the game behind me, I was drawn back due to the incredible world of competitive Smash.
Super Smash Bros Melee is very unique in the world of fighting games. Many fighting game fans bitterly exclude Smash from the genre entirely, but Smash’s success over the past 5 years or so is making the game hard to ignore. Smash has an accessibility to new players or people unfamiliar with fighting games that other fighting titles lack. Despite this accessibility, the game still has a very high skill ceiling, allowing for players to continue to improve even 15 years after the game was released. Making things even better is the active, friendly, and ethnically diverse community that has supported the professional scene for years with little to no help from companies or organizations.
The video below really strikes a chord with me, accurately describing my feelings when I first saw competitive Smash. He then does an excellent job of explaining to people who may be unfamiliar with the game or skeptical of the idea of “competitive gaming” why Smash draws so many people to watch