The revival of one of the greatest Smash Bros tournaments has just happened and my god, what a resurrection. We have upsets across the board, nail biting sets and Oddshots up the wazoo, as Smashers from all over the world clashed in 3 different games for the title of Genesis champion. To recap absolutely everything that happened during Genesis would be a Herculean task, so I will just be focusing on the main storylines and upsets that played out during the course of the 3 day event. I will no doubt miss out that really hype Round 2 pools match that was shown on stream at the dead of night in the UK so do comment below with your favourite sets so others can find the lesser known bits of excitement that were happening all around the San Jose Convention Centre.
For Smash 4, Genesis 3 was the moment when the rest of the world came out in force to try and take the crown away from North America and more importantly, TSM ZeRo. The main threat coming into Genesis was the Japanese contingent, comprising mainly of Ranai, the Villager god and number 1 Japanese player, Komorikiri, the world’s best Cloud and Sonic, Earth, the Brawl stalwart and best Pit in the world as well as 9B, widely regarded as one of Japan’s best Ryu players. There were other threats like Rain, Ryuji, Salena and of course Abadango but many of the main Japanese threats were dispatched before Top 8, leaving Ranai as the only surviving Japanese player to make it to the final day and luckily, in Winners Side. In doubles, Japan had already triumphed, with the team of Ranai’s Villager and Komorikiri’s Cloud besting Nairo and ZeRo’s ZSS and Sheik even after the US team had reset the bracket in Grands, the Japanese still claimed victory, thanks to a humiliating double up smash from Komorikiri’s Cloud to take out both ZeRo and Nairo. The question was, was Japan actually going to take Genesis and finally show themselves as the most dominant region?
Well, after Ranai defeated FoW’s Ness (who had a fantastic showing after a brief hiatus from tournaments), it was time for the ultimate showdown between ZeRo and Ranai. It was an absolute corker of a set, with momentum switching back and forth as each player tried to download the other and claim the victory. The set went to game 5, with ZeRo eventually winning out in what was ‘the most difficult set I have ever played’ according to him in a post-match tweet. Ranai then had to face down Dabuz, who had put on the best performance of his career taking out fan favourite to win, Team Liquid’s Nairo, in another tense match. Dabuz did go on to defeat the Villager God in Losers’ Finals and fought ZeRo to game 5 in the first set of Grands, where the reigning champ was still able to clutch out a victory. While ZeRo’s reign did hold, Dabuz put on a fantastic showing and while he did not win, Ranai will no doubt come back stronger and with the fire in his pocket to triumph.
While the grander storyline of ZeRo versus Ranai captivated many, the run up to Top 8 was fraught with upsets and clashes between nations. The Mexican players really put a dent in the USA’s top players, with Toon Link specialist Hyuga knocking Nairo into Losers’ bracket, as well as causing quite the commotion in the crew battle tournament for Smash 4. 9B, a fearsome Japanese Ryu, was dispatched by Angel Cortes, the Peach master Umeki was taken out by Cacogen and Abadango was sent out of the tournament by Zinoto. The USA did a great job of either gatekeeping or simply besting many of Japan’s top players and silenced many US doubters who claimed that Japan would steamroll through the Genesis 3 bracket. The pride of the UK did fairly well for our first major US outing, with all UK players making it through to round 2 pools. They did not break through to Top 32 however, with Cong and C.R.Z going out to Regi from Mexico and Dainosuke from Japan. Ixis, the UK’s number 1, went a little further than his compatriots, unfortunately losing to Nick Riddle and not quite overcoming his Zero Suit Samus demon. While the UK did pretty well, there is still a massive gap between us and the rest of the world and hopefully, this trip will help give local players the push to travel further and train harder to prove themselves on the world stage.