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While Smash Bros. has been viewed as a “casual party game” by Nintendo, Masahiro Sakurai (the series’ main developer), and the general public, this did not stop fans from playing the game at a competitive level. Following Melee’s release in 2001, avid players started to utilize the game’s unique physics engine to generate unexpectedly fast movement across the stage, which had never before been seen in the Smash series. As players began perfecting newly discovered techniques such as wavedashing, dashdancing, and L-canceling, many smashers began hosting small tournaments for the first time; these tournaments were usually held among small groups of friends in basements or video game stores.
However, Matt Deezie is credited as the founder of the competitive Smash scene, when he began hosting the Tournament Go series in Northern California, in April 2002. Tournament Go helped bring to attention a standard, unified ruleset of legal stages and tournament procedures, and generate increased competitive interest in NorCal and across the United States. By the time the tournament series concluded with Tournament Go 6 in 2004, Matt Deezie had hosted the first 100-man tournament with the best players from all corners of the United States, such as Ken, Azen, and ChuDat, in attendance. Meanwhile, other large nationals such as MELEE-FC and Game Over sprung up in different regions of the country. This initial surge of
tournament activity paved the way for increased support from large video game organizations, such as Major League Gaming, into the young Melee scene.
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