2018 may have started out as a relatively slow year for Super Smash Bros. Melee tournaments, but the past month has felt nothing if not packed with events. While this year’s “Summer of Smash” may have begun in June, it reached a fever pace once August arrived, with a major-level event going down every weekend since Evolution Championship Series 2018 on August 3.
EVO was a marathon in its own right, featuring 8:00 AM pools and tension-filled best-of-three sets that tired out competitors who also risked contracting “Evola”—the dangerous mix of flu and common cold that has a tendency to go around the week after the world’s biggest fighting game major. But for Melee heads, there was no rest following EVO; all of Melee’s best players packed their bags and flew right to Virginia for Super Smash Con 2018 the following week. This weekend, top Europeans Adam “Armada” Lindgren and William “Leffen” Hjelte have made their way to the United Kingdom—after short pit stop in their home nation of Sweden—for British major Heir 5.
While the Summer of Smash is a taxing endeavor for anyone who hopes to attend most of its events, it’s particularly tiring for European players, who fly further and longer than any of their peers to get to American majors. On Twitter, Armada opened up about his feelings of burnout following several weeks of strenuous competition.
After some public discussion, both Armada and his brother, Andreas “Android” Lindgren, decided not to enter Heir 5’s singles bracket, though they’d both promised to do so when they originally registered for the tournament. Citing exhaustion, the brothers agreed to come to the event to participate in doubles and commentary only.
Perhaps due to Armada’s announcement—and due to his own feelings of burnout—Leffen also announced that he would potentially sit out of Heir’s singles bracket. Additionally, the Swedish Fox told his fans that he would be skipping the final major of the summer, Boston’s Shine 2018, despite the fact that Shine has historically been one of his favorite events. However, Leffen stressed the importance of supporting the European scene—a fair point, since Heir is one of the continent’s only remaining ongoing major series.
In order to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future, major tournament organizers should collaborate to schedule their largest events more than one week apart from each other. In some cases, such scheduling issues are inevitable, though, and the summer is naturally the best season for organizers to throw their Smash majors, which largely attract a schoolgoing audience that can more easily travel during the warmer months. Regardless, Armada and Leffen’s announcements should be taken seriously by community leaders who want to make their events the best experience possible for both viewers and top players.