SqSS Rewind: February
Nicholas "hermes" Devantier
Feb 12, 2018
Hello everybody and welcome to the Squidboards Splat Series Rewind for February! After the tournament finished up, I sat down with some awesome folks who helped bring you the stream this past weekend to chat a bit about what happened.
Hermes: Alright, thank you guys all for joining me after quite a long tournament! As always, can we just start off with some quick introductions.
Vespher: Sure, I’m Vespher.
Melissa: Hi, I’m Melissa, AcidSunshine!
Bleck: Hi, I’m Bleck. Stream runner. Cave explorer.
Hermes: Thanks guys. So today, we are going to start with, honestly, the biggest story of the tournament, the surprise one hour maintenance!
Vespher: That was fun… I just remember reading chat, between sets, and… first of all! At least it happened BETWEEN sets! That is lucky! But I remember reading chat, and people were like “Ha, server maintenance! lol” and I was like “Ha, that’s a funny joke…” and then everybody started saying it and I was like “Oh, shoot…”
Bleck: Yeah, we were like “Oh, wait, this is real life... “ I remember because it was right when I went to go run to the bathroom, so, commentators had no idea what was going on outside of Twitch chat because the message would have been just on me.
Vespher: That is not the kind of position you want to find yourself in.
Bleck: And I come back and it looks like “Oh, everything’s broken…”
Hermes: And bless you guys for working your way through it, and props to the Squidboards staff for being able to corale everybody before and after the maintenance. Was there a shift in dynamic before and after the maintenance, or was it the usual same old, same old?
Vespher: Eeeeehhhhhhhh more or less the same I guess.
Bleck: It was like herding cats to get players back in for their matches, but once players were actually getting into their matches, everything was fine.
Vespher: Yeah, like we were waiting 15 minutes for the first match after the break to get started. You know what happens, we took a 50 minute break and it takes a while for them to come back.
Bleck: Thankfully they didn’t just go home!
Melissa: Did you guys talk through that whole hour? I was still at work when that happened.
Vespher: Yep. We were chillin.
Bleck: I even tuned in, it was great!
Hermes: I bet it was a nice conversation, a little bit with the chat, a little bit with each other…
Bleck: An impromptu Ink Radio!
Vespher: Yeah, that’s pretty much what it was.
Hermes: Be sure to check that out in the VOD uploads when they go live! And, now on to the actual tournament, for you guys, what games really stood out to you as a really good set?
(The bracket pulled from Battlefy)
Hermes: Yeah, I think I caught a bit of that game, was it brackets or pools still?
Vespher: It was pools right? Oh, wait, it was actually the first round of bracket! The set was good, but the Kelp Dome game was really well played by Monarchy. A strategy that didn’t look practiced but it felt natural. It felt like they knew what they were doing. It’s obvious that they didn’t practice it, that it just looked like they knew what they were doing.
Melissa: I think for me it was TOMO vs Empor. It was specifically Rainmaker on Snapper Canal. It looked like TOMO was playing the long game, and, to me, that last second when all of the sudden, they took the lead out of nowhere, I felt trolled! I felt like, they were waiting and were like “Hey, we are just going to give everyone a really good show, and that’s it. They took the lead and they won.
Bleck: Those matches in particular were just back and forth. It was a game of inches, every single one of them. They would take a two point lead, then you would wait 30 seconds for the other team to take their two point lead, and it was just back and forth, every single one of those games.
Melissa: I think that was some of the most fun I’ve ever had commentating on anything, ever. And I do a lot of my own commentary.
Bleck: I’m just going to solidify my vote, because that kind of match just doesn’t happen. You’ll get it once or twice in one game, not constantly throughout the entire set. Like, those teams, as far as seeding goes, HAVE to be dead even in terms of seeding.
Hermes: I’m pretty sure they were fourth and fifth.
Bleck: Yeah, that is an absolute coinflip of a set. And they showed it. They were fourth and fifth seeds, and thats jsut some really accurate seeding!
Hermes: Especially since Empor was a pick up, it was like half Alliance, Sorin’s French team…
Bleck: It was like, half old Koopa Clan. An OG Splatoon 1 team, coming back as a pick up.
Hermes: Yeah, it was Kiver, Sorin, Ben and Erza. Yeah… that doesn’t sound fun for any team to face. And going off of that, which team ended up surprising you the most?
Vespher: I think we are all going to have the same answer here.
Melissa: Mittel (mittelständische)?
Vespher: Maybe not…?
Laughter for a few seconds
Hermes: I think I know what team Vespher is gonna pick. Gagaku?
Vespher: Yeah Gagaku!
Hermes: Yeah, they came out of nowhere, do you just want to talk about them?
Vespher: Yeah, I just don’t know any of these players. I wasn’t around that much in Splatoon 1, I was mostly just a spectator. I didn’t start getting into it until Splatoon 2. But apparently, Gagaku they were a really dominant team in Splatoon 1 but they kinda haven’t done much in Splatoon 2. Its not that they weren’t performing well, it’s that they weren’t playing. But, they played here, today. And wow.
Hermes: Yeah, the fact that they took the second place team to a game five. Oof. And they also handily beat Neptune three to one.
Vespher: Yeah, that’s crazy. Because Neptune is not a pushover team, they are really good.
Hermes: And Melissa, you mentioned Mittel and their pick up going the distance?
Melissa: I think that’s just amazing, for a pick up to have that much communication and take as many good teams as they did down, especially Gagaku, those matches were really really good. Every single one of them was just back and forth, just like what we were talking about with TOMO vs Empor, every game was just back and forth, they were doing so well holding their own against full teams. So that was really impressive, especially to me, since I’m newer to the scene and don’t know all the names yet. Because that’s typically what I do with my friends is we just pick up and play, back and forth, for like, seven matches. For me, that’s what I want to achieve, and that’s why I appreciated them so much. #goals
Hermes: And Bleck, do you have a team that surprised you?
Bleck: I’m not sure that I have one. I guess its because I have kind of the insider training, because I was made aware of Gagaku, I know a lot of the players on Mittel, so a lot of it was just watching good Splatoon! Nothing overly surprising, it was just “Yeah, these teams are great!”
Hermes: Now, looking at the overall bracket, which match was really close that you wish you could have seen?
Vespher: Oh, yeah, Saikai-TOMO.
Bleck: But at the same time, that’s going to be spoilers for our exhibition.
Hermes: Yeah, it was a good thing we didn’t watch it, because later we will be having those two teams play a longer exhibition set. What specifically about that match up intrigues you though?
Vespher: Its just that both teams play a very aggressive and smart Splatoon. It’s not like everyone that’s playing coordinated solo queue, they both play as teams and they both play aggressive as a team, and when you see both teams playing good at being so good at being aggressive, together, and when you see them face each other, it just makes way for some really good matches, and also interesting situations.
Melissa: I think that I would have really like to have seen this third place match between Gagaku and TOMO. I think that both teams played really well, and we were all surprised how well Gagaku had played, when they were so relatively unknown, and even though TOMO took them three to one, I think that it could have still been really fun to watch.
Hermes: And that just leaves you Bleck.
Bleck: And I’m just looking over this bracket and realizing that, man, did we hit all the good ones! Yeah, I gotta second that third place match as well. Just because seeing those two teams in previous matches, it also would have been a really good set to see!
Hermes: The only other set that I could see that I would have been interested in would have been Kraken Paradise vs Mittel. Because KP is really good, they just aren’t highlighted as much, and haven’t had the spotlight lately as well like Ethereal has had, so it would have been interesting to see how they played there, especially against Mittel to see how Mittel dismantled them. Alright. And so, honestly, there were two things that stuck out most about Grand Finals, the first one, the Foil Flingza Roller. You had Brandon, who is typically Saikai’s Slosher player, and Saikai still won. What do you guys feel about that pick, kinda coming out of left field?
Bleck: He probably knows something we don’t.
Melissa: To me, I wasn’t as shocked, because, well, it wasn’t game changing, but I have a lot of friends who play Dynamo really well in Clam Blitz, and so, for me, when that Flingza Roller came out, I was like “Yeah… so?” But maybe that’s my personal opinion and my background feeding into it. I think chat was really excited and we will see a bunch of people pick it up. We’ll see how that goes…
Bleck: I’m sorry solo queue for the next few days.
Vespher: It’s like, when after Platinum Cup, everybody used Tenta Brella, because one of the top teams in Japan played it for one game. And I’m pretty sure they lost that match.
Melissa: Yeah, I remember watching because I have a friend who likes Tenta Brella and I said “Hey look at… ooops…”
Bleck: Yeah, I’m not one to fault on any particular weapon. I’m of the strong belief that all weapons, at least in a niche sense, are viable. I am willing to hold up that there was a method behind that madness. And maybe it was that the other three members on his team are so thoroughly confident and are able to essentially run it three v four that he can do whatever he wants, so he goes with something a bit off the beaten path, just to throw off opponents. Because there is something to be said about playing a weapon that is just never seen because you don’t know how to really counter it.
Vespher: Yeah, but, it’s just a slower roller without a curling bomb.
Bleck: Yeah, I know. But it’s weird. It’s different. Sometimes you run it for some mind games.
Melissa: I think that’s the key term there: different. And that’s because people get super used to seeing things in the competitive meta and when somebody plays something different, its either amazing or trash. There’s going to be the people who are gonna say they can take the trash weapon and make it amazing, and there are going to be others that say that that was amazing, but that was just a fluke.
Hermes: Thank you guys for humoring me with that question. The next part of that Grand Finals, the Saikai resurgence! It’s been a while since we’ve seen them on top of a major like this. They even went through teams like Mittel, TOMO, and El Firmament, who knocked them out last time. What are your thoughts about this storyline?
Vespher: This was not their first Squidboards Splat Series win correct?
Bleck: I think it’s their third.
Vespher: I think they just had a period, and this caused so much debate in the community a few weeks ago, where people were like, “Wow, Europe is so much better than North America!” And it’s because one tournament had a Grand Final with all European teams. And this obviously isn’t the case. Yeah, Europe might have more top teams, but people are saying that there is this absolutely huge skill gap between Europe and North America, when that obviously doesn’t exist.
Bleck: For me, it was a lot about me seeing Saikai, very intimately, as far as, through several iterations, especially in the ones where they got knocked out fairly early, they tend to do the tournament what looks like for fun. It was still taken seriously, but it had that more “goofing off” factor to it. You would sets where they would always be rotating players, picking weird weapon comps, things that didn’t necessarily “work,” but they were like “Let’s try it! This is a tournament and we are here on a Saturday,” kind of deal. And the vibe I got out of them for the short time we got to see them here was more of “We have a plan, we are going to execute it, we are going to win.” And it had more drive and focus behind it. Because I don’t think in any of the times that they got knocked out early, they were playing poorly, it was just more of the aspect of for fun as opposed to taking it with the “meta is key” mindset, gunning for the win.
Melissa: For me, since I’m new here, I don’t know the history as well as others do, so it's exciting to learn about these things first hand. Having witnessed history and see what matters.
Hermes: Alright, and before we wrap things up, are there any final thoughts you all wanted to add before we sign off?
Vespher: Controversial plug, because this came up on Twitter, this tournament took seven hours, even without the maintenance, Splatoon players need to be faster. I come from multiple other competitive games, and its crazy how slow Splatoon players are at progressing through tournament stages. Like, hurry up, please. This kind of tournament should take four hours at the most.
Melissa: I think at the end it was relatively quick.
Bleck: It was also less of them.
Hermes: And teams that know what they are doing.
Melissa: That’s true! Yeah, in the end, I have a great time, I always get to talk with people who have been doing commentary for longer than I have, but who have also played this game longer than I have, and, like I said on stream, we have an amazing community here, its the least toxic of a lot of the games I see, and I love every person that I have met so far here.
Vespher: Lemme tell you, people who say the Splatoon community is toxic, have not been a part of any other competitive gaming community, ever. Guarantee you this is their first competitive game. They have no idea.
Melissa: And the toxicity they are talking about…
Vespher: Its more of high school drama.
Melissa: Yeah, and in chat, somebody said, “Oh she’s probably a dude” or whatever, and you instantly banned them. Like that would have become a meme in any other community, like, could you imagine League of Legends? Oof. Terrifying! So, I think this is amazing what InkTV, what EndGame does, it means a lot to us newer players who are trying to find people and I just want to say thank you!
Bleck: You’re welcome.
Hermes: Yeah, and Bleck does an excellent job of running the stream and putting on a show, but we can’t have this event without the Squidboards staff putting it on every month. Alright, and anything from you Bleck?
Bleck: Nah, let’s just plug and head home. We’ve already mentioned this, but InkTV will have the exhibition match between Saikai and TOMO later, its gonna be fun, so make sure to tune in on Twitch at 7PM EST! Outside of that, we just started up Bleck n Spoon, every Thursday night, with a set map list per month and a single mode per week.
Vespher: OK, so, when are you doing only Zones, all the time?
Bleck: Well we have Zones this week, and we will have them all the time, if you close your eyes, and just hum to yourself, for about three more weeks.
Vespher: So the next week will also be Zones right?
Bleck: If by next week, you mean in four week increments, then yes.
Vespher: What if I host all the lobbies for the tournament, and make it all Zones?
Melissa: My question is: Clams when?
Vespher: I think Clams needs to be fixed before that happens. We are getting off on a tangent here, let’s just finish this up.
Bleck: Yeah, we waited hours for this! The last thing from me is, at the end of this month and the beginning of next month, we will have Young Ink once again. That is all that I have to plug.
Hermes: You’re not going to plug yourself?
Melissa: I’ll also plug Beakon here. March 10th and 11th! New York’s first major, its going to be a ton of fun! And we also have EndGame streaming it! Also, don’t forget to donate to Dr. Prodigy’s donation goal of $500 for Kendall in a dress!
Bleck: 500 short dollars.
Melissa: Well, I donated a bit, so its at least a little less.
Bleck: Realistically, its likely much less at this point.
Vespher: And I’m Vespher, Vespher on Twitch and Twitter. I’m a full time streamer, and I’m bad at games, even though others say I’m pretty good at them. People say I don’t give myself enough credit, but I think those people are…. Bad…
And with that, we wrapped up our conversation. Thank you for reading everybody, and be sure to tune in next month to InkTV for SqSS March!
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