Through my esports career I’ve been a part of several communities. I’ve seen the hyper-intense professional focus of League of Legends esports. I was involved with the awkward birth and death of Infinite Crisis during it’s beta. I have seen Heroes of the Storm grow from an awkward baby deer to a full-fledged competitive video game. However, I have never seen anything quite like Smash twitter.
While there is certainly plenty of drama and in-fighting (dear god the whining about tier lists) the communal nature of Smash social media is fascinating. The community will so quickly rally around a meme and execute it well. We rally for support, raise funds, and troll our pros like no other scene I’ve ever encountered. With that in mind, I wanted to just briefly highlight some of my favorite things I’ve seen recently from Smash 4 Twitter.
“Smash 4 players have no personality.” “There are no interesting rivalries.” Thanks to Zinoto and ANTi, Civil war changed all of that. You can find a full recap of the trash talk elsewhere on my blog, and I had a blast covering it. Though some found it cringey or forced, I loved it. It was a great piece of the buildup that made Civil War work, and gave us all something cool to experience as each new player got involved.
The way it evolved was especially fun. We had some interesting exchanges and solid smack talk, but when the Frostbite crew rallied around the concept of Zinoto’s brand new sponsor, I knew there was something special going on.
I still go back through these every few days. Some people thought that this was a mean-spirited meme, but it was beyond perfect. Follow Locus on Twitter and you soon learn that this picture and meme perfectly describes the lovable World Warrior. Even better, there are very few misses in the whole hashtag string. Most memes will include a number of people that don’t quite understand how to do it right, but this one was nearly all winners.
This is not really a meme or anything, but absolutely deserves discussion. It really is amazing how easily the Smash community will rally behind literally any cause. Whether someone is hospitalized, lost their wallet, or can’t get to a tournament, you are willing to share, upvote, and pay to support members of the community in need.
This is particualarly amazing to me coming from the Heroes of the Storm community. Before Blizzard got heavily involved, there was a LAN held at Esports Arena. One of the best teams in North America had no sponsor at the time, and the players all lived far away from the venue. ESA was not flying out any of the qualified teams, and so this group decided to do a GoFundMe in order to get the players to the event. The backlash was intense. While their devoted fans eventually got them funded, Reddit and Twitter were filled with anger that the team would even dare to ask the community for money.
This is a reaction I have never seen in Smash. We may discuss there being to many GoFundMe’s for trivial matters, but we still shell out and quickly rally to help community members with medical bills, and to get our favorite players to events. Those who don’t participate in other communities really need to understand just how unique and special you have made Smash.
These guys are insidious meme lords. Their use of gifs, emojis, and pictures are universally perfect. They could post a picture of an empty bucket, and suddenly Reddit and Twitter would be on fire discussing the potential of Bucket Saga. Say what you will about their PR and the mess with April Saga, but you cannot deny that their Twitter game is better than most multi-million dollar companies.
If you aren’t following ANTi, then you’re just doing it wrong. There’s very little else that needs to be said. Dude just has a very solid Twitter with interesting content every single day. I also think he understands how to play the esports game better than anyone else in Smash, which makes him a personal hero of mine.
I’m not actually sure what this is doing on the list. There’s no meme here. PersistentBlade is just this amazing Lucina player who shows up to help out ZeRo whenever he needs it. Come to think of it, I’m not actually sure how that’s legal. You can’t sub out players during a singles match, but PersistentBlade comes in whenever ZeRo needs the Lucina in a matchup. Top player privilege I guess? Weird.
Very few people agree with me, but ESAM is secretly the biggest star in Smash 4. Japan loves the guy, he has more Twitter followers than ANTi, and plays the world’s most adorable yellow rodent. Watch his YouTube and you find he’s such a fun, passionate dude. This is what makes it so fun to see him beef with people on Twitter. ESAMOpinions are almost universally reviled by the rest of the pro community, but they quietly just keep feeding him more views and followers. Don’t you understand you’re only making him stronger?!
Two food-related debates have raged constantly within the Smash community–pineapple on pizza, and when the milk goes in the cereal bowl. Both show up from time to time, we have our fun and war with each other, and then they disappear until next time. However, one brave man took to Twitter last week and refused to bend to the whims of social media. He fought valiantly for his opinion, and was rewarded with a globally trending meme. ESAM retweeted literally every decent contribution to this trend, so give him and Mr. R a follow to get your recap if you missed out.
There were plenty of misses as many people didn’t quite understand where the joke was, but the scale of this particular event was incredible. When the dictionary gets involved, you know you’ve penetrated far beyond the insular world of the Smash community. Never before has a man with such a wrong opinion gained so much in a single day. It was especially incredible because there was no unified hashtag. Everyone just figured out the proper construction of the meme and stuck to it. This unity of theme shows just how powerful the Smash community can be when they know someone has committed a grevious sin, such as thinking incorrectly about food procedure.