With Ultimate tournaments finally kicking back into gear, it’s hard to find Smash fans not excited about the change. It’s even harder finding someone more excited than Tyler “Marss” Martins. After building up a significant profile as a streamer during the pandemic, Marss is ready to get back into the tournament scene. Inven Global sat down with Marss to discuss his thoughts on Smash Ultimate Summit 3, the will to practice among Ultimate players, and his future aspirations.
What were your impressions of Smash Ultimate Summit 3? How did you feel about the event, and what are your thoughts on your performance?
I guess I don't really have any except that it feels like a pretty homey environment. That's kind of what you expect when you go into it. But this being like the first one back since COVID, everyone expected it to be like a huge grind fest and everyone wanted to train. I mean, we did for the first handful of days, which is fine, but the experience overall was great. I got to see people I haven't seen in a long time and I got to play some damn good Smash Bros. I got fourth which I'm not okay with, but I'll take it. I did lose to first and second place, so I can't really be too upset. There's always room to do better.
We need more tournaments to confirm but did the results of Summit affect your view of the Smash scene at all? Before, the rankings in Ultimate were super up in the air. What were the biggest surprises to you?
Sparg0 doing as well as he did was crazy. Dark Wizzy, Dabuz, Maister — I feel like they underperformed, I think they'd agree too. Oh, and Zackray, because Zackray is filthy. And he got like fifth. But still crazy.
What were your impressions of Sparg0? What do you think he can work on?
I honestly don't know because he's using a character I'm pretty unfamiliar with. He seems composed. He seems like he's confident. And those are two very important aspects to have, especially while you're young, to just have it that early is good. Overall, experience will probably make him better, to just keep playing.
Before Summit, most of the pros that I’ve talked to thought that MkLeo was going to be an Armada-like figure in terms of dominance once offline tournaments came back. What do you think? Did Tweek winning change your perception at all?
I still think Leo's gonna be number one. I also think that Summit served as a bit of a trial period for a lot of Leo's characters. I don't think his results speak directly to how the future is gonna look for him. So I wouldn't expect the tippy top to change too much.
What’s your perception of Zero Suit Samus now that you’ve had some chance to play in this meta?
Oh, nothing’s changed, bro. You already know what I'm gonna say. She sucks. She sucks.
Before, we saw at least a decent representation of ZSS among top players, but looking at it now, it seems you’re it. Do you think it’s going to continue to be this way?
No, definitely not. She's too hard to pick up. And I feel like the only people that are going to play her are the people that are just stuck with her — like the Japanese players and the occasional, "Oh, I secondary this character." But honestly, I think that we're just gonna see less and less of her because all the new DLC do pretty well against her.
As far as your secondaries go, are you happy with just Snake, or are you looking to expand to others?
It's hard to explain because I like Snake a lot, he's really fun. But I don't think he really fits my playstyle, so I'll probably look for more characters or hope that the next DLC just vibes with me.
You’ve played ZSS throughout all the games. Rank Zero Suit Samus in Brawl, 4, and Ultimate.
Oh, shit, dude. God, I didn't play that much Brawl, so I don't know how good she actually was. She was cool, though. It's hard for me to rank the Brawl one because I didn't play it that often. So I'll compare Smash Ultimate to Smash 4. And I think that in Smash 4 she was strictly better because she had a lot of similar tools, but she also had grab combos, which she lacks in Ultimate. So I think the Smash 4 version of ZSS is the best and then Smash Ultimate. And I don't know about Brawl to be honest. I was a wee-baby when I played that game.
One of the things we haven't seen from you in a while is playing doubles. You mainly play with Light, he’s your bread and butter, but you’ve played with other talented players. You’ve been with Cosmos, MkLeo, Tweek. Besides Light, who has been your favorite partner?
Besides Light? Probably I'd say Tweek. I really like teaming with Tweak, because I feel like we have such a dramatic contrast in playstyles, it just feels so natural. What I've seen with him, it feels like we're just way too strong.
What specifically makes you work so well with Light?
We're both just idiots. We're two halves of the same idiot. So we just know what the other one's thinking for the most part. And like we both play at such a fast pace that we're always ready for team conversions and stuff.
Since the pandemic, Panda has helped you build yourself up as a content creator. Was this a natural transition? How do you reflect on it?
It was very hard. I'm not gonna lie. There's a lot of frustrations, even like setting it up and then the community itself. Just keeping a schedule was weirdly hard too. It took a lot of doing and getting used to, but I think I'm in the swing of it now.
What moments stand out to you specifically since regularly streaming?
I think simply growing and curating the fan base. I think it is still cool to directly interact with my fans in some way and hear from them. I like learning about them, too. If we're thinking about a specific moment, there was one random stream that I had where I started just asking people like, "What kind of job do you have?" And I thought that was just really cool to learn about — what kind of different jobs people do and they talked about it. And it's just a little eye-opening. I didn't expect that from a Twitch stream.
You were one of the players to respond to Leffen's claims that he'd catch up with the rest of the Ultimate players. If one Melee player committed to Ultimate, who do you think would have the best chance of success?
I think I'd still honestly say Leffen. I was thinking it was either between Leffen and Zain because Zain picked up Melee so fast and he's clinically nasty at that game. But I think it was only the case because he thoroughly loved the game. And if he was forced to play Ultimate, I don't think he would. That's why I think Leffen. Because he's got the gamer gene, dude, he can just pick it up. And he could just adapt to the better if he plays for long enough. And he's a grinder too. He has the best shot of the Melee people to become one of the best.
That was something brought up recently, that Ultimate players don't grind as much. Leffen brought up that criticism as well. Do you believe there's truth to that?
Oh, 100%. I think I'm the same way. I don't think enough people practice. I know I don't practice, but I feel like that's a personal thing. I feel like people practice in different ways. And I know that if I play too much, I don't think it'd be good for me. I don't know how other people prefer to practice. I doubt it's similar to mine. And with Ultimate Summit being the scope that we're looking at, I think people just wanted to watch some really good matches. Overall yes, I think that Ultimate players, in general, lack the will to practice.
Why do you think that's the case for Ultimate compared to Melee?
I don't know. If I had to take a guess… Melee players live and breathe that game. They live, breathe, and bleed it, dude. They want to play all the time, they love the game, they have an extreme passion for it. With Ultimate, there's a lot of frustrations with the meta and stuff. And then there are people who started to take the game and look at it from a content creator perspective. So they might take the game a little less seriously. And then, if you do want to play the game, it's usually like Wi-Fi. You combine all that and then the overall desire to play the game gradually decreases. Even if it is offline being presented to you.
Looking ahead to Riptide, what do you think the biggest things you need to work on are?
I need to work on my overall inputs. I mis-input a bunch, but that just naturally comes with being rusty. Which is okay, you work on that. If I grinded, that probably would be less of a problem, weirdly enough. And also, I need to relearn how to play that suffocating playstyle that I used to play. It feels like the meta's changed, and people have gotten good at specifically parrying. So the pressure's really hard to work on right now. I just need to catch up with where people are.
A year from now, where in the rankings will we see Marss?
Top 3 for sure. I can't see myself being below the top 3. Top three with Leo and Tweek.
Who rounds out the top five?
Zackray. I think that Zackray is the only definitive one, and then the fifth spot is kind of a toss-up with Sparg0 doing phenomenally now. I don't know how good Shuton has gotten but he's filthy with it. I'm trying to think like the top 10 players and just none of them scream top 3 material to me. So I'd like I'd say it's the four I mentioned. And then if I had to throw a fifth name in there: Maister.
Where do we see Marss five years from now?
Five years from now? Probably fucking killing it in the next Smashing game. And making content in the process. Same exact thing I'm doing right now, but in the next match game. If there is one.
Rank Flower Boy, IGOR, and Call Me If You Get Lost.
That's fucked up, man. Why would you ask me that? Okay, I will start this answer by saying that there is no wrong order because they are all amazing. I say #1 is Flower Boy, #2 is Call Me If You Get Lost, #3 is IGOR.
Flower Boy is the OG for me. And it's too good. It's phenomenal. It covers a lot of what I want to listen to music. It's a similar story with Call Me If You Get Lost. There are a couple more misses that I didn't particularly enjoy. But again, overall, still very great. And then for IGOR, honestly, I just didn't listen to it as much as I thought I would. It just didn't stick with me for some reason, but I know it's still good.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.