Super Smash Bros. Melee is known for its crazy mechanical skills and insane rivalries. There is nothing more iconic than "Respect Your Elders." The game has a grassroots feel that's made even more special and gritty thanks to the blatant rivalries, arguments, and disagreements that happen on social media. There is drama and entertainment even when a tourney isn't taking place.
Meanwhile, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a little bit quiet. When you scroll through Twitter, you'll see players congratulating each other on Smash Ultimate Summit 4, discussing how they plan to improve, and sharing clips of them practicing. There is something wholesome and inspiring about Ultimate's competitive scene right now, with everyone applauding Spar0 on his first Major win and everyone discussing how MkLeo just had a bad weekend.
But is it... Is it boring?
Moist Esports' Light, who got in second at Summit 4, had some thoughts about this last night before crashing. He tweeted that he just wants more when it comes to a storyline in Ultimate — and no, not just Sparg0's Major win.
"It's one of the reasons I like talking sh-t. It makes for good banter and competition. The storyline is what makes tournaments 10 times more exciting to watch," Light said.
The Super Smash Bros. community was largely in agreement. While Ultimate definitely has some good storylines right now (like MkLeo's character crisis after failing with Byleth and Sparg0's impressive Major win), where is the beef? Where is the saltiness? The aggression?
When players meet up at tournaments, they're all like long-lost friends who hang out together, make funny tweets together, practice together... There is no tension outside of the matches themselves.
But is that really a bad thing?
Some Smash fans feel that personality is missing from Ultimate right now. Remember Leffen vs. Salem? That was a set everyone was anxiously awaiting. The drama leading up to it had increased the intensity. The stakes were raised. There was more than just money on the line. It was pride. It was saltiness. It was revenge. Retaliation.
But maybe Ultimate isn't about that anymore. Summit did show personality. But in a more wholesome way. We saw Tea make some jokes and open up a bit more. We saw Dabuz eat a bagel. We saw MkLeo, Maister, and Sparg0 taking selfies with each other. Does it really have to have hate? Pettiness? Anger?
The answer is: Probably not.
The solution is: Ultimate should have some light-hearted rivalries. Probably nothing offensive. Nothing cruel. But maybe an argument about playstyle on Twitter. Maybe a regional debate, with pride for a certain coast on the line. Maybe a small jab at something not personal.
Maybe Super Smash Bros. Ultimate isn't as spicy as Melee. But maybe that's okay.
Esports writer and editor with a passion for creating unique content for the gaming community.