Last updated on June 22nd, 2022
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (Fifth & Final Round)
Dawn of the Final Day: 48 hours remain. We needed an outright miracle, a string of good luck to go our way. Honestly, on the inside, I was pretty confident that we might’ve lost on the final round.
The Deus Ex Machina
Luckily, something wild happened.
I was out of funds, we had no clear path out, but we were discussing the prior afternoon inside the strategy room. Bassmage had let us all know an aspect of his plan, but it was down to any Hbox whales, or fans of Jigglypuff at a high level in Ultimate who really wanted Bassmage in. The fact that Bassmage made it into top 4 was something nobody anticipated – I thought I had wasted so much! Me, Blstar, Shaxxam, Bassmage… everyone.
And yet, given that Nairo had decided to help Nakat? That was the floodgates opening. I had thought that Hungrybox decided to remain neutral, but this was a literal godsend.
All of Thursday and the first half of Friday, with the round ending said Friday at 12:00pm Pacific time? That was the best case scenario.
Naturally, Bassmage jumped at the chance. On 3 hours of sleep. The tournament was going well, staying in Winners Bracket, while he would turn off his camera and microphone in order to conserve energy while keeping a livestream of his gameplay up. He would unmute here and there, but with such an exasperated weakness that you could tell he was running on about 5% battery. He couldn’t send much power to his vocal cords – that’s how dire it was! With all of that said, he would successfully make it to Top 24 out of 1024 entrants in the tournament.
But then, misfortune happened.
The good thing about a double elimination tournament is that you need to lose two sets to be out of the tournament, and it was still possible for him to achieve his goal. It would just become twice as harder.
But this is Bassmage, the world’s best Jigglypuff player in Ultimate. He would have the final say, working on so much adrenaline and determination. The first set in the Losers side of bracket would be Ray Kalm, an excellent Ganondorf main who had just defeated someone in the Losers side as well – and, luckily for Bassmage, this was a matchup that would go Jigglypuff’s way no matter what. Next up would be Angel, a Robin main, in the Top 16 Losers side.
With Bassmage winning Game 1, it was down to one more game to get to the final set he needed.
Next up, he had to face enhancedpv, a Cloud main. This was a do or die moment. If he won this set, he would make it into Top 8 and fulfill Hungrybox’s gambit. There was no way around it, no wiggle room around the set terms.
And the pivotal moment… in Game 3.
And you know very well what happened next. Everyone came into his stream, excited that he’d done what everyone else thought was most likely improbable, since ol’ Bassmage had to go through a 1024-entrant bracket just to get Top 8. With the end of that game…
Keep in mind, both Bassmage and I had a near-sleepless night the prior night, with me having to work my brain into overtime to keep up with Tilde’s spirit bomb. Naturally, I couldn’t contain my excitement immediately after the set ended.
We had a real fighting shot at getting Bassmage into Summit, finally. The first time a person playing Jigglypuff in a game not called Super Smash Bros. Melee had made it into a Summit tournament. So I did what I naturally do when I want to make the biggest mistake of my life, deflate my hopes and dreams, and go to bed crying and wondering why doesn’t World War 3 start tomorrow: go to Twitter.
In my mind, it was baffling: here Lui$ was, suddenly saying that the odds were stacked against him.
Did he not see that Nairo, a big name in content creation for Smash Ultimate, had backed Nakat, and done similar? With the almighty arm of Cryme’s eSports organization?
Even aside from that – that fellow Ultimate content creator VoiD had campaigned for Larry Lurr the prior night?
That a huge, big name in the content creation space by the name of Alpharad was planning on campaigning for Marss?
Dude, screw Lui$, who does he think he is? He wants to take a shot at Hbox and Bassmage for–
Honestly, that actually looks good on him. I take it back. I even take back my retirement post. I’m now on board to seeing Lui$ get into Ultimate Summit 5. Sorry Hbox and Bassmage, but I’m now abandoning any efforts helping a Puff get into the next one. Lavish, Larry, Nakat, Marss, and anyone I’ve missed, you’re also done for.
Looking all over Twitter, there was a sentiment the organizers behind Bassmage4Summit were hoping would not happen:
Oh no. The key thing to realize in these campaigns, is that due to the nature of crunch-time and how close and razor-thin margins vote-ins can get in the minutes and seconds, even milliseconds, leading to the end of a round… any vote mattered. My note previously about Chag losing by 1 vote is an example. Many people thinking that Bassmage was a shoo-in after the Hungrybox nod had inadvertently tapped a fear we had expected but ultimately didn’t want to happen: why donate to Bassmage’s campaign, when we all know him being endorsed by Hungrybox means he’ll get in anyway? Why give votes?
We were still unsure of if a supporter of both and a friend, eganist, would donate a hell of a lot of money to ensure that Bassmage gets in. It felt like we actually needed his help and that his help would be do-or-die for us.
The Day That Changed Everything
In our group chat, seeing a lot of the players who had either been voted into prior Summits team up to help support Lui$. Given the absolutely ridiculous (perceived) amount of support given to Lavish, Marss, and Lui$, we had put all of our eggs into one basket banking on both Hungrybox and Eganist to clutch it out for us. The plan still felt like it was held together by wire and string, prone to snapping at any point, and falling apart the more we raced to the finish line. But then, while we were strategizing, we had to temper our expectation.
Me, having ordered out so frequently and not cooked in a week, I could barely get unglued from any computer screen for fear of an event that would leave us behind.
To put things more focused into strategy, we had to start running the numbers. An estimation on how the other threes’ spirit bombs had been used up to this point, whether they were reset, the data points on what the spirit bombs looked like when their previous days’ streams started and ended, whether the others’ spirit bombs were a bluff, how they might end up by the end of the round.
I did hit up a friend who was very into mathematics, with an interest in statistics. They weren’t a big Smash Bros player, but they were someone who was intrigued by how the system worked when I explained how the Summit voting process worked and how chaotic the end of each round can get, since I wanted to predict best and worst case scenarios for Bassmage getting in. If there’s one thing you shouldn’t do, it’s to not tempt a mathematician with chaos, otherwise… hold on, why are there tornado sirens going off?
Hungrybox starts streaming, 3pm Pacific on a Thursday, planning for an Ultimate tournament run. We see donations start pouring in within the first 10 minutes. In the first hour, there is $1000 raised. After the second hour, there is $1000 more.
Okay, well, maybe we didn’t need any other help after all. We did start to notice that the donations would start slowing down the more the livestream went on, but figured out that maybe there’d be a big jump toward the end. A very silly incident happened where Hungrybox played a player by the name of BroKen, lost to him, and Hungrybox started feeling awful about the toxic way the player acted. BroKen’s response? Sending him a link to get coaching from Bassmage on Metafy. On a fundraiser stream for Bassmage no less. Ouch.
Surprisingly, either Bassmage or Hungrybox himself must have decided a You Laugh You Lose session must have been warranted after all, setting a $5 minimum for videos to be submitted. The objective? Obviously, not to laugh. The closest I’ve ever gotten to making someone lose these was watching this happen with my good friend Myr where we were considering what would be something unexpected, and his suggestion was resurrecting an early 2010s YouTube gem.
Spookifier ended up being the first mod to ever make him lose. FUCK.
So it was still a pretty significant amount, but to me it didn’t assuage my fears about another Tilde-like scenario where we’d be left in the dust by 3 others if we didn’t go big or go home. Everyone else had predicted $5k-$10k, or even $20k, by the night’s end. Did those tweets saying Bassmage would be in Summit turn out to doom us?
It’s time to do the math!
There’s people who usually like to be emotional supports for the organizers, strategists, and planners of campaign, no matter what it might be, Summit or otherwise… and yet, none of them will ever come close to Kyan.
Well, I’ll let the rest talk for itself…
Oh fuck. Alpharad? THE Alpharad? Well, it made sense because Alpharad is sponsored by Panda, but still…
YES. The additional cushion of eganist, together with Hungrybox having been live since 10:00am Pacific, meant that we possibly had a good window.
Wow. $14k. We had hope.
Having Hungrybox, Bassmage, Lui$, Marss and Lavish on all screens, helping to keep track of the spirit bomb, I didn’t notice a whole lot of activity nor movement on anyone’s spirit bomb. In fact, viewing Hungrybox’s stream, his final few hours of streaming during the campaign was raising so much money, I’d wondered if we were going to eclipse everyone else. Marss only added $1.5k since the round started, Lui$ seemed to spend all of his and only added $2k. Lavish, I couldn’t even tell, because I mostly counted him out. Hungrybox was adding donations every minute.
I noticed the time. 11:15am. Wait a sec.
I began to panic. The ghost of Tilde’s campaign dragged me out of my chair, punched me in the gut, and pushed me to the ground. I kept a running total from the spirit bomb, and inserted numbers into the calculator as they came in, even as they hid the spirit bomb. Altogether… Lavish received north of $6000 within 15 min. Oh no. This is too familiar.
And then, in another corner… I noticed that while I was preoccupied with Lavish’s meteoric rise in his spirit bomb fund, Marss was sitting at about $15,850. About $4,000 more than 5 min prior.
But I had to remember one thing: The Box Gang probably knew too, and could go Plus Ultra themselves.
So what happens next? Well, you know what’s coming.