Posted March 26, 2014 by Gaetano Fratto in Entertainment

Empire State Gaming Super Smash Bros. Melee Tournament

This past Sunday, March 23rd, up and coming video game tournament coordinator, Empire State Gaming hosted their Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament at the Knights of Columbus venue in the Bronx, and it was a blast. Last month, they hosted a Super Street Fighter 4 tournament with a great turnout. Competitors pre-register for the competition for $35 or may purchase tickets at the door if they wish for $50.  Spectators could also buy their tickets beforehand for $20 or $30 at the door.

The coordinators of the event were courteous and made sure the needs of the competitors were met. It was evident that coordinators Melinda Perez, Luis Lopez and Gerardo Morillo were all very passionate about Empire State Gaming and the comfort of the attendees. All three came around to each and every competitor to offer small talk about their interests in the competition or to remind them of the food and drinks available for all in attendance.  They made the competitors feel welcome in the fantastic atmosphere with remixed music from Super Smash Bros. Melee setting the mood for the competition.

A $5 raffle (5 for $20 deal) was available, with the prize being a special edition Yoshi Nintendo 3DS XL along with Pokemon X and Pokemon Y. Empire State Gaming shirts were also for sale alongside the raffle table.

raffle prizes ~~~

As for the competition itself, Empire State Gaming follows Apex 2014 rules which, in general, calls for 8 minute, 4 stock matches on certain stages in Melee with no items on 6 different Gamecubes. The winner in 2 out of 3 matches progresses to the next stage of the competition. The first prize was $100 (Cash amount depends on the number of combatants in the event), second prize was a 2 person vacation voucher to 16 different locations, and third prize was 2 VIP tickets to any Empire State Gaming event within the next year.

As the competition began, and contenders were eliminated, the DJ would announce the winners and who they would be facing next.  Throughout all matches, the Super Smash Bros. Melee music did not let up.  It set a sort of theme song for everyone and fired up competitors to play their hearts out.

competitor ring~~~

The final battle, which was projected on a screen for all to watch, was between fellow HipHopGamer blogger, Khalid Bennett and opponent, Michael Finelli. The rules for the final match were a best 3 out of 5 rather than 2 out of 3, with a 5 stock and an agreement on a battle arena. Bennett started off the finals with Luigi, while Finelli chose Link.  The two battled fiercely on Final Destination, with Bennett coming out on top.

The next round was played on Princess Peach’s Castle with Bennett sticking with Luigi, and Finelli switching up his strategy to choose Samus. The round came down to the wire, with each combatant down to their last life, but again, Bennett and Luigi bested Finelli and Samus.

Mike Khalid Final

Great Bay from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask was the battlefield of the third round. Bennett stood strong with Luigi while Finelli chose Captain Falcon.  Bennett eventually came out on top again to win the entire competition and the grand prize of $100. Finelli did not walk away empty handed, however. He won the second place vacation voucher prize AND ended up winning the Nintendo 3DS raffle.


After all was said and done, the coordinators decided to have one final melee for bragging rights. Names were placed in a hat and randomly selected to duke it out in a 12 minute, 5 stock 4-person melee on Kirby’s Dream Land.  The combatants were second place winner Michael Finelli who chose Link, Christine Dunne, who selected Kirby, Johan Severin who chose Pikachu and Deric Brown who chose Fox.  The 4 battled fiercely, but in the end, Finelli and Link came out on top, with Dunne and Kirby, Brown and Fox and Severin and Pikachu in second, third and fourth, respectively.

Bennett had his picture taken with the coordinators of Empire State Gaming and will be featured on their website in their Hall of Fame.

Khalid winner w people

Overall, the experience of the Empire State Gaming Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament was exciting.  The down-to-the-wire, tension building matches that were prevalent throughout the competition made all the Smash Bros. sessions seem like the final round.  Refer to the official website here for news about upcoming events as the details emerge.

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Gaetano Fratto

Gaetano Fratto
My name is Gaetano Fratto, but Nino does just fine. My passion lies in video game reviews and gaming related news. I love discussions and arguments relating to gaming news and culture.