Ultimate Insight 15 : ClassicJono
1) You recently graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering. How do you balance your time and still manage to play at such a high level?

> I believe in a healthy life balance. I spend most of my time, at work, exercising, and spending time with friends and my girlfriend. To me there’s so much out there in the world that I can learn and try so I avoid putting all my time into one activity.

Learning, gaining new skills, doing new activities, and pushing the limits of what I can do is what I love to do. This is how I initially got into Smash, I wanted to learn how to play the game at a competitive level. Its fantastic fun hobby, and I love interacting with the friendly community that we have grown over the years. It feels great to have accomplish that initial goal I set out in 2015 – to learn to play the game at a high skill level – I have made top 32 at majors, one of the 4 players that have been on every Ultimate PR in QLD and won many tournaments.

I know there are people out there who see Smash as a career path, but to me I don’t see that as proper lifestyle unless you’re a large Youtuber/streamer/. To me, I don’t see it as the most productive way of using my time, and that I have already attained my Smash goals, so I avoid putting too much time into the game. Study and work will always be more important than Smash. That being said, as someone who likes to learn and improve and as a person that is innately competitive, I can’t seem to get away.

I am a scholar of the game, but not in the way of frame data and unique combos – that I know barely of. I also don’t practice at home or play Wi-Fi. I am scholar of maximising options and cleaning up my gameplay by minimising mistakes and extending my advantage. I do this by studying VODS. This has proven to be the most effective way for me to improve. When I am on the grind, I would watch my sets, and play them back. As most people, I enjoyed watching the sets I won more, but I would learn more from watching the sets I lost. I would pause the video every time I got hit or I hit the opponent. I would question this play and consider the other options I could have done. This process takes a while for a whole set, but it has allowed me to maximise my gameplay options and elevated my game.

2) You're one of the most patient players in QLD. What are some tips for maintaining composure while playing?

> Thank you! I believe composure is the most important aspect for performing at a high level. Contrary to popular belief, I think that I have incredibly poor composure in comparison to the other top players in QLD. Once my composure is broken, like many people, I fall apart – and it’s a mess.

However, I do have my own methods of maintaining my composure. The first is to be maintaining a healthy life balance. I have experienced over the many years of playing Smash that having a healthy mindset really affects your gameplay. If something is negative in your life, it can make a drastic effect on your gameplay. I know when I am in the wrong mindset or do not have the mentally that I want to win – my gameplay suffers. The opposite is true, if things are going well in life, my mindset improves, and my game improves.

The other thing that I do to keep composure, is having the mindset of wanting to win. I believe in playing to win - if you don’t have your heart in the game, you will not win. This is why I tend to pump myself up before a set. I NEED get into that mindset that I want to win - that I will put my all into this next game. It’s a mindset that I should give all aspects of my life – giving it your all.

If I lose and I have put my all into it, it is what it is and I know I gave it my all. But its not the end of the world, as its just hobby.

3) There's been some recent discussion around pop offs and at what point they become disrespectful or unwarranted. You're well known for your legendary pop offs, what are your thoughts on the topic?

> As stated in the previous question, if you want to win – in life, sporting events and Smash – you need to give it your all – you need to hungry for the win. That is what I believe.

You have probably seen my try to pump myself up before or during a set – yelling, slapping my leg or even running on the spot to get my blood pumping. This is all to put myself in that mindset that I need to win. If I don’t get myself into this zone – I often fall flat.

When I put all of this energy into the game, and I succeed with a win – all of this pent up energy is released in a natural pop-off.

I have seen in recent months that some peoples pop-offs are a little disrespectful or unwarranted. I’ll keep it simple – Pop offs are great IF they are respectful to the opponent and do not interfere with other people or other ongoing sets. They are a natural way of releasing energy. LETSSSS GO POP OFF PEOPLE!!

4) What is the origin story of The 411 crew? And how has its goals changed from inception to present day?

> Contrary to popular belief, the 411 was not the first crew on the block. Crews had been around for long while before the 411 existed. However, none other took idea of training and having a consistent team as seriously as we did.

During Smash 4 era in 2016, there was a large skill gap between the top player, Jaice, at the time and those who followed right afterwards. In addition, the other player who could challenge him and defeat him, Jezmo (an aggressive Diddy Kong player), stopped playing late 2016.

It was left to the new Smash 4 kids to defeat him. In addition, QLD was seen as one of the weakest states in Australia. To close the gap, a group of us who were passionate about the game started hosting weekly training sessions. We trained together, analysed games together and discussed ideas together as a team. As we were doing all of this, it made sense to turn this team of Smash enthusiasts into a formal crew – and thus the 411 was made in mid-2017. The result of our training levelled us up as well and indirectly the QLD scene, and allowed us to gain wins on the top player at the time, Jaice.

Our other goal was to unite the community. During Smash 4, I would say the community was fractured - if you disagreed with a select few community members, your name could be dragged through the mud. I know mine was. We thought the best way to act against rumours and toxicity was to not being part of it. We were here to play video games not to gossip and stir drama. Through leadership, acting as role models, and not involving ourselves in pointless drama – we opened up a space for people to play video games together in a healthy environment. Those troublesome community members ousted themselves by their own words and actions. And now, I strongly believe that community we have today is the healthiest in QLD Smash history.

Into Smash Ultimate. The existence of having us, the 411, a strong Brisbane based Smash4 veteran crew, inspired many others to create their own crew. Crew such as BAM, another Brisbane based crew full of Smash Ultimate newcomers, Piss Gang – the Sunshine Coast Smash Crew, Walking Clip Machines – a Gold Coast based crew, amongst many others. These have led to some great crew battle events but more importantly, improved the QLD scene.

The goal of the 411, for now, is to continue to support the entire QLD scene, maintain friendly rivalry with other crews and, as we always have, elevate the level of play you see here in Brisbane.

5) You attended your first competitive Smash event 6 years ago. How has QLD Smash changed in that time?

> I feel old now! But your right, my first event (I believe) was UQ Smash in February 2015. I remember staying back at the end of the tournament having multiple friendlies with a would be 411 founding member, CrimsonComet, whose tag at the time is perhaps not appropriate for this interview.

Fortunately, like the scene we have today, there was an existing scene that laid the groundwork of how a tournament was run. Melee and Smash4 often had events in the same room. There was often friction between the leaders of the Smash 4 leaders and the Melee players, something that has now passed.

The community in QLD now is the best place it has ever been. The community is much closer than it has ever has, despite Covid19 restrictions, we are more supportive of other games such as ROA and Melee, and negative behaviour is at an all-time low. We have a new, inspiring TO’s rising up such as Ham and Money Dollar to support scene and there are new faces at tournaments even now in 2021. I am very happy to be have played a small part of QLD history as it continues to grow and evolve.


Follow Jono on his socials! For his more Smash centric stuff check out @ClassicJono on Twitter. To see him torture himself on games like Dark Souls and fulfill all of your pop-off needs jump on his Twitch @ClassicJono. And lastly if you want to see what else Jono is up to in the "real world" chuck a follow to his Insta @jonathanereynolds

by Mittens 03/26/2021 00:00:00

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