Ultimate Insight 18 : Ricky Clean
1) You're one of the founding members of the Smash crew Bust a Move. How did the group come together?

> It started out after me and lush first started teaming together at ranbats in doubles, both of us were around the same skill level and also new to the scene, then eventually we became mates with churro and Harry (Python). Around that time I was looking at the 411 boys and realised they were all super close mates and basically all met through smash and I thought that was super cool, also I loved the idea of crew battles. But I think my intention at the time was just to help a lot of us newer players in the scene find some common ground and just have people we could talk to that were in the same boat, all being new players that were keen to get even better at the game. So I asked Lush, Python, Churropon and Swate if they wanted to form a crew which they all were excited about. Then after the foundations were set we quickly added the rest of the gang which is currently at 14 members with the new additions of Jix and Mana. I’ve found some of my greatest friends in this crew, we’re all extremely supportive of each other and I can’t imagine a scene without all these amazing people in it.

2) Bust a Move has found incredible success with multiple members of the group reaching PR. What has it meant to you to see your crewmates find success?

> Yeah it’s pretty crazy, considering everyone in our crew basically started out as fresh ultimate players. Around the time of the first 411 crew battle, we definitely were trying to hype it up as BaM being the underdogs, ready to take on the current PR which was littered with 411 members and I think even back then we showed we were capable of taking games off them. Then out of nowhere we had myself, Leshy and Churropon all make PR in the same season after me and Churropon had a few seasons of being HM. Not even that but also a bunch of us making the highly contested 40 as well was awesome to see. None of us would be where we are today without the help and support of the rest of BaM, constantly cheering on and giving tips and advice for each other. I had never seen such a supportive community until I joined this one and it took a while just to adapt to everyone being so wholesome. Nowadays we still have a bunch of top 20 players in our lineup, and our recent crew battle with 411 I think proved just how much we have improved in a years time, honestly I was expecting to come out with maybe a 4-5 stock loss and the fact that it came down to a 1v1 game at the end blew me away. We’ve all come from being the underdogs of the scene to just being all around solid players and I think that’s awesome to see.

3) You had an interesting journey to reaching PR with you campaigning against it as it would disqualify you from entering the 2020 QLD Arcadian. In the end you made 10th place on the PR. Despite this barring you from entering as a singles competitor, what was your Arcadian experience like and what did it mean to you to reach your goal of making PR?

> So my thought process during this season was that I still had a lot of stuff I needed to improve on, and that I wasn’t even close to becoming a Pr player. I didn’t think I deserved it when there were players who I thought were better than me at the time. Occasionally I would lose to players who I thought were around the same skill level as me but other people would treat it as a big upset which confused me. This combined with the talk of the upcoming arcadian got me super excited because I knew I definitely had a chance at winning it, as it would all be players around my skill level. So I told a bunch of my friends outside of smash that I’d have a good chance at winning this tournament and they were all keen to come watch, so obviously when I made Pr and was excluded from entering I was a bit disappointed. Mostly because at the time, I either wanted to be top 6-7 or to not be on it at all. Which in hindsight is a bit ignorant and selfish which I understand now. But I didn’t want to have all the borderline discussions about whether I should or shouldn’t be on it I just wanted to definitively be a top 10 player. I also had my own issues with the Pr process at the time which didn’t help my mindset either but I know they’re all doing their best for the sake of the scene, and me having my little gripes wasn’t really helping anyone. So I guess I was more excited about the prospect of getting top 3 at arcadian, rather than getting 10th on the PR. My actual experience at the arcadian was fun nonetheless, I had some fun doubles sets with Lush as always and got to cheer him and other bammies on in bracket while also having some bevs on the side. It definitely was a great tournament either way.

4) Despite finding great success in competitive Smash you will often play characters that aren't your main. Why do you think it's important to not tunnel vision on rankings and to have fun with the game?

> For a long time I had only ever played one character in bracket, mostly because I was scared of losing with some half practiced secondary that wouldn’t give me any experience and would just be a worthless loss. However I think once you have your roots settled in a main, it’s definitely worthwhile playing more than one character. While you might see a short term drop off in results, it forces you to see the game from a different perspective and definitely helps you play neutral more efficiently, a great example of this is with Leshy’s PT, Banjo and Rob. My experience of this has been relatively recent as I decided to not take this season as serious as previous, I thought I’d try out some other characters and turns out I have just about the same success with secondaries as I do with my main, which was definitely a confidence boost that I’m not just a one trick. This season in particular I’ve decided not to focus on the rankings at all and just play for fun mostly, and it’s easily been the best thing I’ve done for my mindset. After coming out of the annoyed state I was in after arcadian season I figured I should just cop it, accept that I’m actually decent at the game and just get on with it. But realising that I don’t have as much time as I did before to commit to smash due to other commitments I figured it definitely isn’t worth caring about my rank when I only have the time to play smash maybe once a week, and you can’t improve unless you practice so I would’ve just ended up getting frustrated at my lack of improvement and ended up not being happy about my rank. If you have the time to dedicate and the drive to do it, I think there’s no reason you shouldn’t be happy about the rank you get, there should only be room for improvement. Also people just have to learn to have fun with the game every once in a while, play with items, learn a different character, stop playing online. It definitely helps with not getting burnt out during competitive seasons.

5) What is your advice to players that want to break through to the next level?

> I think a combination of just keep playing the game, actually thinking about what you’re doing when you’re playing so you actually learn while playing. Finding players that you enjoy playing with around your skill level heaps as well. Everyone improves at different rates so the key is just being patient, have fun and don’t worry if you aren’t getting consistent results if you’re just starting out. Ask for friendlies as much as you can with different people it definitely helps. It’s all pretty standard improvement tactics, I would say just don’t suck but that would be hypocritical as we were all garbage once :^)


Ricky Clean has decided to highlight two of his favourite artists. Check out @annemator_ and @JANGLIO1 on Twitter for a source of cool original art and commission opportunities.

by Mittens 04/01/2021 00:00:00

More articles

Reflecting on 12 years of Smash - part 1

By dean - 22/04/2021 Sharing some thoughts and memories about my Smash journey so far. Looking to post this in parts - will talk about the Brawl era here.

Ultimate Insight 20 : Flex

By Mittens - 7/04/2021 QLD Smash legend Flex talks about his passion for speedrunning, being PR for 15 consecutive seasons + more