My BAM 7 Journey
Something I read from one of my favorite ever smash players Oates (who I got to hang out with when I was in America!) inspired me to start a smash 4 blog to try and get some hype going for smash 4 - heres the article if you are interested, its a good read! - http://msalazar.de/2015/06/03/divided-by-zero/

While thinking of things to write, I read areo's bam story and I really loved it (can I put it up on the blog when I start it buddy?) so I thought I'd do my own too, and I'm piecing together other peoples stories too, the blog should be fun so keep an eye out for it soon!
In the meantime I thought I'd give you guys a sneak peak by sharing my bam journey!
Let me know what you think. - incoming wall of text!!!

I used to be a well known player in the brawl community, the best player in ACT, and one of the better players in NSW.
I was in the top 5, but I never quite made it to the very top. I rarely practiced outside of tourneys, and I got frustrated when I lost, espcially when I lost to people I felt I was better than, and I felt I was better than a lot of people. I was arrogant and had an inflated sense of self entitltment. "I've been around longer than you, I'm smarter than you, I'm more talented than you, so why am I losing to you?" was a question I'd ask in my head almost every time I lost. I had a lot of life problems going on at the time, and tourneys became more and more routine and less exciting. Any match I was in, I'd be frustrated if I lost, and relieved if I won, there was no sense of glory, no fun, just an awful ritual I went through without really knowing why. In the end I ended up quitting, and hating on smash "brawl sucks, smash is gay it ruins your life" these were things I commonly spoke out about, and made jokes about. When I quit and adopted a smash sucks attitude, I wasn't surprised to find that lots of people followed suit. I wasn't surprised because I thought smash sucked and ruined your life because in my mind it did so why should I be surprised that people agreed with me?
I didn't realize at the time that I was a community leader, and as such I had a responsibility to the community, and my negative attitude and actions impacted the community as a whole. I distanced myself from smash to work on my own life, and as a result things picked up and I turned my life around. Years later, smash 4 appeared on the horizon, occasionally people would ask me if I was keen to play the new soon to be released smash game "yeah I'll probably muck around with it, but I'll never play smash competitively again."
Well that didnt last long, I had hit another slump again, I had a lot of problems in my life, and then a few days before the game was to be released in Australia, there was a meet in Sydney happening with a stream, playing the game before it came out. So I went and stayed there for 3 days and I had a really great time seeing everyone again, and I got hooked on the new game. At first it was kind of an escape for me again, but as I played it again I began to confront some things. I looked back and realized how shitty my attitudes and behaviors had been towards the game in the past, I was inspired to play again with a new outlook this time, and so it began again.

This time I realized how selfish and defeatist my previous attitude had been, so I resolved to work hard. I've always had a problem with working hard and putting in effort, so this was a chance to prove to myself that I could work so hard that I could reach the level of top player. I realized that its all about working hard, and that if I lost, it was because I didnt work hard enough. I came into it with the idea of improving rather than strictly trying to win. I set a goal for myself that I would make top 3 at BAM, the once a year big major that Australia holds, which was about 6 months away at the time. So I began going to tourneys, I began trying to put in some practice time every day, I began thinking about ways to take my character further. I started doing well, winning Sydney tourneys or placing highly at them. A few weeks out from BAM I sorta hit a slump, I was kinda tired a lot and felt like I wasnt really sure what I was doing in the game. There was a Sydney tourney the week before BAM that I came 5th at, so I went into BAM not feeling too confident. We showed up to Melbourne a few days before BAM to get some practice in, but I just felt like I was playing bad the whole time. Saturday came, and I got through my pools although I had trouble with the #2 in my pool. Then in doubles me and Ricky didnt really gel too well so we placed pretty lowly for us. Sunday came, the day of the finals, and again we didnt get much sleep, I felt exhausted and awful. I started to sorta make excuses to myself, like if I lost it was because I was tired and not in the moment. My first 2 bracket matches didn't go too badly, then I came up against Tibs, one of Melbournes best players. I took first game without too much effort, but in the second game Tibs ramped up and 2 stocked me with ease. The third game we were both at mid percent on our last stock, and then Tibs made a mistake and killed himself.


I walked away from that feeling like I hadn't really earnt that win, then I looked at the bracket and realized I only had one more set to win to achieve the goal I had set at the start of the year, the goal I had been working towards for 6 months.
Something inside of me woke up, my fire and my focus came back in a heartbeat, I realized how close I was to my goal and the adrenaline came, all the sleepiness and lack of confidence just vanished, I had a clear goal and a strong focus. I sat down and thought through my next match, how would I combat V's villager, a character and player combination that nobody else seemed to be able to deal with very well. Waveguider, an amazing player who was one of the favorites to win the whole thing and a somewhat regular practice partner of mine came up to me, he only had to win his next set too and then we'd be able to meet in winners finals and play against each other. We promised we'd meet in winners and play super hard against each other, I was really looking forward to it. The first match happened on the big screen, I was raring to go and so the set began. I played patient, I thought about what I was doing, I kept to my plan and as a result I rolled through V with ease. She seemed caught very off guard and quite frustrated with herself. I was ecstatic, I had done it, I had achieved my goal, I'd made it to top 3 of the biggest tourney in Australia to date. Wave was up next, and despite putting up a really great fight, he was taken down by Attila. Winners finals was set to be me vs Attila, an old rivalry turned sour. I was fired up and excited to take him down and avenge waveguider. I had to wait though, I sat back and watched V work her way through opponent after opponent. Then I got my shot at Attila, I played well, although a missed tech cost me the first game. I wasnt fazed though, I knew I could beat him and I did 3-1, no sweat. He played into my game the whole time and didnt impress me one bit. Then he lost to V. At this point I had realized that I only had to beat V one more time and the whole tourney would be mine. The first game I took her down again and my confidence couldnt be higher. Then she switched character to Ness, and the real Grand Finals began. What followed was a back and forth struggle between two players who were constantly switching up and adapting to each other. Her ness caught me totally off guard, and she matched my confidence and determination completely. The finals went all the way to game 10, they couldnt have been any closer. Victory was so close, and yet I was defeated. To tell you I wasn't dissapointed would be a lie, were it not for a silly mistake here or there I could have taken the whole thing, and the gap between the Grand champion, and second place, is quite a large one. The disappointment was short lived however, I had overshot my goal, played fantastically, put on a show for Australia, and the battle between me and V was incredibly exciting and fun. It was so intense, so exciting, I was pushed completely to my limits by an opponent who would not give up, an opponent who put in as much effort and focus as I did, an opponent who fought hard and earnt their victory over me. it was incredibly fun, and the atmosphere, let me tell you about the atmosphere.




There were maybe close to 100 people watching us play on stage, and the audience was going nuts. screaming, chanting, going ham, it was super hype and very excited, and that's not counting all the people watching on stream. My phone kept going off, so many people were sending me text messages offering their support, encouraging me to take it all the way, telling me I was awesome. All those people were there just to watch us play, and so many people had my back, so many people were giving there all to support me. It was such an incredible feeling. Afterwards everyone was coming up to me, congratulating me, shaking my hand, wanting tips, heaps of people bought me drinks. I felt like a hero, my hard work had brought me to this point, and it had impressed and excited a lot of people. I had inspired so many people to work harder, to improve their game, it was awesome. I had never achieved anything like this with my old attitude back in the day, and I never would have.
Thank you to everyone who supported me, or even just watched me, thank you to V who pushed me and made me realize what it is I love about this game. BAM inspired me in a lot of ways, and so I've decided to start a blog to share not only my story, but the storys of the community, to help us all share our experiances, to get excited and hyped, to relieve our journeys, and to come together as a close group of people who all share the same love of smash.

by Atyeo 05/19/2015 00:00:00

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