Meet the players - Jezmo
So, Who is Jezmo?
Jezmo is the kind of player you like the moment you start talking to him.
Friendly, enthusiastic, always having fun, constantly has a big dumb grin on his face, his energy and attitude rub off onto those around him and you cant help but feel yourself liking the guy straight away.
You only have to look at his performance at SXC and how the entire smash got behind him in a heartbeat to know how much of a legend he is, he even has his own soccer fans!

Jezmo is a QLD player, whose deep dark secret is that he's actually a NSW
player, take that QLD! Jezmo comes from Coffs harbor which is northern
NSW, much closer to Brisbane than it is to Sydney, but still NSW :)

He's been playing competitive smash since 2008, and started with brawl. I Remember him from back then, I was at his first ever tourney, he was just 12 years old when he came to his first event, its been pretty cool for me to see him come for a fresh starry eyed 12 year old to the absolute ass kicking beast he is today.

Jezmo's first tourney was a bit rough, but it was the beginning of something great.
"I heard about this QLD event, and even though I had never been to a tournament, I had followed the US ones, and was super keen to go. My mum and dad drove me about 5 hours from Coffs Harbour all the way to QLD, and we showed up there not having any clue what we were doing. I met Vyse (the
TO) who had spoken to my parents online, and eventually Kaion/Shitashi (who I knew from MyWii). I had no idea what I was doing, and was really scared, but I had a blast."

He enjoyed his first event so much, he even remembers 7 years later how he went. "In singles I went 2-2, beating a Toon Link named Destroyer, as well as someone I can’t remember. I lost heavily to Jei though, who bopped me. I didn’t know until a bit later in the day that he was one of Vic’s best players at the time. I then played a Marth player who lied to me about the rules (fkn sad Jesus) and told me I couldn’t switch characters. I JUST lost to him. I then went out to the parking lot and cried (massive pussy alert), but I was hooked from that moment!"

Being quite young, Jezmo's family were there to support him and bring him
to tourneys, they became a QLD meme back in the brawl days, the Jezfamily.
The scene got to know and love the Jezfamily and no tourney was the same without them.
Anyone who has been to one of those tourneys could see just how much love there was in Jezmo's family.

"I’m the baby of the family. I’m the youngest and I suppose I was pretty spoilt by my sisters’ growing up. They’re pretty protective, and they used to get more nervous than me at events!
They used to have all these rituals that would “ensure” that I win, like eating certain coloured lollies and stuff. I suppose I didn’t think about it that much at the time (although I thanked them all numerous times), but in hindsight, what they did was incredible. They all traveled with me when I was too young to go alone, and supported me through every event I attended."

I'm sure this makes Jezmo the first Australian smasher to have a fan club, and who could deserve it more?

Even his tag comes from his family, Jezmo was the family's nickname for him growing up. Jezmo has always been someone with strong family ties, both to his paternal family and his smash family. "Outside of my real family, I probably spend more time with these people than anyone else. I reckon the family would be something like this: My sister would be Jaice. Really smart sibling who likes princesses
Brothers are Hopedealer (always giving advice and support), Archaze (rivalry before he moved out of home), and my twin brother would be GIRL… because he’s cool
The uncle is Dre89 from Sydney. He doesn’t show up very often, and nobody
really understands what he’s saying. He also occasionally drops insane pearls-of-wisdom.
Shitashi is the grandad. He’s been around longer than anyone can remember, and has built a legacy.
Boozer is the dad. He actually acted a lot like a father when I met him. He was surprisingly nice to me.
Cousins are ShadowRhyno and JonCheeee. We live far away and never see each-other, and thus like each-other a lot more since we don’t get sick of one-another.
Aero is the mum. She’s nice and helpful, but can be a massive bitch when she’s in a bad mood.
Googers is the adopted newborn. Obviously And like in real life, I’m the spoilt, young child."

The family aspect is what keeps Jezmo coming back "the people, honestly, I love the game, but if it weren’t for all the entertaining people in the scene, I just wouldn’t bother. There’s just something about sitting there with your mates, chilling out and playing smash for hours on end. Events are fun and winning is even better, when it happens, but the friendlies where you just sit and play with people and talk to them is definitely the best part. From a more competitive point-of-the-view; definitely the challenge of it. Players want to win, and most of them try bloody hard. It’s just a satisfying feeling to have to work at something, but still have it pay off. Smash has let me do things, and given me confidence that I wouldn’t have without it. It might seem silly, but when you’re a part of a scene so actively for 8 years, it definitely influences you as a person. I’d also say that the smash scene has taught me to deal with losing, actually. It shows you that you have to put in work and that it’ll pay off, but sometimes someone works a bit harder, and you just have to cop that.

Its hard to say where I'd like the scene to go from here, it’s already in such a fantastic place at the moment. More interstate interaction is always good, although I’m not sure how to bring that about. I think everyone who attended SXC agrees with that. I also just want our talent and resources to continue to grow. After seeing how much Flex in particular has improved in our scene, I know players have the potential to take their game to the next level, which just means even stronger competition. Getting exposure to international scenes would also be incredible, but again, it’s easier said than done." -little did jezmo know how soon international exposure would come...

When asked who inspired him, jezmo's answer was 'literally like everybody; there's no player in Australia I dont respect in some way.' Starting out, PC Chris was a big hero for Jezmo "He was the underdog against Ken, but he practiced really hard to get to a really high level, all the while being totally laid back. I think he just had a great attitude, and was a really good role model for me. "
His biggest Australian smash heroes back in the day were Amaterasu and Jei, two old school brawl players. "Amaterasu, although most people wouldn’t remember him now. He was probably the single politest person I’ve met, and he was an absolute God at Smash. I just wanted to be as good as him, to be honest. I never even took a game off him, and when I started getting good, he got too busy to play! He was clearly scared tbh. The last one I could mention would be Jei. After trashing me at Brawl Buddies and showing me what Pit could do, all I wanted to do was beat him. I trained specifically with the intent of beating him, and I always really loved his playstyle, and easy-going nature at events."

As for current heroes " I read your BAM blog and was inspired by the work you put into the game. Shitashi for everything he does in the scene, ESAM for being super chill even in high-pressure moments, Zero for being the GOAT, and Fatality for his RAW Falcon and outlook on the game." -thanks for the shoutout fam!

Jezmo is known for having a stylin Falcon, and has been known to bust out the Pikachu to the dismay of his opponents, hell we even saw some Luigi at SXC, but we all know him for his sick Diddy Kong play.
"I didn’t buy the 3DS version, and when the console version was released, QLD had an event like, that weekend. I heard Diddy was good, and I liked him in Brawl. I won the event because he was broken, so I kept using him. Then they made him like, take some sort of skill or something and it was pretty much “Well, CBF learning someone else.” So I kept using him. I actually really enjoyed the way his play-style developed after his nerfs, and I’ve always liked the character. I also play him because he just feels so consistent, and like you have the ability to be in control a lot of the time while still playing aggressively.
I could never main a character who I just didn’t like, or whose style didn’t interest me. Wolf was my main in Brawl, and if he gets added into Sm4sh, you better believe I’ll have one. I might not solo-main him, but I’ll absolutely play him in some regard. It’s the same if Banjo got into Smash. The issue is that you have to remain realistic. I just simply couldn’t place 2nd at a major with a really bad character. You have to be superhuman to do that (read: Waveguider) but even though he’s one of the best WFT’s in the world, the flaws of the character were still shown in the end. I suppose it comes down to what you value most; enjoyment or success. I suppose enjoyment IS success, though. Methinks the best advice is to find a character you enjoy, who also fits your style of play, and who is also viable in some regard. Luckily there are many viable characters in Sm4sh!"

We're all still hyped about Jezmo's performance at SXC, it cemented him as one of the favorite smash players in the whole country and he really made that event. He didn't just show up though, he put in a lot of hard work and preparation to be ready for SXC.

"I confirmed that I’d go to SXC when I heard about the Genesis flight. That was the goal; win that damn trip. I heard about it while down the street, and when I got home, I instantly made a practice Wi-Fi Skype group with everyone I wanted to practice with for the two months leading up to SXC. I played thousands of games in preparation and tried to really get a handle on the mental side of my play. What was going on when I played strong? What was going on when I sucked? After SXC, I know that I have a very good grasp on some of those questions.

You need to go in with a game plan, and to understand what you’re looking to do, and why. You also need to be open to changing that game plan. As the rule goes; never change a winning game. So basically, if something is working, don’t stop doing it. Outside of the game, I think visualization is quite important. To try to see yourself winning, or doing whatever it is you want to do. More than just closing your eyes and thinking about it, you want to really see the entire thing. The whole atmosphere.
For me, the thing that improves me the most as a player is simply thinking about the game. There were plenty of nights where I was just thinking about the different people I’d play, their characters, my characters and all that sort of thing. I used to stand in the shower for like 10 minutes, as well, and just visualize winning.
I think it’s important to realize that people respond differently in different mental states. Some people like to be the underdog, others might not. Some people might want to go into a game with preconceived ideas, or possibly not. Knowing yourself is probably the biggest thing. Believing you can win, and knowing how you respond and what you need to perform as a player."

Like all players aiming for the top, Jezmo came into SXC with confidence ready to bring it home for his family. The day before the event however, he didn't do too hot in friendly's, and then he lost round one in bracket. As he describes it, he managed to luckily scrape by through losers bracket into top 8. His confidence shattered, Jezmo was happy just to make top 8 and went out to celebrate making it that far that night. His friends wouldn't let it end there for jezmo though, "They reinstalled my confidence, and for that I’m hugely grateful to all of them (Aero, Boozer, Bijou, Rhyno, Shitashi, Khoa, Googers and Dean)."

Day 2 came and something woke up inside of Jezmo "I realized that even though I got knocked into Losers in round 1, top 8 is as close as you need to be. It was still well within reach."
Fired up, Jez blazed a path through the losers bracket with a fantastic performance that wont be forgotten anytime soon. I've been around for a long time and I've rarely seen anyone with that much fight in them, he gave it everything he had and never once looked back. "All my QLD and Victorian mates supported me to an insane degree. I noticed that they even popped-off with me, and their constant cheering was definitely a factor in my play. I hadn’t shaken during play for years, but my whole body was shaking during most of top 8. Even when I wasn’t playing. I called my family right after who watched the whole thing. While I was on the phone (listening to my family scream with excitement for me), I realized how much support I’d been given again and yeah, my eyes watered. I had come full circle from my first event, apparently."

So, where does Jezmo go from here?
"SXC showed me how much I want to win a major, but even more than that, I think I want to travel. As it turns out, QLD isn’t the only cool scene! Everyone I met at SXC was brilliant, and I want to go to all their states and just have more cheeky bantz with them. I think I’ll take a pretty relaxed attitude to Smash, but winning a major, traveling, learning to play Melee and eventually playing Americans are pretty big goals of mine in the future.
Trying to explain how it would feel to be able to go to America? I suppose I don’t know because I’ve never actually done it! I do know that I’ve wanted it so badly for so long. I remember asking my parents (sort of) if there was any way to go to Genesis 1. Aside from hanging out with amazing dudes, it’d be nice to realize I’m a medium sized fish in a pretty small pond. Just to see how far the game can be taken, and see all the things I have to work on.
I’d want to meet anyone and everyone. Zero, of course, I mean, he’s the best player around. Nairo because he’s a freak at the game, and also seems super chill. ESAM, Fatality, Ranai, Rain, Max Katchum, Larry Lurr and a metric fucktonne more."

Well, Jezmo's long awaited wish has been granted thanks to you guys, the Australian smash scene. Its amazing how quickly everybody came together to help Jezmo live his dream, you guys are fantastic. I cant think of a better player to represent what it is to be an Australian smasher and I'm looking forward to seeing Jezmo tear it up in the States. Fight Jezmo fight!

And as usual If you have any questions for Jezmo, post them here in the comments!

by Atyeo 12/04/2015 00:00:00

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