Kings of the North returns for its fourth iteration, and with a 1,000 dollar pot bonus, 369 entrants, and representation from three countries and fifteen states, it is the largest Smash Bros tournament in Wisconsin history. Smash 4 alone has 122 singles entrants and 30 doubles teams competing for their chance at the large prize pool and the ability to call themselves the King of the North. The stakes are high for each region they all have something to prove going into the competition
Redemption for Minnesota
The land of mid-tiers, while one of the stronger midwest states for Smash 4, hasn’t seen national success. After being styled on by Abadango at The Big House and finishing 33rd; Triple R will have to prove he can finish strong against nationally recognized competition. Known for being the best Melee Kirby in the world, Triple R’s Smash 4 Kirby normally can’t be ignored, but both nationally and domestically, he’s been overshadowed until just recently when he won the November University of Minnesota Monthly, outplacing his usual tournament bane Ganon the Beast who he has a 3-22 set win loss record. At Kings, Triple R will have to bring out the hammer and outplay the regional competition without being used as combo bait for another top player and that his tournament record versus Ganon The Beast means nothing on the big stage.
Ganon The Beast is a monster, but at the most recent UMN-monthly, he placed at an embarrassing 13th against local competition. He’s been #1 on the MN power ranking for two seasons in a row in both a customs and non-customs metagame and scored a top 8 finish at Smash’N’Splash, beating both LS | Vgz Junebug and VGBC | Logic, but right now, his dominance over Minnesota is coming into question. Kings will be his proving ground to the midwest that he is still The One and to show the world that he’s the best Ganondorf main.
Wisconsin’s Proving Ground
Just like our Miis, Wisconsin is known for being ‘free.’. In the words of our own commentator, NightWing, “Everyone thinks Wisconsin is free, and…to be 100% honest, we are relatively free.” For Wisconsin’s top 2, this is their proving ground.
Recently sponsored, Kings of the North will be Circa | PowPow’s first tournament under Circa Esports. Wisconsin’s resident Sonic main has been a contender for best player in the state, always placing top 5 at Wisconsin’s largest tournament series, The Construct. PowPow will need to have a top performance not only to represent his new sponsor, but to prove to Wisconsin and the midwest that he deserves the #1 spot on the power ranking.
Marshall, tagged as KirbyCommander, or back in the Brawl days Fatboyslim, destroyed Wisconsin in the early days of Smash 4 and is looking to prove that his slump in the early fall is over. Marshall is going into the tournament with a win over Circa | PowPow at The Construct 35 and will be looking to continue his momentum going forward. Marshall has been looking for a sponsor in recent times and this is his chance to prove that he has what it takes not only to be a top competitor, but to show that he’s the next big Diddy Kong main. However the question that Marshall and all of Wisconsin are wondering is: Will he beat JJrockets?
The GGA Crew
Illinois is coming out in force. Four members of the GGA Crew, JJRockets, Dan, Nite and Demitus, are all in attendance. Together, they may all reach top 8 at this competition, showing that Illinois can only be bested by Michigan in the upper midwest. The problem for GGA will be playing their own teammates like what happened at Roll Tier 6 where JJrockets had to face Nite to make it into top 8. Even after besting his crewmate, JJrockets couldn’t beat tournament favorite MJG in grand finals, a possible foreshadow of what could happen at Kings of the North.
Going into the tournament, JJrockets is ranked #2 in Illinois under Akiro, with Dan, Nite and Demitus ranking up 6-8 respectively on the Power Ranking. Going in, JJRockets looks like a favorite to beat out both Minnesota and Wisconsin players, but the clash between Illinois and Wisconsin will happen early on in pools as GGA. Demitus and Circa PowPow are on a collision course for the #1 seed in pool d19.
Perhaps less known than even Wisconsin, Iowa is showing up with three of its power ranked players in attendance. Prophet and EcneBanjo hold the #2 and #3 spots while their next best player, RS | Ichigo is ranked at #7. Iowa’s #1, Sinnyboo242,is notably missing, and if Sinnyboo’s win over Minnesota’s best players at the October UMN monthly can be used as a measuring stick, Iowa players may turn out to be the dark horse of the tournament. Iowa will at least clash with Wisconsin in pool c18 where Ichigo and Marshall are set to face each other in the round robin pool, and EcneBanjo will be up against Minnesota’s 7th ranked player Prince Kirby in pool e19
The Distant Favorites
While one of the few large northern midwest tournaments, the favorites to take it all aren’t from the local areas. MJG, coming in from Kansas and likely the U.S’s best Villager main and a top doubles player is in attendance is here for the crown. Last time MJG traveled to Wisconsin was at The Great Revival back in spring where he placed 2nd to Mew2King. Recently, MJG faced off against JJrockets at Roll Tier 6 and won after a close 4 game set in grand finals that ended in an SD by JJ. MJG may be the favorite to win, but the northern midwest players are ready to bring a challenge. Assuming no upsets, MJG is set to face off against Marshall in winner’s quarter finals.
In addition, Swarm | DSS, ranked 5th in Norcal, and NS | Falln, ranked 4th in Socal are coming to show the midwest what it means to have a coastline. The Mario and Rosalina mains, respectively, have come a long way to battle for the throne. Falln is known as one of the top Rosalina players in the country and for his match breakdown YouTube channel where he goes over his thought processes against other top players. The two Californians will have a tough road and colder weather to face in order to carry the northern throne to the west coast.
The crown is waiting. This is the biggest tournament in Wisconsin history. There isn’t a wall to climb, nor a horde of ice walkers to hold off, but still, a king in the north must be crowned. Who will be King?
The action starts November 21st at 11a.m. u.s central time on the Event Horizon Twitch and Windy City Hitbox for PM. The full schedule, attendees and bracket can be found on the Kings of the North Facebook Event Page and the Kings of the North website.
Make sure to check out the unofficial video preview created by @AgroDrago below