The Book Of Melee Interview with author Edwin Budding – Smashcenter 22 ft suar



all right welcome to the 22nd episode of smash Center it's your host Swire from PG stats and a global the whole panda gambit happy to have everybody here this is the 22nd episode of smash center and we have quite the episode ready for you we actually have a special interview featuring the critically acclaimed world renowned global sensation Edward budding from melee stats bringing us the book of melee we're gonna have this personal interview come up here in a moment but first of course if this is your first time viewing us on Twitch welcome this is the live show if this is your first time hearing us on YouTube or SoundCloud or Spotify linkedin myspace whatever it is that you're listening to us through welcome to the post show on the live segment you can get your questions in through live Q&A through the chat we interactive chat all the time otherwise if you want to leave a comment on the video and tell us how great or bad we are we appreciate that feedback so you can make the next episode better but in any case if this is your first time in youtube make sure you hit that like and subscribe button so you can stay tuned to the latest smash ultimate news controversies coverage of Turman tornament results and more but first yeah that's that's all I wanted to say welcome is a great night really excited to have I've went on the show originally when he came on I didn't really know too much about him apparently we were separated by very little both being UConn alums from the Northeast but yeah we got to know each other a little bit and you're gonna get to know him tonight with the book of melee and all of its secrets that he's going to reveal to us so we're gonna bring him here on the show here in a second just got everything ready if you have any questions hold them until the end that's where we're going to show the Q&A live everything answered by probably mostly Edwin not myself but yeah we're gonna bring them on now so everyone how's everything how you doing man man it's a really good time Congrats relevant interest I was really happy to be here yeah yeah that one happy to have you on asana it's the first time we've had an author on the show we did an interview before t1 not an author of anything except some fire tweets every now and then some great commentary but yeah glad to have you on we're gonna run through pretty much every part of the book that we possibly can in terms of its writing its significance or perceivable significance and maybe some interpretations that you wanted us to be aware of but before we get started anything about the book what is it that you want us to know about you like who is edwin budding x' or a disclaimer for people-watching it's the smash ultimate podcast also features some melee tidbits coming from melee yourself what do you want us to know on the special Smith smash 4 set really in sports writing when I was younger I went to school actually for journalism a while in school and I stumbled upon local tio I kept competing in melee I was part of the melee games the sort of intercollegiate bracket for a across mailee scenes for different colleges in New England when I when I graduated I didn't have as much time to play anymore but I I still wanted to pursue writing on the side at least as a hobby and eventually after writing a few melee articles specifically about melee history I I just thought to myself why not why not write a book of melee history since melee is one of the few games that can actually say it's been around long enough to merit a book dedicated just its results in the history of its best players and the scene structure and everything so in late 2016 I started working on a book that was just all about melee history inspired not just by the bash doc but also by own sort of my own knowledge of sports history every rip read books like the book of basketball for the NBA before thinking man's guide to pro football no I really just wanted to tell the story of melee because not just as someone that was part of the scene and an active player but also as as just someone who loves history who loves a competition out of history's that's and lo and behold just a month ago finally came out yeah yeah what Congrats Edwin on the release my side come up on the timeline a month ago definitely hit that fat retweet button mainly because I don't think it's been done before and this scope like truly and totally written a book I mean there have been many posts before but I mean were you able to uncover maybe someone who had written at least a manual to melee or anything concerning its history yeah so a lot of the inspiration from the book in in addition to obviously the smash documentary um we're actually old smash boards posts I read that and attempted the same thing but usually just kind of stopped in the middle of them I know sports yeah like I know with chillin there was the history of a Smasher series which was actually pretty inspirational for me and I think it would I think in a weird way it actually inspired samox as well there's a ton of other there's a ton of other like attempts of people trying to explain melee history and I just to myself eventually you know because at that point when I was going through this I had already written a few articles about different years melee history the past best players and everything I just I just thought you know this has never been done from start to finish um I just I just wanted to do it all right well you know it it's great that finally someone did I mean I think the time you know as always now and I think that with it finally coming out as a book like branded as such probably turns a lot of heads I mean did you think you were gonna be able to when you first started like from start to finish like complete the whole thing in the time you did yeah I you know that the funny thing was that it never really felt like a big obligation like not only I could do it really felt like something just because that heavily um documented nature of smash and entering the scene it really just felt like all the pieces were there I just had to I just had to put them together and put them together in a way that wasn't just like reading a Wikipedia page you know I I wonder what the pieces together in a way that really told the story of resilience perseverance I think I think for the most part it did that I are at least I tell myself that no I mean I would agree I would agree the book features like again if you haven't gotten ahold of it so far um you know many different slices of melee from you know the very early days before organized competition to like just recently but talking more about like the origins of it like you talked why you wrote it but like any inspirations about it that you really want us to know as to you know the creation of the book chameleon why you know you were inspired to write it like through and through so I talked about my um I talked about being the sports writing and obviously knowing sports history and everything like that but I'm actually gonna I'm gonna state something that I've said every time I've been interviewed about my book and I'm gonna if this is this is gonna sound kind of irrelevant but you stick it I promise it makes sense I was actually inspired by a Song of Ice and Fire I just I loved and specifically the the lore book the world of Ice and Fire I thought was such a fantastic entry into Westeros sort of the universe of the Song of Ice and Fire series you guys meant listening or watching might notice Game of Thrones I was really inspired I was inspired by the but sort of the the world-building you know like not not just knowing the characters and not just knowing the high-level things but seeing that the world in which the characters inhabit was living it was dynamic but but the thing is melee actually is real and smash is really you know like these these these storylines are still going on like a lot of a lot of these things happen in real life it's it's like it's own little world and it's it's all there anyone can anyone can access it you know if you explain to someone that the the niche of snip the nish of smash okay if you explain to someone that you can make a top-ten smash wraps list like and they weren't in smash they wouldn't believe you it would just sound so absurd and ridiculous but but it's there like we have we have almost 20 years of this and I just think like more than just being compared to another eSport or another area of competition smash like it really and I I wrote this specifically about melee because it's the longest one of the longest documented gaming Nicias like I don't think like I think it almost is like another world for people to enter yeah we had agreed figure out on their own that I would say that was probably by far my biggest influence yeah definitely outside of the community a lot of people like we're time up for the interview they see smash is like one game like Smash Brothers or they see it on Evo maybe in a bar they really can't tell the difference between melee bra an ultimate despite to us that being like heartless oranges but about that inspiration you know like faced with the task of writing something like this and finding the information you mentioned smash boards and stuff like that based on that inspiration do you think that there was any sort of like significance to like the timing of this book like why did it come out now was it because of the readily available or not readily available information or you know you wanted to time it to like something you know what's potentially triggering or you know thinking about how in this year like the news of Evo happened but then the news of like all these crazy three weeks like more has changed in mail in the last three weeks than like almost the last three years one would say I don't know III know that we're kind of living in it so I would hesitate to say that but the guy but I I think as far as like why I chose to write it and publish it now well the the the easy and this is kind of a long complicated answer that I would have for this but I I think they the the short version is just that I always told myself the book was gonna be done when it was done and I would find and I would find a time in melee history that would end the main narrative before going into the epilogue and I and it just so happened that when I was writing the book I didn't know how to end it because because mainly history kept going on right so I struggled with that for a really long time and I I struggled with finding a good a good ending point and I struggled with finding what details earlier in the book would fit into that ending point and that changed when Genesis five happen when Genesis five happen and when plugged one Genesis five I I just thought to myself this is this is the beginning of a new era this is gonna be at the end the main narrative and then I spent the next year just literally reading the same words that I wrote over and over again and the initial launch of the book they were still typos because I just I'd spent so much time editing my book crazy never paying other people to yeah you know it's it's tough to manage this on the side with the full-time gig with a relationship and everything but it was a like I I managed I managed to do it and I don't think it's because like I had anything special about me it was just literally just like discipline dedication yeah I respected a ton I mean by myself like looking at spreadsheets for too long you just make the silliest mistakes because you're just so tunneled but speaking more about the book in terms of like it's like certain aspects of it so if you haven't seen the book before yours at home etc there's 26 chapters and the first chapter is titled before melee and the last chapter is titled the end of an era the end of the era dating from August 2017 to January 2018 and before may late going as far back as January 1999 one chapter I want to talk about we could talk about several but one that really stood out to me was you know the the chapter in Apex 2015 like bring us there because apex 2015 from a smash 4 ultimate side I mean ultimate is smash 4 in terms of community plus some new people we kind of like sod on the sidelines there was just like tournament and the apex series was like the biggest thing in the Northeast obviously in Tri State and then the roof is falling like what happened that day and what was writing about it like because I mean it was tragic in some aspects but also like the greatest thing ever in the same weekend well and I and I think that the story of Apex is so beautiful we could and ugly at the same it's so fitting for the scene because it it highlights so many of our biggest problems facing us but also the strengths we have to overcome them or not even so much overcome them as much as stay resilient through those problems I think that's why the it's such a powerful moment in melee history because it embodies the very grassroots like raw drive and passion for game that that our scene had like if you think about it they're like this was this was a tournament that Nintendo was was gonna sponsor it was the one of the biggest smash events if not the biggest overall smash event ever and for everything of it to go wrong between the between the weather the terrible that the rushed scheduling the switching the switching venues like that like a lot of like it wasn't new for mainly tournaments to have that kind of happen like they like in town like in in previous tournaments they had to they had to switch venues midway through events like this match for a long time was you know that this is one of the things I learned and or not so much learned but as really as much as realized while writing the book smash was a young scene and of immature scene for a really long time like the things that were bringing that keeping the scene oh I was literally just passion for the game and a lot of that is embodied in the story of Apex because it was passion for the game but it was also but it was also at this time that the scene had grown up there is leadership there's leave and you know I criticized smash leadership all the time but but like in this case they really pulled through to make the most out of them out of a messy situation what would you say changed that weekend in melee like Friday you know the whole thing happen I think it was early as was it Thursday or Friday that the roof collapsed because they were able to have salty sweets so I mean as far as what changed I mean there's so many different angles that you could take it because because of what happened at Apex and because May and because the scene was able to recover its tournament there's there's so many different areas you could go in here like whether it's blur getting a job as a result of it whether it's d1 George joining twitch also whether it's the visibility that the that the smash scene got both because of the captivating story of the the tournaments of the turbans life itself between the salty-sweet and the pp winning is I think them like among the most iconic mods melee history because he himself was going through a journey as a competitor dealing with depression and other personal issues almost like kind of like a precursor to burnout you know like a little different but but like him winning the term and also kind of reflecting the themes of the events life life itself there's there's a lot that really embodies the problems and the strengths of smash butter within that tournament and this is without even like going to the can of worms of why it's why its initial organizer and head tio had had to disgracefully leave before that 40 I know I forgot like I mean I didn't forget like Alex strife you know pretty much all around trash bag but um it was just crazy that on top of that that was the person kind of like at the helm I know that whatever the war room was that night with everybody trying to figure out of you know make this tournament happen there were many many people there I mean I know like I'm guessing everybody that quote-unquote mattered at that time I mean I know tyfa was there I know obviously Blair was there d1 was there John guy also juggle guy Tawfik ends I think was there her that's like all of it was like Oh scholar like everybody like everybody yeah so yeah the tournament that never should have been and yeah I guess there's no real I mean yeah like I was reading earlier you know chillin that was the the famous birthing of the my be yeah like that not that weekend had that happen and then $1,000 money matched with mango and lesson I mean so many things to say from yeah so there's also leffen finally beating mew2king and crossing the last name off his five gods look like if you feel like this is also a kind of underrated point about the terminate if you if you care about player narratives and that Cola kind of thing this was kind of like leffen finally beating mew2king and like being in wintered like when he faced against PP and winners finals it was like PP was the Last Guardian like it was kind of like oh my god like no one could stop leffen and PP was people who was like the last guy and then when left I went to losers like after PP beat him in an amazing set he lost Armada and then we had pp Armada playing two different characters than what most were kind of accustomed to seeing at that point mm-hmm like it's there's so much to go into about apex like I mean even like OPS's run run with Yoshi apex was unhurt like well the beginning did in the beginning right that was like when he first really made that splash right in top eight yeah he ninth had a Apex 2014 before that but like here 2015 he he showed that it wasn't a fluke that he was a real thing alright that's a player yeah well I think the rest of the roof would actually collapse if left him took the whole thing because that'd be too much yeah I think PP winning is weirdly poetic though I think it was the person to do it I would agree like if anyone I wouldn't have chosen anyone else like to win that event only because there was PP you know but moving moving away from apex because that that's one chapter so the book again few high chapters there's a lot of other cool stories yes the garage is worth reading the one I want to also focus on as well and feel free to bring up some of your favorites which we'll get to in a second between like your favorite and most unfavorite chapters to right avi there's there's the chapter 10 the dark age and you mentioned in the beginning very briefly and I quote intent of America also held a bro a regional bra circuit holding a series of single elimination tournament across LA San Fran Boston in New York City in February 16th to the eve of brawls North American release date March 8th now this sounds strangely familiar because as you read more in the chapter you start to see that like this like circuit this whole like planned event this whole Nintendo sponsored thing it was not in line with the community's ideals no I I want you to sort of take us through that because they were feeling that now a little bit because an ultimate the Nintendo smash open finals which like Coney and Vicky's Kitty and EE were commentating 3v3 there's items there's this there's that that whole thing it's ringing a little similar and I mean history repeats itself and we're seeing that so what was that back then bra circuit compared to like expectations in reality and all that well though one of the things that that that's really important to note back then is I think now we as a like not just melee but the smash scene as a whole has kind of gotten we don't have that much I don't want to say faith because it has it because it's implying a negative connotation even though like that's how I would personally see it sir but but like I think now cuz like most smashers are kind of more experienced like we we kind of see like the grassroots competitive community is different than what Nintendo is trying to do which is obviously to sell more copies of Smash sure to sell more copies of the latest game but at that point in time in Brawl like no one knew that Nintendo was gonna like you know again at that point in time nobody thought that brawl was gonna basically be two melee players what what they they saw as a complete repudiation of what they loved about Mei Lee right and I'm not saying brawl is a bad game different gear different yeah I'm saying for competitive melee players brawl is just completely different and it was it was clearly made with a different different kind of attention to detail in other areas yeah a different audience attractive not mainly to at all mailee no not at all and then and I think that's what a lot of competitive Meili waiters thought might happen yeah so so when I bring up the circuit you know like the entire time and even prior to this interview talking about like what wraps us all together when it comes to developer support like a circuit a circuit circuit when you all heard of or when you were documenting this circuit being revealed to like it sort of changed the tone because the chapters titled the Dark Ages so you know bringing more of that into light like why what made it so dark at that time because a game wasn't it wasn't what that the players wanted and there was there's huge strife between what the what the community wanted versus what the community felt like it had to go through with you know and I get you know you read the chapters so that I mean there's there's accounts of when mew2king wrote that game facts post talking about oh my god this game is not anything like what I was looking for there's a lot of like scars closed on smash boards of brawl versus mailee what is competitive really mean which by the way it's a really funny threat if you look back on it because scar was trying so hard to be objective but the thread just ended up in like posters flaming each other across different communities because everyone was like so much younger back then too so it was just it was a it devolve into a complete mess but uh it's what the community you know cuz people people felt like hey you know this is the new game like you should really give it more of a chance like we don't know what kind of techniques are gonna be be found in it we don't know what the meta game is gonna look like five years from now you should really should really get with the times and it split the community for a while and that split Tio's like Tio's you know it's it's easy to say well why don't you just run both time when like we didn't have arenas and we didn't have like huge huge venues like like in your local scene you'd be lucky if you could get a restaurant basement like 15 guys know especially especially if you have if you have cross entrance across game it just makes it makes it hard to organize tournaments there so like the the smash community as a whole like that like brawl really did split the scene it brought a lot of new players to it wasn't all bad like it it brought some very important community members to the so the Smashing as well to melee but you know it it was a point of contention because again it was all about community expectations for what the game would turn like whose expectations for what how they should be responding what the future of the community would look like it's about what whether you know like just mainly haven't anything else in the tank and obviously we as we found out the answer is yes but it was just a there's a really turbulent time that no one no one knew was gonna happen hound three was meant to be the last her of melee this is one of the things I have a small grape with the smash talk about they they portray the revival of melee like the last hurrah but the last hurrah happened it was pound three so say Christine I like what like pound three like what was this division significance of that like as a melee player also he was right before brawl came out and that came out in North America like pound three was supposed to be like if you were a male a player and you haven't gone to a super major yet you have to go to Pam three because you're not gonna get mango and mew2king as in chewed at court PC Chris in the same room again is it because because they're gonna be moving or then they're not gonna be in the same room again for a melee and then at the end of pound three when when mango and mew2king played Jigglypuff doodles on prints are it's surreal right like like this is a game that at that point you know even in 2008 and seen ten versus bomb soldier and seen PC Chris it seems zelgadis and shine blind it was still a technical game for the era so for it for it to end on it at the time again for it to end and the Jigglypuff ditto on brinstar all the possible things like it's it's unbelievable at the time like what really this is this is what the last gasp of melee was and as and as history shows us like I was not it we actually had a decade to get we had a decade ago we're still going yeah no signs of slowing down um yeah so it's just I think there I say the I was also the start of like what would become the smash war community to because yeah we're all deviating so much from like the supposed like perfect Spanish lineage it seems like everybody got houses in that once my word came out throughout the book did you happen to address smash for I know like you go into the years where smash 4 was out but you were focus I don't go into detail too much but but I mentioned I mentioned the e3 Invitational when it when it came out I mentioned that I mentioned the impact of obviously a new game on the smash community I think one thing that's really critical to note here is I talked about brawl and its release creating a division within the smash community but I think by the time and having limbs through it like by the time for came out there were you know those two different houses yeah it's two different house isn't it and it was okay because that at that point like melee players weren't looking for anything else and they weren't expecting to look for anything else I think if a game like melee survives a sequel it's you know another the existence of another one is not gonna deter melee players yeah and we saw that we did see so many players try it out but then eventually they dropped it which is a little different from you won't talk about it too much but a little different for most of it because yeah I don't like better crossover yeah there are still some casters that cast in it like this you know dipping in both player wise yeah I mean I think smash ultimate summit was the last like we're gonna see mainly players playing smash Schultz met that level otherwise they keep drowning in like top 30 2006 before but it's just lengthen leave was it wizzy and leffen are out here yeah where is he lookin they're out here but they they've always kind of I mean they're expected to but you were never gonna see like mango on the PTR no I for ultimate which some people considered but uh moving on as we go through through the book um was there a chapter in particular we might have talked about already like your favorite chapter to write like the chapter that was like you wrote it you sat down you didn't even edit it and you were like wow that was that was it so there are four chapters that I really enjoyed writing the first one we talked about was the apex one um I think I think the the other three I really loved writing worthy um for the epilogue III the epilogue I had to hold back a lot and I think that's why that's why I was really proud of it because there was a lot I wanted to say and I had to hone it down to them important I think I made that so it which is in the epilogue is based just to catch up to the seen up to that point up to Genesis six of just what's happened what happened since club's victory that was another one of my favorites to write um the other two that I really enjoyed writing were were mangoes sort of like homecoming or not homecoming his coronation at pound again pound three isn't one of my favorite chapters to write and the other one of my favorite chaps to write was wobbles as a journey at evo 20 yeah so underappreciated time and time again yeah I think those those were great those are really fun chapters to write because for Mango it it goes into his like competitive it's slightly details as competitive rise but also even goes and I won't go too much into it right here but uh it goes into his like into a shaky background right you know growing up in a growing up not not exactly the most resources aligned for him to succeed you know a single single parent and everything not necessarily in the best education district finally the finding finding a way out of his situation with Meili and kind of like a little escape him him struggle him flying all the way to the East Coast not doing well in pools being demotivating being heckled but like slowly making his way through losers evading everyone was actually pretty magical and um wobbles this journey to sort of accept himself as a competitor and know that it's okay not to always what you see as long as you try your hardest no regrets as cliche as it sounds I think I true I think there's a lot of beauty in wobbles as a chapter especially because he is not one of the he's not one of the main main like narrative drivers that I focus on so for the most important like the melees Renaissance moment and returning the Evo to actually be his story and not from the story it from the perspective and manga or someone else I think is actually very powerful when juxtaposed with everything else because because the book is a–basically about it's basically framing the story of the mailing community through its greatest players and leaders right so you would expect its greatest players and leaders to be central be the central driver of its revival moment but I but I like the risk that I took and having wobbles be the main perspective in that chapter tonight and I know it actually like alienated some people like I had a few friends reach out to me they're like hey this chapter is good but why did you write it about why'd you make it about wobbles and not about not about Mango winning the tournament mm-hmm well you know it was a I don't know how you took it but it was a creative risk that I wanted okay well there's a perceived respective wobbles and you know character aside and everything else and him even coining the term of wobbling yeah like he has always approached to seem very even-handedly and I think as served as like a good cerebral point for many people so I thought I thought the perspective was really great I think to like do it from like the mango hbox would be easy but yeah this of course is written about it and I talked to him about it and he I just thought his own journey to to accept himself as a competitor and love competition and not like hate himself because of it because of his shorts big whatever yeah yeah and I think it was I think those themes fit better the story of the Bailey community that just you know make yeah although like although there is that element to like there's almost like a suggestion of destiny right when mango because I still write in the chapter with mango beats a mango beats Armada Armada like whispers is here like I want you to win the tournament it's not me so like it almost creates like this sort of emotional juxtaposition between wobbles journey on this huge underdog run and mango accepting his himself as the face of the scene and like finally coming back and winning winning you know yeah I think that the perspective was unique and maybe in the DVD copy will get a different story with mango so I'll not note the Mele doc so that is of course like one of the like monolithic sources of information across smash history with your book would you argue that your copy is like the the study guides the mainly doc like like this like the students like copy does it pretty much ride by law right along with it or does it diverge totally and hit more on behind the scenes or is it the other way around how would you I think I think my book is I think my book is for people that saw the documentary but want to know the lore of the male of the Meili scene it's like that the the doc might be the the doc might be there intro to the scene but I think the book is for the book is for the book is basically for three odd or three audiences right the the first one are basically people who have no idea there are people who have already seen the doc but may not know the details and may not and may may want to learn a little more about like the nuances behind how the scene developed like more like a doc does an emotional storytelling very well and it builds characters really well but the way I wrote the book was a little more detached and more just based on results based on just developments within the scene structure itself I mean how top players reflected the community growth overall like their successes failures so I took a little bit more of a detached approach so I would like to think that my book is kind of more like the expanded the expanded lore melee history if the if the if the documentary is just like a basic introduction and an amazing introduction to the scene by the way but still you know just by by virtue of it being a documentary it's limited in what it could tell in its format yeah I think I would I would definitely so I felt that would be 80 points too so that would be my first target audience and in the second and the second target audience was be for older smash players or people people who were competitors in the same heard local legends like you know growing up and want a nostalgia trip you know III didn't want to just write this book to sell the melee scene or the smash team I wanted to really do the people that I write about in the community that I write about justice my giving but you know even for people that lived during those times like that it's still it still evokes emotions in me sometimes when I go back you know just out of curiosity I'll be looking up old term that videos or even just like reading stuff like old articles and everything and I'll still kind of I still feel something in my heart when I read something about like like a huge chart like leffen like leffen winning a CEO in his first american major you know yeah like that like I said wasn't just about introducing people who seen I really wanted my book to be a artefactum a relic of our scenes history you know yeah that I like the historic like the historian approach I think it's pretty evident as like it's not storytelling so much as it is just like establishing a timeline so I definitely see that complementing the mêlée talk a lot were there any chapters did you finish your audience's in terms of targeting yeah those doesn't mean to but that neither one has that the third one when you talk about why I read that they're our next topic I'll go into it then sure mm-hmm okay so the overlap with the Bayley doc we covered so in one breath then I reaching the end of the show why read the book of Meili it's you know a copy of someone's desk or at a bar it's a noble one day or even just on the internet browsing Amazon books why read it from beginning that because Meili is the mailings my favorite and I think omit or not because Bailey's my favorite game no because let because melee is among the most rewarding time time investments I think anyone could ever have whether it's whether it's playing the game practicing going your locals organizing events meeting other people writing about it online watching melee streams any way you can get involved in melee that the sheer amount of history and the sheer amount of freedom you have to make your impact on the scene the sheer amount of potential like easy access as far as resources learning about the scene getting up to speed and everything melee is it's not and I and I mentioned this before this is my third audience that I wanted to write the book for how long the I wanted to write the book for people who's who melee or smash or whatever is there is their fifth favorite hobby but they have but they have like four other things that they do before like they might watch super major top eights or or they might watch to hear like highlight videos on YouTube this book is written for those people who tell them that this is actually like Harry Potter in real life you know this is an amazing world that anyone can enter anyone can enter in anyone can make an impact no one can tell you like not something okay you can you can really do it this body is that I tried to make this book and buy you the grassroots of bootstraps like Do It Yourself like no one no one has any authority over you and mainly as a game is kind of like that too you know that I don't want to go into like too much about the game itself but it's a very when you play like you feel free you feel like you can do in the community you can really feel like that too and I think that would be my that would be my pitch to why reading the book of Meili because it it's an explanation of how liberating being part of this and what made it liberating for 10,000 not more people yeah and I definitely echo a lot of that I think that it is true do what you want and when you want to and if someone hasn't done it yet be the first person so I really appreciate that perspective you brought on because I think living in it is like weird and now that you've been able to see that list for your community now give you 20 years of history how the other community develops alongside it which brah started just like a little bit ago like what that'll be like and again just to it yourself grassroots you know without any sort of support in insight or like on the horizon I think that's a pretty beautiful message that you put any any it just really is it really is just about the freedom you have playing the game being within the scene I think that's the biggest thing it's so liberating and just being reading the book of Meili eight if you got to the ending like I really think you the central premise of like that I initially had right reading the book was or writing the book was actually trying to explain itself why melee right or why why be involved and I think good and I think that I I don't want to give away my answer at the end of the book but I just think it really is it is it's not just like being part of another competitive gaming niche and it's it's really like not it's not like watching it this boy really is like its own first where you whoever you want and I think that would be my pitch it's not you know being being part of the seeing it's not comparable to to playing another video game it really is like its own world that you can explore and find Ian mm-hmm yeah very freeform through and through not said not to I guess come come crashing down with anything negative but was there anything about the book that was particularly hard or anything about that yes sir Ian Mele that was like kind of ugly that like kept me going because you know this is important to tell both the good the bad the middle like was there anything really that kind of made you grimace throughout there's there's a lot to grimace about it by far and a lot that I don't think you know if I'm being Frank with you I I didn't go into too much detail on in the book because I don't I didn't think it was an appropriate medium to talk about it but I you know I've been very I've been pretty vocal online about um I've been pretty vocal about you know that the gender disparity across melee and I think I think that I think there are so many different ways that I could I could go on on about this whether it's about like how how other smashers treat like treat women queer Faulk etc but I think the biggest thing that really stood out is the fact like while writing this book that that is ugly is the fact that our scene has to take a huge L when it comes to gender disparity and how male-dominated they are that is a undeniable element of our scene if you read old smash boards posts or you go through old combo videos it's very easy to find that the scene was heavily dominated by men and it was extremely you know you you know you could call it benevolent or whatever or heart or like just immature at the time it was still sexist it was homophobic is transphobic etc all all those things and I think the scene is start making a lot of progress and that's it's much better now than it was and I touch upon it a little bit at the end of my book but if I had any regret about writing the book it's that I wish I had um you know I'm someone that's spoken out a lot about these kinds of things but I wish that I had done a more adequate job or more like I wish I had more time to find a way to incorporate that into the book but I actually um I just couldn't find a way to do it in a in a meaningful or tasteful manner so I think the the darkest side of mailing history you know just because it encompasses so many other issues would just be the fact that it it it has been and it still is in many ways a boys club and I hope that James and I and that you know it and I think it is slowly changing you know I I talked at the end of the book about about prominent women players who have done well I I really hope that continues and that we encourage those kinds of things and we encourage women and you know we're cetera to play to play and be a part of our scene that's that would be the darkness side of our our scenes history I think by far yeah I mean the advent of smash sisters getting outs people with their jimmies wrestled asking for the men's bracket yeah this has always been the most bracket yeah it's like literally just go to your local that's that's the yeah but I think I don't I wouldn't be yourself joke too much about it not saying that you are I think it's your cross to bear I think that would be not necessarily another book in and of itself but just a chapter among an entire gaming book on that disparity because it so just for for a full transparency I'm trying to release the paperback edition at some point in the summer and then have it launched at shine for the for like book signings and this is published everything yeah yeah okay like is this announcement publicly what you're saying right now this is public and we see it somewhere oh no no I'm just kind of telling you ahead of time before the official official announcement but uh but yeah so I'm really Singh paperback edition but I also am working on a hardcover copy that's gonna be a little like it'll have like not I shouldn't say extended chapters it'll just be more like it'll it'll also feature some of my work on melee stats and over over at um I just worked over at melee stats in my old blog in which I used to write about melee history before I start writing about the book it'll I and I one of the one of the things I really do is just a chapter on women and women and smash just hung up their history and know that his not just the history of smash sisters but the history of prominent people like kupo who who isn't I believe is peach yeah I think I think a peach and maybe maybe she had a secondary sheikah I forget I'll have to check my notes again mm-hmm okay great historian but but she but she was one of the best players in Australia um I'll obviously have to reach reach out to a lot of other prominent women's scene like Emily waves I know is great resources yeah melty yeah and milk tea of course who is by the way UConn alumni are you serious yeah melt eastern UConn that's hilarious I reached out to her about career advice like two years ago and I was going through it yeah I should do smash full-time and I did not end up doing smash full-time but but i but i ended up writing a book just pretty cool and you should still read it so oh yeah no yeah that but like that's great that you have like an extended like directors edition authors edition or whatever you would call it in the book way just like the full full book but i'll are just so you know by the way their original the original copy of the book was like 200 pages i had to cut it down to two like i think that my final word doc was like a hundred and one or something so i had to i cut out like half the book the jaegers island dude because it because because if we went into like regional histories of it but it just became really cluttered sure sure well for the best for the best something i wanted to get into before Q&A or just one final point yeah like in talking about all that history I was just saying that like I think melee are like fgc or fighting games like that disparity and women would be a part of like a larger book of like just gaming in general disparity in women and like fgc would be its own chapter because like pleeeease the same thing like FPS is you face the same thing like I think smash has made strides and you see that you know I mean I think obviously in the era of canceled culture we don't even have to get into that but like many changes have been made far and wide for like people to feel better and say Fred events so kudos to them could have smashed Lister's everybody else if you haven't learned about them learn about them and support them hopefully but quick that my way is it sorry no just the last thing I want to say is I think one of the one of the things I really hope that my book does is get people who aren't just men really that's my if I if I if I can even get like a single woman who who has heard about Mae Lee which she hasn't she hasn't been inspired to and to enter the scene yet if I can even just get that hypothetical woman to join join her local scene or become involved in some way that you know it would be really cool that would be hopefully that happens soon it probably will especially in ultimate especially with the switch especially with everything just being so accessible now especially with Twitter cuz like was 22 is final question I got starting Q&A because I have a personal question I have a couple questions in the chat already lighten up by people who tagged us do you see any difference in how because I don't know if you maybe noticed it or maybe it was present in what you were researching but the advent of social media with Facebook groups and Twitter all of it originating with smash boards of course but like did that have an impact with like a lot of stuff being on Twitter now stuff being live stream like Justin dot TV now it's a twitch oh my god yeah how did that change did you see like a obvious like this is now different this is a new yes of course I think so there are many there are many turning points right so one of them was one of them was when VGC was developed when BTC was founded another just like you know just as a huge like streaming collective but its impact cannot be understated I think when the I think apex 2012 being on being on twitch is really big another thing that I think it was huge obviously was that was a switch away from smash boards to Facebook and Twitter and reddit that was more like 2013 ish or late 2012 ish code and it coincided with the with the Evo Drive and the in the poll saying which you the he's been poll asking followers which game they were it was a Facebook poll not a Twitter poll I think it was Facebook I yeah I I believe I wrote Facebook but again great historian but I wrote it in my book just just just look at my book somewhere it's there I think that I think the switching to social media was and obviously like the advent of Twitch eSports game streaming was all huge for the scene disability in like that that intertwine like became just yet I'm like the move away from form culture to social media and I guess now we're kind of the social like Twitter / discord like more like yeah like a lot I scored is kind of like the disc or group chats are kind of like the for it's like similar to form it's like our the modern version of forums it's like closed rooms now instead of yes basis yeah which for better or worse I mean of fragments but also there's you know if you want to dive into a two thousand person shulte discord or Fox this party cab yeah if you want to join a new metal discord you you could probably find one oh my god there's billions well that's cool that was my question cuz I definitely think that today if I was like hey when I got into melee like you could just look up boom smash yeah you get this calendar get this location get this venue and that's not what you were able to do ten years ago snow it was much harder ten years ago yeah smash boards OH in fact threads to even know that to even know what that is that's that's insider culture so starting off with our Q&A that was my first question how does social media impact the scene from historical perspective our first question here from Fire EMS I think is pretty interesting fire yams asks did you make an effort to avoid playing into player biases or painting specific players as a protagonist of sorts pretty faith yes I tried to make an active effort to do that and to make sure that each players really came off more like people or rather than caricatures I I love the Smash talk but one of the things one of its biggest flaws is that people took away really simplistic notions of me chickens character of him just being the robot and mango being like the talented drunk guy or whatever these these are multi-dimensional people that like went through significant changes as far as the persona went in the scene you know it's not like they had one persona where they have this one strength in one weakness they're not like Pokemon you know they're they're diamond they're the human beings are multi-dimensional dynamic and I think and obviously suare you've read my book so I hope like like like reading when you read through Levin's accounts like he's not just the villain with a generic redemption story right he has he has a lot of development as a competitor to they you know be being banned from the United States being unsure of his ability to compete again being literally banned because of a because of bad behavior but feeling kind of betrayed by his best friend also like there's a lot of elements that go into how these people uh how these people are you know P P P P is not just the wise sage that people think like melee sages people associated with now you know he was he was like he was the hothead not too long ago that would pop off at crowds like he was mangos apprentice for a long time with his own little bit of a cocky streak but then he became humble like there's like these are their people you know that they they each their each seat they each might be the protagonist of their own story and my book is kind of like combining all elements with their stories right then hbox like that there's a whole there's so much you can say about him be even like being whether it's you know being derided by the scene for a while his own his own like faith lack of faith in himself or sometime when he really thought that like he just couldn't beat fox anymore between him like getting crunch as a coach like competing again beating everyone once again being it being a community villain or whatever and and then like sort of having his own coming to terms with accepting it still being the world number one in it everything like mango mango kind of mango becoming a father from being this he used to be the scenes like kind of bad boy you know and then he became a father who's much more mature it's true yeah yeah these are these aren't just characters that you'd say this person is the blank or this person is the protagonist of this person's villain like these are real people but but go through several changes mew2king like to call him just the robot and like I hope people who read my book like that's not their only takeaway about mutate this is a guy that literally played multiple smash games to support is to support going to college I came in he used to go to wheat random-ass weeklies every week or every other week and just like clean up like show up beat everyone take take the money and just do that for a while you know like he's and then he went through his own phase where he wasn't sure if you wanted to compete anymore in in melee like he kind of had a mid mid career crisis then after losing the leffen and smash bond he came back and six out of attacks like there's so much more to these people so yeah yeah I mean I think that's the compromise though with like the doc asked sort of thing I mean it's yeah bite-size and canned stuff it's limited by its format but it does other things better – like the Dawkins show the debt like Meili is such a visual game the doc ensure that in ways that no no no amount of writing would it could ever put words do yeah yeah both of them that's like a great combo for the summer or even just like honestly a weekend you can binge it both so yeah think about it games coming out too so that's exciting yeah so we got another question by David our 906 this is an interesting one how long do you think we as a community should wait and so we have someone to write the book of Meili to already on a sequel thing O'Reilly to already give me like give me like three years I'll be married by then yeah give me like three years to give me like three years to write Boise and axis maybe probably obviously at that point probably saying yeah it definitely saved I'll figure out ways to give me like four years or yeah I think like three or four years is fine really – and it's crazy how these names were not in rotation like that long ago I mean wizzy always kind of being wizzy accent around like just beneath the top level for a while so for him like that's emotional yeah that when the specific and I submit he was the best player he was literally the best player to never win it when a major and he finally did it I like dude I I can't even sorry I so in case the audience doesn't know I used to write a weekly column every week for for about a year I actually am a bit on unbreak lately from doing that pikas doing that although he hasn't been able to get his column up in time this week just because of some personal emergencies but um he yeah so for acts that win like there was a period of time where I straight-up thought it was never gonna happen like like I literally thought like it like peaked you couldn't do it and I'm so glad that he proved to me and so many other people wrong yeah I mean what a what a crazy thing to witness mm-hmm and it's also hacks which is like so deserved so yeah thank you for that question David our data six we got one more in case pretty much rounds us up at the time the underscores sob others 488 do you think Armada was the reason axe ever won a major until this Sunday big fan of mmm by the way oh thank you sob um this it's it's complicated ants answer this because I don't want to take away access credit for winning summit of course of course because he doesn't have any control over how other competitors feel or know whether people drop out of competing entirely so I think I think the biggest reason why acts never want to before was because of art because of armada and hungrybox you know like those two were just there were times all right just be like that accent bring it close with them but there were so many times we're watching their sets it was just brutal like it really looked like like it was it never even felt like a knock on acts as much as just tickets you can't do it and if he could you can it just requires him to literally play perfect so I think inevitably um Armada not being there did does help acts because that's historically someone he's never beaten his hardest opponent but at the same time if we're gonna if we're if we were to play that game we don't we also have to think about like how much the fields advance since our modest retirement and how our motto would hold up against everyone else so you know I think in today's meta game and in practice our motto right might remain as dominant but you can't um I don't think you can discount like our motto dropping out of competition as a fluke as much as a natural like evolution in the metagame or it that or maybe not so much metagame but just the competitive field that was something out of access control but I think our motto was objectively the biggest like competitive road block for acts but I don't think it detracts from his victory at all that makes sense I mean he did everything else on the quest tree yeah I mean here we go I mean he didn't beat hbox but again like it doesn't hurt if each box doesn't get to him and each box right now cut is kind of in the middle of a slump like it doesn't you know it doesn't take away from the victory yeah I definitely agree well congrats sacks in any case would be interesting to see Ramada enter but I mean he did retire but he might surprise this this summer who knows yeah as far as that goes I mean that that'll tie up the Q&A auto-type the interview is there anything everyone that you really want to just like say pound your chest over like again Congrats it's been a month out we're gonna sing this summer sort of rolls in I mean what words do you have for your readers for your fans for anyone you want uh thank you guys so much they were um there are so many points where I I wasn't sure whether I was um I wasn't sure whether people would like support me I wasn't sure whether I would do a good job or not um but just the feedback and overwhelmingly positive response I've gone for so many people that thousands of downloads I've gotten from the book has just really floored me and that I actually um you know it it means a lot to me not not because it it's a my accomplishment or whatever but because I just view the existence of a long form journalism writing and history keeping storytelling Amalia so integral to our scenes ident Bible so it wasn't really the fact that like I did it as much as I just really valued the exist the potential existence of such a book and I'm so happy it's out because I I think it's just that it's a testament to her scenes resilience at night I it just really means a lot to me that Meili as a game is actually worthy of have a relic that it can celebrate decades you know they may be I'm not gonna go with a controller on the wall like cliche sort of thing but you know it in the in 10 years or so maybe if you you have you you're at home with your partner and kids or whatever and heat and you um and you just have a book on your book next to your bed that reminds good old days they there's a certain kind of beauty to that I think Meili as as the scene is you know scene for all strengths and weaknesses I think the game itself is worthy of that yeah yeah so it I just want to thank all my supporters friends family of course Meili stats shout out to Meili stats um you guys can follow me at my twitter at Edwin underscore budding I'll be posting book updates there um check out the Meili stats website this is right now I'm dick I'm taking a bit of a break from Monday morning Mars and and P Gaza Nate been able to write which is basically a weekly Rach wrap up and opinion column and uh peak peak arises now's what he hasn't able to get this up this weekend but hopefully it'll be up soon um ding ding as master writes whens maylay which is a weekend preview that's done that's been done actually for the last like three years or so I'm he does a great job previewing every weekend for what the piece tournaments are each region including major tournaments shout out to everyone in melee staffs crew shout out to giving that wait for doing the melee stats of deep dives podcast which we host kind of like bi-weekly sort of semi frequently which is kind of previewing big tournaments recapping big ones sometimes have special guests on shout to him I just shout out to practical tasks who actually entry basically indirectly introduced me to soir shout to eg in suave course for letting me in the show shout out to my amazing fiancee shout out to family friends say I think I got everyone yeah that's the past you at all in the discord server that was those everybody well yeah thanks for everything Edwin I think that your book is not only a feat in modern gaming history but also in the literature that we have right now in front of us I don't think like there's a section and uh Barnes and Noble or an e-reader catalog for gaming history or even gaming narratives aside from like maybe something someone wrote on ninja recently just because it's like the thing to do so you've done something special be proud of it really glad to have you in the show I hope copies fly off the digital and physical shelves this summer as the summer smash heats up and yeah we thank you for your time we really appreciate it came on smash Center maybe we'll see you down the road again PTR is heating up that means mpg are is also gonna heat up no one can figure out who's number one or number two in either games so probably soon yeah so guys yeah thanks again we'll go ahead and do the sign out so yeah that was it that was episode 22 on the V podcasts of smash Center your host suare bringing you the best that we possibly can when it comes to smash coverage smash controversy results in more make sure if you're on youtube you hit that like and subscribe button so you can get the updates for the next smash center or you can just again see anytime we come come on live on twitch and you can be a part of the show thanks to everybody who is on the Q & A tonight really good questions that we got and next week if you want to ask again so I had to be a part of the chat or DM me on Twitter at PG underscores water out of it for the show though so hope you enjoyed it vod's will be available online we'll be on YouTube SoundCloud Forbes magazine and People magazine every everything so have a good night so somebody love them appreciate you coming on the show smash Center episode 22 is now over please enjoy your week on your week whatever or if you're watching this and it's Monday cuz you missed last week do your thing see you next time love y'all and

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