On the 12th of July, the 4th edition of the successful Avalon series took place at Buurthuis De Patio in Zoetermeer. Host Marc returned after a two month trip through Asia, during which he made grand finals at a Japanese local. As fellow Avalon host Remen decided to extend his stay in Japan, the setups were managed by Ryuker this time, while ShadowTl ran Brawl and Salty Playground ran a live stream, as per usual. Aqua and Tirso once again provided the commentary.
Despite Evo and the football match between the Netherlands and Brazil being on the same day, a peak attendance of 120 players and a price pool of over €1000 made this the largest Avalon yet with a lot of newcomers and a healthy amount of out of country entrants. Participants could compete in Melee and Brawl, with PM and Soul Calibur V on the side, as well as enter a raffle for a Japanese Bowser figure.
The first two editions of the tournament series were won by Ice, while Armada took Avalon III in dominant fashion. As Avalon IV coincided with the quarterfinals of Evo 2014, European top players Armada, Leffen and Ice were missing, granting other players the opportunity to aim for first.
In the past years the competitive landscape for European smash has gotten more even, with each country’s top players able to challenge most of the other top players. While in the past the top 10 at any given national would be dominated by the Dutch, they now struggle for the top placings even with the home advantage. This also showed in the results for Avalon 4, with Germans Sixx and Dancingqueen sharing 5th place in Melee singles and getting 2nd in Melee teams. The French showed up in great numbers and dominated most of the top 16, which is indicative of how well the French scene is currently doing. It should be pointed out however, that usual Dutch performers Remen, Adam and Marc did not enter for various reasons.
Mahie, a technical Marth player, showed he's not to be slept on when he surprisingly treated Zgetto to an early trip to the losers bracket. Doraki, inventor of the Doraki Walljump and one of the pioneers when it comes to understanding Directional Influence, did the same to Faab. After recently securing a sponsorship with LowLandLions, Jeapie was hungry for the title, but suffered a loss against French Falco main Baxon. Dutch Falco/Marth main Ser put up an impressive performance against Sixx, but couldn't close it out. These losses left Amsah as the only Dutch player remaining on the winners side of the bracket, pitting him against French Jigglypuff main Tekk in winners finals. Amsah has a bad track record against the Puffball, as a few years ago he was unable to impress against Hungybox at Pound 5, lost to Utto at HK8 and lost a set to Tekk at Republic of Fighters earlier this year. He shows signs of adapting to the match-up however and closed out winners finals with a 3-1 win over Tekk.
On the losers side Zgetto lost to Ser, having given up on the tournament. After beating Porc, Faab succumbed to Jeapie for a 9th place. Jeapie in turn went on to face Samus main Cyr and ended up having to settle for 7th place after a hype set. Enig bested Doraki in Fox dittos, but lost to Dancingqueen in the same matchup. Dancingqueen and Sixx both lost to French players in the end, respectively Baxon and Cyr. The two French clashes that followed left Baxon at 4th, Cyr at 3rd and Tekk in grand finals. Though he put up an impressive performance he was unable to reset the bracket and prevent Amsah from becoming the first Dutch winner of Melee singles at Avalon.
Amsah and Faab teamed up again, as they have done in the past. Adam and Zgetto were expected to be their biggest threats but after an intense set against Sixx and Dancingqueen the latter ended up winning. Adam and Zgetto also lost to Baxon and Tekk, ending up in 4th place. Sixx and Dancingqueen made their way to grand finals for a rematch with Amsah and Faab, resetting the bracket before losing the second set. A surprisingly strong performance was shown by Jeffz0r and Avalancer, sending Jeapie and Fernandez to the losers bracket and getting 5th place.
Brawl ended up being fairly interesting as Mr-R was not able to make it to the tournament. Grand finals were played out between veteran Diddy Kong player iStudying and Pikachu enthusiast Pika4Life, with iStudying emerging victorious. The attendance for this game shows there’s still life in it, which can serve as motivation for the suffering American scene.
There was a relatively large PM side event this time around, with more than 30 people in the bracket. Due to time constraints it was single elimination till top 8, after which a regular double elimination bracket was played out. Top 3 ended up as Amsah, Ace and Faab, which means that Amsah got first in every event he entered.
As the tournament came to an end, the venue staff gracefully allowed people to watch the Evo livestream and football match on several screens mounted on the wall.
For recorded matches, visit: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/SaltyPlayground
Brawl replays are forthcoming and will be posted to the SmashNL and BrawlNetherlands channels.
Avalon V will take place on September 6th, 2014. In the meantime you can check out Summer Gamers Beverwijk, a free to enter event for several games, including smash. For regular locals your options are Hall of Melee 5 in Tilburg and RSD x Melee in Roosendaal, which also features Street Fighter IV.