I’m gonna start a new series called “The Problem with…” focusing on some of the more issues or “problems” in the community. It sounds cynical, but really I want to discuss important issues that are in the scene that are not talked about as much as they should be. Smash Summit 3 voting ended shortly, but the mess the community caused is extremely understated.
The “Vote Exploit”, which is technically 100% legal despite the name
Smashers Selling Out
The WHOLE Smash Summit tournament series is a problem in itself. It’s a huge problem for the community because of HOW GOOD of an event it is. That seems a bit counter-intuitive, but Smash Summit consistently puts out amazing content whether it be the production value of the tournament sets, the side-events, or the commentary. That being said, the high production value makes the event so coveted that only 16 players are invited (and then some “tournament staples” and “Smash Summit bought spots”). The event is small and intimate and brings out some of the best of the community whether it be M2K doing Luigi’s misfire, Kage reking Alex19 in the crew battle, Mango’s Stadium match vs. Plup, the list goes on. This is a cynical series (judging from the name of “The Problem…”), but I really want to discuss possibilities of how to fix the problems instead of just throwing out info out there. Sometimes there really are no concrete solutions, but maybe just some food for thought.
The “Vote Exploit”
I disagree with the fact it is even called an “exploit”. It was clearly shown in the rules for getting votes. (They seemed to have removed that part now that voting is done) To paraphrase it said you get 20 votes for each tournament donation you do. Quoting the reddit post “Here’s the trick For every tournament you donate to you get 20 votes. There are 7 tournaments available to donate to. The minimum is $3. Donate $3 to each and you’ll end up with 161 votes. If you donate to Smash Summit as well you will get 184. This is absolutely broken and game changing.” That means that super sleeper agents stockpiled dummy Smash.gg accounts to basically multiply your vote ability by a game changing x8. (160/20 since you can get 160 votes for $20 instead of 20 votes for $20). Although this method was frowned upon (ever so slightly), it was inarguably the most efficient method of buying votes.
I can say with confidence that every candidates’ fans, after this “exploit” was publicized, used this in a large manner to skew voting. That’s probably why Mafia from New England made it in the first place and super favourites like Wizzrobe and Ice barely didn’t make it last time. That being said, the other problems is in #2 Smash Sellout.
Admittedly I think the larger of the two issues. Don’t get me wrong. I like the promotional aspects of smashers being able to speak to the community to get their name out to vote for them. Whether they are a large player with an established fan base, S2J, Lucky, Wizzrobe, etc. or a smaller player trying to get on the map, Overtriforce, Santiago, Druggedfox. That type of self-promotion not only helps their player recognition but also sponsors can see what type of player they are ultimately sponsoring. Another positive side-effect is the overall community promotion whether it be to other e-sports gamers, spectators of other games, and likewise.
That being said, it is far from all positive messages and fair play. The voting incentives are riddled with giveaways, statements to vote for people, and other promises. I was able to download some of the rap videos for proof of some of the “promotional materials”. (Check the bottom of the article if you wanna see the raps n0ne, The Moon, and Wizzrobe made)
— GimR Finally Home (@VGBC_GimR) October 19, 2016
I like this tweet because what happens now? Is Gimr NOT going to release that special episode now that he didn’t get voted in? It seems like a waste of potentially good content.
pewpewu wrote a twitlonger talking about the summit 3 experience here. He talked about how he felt “It’s a problem that I believe afflicted other people in the community as well– never have I experienced so much negativity and honestly just raw personal attacks at me.” and said “During this Summit voting I became the opposite– harsh, heartless, demeaning… ‘qualities’ of life that I don’t wish to identify with.” I totally agree with what he is saying. What the community showed in arguing over Twitter, reddit, and other social medias showed an immaturity that is often masked in the community. I can see that the conflict stems for the love of the game and the community itself, but the Smash Summit series always seems to draw battle lines between different fanbases.
Is there a concrete solution to this? In many ways there isn’t. I really want to give a simple solution, but there a lot of times when there is nothing perfect. You can’t have a strict promotion policy because that restricts creativity, and the free reigns causes incidences like this. In the future, smash.gg is going to fix their vote policy with hopefully a more fair and balanced system. (as opposed to a million proxy accounts) That is the only solution that can be done for sure.
The scene acts as they want, and the players trying to go to summit will almost do anything to get votes. It breaks my heart that Ice didn’t get in (maybe because he didn’t promote himself as hard as others), but on the same coin some people became community-proclaimed sellouts and their smash summit 3 voting status was still not guaranteed. For this article I wanted to highlight the smash scene’s greatest enemy that even Zero said is possibly itself.
I feel like sometimes the biggest enemy of the Smash community… is the Smash community itself. Lot of family fights over the years.
— Gonzalo ZeRo Barrios (@TSMZeRo) October 20, 2016
After being underground so long, and really still being underground, it’s come a long way but the smash scene always has something to prove. Whether it’s Melee vs. Smash 4, Melee players that go to Summit, etc. I felt that after voting was done, this whole issue was swept under the rug, and was almost ignored (until Smash Summit 4 rolls around). What do you think? Do you agree with my thoughts?
n0ne’s video is a joke. It’s obvious but the production value sucks. Maybe that adds to the appeal. I give it a 2/5 for effort. Arguably the worst “rap” out of all of the players.
Straight fire compared to the others. Honestly comparable to Chillin and Mike Haze’s rap. Pretty good to be honest. 4.5/5
I found this one the most cringey. It was clear and had some nice metaphors and rhymes but it kinda fell apart (on purpose?) at the end. It wasn’t as bad as n0ne’s. So it gets 3/5.
Those are my thoughts.