During the past weekend, the first major Super Smash Bros. Melee online tournament featuring the new Slippi rollback netcode was hosted.
Get On My Line 2020 was meant to be an online replacement for the annual supermajor Get On My Level, which was due to be hosted in May but was cancelled when the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to social gatherings.
Luckily, the newly released Slippi netcode has completely changed the way Melee is played online, and Get On My Line became the first major event to use it. The tournament brought in over 3000 entrants.
Get On My Level 2020: The New Era Of Melee Online
Perhaps the biggest story out of Get On My Line was the performance of Team Liquid’s Hungrybox; he ended up placing 7th overall, losing to Spark and iBDW. While Hungrybox has been mainly focusing on streaming Ultimate recently, the losses were still unexpected.
iBDW made quite the run, defeating players such as Hungrybox, bobby big ballz, SFAT and Ginger to face off against n0ne in the grand finals. He was able to reset the bracket before facing off in a last stock, last game scenario to see who would win the first major Melee rollback tournament.
With that clutch finish, n0ne became the champion of Get On My Line.
The Future Of Online Melee
The smoothness of rollback play for Melee is a testament to just how resourceful and dedicated the fanbase is to improving the quality of the experience of competitive Melee.
Not only does Slippi make the online play better and easier than it ever has been, it also moves Melee closer and closer to not needing CRTs; an increasingly scarce resource for hosting tournaments.
CRT televisions have always been the gold standard for playing older console games without any input lag. Unfortunately, as people have thrown out their old CRTs in favor of newer models, and as games are now developed to be compatible on new monitors and televisions, finding CRTs to host major Melee tournaments is becoming very difficult. Not to mention just how logistically annoying it is to find the space to host all the CRTs.
Developments to Melee now take us closer and closer to being able to emulate Melee and make for a lagless experience on par with CRT, or even better. Considering the amount of work Slippi put in to make rollback netcode, there could come a point where competitive Melee could no longer require traditional consoles and CRTs.
The only downside is that any form of coding or emulation could mean that Nintendo would want nothing to do with competitive Melee. However, due to how little support the Melee scene gets in general from Nintendo, this tradeoff could be more than worth it. The community has shown it can get far more done through grassroots efforts than any nominal support Nintendo could offer.
The first rollback Melee major tournament is certainly a good sign that competitive Melee is nowhere near dead, and that there is much to come for this nearly 20-year old title.