Saturday, July 27, 2013

Big Announcement!

So what is next?

Before Evo, I announced that I was done playing Melee competitively.  That remains true, despite my pretty nifty performance.  Sorry guys, no take-backsies.

Something that I did not expect, however, was the number of people who started reading this blog and telling me, in comments and private messages, that they resonated with my experiences.  They found the things I wrote helpful and informational.  People had come up to me before and said, "hey I like your blog," but now I was hearing that it actually HELPED people and made a difference to them.  Some of them said they improved, both in Melee and other games, because of my suggestions and interpretations.  The most common thing I've heard is, "I thought things like this before, but seeing it put into words helped me understand my own thoughts clearly."

That's a huge deal to me.  I mostly believed this blog was me ranting into empty air.  But now it seems that my experiences can be used to genuinely help other people improve.  So first off, the blog is going to continue.  I'm going to continue writing about my thoughts and experiences.  It's going to continue to be focused on personal development and competition, with occasional pieces that are more focused on my own emotional growth/development.  It will basically be the same, but I am going to bump it back up to two updates a week.

Second, I'm going to make the blog less ugly.  Right now it's pretty bland looking, and I am going to revamp the whole thing.  This may take some time, as I plan to learn a bit about Wordpress so I can make it accessible, easier to find older posts, easier to talk about, and so on.  I'm pretty sure I'll let the anonymous commenting remain, to increase people's ability to speak quickly and freely.

Third, I am going to condense my experiences and thoughts into an actual book!  When it's done, I will release it in PDF form, and it will (most likely) be free.  This is going to be my attempt to distill the blog topics into the most important parts.  If you want to share/access the essence of my ideas, it will be in there.  It will interweave my personal emotional experiences and analyses of competition.  It will also be my attempt to explain why competition is an incredible tool for learning about yourself, and how you can use it to become a better and happier human being.  It was the lens through which I began to understand many of my problems, as well as my strengths.  I think it can happen for others, and my experiences/thoughts may be helpful in that regard.

If you really like the book, or want to support me while I write it, there will be a way to donate in the new version of the blog.  It's (obviously) going to be optional; if you do opt in, the donation amount will be your choice.  Real thanks will be in the form of spreading what I write so it helps and informs as many people as possible.  But if you feel a desire to compensate me for the time, go ahead.  Your call!

Fourth, I'm going to begin making videos for the Melee community.  They are going to involve analysis of different parts of the game, from characters to situations, and analysis of interesting matches from recent tournament play.  As more information about Smash 4 comes out, I will also talk about that!  I will also be joined in these videos by my good buddy Taj, who you may know as being super flipping good at this video game.  As we learn more about putting videos together, they will probably get a bit more fancy.  Get hype for fanciness.

These videos and episodes will, ideally, be useful for both people in the community who want to improve, and people outside who are interested in the learning about the scene and the game.

Fifth, I am going to start streaming various games in the evening, because it seems like a lot of fun and a good time.  It is also my hope that by playing a variety of games, I can promote the competitive element of gaming to many more people.  I'd like to reach out to people that enjoy things like Lets Play and watching speedruns, and draw them to watching and supporting competitive gaming as well.

Finally, I'm going to continue traveling to tournaments as a commentator.  I'm also going to try and become involved in other FGC events whenever possible, as I would like to cross-promote our different games.  Evo was an awesome new beginning, and I'd like to help keep that momentum going.

So, as you can imagine, I'm going to be pretty busy.  Between learning lots of new stuff, I'm going to spend a lot of time contributing to Melee and the gaming community.  Hopefully I can handle this giant workload I set for myself.  If there's something I learned from competing, it's that sometimes you should set unreasonable goals if you want to make progress.

Why am I doing this?

This blog has a tagline: the art of competition and growth.  We compete, and through competing we can learn.  If we take the opportunity, we also learn about ourselves.  We can take the constant feedback of competing and gaming and make ourselves better, if we really truly want to.  So for now, I'd like to spread this idea to people, while competitive gaming is in the process of becoming giant.  I want to reach out to as many people as possible, so they can experience and understand the things I've learned.

If you want to help and support this endeavor, then spread it.  Link articles and videos among one another, even to people who don't game seriously.  In competition and growth, there are core elements--the focus, the effort, the growth, the exhiliration--that speak to us and draw us in.  They help us grow personally and they're hypnotizing to see in others.  And they exist in all forms of competition, and they are what make competing so insightful.  They are the things that make competition amazing.

Let's make people aware wherever and however we can.


For now, the blog is going to look identical while I learn how to make it better.  I'm going to go back to a two-a-week update schedule, and many of the ideas explained will later be used in the book, refined and rewritten.  I encourage you all to talk about the ideas and force me to explain them better.  If something sounds too confusing or out there, feel free to get in my face about it.  In this way, you'll be a part of the writing process.  Just like rivals make us better players, critical readers make us better writers.

Between the blog, book, videos, streaming, commentary, and learning how to do, I'll be pretty busy from now on.  This is part of why I won't be entering and competing in Melee; the time and gas-tank demands on practicing regularly, recovery time from intense focus for an entire weekend, that stuff will take away from this massive project I've set before myself.  So I'm going to keep working hard for Melee and competitive games, but from the other end.

This is my current goal and dream, and I'm going to work hard to make it happen.  If you want to help, then spread word where you can.  And as always, thanks for reading.

See you guys on Tuesday!


  1. Sounds great Rob. I definitely resonated with your previous blogs, and I'm lookin' forward to the future with you!

  2. Hey Rob, I was wondering if you could tell us your stream channel's name in a future blog post so we could find it more easily! Thank you for doing this and I was behind you all the way ever since I learned of the competitive scene of Smash gaming. I will be glad to see great things from you in the future ;D

  3. Don't forget that you are an important part of the Melee community, especially now! :)

  4. I'm so excited! You're doing great work Rob, keep it up.

  5. This is awesome! Keep it up man, you're super awesome.

  6. I never comment, but I wanted to say, as a website owner myself, you might want to move to wordpress possibly, and have an opt-in list of some sort, to really cultivate a good fan base. If you need help, i'll check this post in a week or so.

  7. Definitely looking forward to this! See you Tuesday :D

  8. Definitely excited for what's coming.

    A Let's Play with Wobbles would be amazing.

  9. I look forward to the Melee videos the most, but everything else (LPs/streaming/book/updates) will undoubtedly be worth a look or listen.

    As Wobbling was (and still is) kind of a big deal in the competitive Melee community (so much that there are tournament rules specifically allowing/banning it [ie EVO2013]), I feel it would make an appropriate first video, detailing the origins and controversies, in addition to the techniques and variations.

    PS: F*&^ you for popularizing Ice Climber infinites in Melee.

    PPS: "That's f***ing cheating! There's f***ing two of 'em!"

    PPPS: I was secretly rooting for you at EVO2013, just to see the resulting salt. ("He only won because of stupid/cheap/braindead/etc. infinites!")

    PPPPS: But seriously, f*%^ those mountaineers.

  10. Rob, I'm probably just echoing a lot of other people, but I'm so glad I found this blog and started reading it when I did. Once my friends and I set out to take Melee seriously, the more I played it the more I realized that the competitive strengths and weaknesses of each crew member was reflective of so many things about them right down to the crux of their personality, and for myself in particular it was especially clear to me. It's helped me grow both competitively and personally and I'm just very glad that this game has a spokesperson who understands and is so outspoken about just how deep this game goes in the minds and souls of its players.

    Just two days ago I found myself in a losers bracket match at a local against a player who I knew was easily better than me and by all rights "should" win the match. But I took a breather and thought back to your post about that very topic and got a grip on myself because I knew I could beat him if only I could find the presence of mind. And I totally did and it was awesome.

    So anyway, thanks Wobbles. Keep up the great work.

  11. The most common thing I've heard is, "I thought things like this before, but seeing it put into words helped me understand my own thoughts clearly."

    This is just so true! Great Blog