Ludwig Ahgren Championship Series 4 Announced

By on January 20, 2022

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Last week, the Super Smash Bros Melee community was shocked at the news that GENESIS, the yearly supermajor tournament series, had been postponed due to COVID-19. Originally scheduled for January 28th-30th in Northern California, the tournament has been moved to April 15th-17th.

Amidst the community reaction on social media, prominent YouTube streamer Ludwig Ahgren tweeted out his intention to run his own tournament online the same weekend as GENESIS had been planned. With the announced $30,001 prize pool, the tournament would be the 9th biggest tournament by prize pool in Melee’s competitive history, and the biggest prize pool for any online Melee tournament. Less than a week later, registration officially opened for Ludwig Ahgren Championship Series 4.

Several top players have already signed up for LACS 4, including iBDW, Hungrybox, Axe, moky, and KoDoRiN. As the hype for the event builds, several questions build as well, mostly spurred by Mogul Merch’s Director of Ecommerce Aiden McCaig’s tweets about the event. We reached out to Aiden to clarify some of our burning questions for the biggest online Melee tournament ever.

The timeline between GENESIS’s postponement and LACS 4’s announcement was remarkably short. Aiden confirmed with us that there were no prior plans for LACS 4 before Ludwig’s initial announcement, saying:

“The Genesis news got announced, Ludwig walked into my room, asked if we could host a tournament, I said ‘Yeah we can do that,’ and then he tweeted it about 15 minutes later. Ludwig is just a very get up and go guy, he sees an opportunity to create something memorable and just says ‘Let’s get it done,’ and this seemed like a fitting opportunity.”

When asked about the prospect of LACS 4 standing in for GENESIS, Aiden clarified that he didn’t think LACS or any event could replace the spectacle GENESIS provides. Rather, he said:

“Since a lot of people had plans for that weekend it seemed fitting to drop the first large online event in a while on the weekend of what would have been our largest major in, I think, five years. Give people something to play for and watch in what is otherwise a bit of a tournament drought due to Omicron.”

Aiden’s announcement for LACS 4 mentioned a proportionate progression for the East Coast and West Coast entrants. Typically, online Melee tournaments will have separate pools for the two halves of North America, and progress into a combined bracket. Elaborating on the need for a proportionate progression, where more players will make bracket from the coast with more entrants, Aiden said:

“The general problem is that the eastern half of North America, at least as how it is split traditionally for online events, is much more skill dense than the western half is. So as online events became more prominent, there has been a common thread of complaints about how making it to the final bracket (where West and East players finally combine) is often easier for West players than it is for East because the same number from each region are advancing to that final stage. However, we hope that by shifting it from 50-50 West-East to something more like 25-75 West-East will appropriately reward East players since they have often been given the short end of the stick in the past.”

Aiden added that he believes the combined bracket should begin at Top 48 for an event the size of LACS 4 is planning to be. When asked if online tournaments should follow the example LACS hopes to set, Aiden said:

“Absolutely – online tournaments should probably go farther with it and create better sub-regions than just West and East … But working out something like that for the first time just seemed like a lot on the short timeframe we had to work things out.”

Fans of Ludwig might recognize Aiden from the podcast The Yard, which Aiden co-hosts. On an early episode of the podcast, Aiden remarked that free online tournaments are prone to players dropping out as the event closes in. His proposed solution for these voluntary disqualifications was extremely minimal entry fees. LACS 4, however, is arranged as a free-to-enter tournament. Aiden clarified the issue for us, saying:

“Unfortunately, smash.gg Terms of Service do not allow you to charge any amount of money for online events unless you restrict it to the US minus eleven listed states. So it was either bar Mexico and Canada, plus eleven states from entering, or just make it free. Hopefully, the added layer of friction of having to join a Discord server to participate will reduce the amount of DQs we get.”

 

 

Registration for LACS 4 is currently open at smash.gg/LACS4. The event will be held January 29th-30th, with streams on Ludwig’s YouTube channel and HomeMadeWaffle’s Twitch channel.

 



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