Ludwig’s LACS 4 Smash Melee tournament officially announced
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Aiden “Calvin” McCaig shared details Tuesday about the upcoming edition of the Ludwig Ahgren Championship Series, LACS 4. The online Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament will run from Jan. 29-30.

The tournament organizers behind Genesis 8 announced on Jan. 14 that they had postponed the Smash supermajor to April “due to COVID and operational concerns.” Shortly afterward, Ludwig “Ludwig” Ahgren announced his intention to host his own online tournament on the weekend when Genesis was originally scheduled to take place.

LACS 4 will boast a prize pool of $30,001, making it the ninth-largest Melee tournament of all time by prize pool. It will surpass both DreamHack Winter 2016 and GameTyrant Expo 2017 by $1. This follows the pattern of LACS 2 and 3, which both had top 10 prize pools at the time by a small margin.

Ludwig created the LACS as a netplay invitational in December of 2018. The first edition featured a $1,000 winner-take-all prize pot, which Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni won. Ludwig reintroduced the series with much higher prize payouts in 2020 after his rise to fame as a Twitch streamer. LACS 4 will be Ludwig’s first Smash major since his switch to streaming exclusively on YouTube.

More about Ludwig’s LACS 4

LACS 4 will be a fundraiser for the Genesis TOs, who announced they were “incurring costs into the six figure range” by postponing their tournament. This follows the precedent set by LACS 3, during which the Smash community raised over $260,000 for Games For Love.

The North America-exclusive event will feature separate pools for East and West Coast players that feed into a joint top 64. Calvin confirmed that the East Coast will get more spots in top 64 than the West. Previous online majors have typically featured an even split of East and West Coast players in the main bracket, despite East Coast pools typically being more stacked.

Ludwig and Anthony “Slime” Bruno will commentate the tournament on Ludwig’s YouTube channel. Additionally, Brandon “YungWaff” Collier will run a secondary stream on Twitch.

LACS 4 will not feature Super Smash Bros. Ultimate because of the game’s poor netcode. However, James “VoiD” Makekau-Tyson has expressed interest in running his own online Ultimate tournament with a $10,000 prize pool.

Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.