Three takeaways from the NASB Waveslime Invitational
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Online competition is already well under way for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl less than a week after its Oct. 5 release date. From Nickelodeon’s Nicktoons Throwdown Invitational to Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma’s open-bracket Juice Box 53, top players from various games are beginning to make their marks in Ludosity’s newest platform fighter.

Here are three takeaways from Friday’s main NASB event, heartswapTV’s Waveslime Invitational.

FullStream redeems his Nicktoons Throwdown Invitational performance at the Waveslime Invitational

Joshua “FullStream” Thompson, one of the best Rivals of Aether players of all time, was one of eight players invited by Nickelodeon to compete at the single-elimination Nicktoons Throwdown Invitational. His round one match was against James “VoiD” Makekau-Tyson, the current frontrunner for the best NASB player in North America. As a result, FullStream suffered a 2-0 loss and fell out of the tournament immediately.

However, with round robin pools and a double-elimination final bracket at the Waveslime Invitational, FullStream had much more time to show off his skills with Lucy Loud. He swept his pool without dropping a game, defeating the likes of Xayya “ThundeRzReiGN” Thammavongsa, David “LeoN” Leon, Noah “Nogh” Sundook and Aaron “Aaron” Wilhite.

FullStream continued his flawless streak in winners quarters, beating Kyle “Switch” Carlon 3-0 in a Lucy ditto. However, he then dropped a five-game set to Luke “KirbyKid” Richmond’s Ren and Stimpy. In the losers bracket, FullStream came out on top over the tournament’s premier Slap City players, eliminating Jeki “PikaThePikachu” Kennedy 3-1 and Jared “husky” Ferguson 3-0.

FullStream rematched KirbyKid in losers finals. Their set went to game five again, but this time, FullStream came out on top. His final opponent was ThundeRzReiGN, whom he had beaten 3-0 in pools. FullStream repeated the feat, earning another 3-0 in set one of grand finals.

While ThundeRzReiGN managed to take two games in the second set, he still could not overcome FullStream. FullStream finished the set with a setup that had gotten him so much mileage throughout the tournament; landing a Dark Bite to transform into Vampire Mode and then killing with Lucy’s devastating forward throw to Jump Scare combo.


ThundeRzReiGN is dangerous with cargo throws

As a Project+ Donkey Kong main, ThundeRzReiGN has more experience taking advantage of cargo throws than most fighting game players. This skill transferred well to NASB, where every character has a cargo throw. As a result, the game has allowed ThundeRzReiGN to apply his experience to a non-superheavy: Leonardo.

With Leonardo, ThundeRzReiGN used his solid grab game to find cargo forward throw into neutral-air kill confirms offstage. In addition, he obliterated many enemy stocks with his down-air edgeguards. In pools, ThundeRzReiGN defeated LeoN, Nogh, Aaron and David “Kalvar” Coyne. He also earned a pair of 3-1 victories over Yoni “Pugsy” Rotem and Cody “iBDW” Schwab in the main bracket.

This led to a winners finals face-off between ThundeRzReiGN and KirbyKid, a rematch of winners finals from the Juice Box 53. While that set went to game five, ThundeRzReiGN had three-stocked KirbyKid in the three games he won. This included a JV4 in game three. While their games at the Waveslime Invitational were a bit less volatile, ThundeRzReiGN emerged victorious yet again, this time winning 3-1.

Though he faltered against FullStream, ThundeRzReiGN is quickly establishing himself as one of NASB’s first top players, thanks to his second-place finishes at his first two online tournaments. KirbyKid is not far behind, with third-place finishes at his first two online tournaments.

Players from every platform fighter background can excel at NASB

As expected, early NASB tournaments have brought together players from all across the platform fighter genre. Some predicted that Slap City players would initially run the scene, as Slap City and NASB were both developed by Ludosity. However, players from various different games made impressive runs at the Waveslime Invitational.

In particular, every player in the top four represented a different platform fighter: FullStream for Rivals of Aether, ThundeRzReiGN for Project+, KirbyKid for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and husky for Slap City. In addition, the rest of top 16 included representatives for Melee, Brawlhalla and Rushdown Revolt.

At the moment, no one game seems especially poised to have its players dominate top-level NASB. However, the best performances so far have all come from players who are highly-ranked in other platform fighters. Time will tell if a distinct class of elite players will emerge for NASB.

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.