Welcome to 2016, fellow Smashers! Rejoice, for Project M is alive and well!  Better make sure to save your game file, because Final Boss is underway with two days of top-level PM action! Hosted at Santa Clara University in NorCal, Final Boss is far more than just a consolation prize to Genesis 3. Round-robin pools, doubles, regional crew battles, a salty suite, character exhibitions, and a $1000 pot bonus will all be present as well, continuing the trend of PM-exclusive events dialing up the hype levels and showing us just how much life there is in the Project M community. The event will be streamed by Zman and the AZPM team at http://hitbox.tv/azpm, and the details, bracket and full attendees can be found at https://smash.gg/tournament/final-boss/details.


Singles bracket showcases a deep talent pool.  SoCal is bringing many of their heavy-hitters, hoping to establish themselves as the PM scene to beat. Making the trip from SoCal include the infamous technical Lucario iPunchKidz, Ex-PMDT member and long-time Ivysaur main Machiavelli, and one of the premier Zero Suit Samus players in the world, Jason Waterfalls.  iPK is looking to shut up nay-sayers in his home region after a dropoff in performance over their most recent rankings season after focusing on streaming. Always a threat to take tournaments when it matters, both iPK and Machiavelli are known for strong out-of-region showings. SoCal’s #1 ranked player, the nasty Wario main Sosa, is just coming off of a close second-place finish to the PM Titan and Diddy/Ganon main Junebug at a recent PM in the PM. Final Boss could just be Sosa’s chance to establish himself as a true name to fear, and while he’s less experienced on the big stage than some of SoCal’s top names, be forewarned - sleeping on this Wario main will only get you 8-stocked, 2-0’d, and a salty handshake. Other players not to sleep on include YadoR and Nashun, and if they show up, Tristan’s Rule, BurntSocks, Neighbor, and Zenokidz; while dark horses, Final Boss is the perfect chance for these players to show up and to slay some gods of PM.


Defending their home turf, NorCal has been hailed as one of the most powerful regions in PM as of late, and a win at FinalBoss would mean more to the region than the $1000 pot bonus. Holding down their home turf in NorCal are local bosses such as Fridgebits (Luigi), RedX (Link) and Dr. Grin (Ness). It’s no secret though that the best chance for NorCal is their very own ThunderzReign, a Donkey Kong player said to have a win over Junebug in a money match and a few sets over SoCal’s finest to boast about, on top of the flair and style he packs into every game as the Dong. Thunderz’ gameplay is without a doubt among the best in the west, but will it be enough to defend against arguably the best Project M player in the world?

Further up along the coast, the eternally underrated and overlooked Pacific Northwest has brought a pack of players to Final Boss, including Washington’s own Chevy - formerly the Samus at the top of Anther’s Ladder, the up and coming Mario player The Doctor, and brutal Ganondorf player Hungry Headcrab. Looking south, another strong region has thrown their hat into the ring as well in the form of Arizona, featuring players such as the Shiek/Charizard player known for his proficiency with many characters in ForteFreak, Casino Wolf and his deceptive Mewtwo, iLoveBagelz’s slippery Luigi, Cloudburst’s tricky Squirtle, and the rising star, Blue the Link main, who in his short time playing has already slain top players such as Neon, Axe, Medz, and Heysuess, and has only lost to SanchAZ and Silly Kyle. In their neighboring state of New Mexico, the high-octane Falcon main known as Filthy Casual will join them.  Many spectators were introduced to FC at AZ’s Rewired just a few months ago, when he took out Sosa in winner’s and iPK in loser’s quarters to take fourth place behind Silly Kyle, Mach, and Sosa.


Junebug, representing MD/VA and the favorite to win the tournament, is hot off a string of amazing placements, including first at Low Tier City 3 this past year, as well as first at We Tech Those, and second to Professor Pro at Tipped off 11. However, June is not the only top player journeying across the country. Project M titans Strong Bad (Wario) of Texas and Hero of Time (Link) from Florida will be in attendance as well, looking to continue their streak of strong placings in 2015. Strong Bad has taken sets off of many of PM titans of various eras, including Sethlon, Ally, Oracle, Lunchables, and highlighted by a 3-1 win over the mighty Junebug in winner’s semifinals of TippedOff11 on 11/8 (notably, Junebug did get the LF runback) in his eventual third place finish to end 2015.  Hero of Time on the other hand was almost entirely unknown before 2015.  He quietly reached 9th place at Paragon Orlando (an event that was unfortunately not streamed).  Later on in the year, he reached as high as 5th place at both Aftershock and LTC3, and has taken out players like Ripple, Strong Bad, Silent Wolf, and the Melee god himself, Mew2King.  Both players are not without weaknesses, however.  In 2015, Hero of Time reached the final bracket on winner’s side after strong performances, but often lost immediately after being sent to loser’s.  For as long as Strong Bad has been around, first place has always eluded him.  It could be said that he plays up or down to the skill level of his opponents, having dropped sets in the past against lesser known opponents.  Despite this, both players ended 2015 in excellent form, and Final Boss will be an excellent test to see how they have developed.


Rumor of a deathpool for late registrants has made it’s way around the venue.  Buzz about a possible appearance in StereoKiDD leaves us wondering what other top players and hidden bosses might be lurking around Santa Clara University?


The Salty Suite and character exhibitions are set to feature some of the best in the game. A lot of pride is on stake this weekend as players go toe-to-toe to hash out who the true masters of their character are, and if the recent Ganon ditto between Junebug and Red Ranger is any indication, FB’s Salty Suite will be one to witness. Whether you’re craving for some high level Project M or just need to satiate your Smash fix while you wait for Genesis 3 next weekend, be sure to tune into Final Boss starting at 11 AM PST on January 9th-10th!


- PMTV | Darth Shard, MoM | PlayOnSunday, and the rest of PMTV Right Brain



Still craving PM action after Final Boss? You can also catch these players at their various weeklies at the links below:

Norcal - http://hitbox.tv/siliconsmash

Socal - http://hitbox.tv/socalprojectm

AZPM - http://hitbox.tv/azpm

DFW Texas - http://hitbox.tv/projectmcentral

South Florida - http://www.hitbox.tv/southfloridapm