Westballz: “I can see a path to top 8”

With Evo 2016 set to start, we caught up with our Super Smash Bros. Melee player, Weston “Westballz” Dennis, and picked his brain about his preparations for this tournament, which will feature over 2,300 competitors.

We are just mere hours away from the start of the 2016 edition of the Evolution Championship Series, the biggest and most prestigious fighting game event in the world, held every year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Weston “Westballz” Dennis, who signed for G2 Esports at the start of the week, will be making his debut for our club in the Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament, featuring a whopping 2,372 entrants!

Entering the top places in such a big tournament, with all the biggest names in the game in attendance, is no small task, but Weston is confident that fourth time will be the charm after finishing top 16 at the last two Evo editions and top 24 back in 2013.

“It is true that I have traditionally underperformed at the Evolution Series, but everyone knows that my chances are still good to end up in the top eight,” he said. “There is a lot of pressure with the new team, and fans definitely want me to see go far in the bracket. I have had big wins before, I am better prepared now than I was for any other tournament. I can see a path to top 8 and taking down the favorites to win.”

It has not always been a smooth ride for Weston, who has often struggled for consistency, losing matches where he was the heavy favourite to come through. This has made the phrase “Westballz can defeat anyone, but anyone can defeat Westballz” a popular phrase in the Smash community.

“Indeed, I have had poor losses,” he acknowledged. “I am a young player and have played in tournaments where my head was not in the right place, where my energy was not there. But I have made new standards for myself and will show a Westballz people can trust. I have been through anger and disappointment, and this has motivated me to readjust my strategies.”


Westballz has been working on improving his Fox

Speaking of strategies, we asked Weston whether he had any special preparations heading into Evo. “I cannot say I have specifically practiced for this one event,” he said. “But I have done a lot more mental preparation, and since the bracket has been released, I have a game plan in the back of my mind.

Despite being widely regarded as one of the best players in the world on his signature character, Falco, Weston revealed that he has been working on improving his Fox to prevent his game from being one-dimensional.

“It is very hard to use Falco for every match-up because having an off-day on this character can easily lead to losses,” he explained. “That is why I am transitioning to Fox for certain match-ups and I am giving him more confidence. This sometimes means using him in high-stakes matches, even when I might have a better chance of winning at that moment with Falco, and that is why I have been in a bit of a slump lately.”

While signing for G2, Weston set his sights on “becoming the best player in the world and winning titles.” And while he still plans to make good on that, he is not obsessed with winning one tournament in particular – even if it is Evo.

“Giving a good performance at Evo will go a long way towards reaching my goal, but proving myself is not fleeting,” he noted. “Big and prestigious tournament happen every couple of months. When the time is ready I will make my mark.”

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