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Filed under: Masahiro Sakurai, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Series

Premium Fight: The Very First Melee Tournament

first Melee tourney alt

After seeing a post about the Premium Fight tournament pop up on Reddit, I did some research to see if there was any info on it, and found two posts about it– one on Nintendo’s official site, and another on the official Melee site. This post combines both– a report on the event, and then Sakurai’s tournament tips for the available characters. The Premium Fight was an event that was held at Space World 2001, on August 25th-27th.

Nintendo Space World 2001 Report

#8: Super Smash Bros. Melee Premium Fight! Championship Stage


The tournament to decide the best Super Smash Bros Melee player is on! Any fans at the convention center were free to participate, but we’re down to the finals, featuring only the strongest players who made it through the preliminary stages. Let’s take a look!



The 32 players who made it through the preliminary stages were split into 8 groups of 4 players each, and fought a single 4-player match in a 2-minute time battle format. Some matches went to Sudden Death to decide a winner, but in the end there were only 8 players left standing.



The 8 remaining players were once again split into groups of 4. The rules were the same as the quarterfinals. The winner from each game would advance to the finals. Here, a brilliant player named Oikawa (who was even endorsed by the MCs, Asarido1) lost in Sudden Death. The two finalists were Yuta Suzuki and Yasuhito Murofushi, both 16 years old.

An Unofficial Battle?


Here, as a prelude to the final battle, the two members of Asarido began a coin battle. Horiguchi played Ice Climbers, and Kawamoto played Princess Peach. Kawamoto walked away the victor of a close match decided by 8 coins.


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Finally, the time to crown a champion was here. “I will win!” said Suzuki, as he chose Kirby. “I’m confident I’ll win,” said Murofushi as he selected Mario. The format was set to stock, and the championship match began. The players were equally matched in skill, and the match progressed with each player taking stocks equally in a close battle, but in the end, Murofushi’s Mario came out victorious! As a prize, he was awarded a Nintendo GameCube and a copy of Super Smash Bros. Melee upon release. Congratulations!

The following is an excerpt from the “Space World Report 1” post from the Smash Bros. Dojo!!, published on 8/24/01.

That reminds me.

I think there are quite a few of you who are thinking to participate in the “Premium Fight” event at Space World. Because it’s going to be everyone’s first time playing, I thought you might want some details about the game first.

So, for each character, I’m going to dispense one small but helpful tidbit of information. (It’s still in development, so it’s possible some details might change in the final version).

Are you ready?

TL Note: I will be using the Prima Strategy Guide names for every move named, but it should be clear what move Sakurai is talking about regardless.

Mario’s forward smash, Fire Glove,  is more powerful if you hit with the fire part as opposed to his hand.

Donkey Kong’s side special, Headbutt, doesn’t bury the opponent into the ground when used in midair, but becomes a Meteor Smash instead.

It seems that Link’s up special, Spin Attack, is pretty strong when used on the ground.

Samus’s aerial Grappling Beam can’t grab people in the air, but it can deal a small amount of damage. Also, you can position yourself in the air more precisely if you use an air dodge [while using the Grappling Beam].

It’s very easy to lose your own stock when using Yoshi’s side special, Egg Roll. If your opponent keeps rolling at you, just unleash an attack.

Kirby’s down tilt makes him crouch down very low, and is quite strong. However, his down aerial attack is a Meteor Smash, which generally have a lot of landing lag, meaning they require some skill to use.

Fox’s down special, Reflector, can be quite useful as a direct attack as well.

Part, but not all, of Pikachu’s tail counts as part of his hurtbox. You can even grab it. The same goes for Fox.

Falcon’s neutral special move, Falcon Punch, is more powerful closer to his body than at the tip. Moves like those are common among the entire cast.

Ness’s neutral special, PK Flash, extinguishes when it hits the ground. However, the longer you charge it, the stronger it becomes, so where you launch and unleash the attack is important.

As fanservice, there is a palette swap for Peach using “that other girl’s” colors. To change colors, press X or Y at the Character Select Screen.

Bowser’s attacks are powerful but slow and laggy, so if you think of his forward tilt as a smash attack, you should do fine.

When playing as the Ice Climbers and Nana is about to fall off stage, you can run towards her and use their up special move Belay to save her. Belay will provide a lot of vertical height, but the Ice Climbers don’t have much horizontal mobility in the air, so be careful.

On the Character Select Screen, the ? next to Link is Sheik, who won’t be participating this time. There are five other hidden character boxes, but their identities are secret.

On that note, good luck!


1. Asarido is a comedy duo that were the MCs for this tournament and has been involved with Nintendo for some time (they were present at Space World 1999, and they were actually the presenters for the 3DS 2v2 event held by Nintendo last year as well).


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  1. I’m not really into the tourney scene, but the tidbits at the end are interesting… especially the one about being able to grab Pikachu’s and Fox’s tails, had no idea about that one before.

    Winturwulf (@winturwulf) on October 19 |
  2. “Fox’s down special, Reflector, can be quite useful as a direct attack as well.”

    How naive we all were…

    Delzethin on October 20 |