Foreword by DarkDragoon:

In an effort to increase community awareness of players or scenes that don’t usually get the limelight, I’ve been seeking folks willing to write up articles about scenes or players that are doing something worth talking about.  In our first iteration, we have Mew2Queen interviewing the one and only Sp1nda who just recently was confirmed for Genesis 4 via compendium donations.  Some of you may have heard of Sp1nda from her performance at TBH6 crews, or perhaps from Phil’s enthusiastic support of her in his “Philm Sessions” series.  Or, quite possibly, this is the first you’ve heard of her! Either way, here’s a great place to learn more about what may be Melee’s newest rising star.

Mew2Queen: Hi Sp1nda, thanks for joining me, could you please introduce yourself for people who might not be familiar with you?

Sp1nda: My name is Laurel Yoho, but everyone usually just knows me as “Spinda.” I’ve been playing for about a year and a half, and I main Fox. I come from the wonderful region of PGH/NEOH


Why did you choose Fox? Did you play Fox from the start, or have you played other characters in the past?

I think I had decided to start playing Fox due to a lot of combo videos I had seen, and because from the time I started playing video games, Star Fox 64 was one that I really loved. It’s always been more of a personal connection between me and my character because I love remembering the times my brother and I would play Star Fox together. I did choose Marth at first, mostly because people recommended learning fundamentals with him, but Fox was just more appealing in every way to me.


When you were introduced to Super Smash Brothers, did you start with Melee?

Why, yes I did. As mentioned before, my brother got his hands on a copy when I was really little.


Recently you won Kent Combo #34, how was that tournament for you?

Kent Combo has always been interesting for me. I actually went through the day thinking I wasn’t playing very good, but when it came down to game 10 in grand finals I never wanted to win anything more. Every fiber in my body wanted the win.


You had an impressive showing in your national debut at The Big House 6 earlier this year in the Smash Sisters side event, what was that like?

Going into it I did think about what it would feel like to actually win my first tournament and what I’d do afterward. I always try to keep a level head before a tournament, as I never know who will be there, and the amount of people who show up. Though I did feel strangely more confident than usual going in.


How was your experience in the main bracket of TBH6?

I actually did pretty terrible at Big House. My pool was at 11 am, and I was really nervous. I was disappointed with my performance, because I know that I could’ve done way better if I had maybe gotten there the day before, or even just tried to clear my mind beforehand. I did learn a lot from it however, and next time I won’t be nearly as unprepared.


After TBH6, Phil did a Philm Session on the Smash Sisters there, which seemed to be the catalyst for your new-found fame. How has that affected you?

Aside from gaining about 150 Twitter followers in two days, it felt really good that so many people really believed in me. Lots of people have since reached out to me offering help, advice, or just to even appreciate my gameplay. It has made me really happy!


When the Genesis 4 Compendium player nomination opened, you skyrocketed to #1 in melee and have since been added as a donation goal. Can we expect a Spinda rap any time soon?

Only if it’s a diss track about a certain pesky Peach player. Really though it’d probably be the worst rapping anyone has ever heard, I’m super white.


My understanding is that you can’t make it to Genesis 4 without the community funding you in the Compendium. Should you make it to Genesis, what would be your goals going in to the tournament?

It’s pretty simple, I wanna do my best and beat everyone I’m up against. I have enough confidence that I’d do way better than I did at Big House, considering I’m more aware of what the environment is like. Afterward, I want to play as many players as possible so I can learn as much as I can in the time I’m there. Big House taught me so much, and I want Genesis to be the same.


How do you practice for an event on this scale? How do you decide what to practice, and how to practice it? Who do you normally practice with?

I study a lot of sets online, and try to work on new things that I previously haven’t explored alongside my practice partners. I decide what to practice based on parts of my game that I feel like I’m lacking in, which the people I practice with help point out and explain to me so that I can fix it. How I practice it is pretty simple, I learn best through just playing against other players, so I like to test things out at locals, in friendlies, about everything. My practice partners consist of friends I made very early on in the community, their tags are Walt, Expo, DubZero, and cWeb. We’ve all actively played together for almost 2 years now.


The Pokedex says there are about 4 billion different spot patterns for Spinda based on its personality value, of which there are 4, 294, 967, 295 potential values. Have you considered calling your inevitable combo video “One in Four Billion?”

I’ve never thought of that, but I might just have to steal it for my own now that I’ve heard of it.
Finally, this question comes from a fan, what are “Panini Wednesdays”?

It turned into a tradition. On my snapchat, I started to make a ridiculous deal out of my school lunch on Wednesday, paninis, as it’s the only edible food I’ve ever eaten from a school. Everybody then learned very quickly how crazy I was about Panini Wednesday. So now all the people who added me on snapchat specifically for Panini Wednesday always look forward to it.


Thanks again for taking the time to do this, I hope to see you at Genesis 4 in January, do you have any shoutouts or anything you would like to add?

Shoutout to Dr. Greenthumb and my PGH/NEOH homies. They’re all really the best. I’d also like to add that Mach is the best snail to ever live.