Super Smash Brothers Melee was released in 2001. 2002 brought some of the earliest match footage, including tournaments.

Long before Melee hit the front page of Twitch (or even before our earliest streams were on Ustream and, before YouTube became the primary location for video storage, and even predating the DC++ hub, Smashers used free Angelfire websites to host videos. Match footage, friendlies, they all were recorded and posted if the person was interested in doing so.

Taking note from other competitive gaming scenes and traditional sports, a light bulb went off. Why not make a montage of a player’s match highlights and set it to music? This was different from many traditional fighting games, these weren’t proof of concept videos; these were in medias res, a dance between the players being shown. And although we don’t have an exact date, we generally attribute the first player highlight reels in Melee to The Punch Crew, dating back to 2003. The combo video was born.

The combo video has long been a warning shot to the world, letting people know that you exist and are capable of dropping jaws. They’ve become more than just videos, they’ve become part of the lexicon of the modern Smasher. Happy Feet, Bombs Over Baghdad, I Killed Mufasa and others are commonly referenced as part of the shared experience of these players and the combo videos that defined generations of Melee, generations of players, and the skill of the players highlighted. They were also a rite of passage, letting people know that the player is someone to keep an eye out for.  They forced you to recognize various scenes around the world, it is why players and fans still hold Dark in such high regard, it is why people knew about Armada before his arrival at Genesis, it is why Kizzu was mobbed by PewPewU at APEX this year.

As time went on and the game evolved, so did the combo video. The combos became more impressive and intricate, the editing improved, and they became more prominent as capture cards became wide spread, and options like Windows Movie Maker were everywhere and extremely consumer friendly. The legendary crew DBR would put out their combo videos for individual members, and they each shook the earth. But they fired a warning shot to let you know they were coming.

When they arrived, things were never the same.

The crew combo video’s pinnacle was nearly a movie, a bit of a glimpse into each of the players, but throwing in the action that combo videos were expected to provide. They did not disappoint, and their individual videos kept up that bar for quality. Shined Blind, Overdose, The Hylian Nightmare, Silence, Rollout were all superb videos that each had humongous impacts and inspired players around the world, and still do. And as rare as crews are, a few others have released videos highlighting a group of friends having fun demolishing each other.

Fast forward to the present day. The combo video has become less and less prominent as highlights are more often than not reduced to a gif and not compiled into a montage from a player, or an event. We get top moments and countdowns, but the traditional combo video is becoming a bit of a relic, lost in time.  Great videos are still being made, like the No Fox Given series, Luichete Kills, Axe About Me, Qerb Stomped and many others, but overall, the combo video, the one of the most important mediums used in community outreach and inspiration, is fading into obscurity.

Tafokints and I…we want to do something about that. The combo video is an inseparable part of the community’s history, and well…I personally think they are really fun to make. So, how’s about a bit of a contest? Until June 14th, make your combo video, and email it to us at, and on a future episode of Melee It On Me, a panel of guests will pick BOTH the best individual combo video and the best crew combo video based on various factors such as editing, creativity, combos, so on and so forth.

Tafokints will give the best individual combo video’s creator $100, and I’ll match that for the best crew combo video. Submissions have already begun.

The bar has been set high already. Can’t wait for you all to make us feel like we did the when we saw Taj go nuts. Or Darkrain. Or Amsah. Or SimnaOr $Mike. Or maybe next time we’ll do this, it’ll be your name here instead of theirs.

Good luck, and again, send your submissions to, title it “Combo Video Submission” or something of the ilk, and stay tuned!  We’re looking for just Melee videos, just to keep things consistent.  We’re looking for mostly original content, so to everyone who is looking to make a video of M2K’s greatest hits or a TAS montage in the vein of Perfect Control…sorry.  We’ll follow this story up in June so you all know who made the cut and who didn’t.