Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey has gone a bit under the radar to this point of his Smash 4 career. He’s ranked No. 15 in the Panda Global world rankings and has had a couple solid finishes this year, including third at Shots Fired 2 and fifth at Pound. Before a disappointing loss keeping him out of the top 32 at EVO, Slingshot’s Colin Nimer caught up with Tweek to talk the Smash 4 meta, his background and comparisons to Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman.
This is Colin Nimer at Evo 2016 talking to Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey, the Smash 4 Cloud player. How are you doing?
Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey: Pretty good, I’m excited for the tournament.
CN: So I just saw you win a pool round because the other guy didn’t show up. After two minutes, he was disqualified. That’s pretty intense! What are your thoughts on that?
GD: Usually people give you five to 10 minutes, but the pool is already running late, so it makes sense, but that sucks for whoever I was going to play.
CN: With the Smash 4 meta we’ve seen a lot of changes. Right now it’s pretty diverse. When we think back to ANTi winning CEO he was busting out new characters in the Grand Final to counter pick. Is there anything you have been doing to follow suit with that or do you think it’s still possible to main one character and have a shot at winning everything?
GD: I think it is. There are a few characters you can solo main and have a chance at victory, but it’s a lot easier and it’s a lot more efficient to have multiple characters. The way that counter picking works is: some players are new to the matchup and they don’t know what’s going on, so you use that character; other times it’s about advantages in matchups. So really it’s player against player, and character against character. It has a lot of depth. That’s why there’s not a lot of random counter picking. It’s actually really intense.
CN: I remember ANTi joking on Twitter about playing Megaman into Mew2King after ScAtt crushed him.
GD: Yeah he’s beaten M2K like two or three times in a row now.
CN: Do you have a top 5 characters list or a tier list? Is there a point where the diversity of Smash 4 ends?
GD: Well, in my opinion, when it comes to tiers I like to think of it as “who are the characters that can win” instead of “who is the best in what order?” That’s what I usually think about. If I had to have a top 5, I’d say that Cloud is in there, Diddy Kong is in there, Sheik, maybe Mario, Sheik, Rosalina, Zero Suit Samu
CN: I’d like to learn about your background. Where did you grow up, how did you get into Smash games, and what led you to pursue this as a lifestyle?
GD: So I was born in Indiana. I only lived there for a couple months then I moved to New Jersey and lived there all my life. I’ve always been a gamer since I was a toddler, and Smash has always been my favorite game. When Brawl came out, I played a lot of online on a website called “All is Brawl.” It was like a competitive ladder. I never went to any tournaments. I stopped for a couple of years until Smash 4 was announced, and I was really interested. I went to a few tournaments for Melee to prepare, then Smash 4 came out… now I’m here!
CN: What about a background in Final Fantasy? When Cloud came out you picked him up really quickly. What drew you to him as a character?
GD: So before I was a Bowser Jr. main, and I had a lot of fun with him. That’s why I played him: I enjoyed him a lot. I actually wanted him in the game, and when he was I was like “oh my god!” When Cloud came out… I just test all the new DLC characters because I love the game, so as soon as he came out I had a lot of fun. My friends and I would play Cloud dittos for hours. I went to a local, after he came out, and I beat Nairo in the finals. So ever since then, he’s become more…my character. And now, he’s my main. Bowser Jr. is gone
CN: It’s somewhat appropriate to compare you and Mew2King in that regard: you’re both Cloud mains. Is there a difference between your play styles that gives the character their own identities with the players, and is one more efficient than the other?
GD: So, people do like to compare me and M2K a lot for best Cloud, but I’m not used to that. I was the only one who played Bowser Jr. Now I’m using a character everyone plays. I’d say Mew2King is a lot more conservative. You’ll see him charge his Limit a lot. I think I’m a lot more aggressive, in your face. I think there’s a time for both, in certain matchups. Like against Sheik, it’s really tough to fight her; she’s so fast. So I think you really have to stay back and get that limit. But against other characters, like, maybe Ness, where you outrange them completely, you can go ham on them and destroy them.
CN: Anything you’d like to say to the fans?
GD: Thanks for showing me support during this tournament!
Cover photo: Colin Nimer