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Wizzrobe: “Every tournament I come to learn, and if I’m going to too many tournaments, I feel like I’m not learning or absorbing the information as much.”

Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett is one of the most versatile Super Smash Bros players in the world. Aside from being ranked 23rd in the most recent Melee It On Me rankings, Wizzy is also known to dabble in Smash 4 and also played Project M during its days.

Slingshot’s Dylan “CC” Cooke had the chance to talk to Wizzrobe about tournaments, playing different games and how to space out a year-long schedule. The transcript is below:

Dylan “CC” Cooke: You’re known for being a top contender in Melee, but also being a threat in other games as well. How active are you in them?

Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett: Well I’m pretty active in 64. I placed seventh at Genesis 3. I take Smash 4 seriously, but I don’t enter it often because I already enter so many games. I have a few good results, I know I’m good and that I can beat good players. I beat a lot of good central Florida players. I think I beat Ally like a year ago, but he’s super good now. I’m worse in Smash 4 than other games though.

DC: Do you have any ambitions with Smash 4?

JH: Well I’d like to be as good as possible, but it’s hard because I play the other games too. I feel like I could do really really good at a Smash 4 tournament if it was Smash 4 only. Like there’s Momo-Con but I didn’t want to go to that because it was too soon to Get On My Level, and I didn’t want to travel two weekends in a row. That would have been a fun tournament to go to, though. I take the game as serious as all the other. It’s just the backseat of my priority since I’m better at the other games. Just trying to see what I can do.

DC: People have talked about how in Melee, maining multiple characters and switching during tournaments can be tough. On the other hand, we have some players switching between multiple games during a tournament. Do you think it’s as hard if not harder?

JH: Definitely way worse. I don’t hear too much talk about switching characters, although I think we should hear more about that. I don’t experience it because I only play one character in each game, so I can’t say much on that.

DC: Is the one character per game a personal mindset you have? Pick one character and master it?

JH: Yeah, I just like generally one character more than the others. When I like that character, I just want to be that character. I don’t want multiple characters, I just want to be that one character and beat every other character with that one character. But going back to the game thing, switching games is one of the worst things to do in Smash. Mew2King is a good example. I got first seed in my pool at GOML for Smash 4 and dropped because of time issues. But Mew2King does it anyways and if you ask him he’ll just tell you I just do it. I don’t know. I just do.” He knows it’s bad especially at bigger tournaments when he knows it’s going to affect him more, but he just does it anyway. At GOML he beat Zero 3-0 which is really good, but only because he was playing Smash 4 all weekend. He would play his Melee matches and go back to practice Smash 4. He really only had a goal to beat Zero and he did it, but since he was just playing Smash 4, he did a lot worse in Melee. He didn’t do too well vs. Leffen and I’m almost certain Smash 4 is the reason he lost to N0ne in losers. I ended up asking him and he agreed.

DC: Speaking of N0ne, do you have any thoughts on him and his recent performance? He just placed seventh at Get On My Level.

JH: He’s a little bit better than I expected, to be honest. I always thought he was good. I think he’s great at what he does but his weaknesses compared to other Falcon mains is really noticeable. In some matchups, he’s probably as good as me or Gravy, but in a couple matchups I think he’s clearly lacking. He needs some work vs. Puff, although that’s just based off his set with Hungrybox. He’s pretty good overall, just not as good as me, Gravy or S2J just yet. But I think we have more experience in all matchups so when he gets that experience he’ll be as good as us. He’s really good versus Marth and spacies though, so yeah.

DC: Leffen ended up taking first at GOML, a player we’ve only seen you play once back at CEO 2015. How do you think you’ll stack up against him if you meet in bracket?

JH: Well we actually played at Paragon Orlando but that wasn’t streamed. That was the first time we fought and it went to Game 3, although I lost pretty bad the third game. It showed that I could at least keep up with him. At CEO it was Game 3 again with decently close matches, which I was happy for, but I haven’t really fought him in a long time, so who knows.

DC: Do you study up on Leffen in case you do meet in him bracket? Is he someone you want to beat soon?

JH: Well the thing is I usually study my sets vs. a player to study them, rather than study them vs. other players. Since I haven’t played Leffen in a while, I don’t have much to go by to prepare for. I don’t specifically want to beat Leffen soon, but I’d like to beat every player regardless.

DC: You’ve been competing for some time. When was the first time you really traveled out for Smash?

JH: I first traveled out when I was 14, I went to Tipped Off 7 or 8. I remember because I actually won the PM tournament, which was cool. I was playing Sonic. That was the start, really, although I only did decent in Melee. I beat DOP, this good Peach main. He’s dead now. Like in the game, not real life. He doesn’t play anymore.

DC: Very well then. Top players have been expressing their thoughts on tournament burnouts lately. How does it feel traveling multiple times a month to play Smash, especially as one of the youngest players in the game?

JH: Well I think it’s fun and it’s cool – but like I don’t even feel like I get burnt out. I feel like I’m afraid I’ll get burnt out. Sometimes I won’t go to a tournament if it’s too soon to another one. Like I didn’t go to Momo-Con because it was too close to GOML. I usually don’t go if they are within consistent weekends. I enjoy doing it but I can’t just do it too much. Sometimes you need a break. Maybe once in a while, I’ll do three tournaments in a month, but that’s very rare. The other thing is, while players like Mango and Hungrybox can come to tournaments and win, I don’t necessarily have that just yet. Every tournament I come to learn, and if I’m going to too many tournaments, I feel like I’m not learning or absorbing the information as much. After a loss you take a look at your losses and analyze. With too busy of a schedule, you have no time to reflect, you know?

Cover photo by Robert Paul, Used with permission.