Once a month, the stars align and LAN Mob holds four Smash Bros. tournaments in a single day. These days are held on the last Saturday of every month and are pretty heavy, probably one of our busiest days of each month. Despite this, these days are always pretty awesome, with a plethora of memorable stories and matches. The February "Smash Day" was yesterday and it was personally my favorite "Smash Day" so far. I can't possibly document in detail all of my favorite matches from yesterday, but I can definitely sum some stuff up!

     Starting off yesterday's Smash Day was our weekly Smash 4 tournament, a 13 player double elimination bracket. Right out of the gate, we saw Xifaxan, Draxsel and CF make short work out of their Round 1 competition, leaving 2 matches left in Round 1. Bossman vs dbot and Gary vs Grey. Thanks to some unorthodox egg techniques and up smashes, Bossman made his way past dbot and advanced to Round 2! The last match of Round 1 was Grey vs Gary. A match-up that I've never personally seen, with both players being excellent at what they do, I wasn't sure what to expect. Gary's offstage Yoshi is absurd, and with some fair combo set ups and cartons and cartons of eggs, Gary proceeded to Round 2 in a 2-1. Round 2 proceeded with multiple good sets, a 2-0 by Xifaxan against CF and Bossman defeating newcomer Wilberbeast, a solid Link player. The bracket proceeded with ferocity as CF tore through loser's bracket as Gary made his way to Draxsel on winner's side. CF defeated Xifaxan and awaited his opponent in Loser's finals, which after a 3-0 against Draxsel, was Gary.

      Gary vs CF in Loser's Finals of Season 2 Week 9 is probably my favorite set of all time here at LAN Mob. The first match was CF's Mario vs Gary on Smashville, with CF taking the match with a great down smash on the ledge. Match 2 was the same picks, but on Lylat. Gary hit an early dunk and took the match. The back and forth continued all the way to game 5, with Gary and CF at 170% and 130% respectively. With under 10 seconds remaining Gary managed to hit a fair, sending CF flying.  The fight continues offstage and with less than a second remaining both Gary and CF disappear off the map, with Gary just barely pulling out the victory. Matches like that are the entire reason I love this game so much. Destroying someone in swift 3-0's and sweeping brackets is certainly impressive, but clutch  games like this one take it to the next level. After the match, CF and Gary hugged it out, knowing they put on one hell of a show. Gary advanced to face Draxsel in grand finals, where he was in for a 3-0 against a Bayonetta that remains undefeated.

    The day continued with some Smash 4 doubles, where Draxsel and Grey's team "Game Assassins" swept the bracket. Doubles is a lot of fun on all fronts.  Fun to TO, fun to cast (although it can be pretty difficult) and fun to play in, with the right partner. It's something I'm glad we can offer, even though we have pretty small brackets.

     The monthly Smash 4 tournament was next, with only the best players getting an invite, and the buy-in being a bit higher to ensure the highest competition. With 9 of our fiercest competitors each match was great in it's own sense, definitely check out our Twitch page to watch those highlights. Notably, CF got his vengeance on Gary, Grey got his vengeance on CF and Draxsel took the tournament, only dropping  2 games along the way to Gary and CJ. These victories catapulted Draxsel into the lead for the Pound 2016 sponsorship. With four weeklies and one monthly tournament remaining, it's still anyone's game!

Unfortunately, I missed most of the melee tournament but Wasabi won in dominating fashion. Needless to say, after such a long day, I went home and slept like my life depended on it. I'm sure everyone did. Running non-stop tournaments all day take it's toll but it's a great experience, especially when the community you play with is pretty chill. It's a heck of a way to spend a Saturday.

After 8 long years, I finally retired my laptop in favor of a desktop.  It feels...weird.  I've bought countless cooling pads, RAM sticks, and even a new power brick to keep that behemoth going as long as I could.  I remember after the first week of college, I discovered a delightful game called Team Fortress 2 and proceeded to play it that entire Saturday and many more to come.  I've spent many night playing League of Legends (on a touch pad, no less!) with my buds and even brought it to LAN parties for a rousing game of TF2 and Killing Floor.  On the other hand, I've camped out in the library during finals week jamming out to my favorite jazz band while looking up examples on the digital copy of my math books.  I had it overheat and shut down while compiling code for my final project (save often and keep a backup!).  I feared for my life as my laptop died the week a major project was due and paid an exorbitant fee to get a replacement power brick on campus in time to submit it (seriously, keep backups!).

Alrighty, enough stumbling down memory lane.  On the bright side, I can start diving into the hellish queue known as my steam library.  And no more having to deal with fandangling to run games without an actual video card (like many laptops, mine had a chipset that acted as my graphics card).  I'm sad but real excited at the same time.  Think of all those swanky PC titles I could play!  Then again, I have a PS4 (on loan from my brother) and a Xbox One.  If I wanted to play something pretty I'd probably buy it on those instead.  And I'd probably swing by LAN Mob if I really wanted to play something on PC with my buds.

Realistically, I'll probably play my favorite free to play MMO on the rig when I don't feel like being social/go to the mob.  Of course, that has yet to happen.  I've been it a habit to stay a few hours after my shift to grind out a few levels or until I get too hungry.  As for my old laptop, I don't have the heart to get rid of it.  I intend to wipe it and keep nothing but my old college works and textbooks in case I need a refresher.  I don't have the heart to give it a viking funeral.

I can still remember the first few weeks of the LAN Mob League.  Adjusting to the weekly Saturday morning routine wasn't too hard.  Early mornings were drowned out by cups of coffee and as the spark of interest spread around the city, we opened our doors to what would become our biggest in-house tournament. Players from all different ages and skill levels had their hand(s) at the tournament to get a feel for what they were getting in to.  In the first few weeks we saw KamakaziFrost and dbot wipe the floors with the competition.  These were the first guys to watch out for.  However, it wasn't long until the third week showcased a new level of play from Syracuse natives Draxsel and Grey.  These weren't your average players who would roll over your friends at a party, they came prepared with very crisp and refined play.  This level of play was something that I had only seen at amateur events such as Smash @ Xanadu.  Now, along with other top performers such as Xifaxan and CF, the performance standard had been set. 

As the competition began to grow, we began to see new faces on different occasions.  The weekly events started becoming a part of people's lives.  You could no longer show up without having practiced because you would be exploited almost immediately.  I even thought that, when allowed to begin playing in the weekly tournaments, I would be able to take down some of these big names.  I didn't realize how bad I actually was until I had the opportunity to face these players on a regular basis!  There is so much experience needed to make split second decisions.  Lots of trial and error, and even more knowledge of frame data and matchups.  I was humbled by our community and how far it had come so quickly.  Our mission for the LML has been, since day one, to build yet another competitive community for people who have a passion for playing Sm4sh. 

Enter Pound 2016 sponsorship package.

With the LML's end goal being sponsorship towards the winner of the yearly event in September, it's important to us here at LAN Mob to keep the competition in top form.  That's why at the end of this season we'll be sending the player with the most points to Virginia to compete in the Pound 2016 national tournament! 

The journey doesn't end here at LAN Mob.  We are simply an outlet for people who are looking to get better at Sm4sh.  When you show up to a weekly and you have a tough bracket, it should be seen as a good experience and one you can learn from.  There will always be someone who knows something you don't, so embrace that! 

Now keep those hands warm! The game isn't over just yet...

Cho' Gall in all of his...glory.
Ever since LAN Mob's opening, I've had the very unique opportunity to basically play any game I want. I already consider myself the type of person to try any type of game and usually like it, but what small uncharted regions I haven't personally explored are being mapped out thanks to this job. MOBAs are something I'm familiar with thanks to playing League of Legends for about 4 years, Smite since Beta, and Dawngate for it's entire microscopic lifespan (rip). DOTA and Heroes of the Storm are two MOBAs I have very little experience with. I don't dislike either of these titles, if anything I've always wanted to play some Heroes of the Storm.

My dear friend and dedicated gaming partner, Anthony, AKA - "Scarskull", is a pretty big fan of Blizzard, the developers of Heroes of the Storm. I'm pretty familiar with World of Warcraft (thanks to Scarskull and Slooze) so the idea of a MOBA using all star Blizzard characters was appealing to me. So after a while of him telling me I need to play the game, we set up a day to meet up at LAN Mob and play. However, the plan was to play one of the newest Heroes characters, Cho' Gall. This Hero is absurdly unique because it is controlled by 2 people. That means there are only 4 bodies on your team with 5 players. Ya see, Cho' Gall is a big 2 headed ogre. One player controls Cho, the left side of this monstrosity. Cho is in charge of movement and smacking the crap out of anything that gets close. Scarskull is the Cho in this relationship. I was piloting Gall, the right side of the creature. As Cho parades us around, Gall is a machine gun of spells and damage.

So here I am, stuck in a body I can't move in a game I don't know how to play. Despite this, as I loaded in under the title " Sca'Sage" (another beautiful touch on this Hero), and Scarskull ran into battle, I was having a blast. Obviously, the main requirement of this character is synergy and communication. Cho' Gall's kits are entwined and rely HEAVILY on your other head to have your back (anatomy!!) With Scarskull behind the reigns while I blew up anything in sight with a multitude of skillshots, we completely destroyed the enemy in every game we played. The Hero really emulates teamwork and all aspects of it. Gall even has a skill called "Hurry up, You Oaf" which vastly increases Cho's movement speed for a short time. It was hard not to feel like a cartoon villian.

I'm not going to ruin the intricacies of this Hero by giving you a rundown of their kits or telling you what to do, I just want to express that Cho'Gall was one of the most unique and humorous experiences I've had in gaming. MOBAs are already somewhat unique as a genre, but this was much more than what I expected. I implore you to find a buddy and give it a try. Scarskull and I are now focusing on being the greatest Cho'Gall to have ever lived. I just hope he understands I'm the smart one.
Hi everyone! I'm Cody! I was part of the original squad of dreamers that developed LAN Mob! Bossman started his project to bring a LAN Center to Rome, NY around 5 years ago, but it honestly felt like a lifetime. Thanks to Bossman's hard work and research and with Zach and I helping wherever we could, LAN Mob is finally a reality.

I've been gaming for as long as I can remember. I believe one of the first games I ever played was Vectorman on the Sega Genesis and that sealed my fate. Since then I've done my best to play anything and everything. From JRPGs to competitive fighters to MOBAs. I can't even begin to list what games have changed my life or my way of thinking in full. It was around early high school where it became apparent to me that video games mean more to me then any other media and I wanted to work in the field in some way. Thanks to Bossman and his vision and all of our hard work I managed to end up doing just that.

Obviously, getting older and understanding how businesses work, LAN Mob has been very difficult. Despite the tough days, the passion of the community makes it 100% worth it. Whether it be talking eSports, discussing the hardest boss fight of the latest RPG or ganking your lane, I'm proud to be a member of this team, through the highs and the lows. I only see our community growing (as well as my Facebook friends!) and that...well that's the dream! So come on down to LAN Mob, grab a Bawls and let's game.

This post is part of the LAN Mob Introductory Series.  Check out some more introductory posts by clicking these links: Enrique | Slooze | Bossman | Sage | Connorkaze | Spydude
My name is Aaron and I'm known by the moniker "Bossman" around the shop.  LAN Mob has been a five-year project of mine that finally got off the ground this past fall.  I'm happy to see this blog taking shape and have a lot of thoughts and ideas to share!

I started gaming in the late eighties on Atari 2600 & Commodore 64 systems, eventually graduating to NES, Nintendo 64, PS2, & Xbox 360.  I've been a big PC gamer since the days of Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, mostly consuming Blizzard games including Starcraft, Diablo 2 & 3 and literally months of my life into World of Warcraft.  These days I'm very busy but I enjoy a game of Hearthstone when time allows.

I'm a programmer by trade and briefly left the field to pursue a career as a semi-professional poker player (spoilers - I went broke!).  My most recent career work revolves around large Oracle data sets, APEX dashboarding & web-based interfaces.  I also know more about the process of metallurgy than most humans should.

This post is part of the LAN Mob Introductory Series.  Check out some more introductory posts by clicking these links: Enrique | Slooze | Bossman | Sage | Connorkaze | Spydude
Hey there! My name's Zachary and I work at the greatest place I could imagine existing.  

LAN Mob was an idea that my brother, owner Aaron Wade, had cooking up many years ago.  It was when I was still in high school where my best friend and co-worker, Cody, and I would dream of the day where LAN Mob was open for everyone to enjoy.  We'd imagine the life behind the front desk where we would help people pick out their favorite gaming titles.  A job where the biggest hassle would be mopping the floors at the end of the night after picking up snack wrappers and empty energy drink cans.  We'd come to know the regular faces very well and the community would build itself and flourish effortlessly.  

That was almost seven years ago.  In that time I managed to finish high school, get my associates degree from community college, transfer to two different SUNYs, do some minor touring with my band across the state, move away from home, change majors, and move back home again.  I entertained the thought of LAN Mob every so often.  It was usually when working my job as a bar cook in Buffalo, NY where I'd drool over the thought of working at a LAN center (usually onto dried up fries that sat under the heat lamp for too long).  After all this time and effort that Aaron (AKA Bossman) put into finding a location, pitching the idea of a new entertainment alternative in small town Rome, NY, and running what ended up being an unsuccessful GoFundMe, a world with LAN Mob was looking bleak.  

It wasn't until about eleven months ago where we found a Bossman with renewed vigor prepared to move forward with LAN Mob at property that he owned in Rome.  A few of us rallied up and spent two weekends in March painting the space.  It felt great to get that first step behind us.  This idea that was being thrown around, a distant dream to some of us over the last few years, was finally coming to life!  We spent a lot of our energy in the spring/summer on keeping the dream alive.  Desks were built, computers ordered, chairs assembled, our entire network configured in a very lengthy and patient process (thanks, Bossman).  There was constant planning for opening day;  we would discuss what products we would offer, what concessions we would sell, what our gaming library would consist of, and how we would make the idea of LAN Mob attractive to any and all gamers.

It became clearer that this wasn't a job where the biggest hassle was cleaning up at the end of the night.  Even now we are continuing our efforts to grow and expand.  It takes constant pressure in pushing one another to build LAN Mob.  Though I will say I'm happy with what we've accomplished so far.  Whenever I work one of our overnight lock-in events on the weekend I try to take a moment to realize that this is the dream.  I'm surrounded by people who have a passion for video gaming.  They aren't just sitting alone in a dark room grinding hours away on World of Warcraft (not to say that I haven't been there) but instead they are playing together, laughing when something funny happens in Super Smash Bros, or maybe letting out a triumphant roar when they turn around that 1v2 dive in League of Legends.  What we have here is community.  Though small, it is a voice.  Our number one goal at LAN Mob is to provide value to our community.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.

That's my story so far.  I'm still a bronze ADC main in LoL though I plan on grinding to gold this year, or die trying.  On the weekends you might catch me trying to take on the competition at our staple LML Super Smash Bros 4 series as many are fighting for our yearly sponsorship event on September 26th later this year.  

I'm very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the team at LAN Mob as well as all the people I've met and reconnected with because of it.  I'm right at home and around the people I love every day.  It doesn't get much better than that :^)

This post is part of the LAN Mob Introductory Series.  Check out some more introductory posts by clicking these links: Enrique | Slooze | Bossman Sage | Connorkaze | Spydude
A young man driven by a mysterious  force known as "Waifus".  Interested in 2D fighters, platformers, FPS, and the occasional Korean MMO.  Currently burning through Final Fantasy Explorers (3DS), hooked on a sinister Canadian MMO known as Warframe (multi-plat), and weening off my one true love Dungeon Fighter Online (PC).

Infinite Looper

This post is part of the LAN Mob Introductory Series.  Check out some more introductory posts by clicking these links: Enrique | Slooze | Bossman | Sage | Connorkaze | Spydude
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