Evan “Larfen” Himes
When you think of the Melee community, your first thought is usually of competitors. After all, these are the celebrities, the people on stream who attain the all the glory that can be attained through playing a 20 year old party game. While these players are our best advertisements to prospective new members, if there were only players then there would be no community. Who runs the streams that we watch this beautiful game on? Who told us why a match mattered, and what’s happening in it? Who made the controllers? Who organized this event? A huge group of Melee enthusiasts work behind the scenes at every event you know of that make them possible, and today I’d like to shine a spotlight on a few of our local unsung heroes here in Chicago.
Photo credits to Mark Capapas
Flashburn117 – @Flashburn117
Flashburn has helped out the Chicagoland Melee community in so many ways it’s actually difficult to list them all, and I’m probably going to miss some of the services he’s provided over the years.
I first became aware of Flashburn as Chicago’s “CRT Lord”. Whether it be local or regional, you could count on Flashburn to pull up to the tournament with a minivan filled to the brim with CRTs. Many tournament series throughout CLM history depended on his supply of setups.
More recently and probably most importantly, Flashburn has taken over as CLM’s go-to streamer of events. Once again, at both the local and regional level you can find Flashburn dutifully manning the stream and ensuring an entertaining broadcast for anyone interested. On a more national scale Flashburn is also involved in the production of an incredible amount of tournaments, so much so that all he’s done in 2021 alone fills the entire body of a tweet
I would be remiss not to mention Flashburn’s multiple appearances as a commentator at regional events like Hold That L, and his impressive skill as a player. He doesn’t enter much these days, but Flashburn’s explosive spacies remain a scary matchup for anyone to come up against in bracket.
MeleedyMods – @MeleedyMods
Shown on the far left of this image from Hold That L 6, Melissa of MeleedyMods is too busy to even pose for a photo op! Melissa has been THE go-to controller modder in CLM for several years now, and her reputation has quickly grown outside of the Midwest too.
Controller modders have become more and more of a staple at tournaments now that players require such precision for optimal play. Just as any competitor needs the best equipment, so too do Melee players need someone to ensure that their controllers are functioning to their liking.
Controller modding isn’t easy, either. I’ve filed down my fair share of shield drop notches in my time, but that’s nothing compared to what Melissa is able to do for controllers. Just to name a few services from her price sheet, MeleedyMods can provide competitors with: Firefox notches, snapback capacitors, paracord, and she even creates her own custom buttons.
Needless to say, Melissa’s services have been vital to CLM for a long time now, and she’s a popular figure among both local players and competitors from out of region. She operates a booth at many majors too so be sure to check her out if you need repairs.
Seal – @SSB_Seal
Pictured on the left, alongside your handsome author, Seal has made remarkable strides as a commentator over the past few years. Although previously active in both Chicago and Wisconsin (often commentating the Invincible series in Madison), Seal gained most of his renown through being an extremely active commentator in the online COVID era. After being on the mic for countless online weeklies such as Untitled and East Coast Fridays, Seal has now cut his teeth on larger online tournaments like Rollback Rumble The Big One and Galint Melee Open Summer Edition; in addition to larger regionals like Hold That L.
Of course, someone doesn’t become a good commentator just by talking all day. A big reason Seal has gained such opportunities is something that every commentator knows they need to do but just isn’t able to bring themselves to put in the effort necessary. We all know what I’m talking about… posting comments on YouTube!
Okay obviously not that, it’s Seal’s improvement as a player that has given him the insight necessary to be a great commentator. This season in CLM he’s taken established players such as Q?, GioGoat, and Larfen to last game scenarios, and secured wins over Champaign PR Forest and Arcadian contender Frost. Seal keeping up his hustle both on the mic and the sticks is sure to make him a household name.