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Meet Mr. Lz, the 14 year old who’s making waves in Super Smash Bros.

Meet Mr. Lz, the 14 year old who’s making waves in Super Smash Bros.

When the Smash player known as Mr. Lz won his first major, Paragon 2015 Project M (PM) singles, he was only 13 years old. That’s impressive until you remember that Mozart composed his first symphony at age eight. Still, we thought Mr. Lz’s accomplishments were far and away impressive enough to kick off our community-driven Ask Me Anything series. Users on r/SmashBros submitted their most burning questions; we picked our favorites and included them below.  

This interview has been lightly edited for readability.


Justin: So, first question—how was your day?

Mr. Lz: Pretty good, been on the netplay grind (Editor’s note: netplay = jerry-rigged online Smash 64, PM or Melee multiplayer), playing with DaShizWiz. I recently found more motivation to play netplay again for some reason.

J: Why do you think that is?

Lz: I haven’t been able to go to as many tournaments, because school started recently, and netplay’s all I got. It’s better than nothing, I guess.

J: So no real-life practice partners? I imagine it’s hard to find people your age who play at a comparable level.

Lz: It’s pretty hard to get around and play people in the scene when you have no way of getting there. Some people—mostly seniors—at my high school play Smash, but they’re not at that level yet, understandably.

J: Right, makes sense. You’ve improved very quickly, surpassing players with many more years of experience. What explains this rapid improvement?

Lz: Biggest influence in me getting better at Project M was definitely focusing on Melee. (Laughs) It helped my mindset a ton, because I couldn’t just bitch when I lost, and I learned to adapt. Plus the increased skill ceiling taught me to mess up a lot less.

Other than that, probably netplay. Before I started going to events, I played a ton of netplay and got 5th at my first regional, Don’t Take my Stock 3.

J: Interesting. I guess everybody always comes back to your age—does that get annoying?

Lz: Nah, I like the jokes that come with it. (Laughs)

J: But it really does seem superhuman, that you were able to get so good, so fast. Do you consider yourself a natural?

Lz: I don’t consider myself a natural, because I played a ton of Brawl casually back when I was a kid—or, more of a kid—so that may be why I got used to the mechanics so fast. I think others give up too easily when trying to improve, though.

J: What do your parents think of your Smash career?

Lz: My parents support me all the way. The only reason they’d ever make me stop playing is if it was affecting my grades in school. They pretty much treat me playing Smash no different than if I was playing a sport. They might be more protective of me traveling so much if I didn’t bring back money, though. (Laughs)

“[My Parents] might be more protective of me traveling so much if I didn’t bring back money.”

J: Speaking of school, I’d love to know how you balance schoolwork and Smash Bros.

Lz: After school I’m pretty tired; I don’t play as well, and most of the time I don’t feel like going to tournaments. I still practice on my own for at least 30 minutes a day, usually through netplay or against 20XX bots

J: What’s the distribution between Melee and Project M in terms of your practice time?

Lz: I don’t really practice PM unless a top player wants to netplay or something. I usually try to play a ton of PM before a national, though, to get back in the groove of things.

J: Is that because you think there’s more of a future in Melee?

Lz: That’s part of the reason, but why play PM when you can play Melee and get better at both faster?

J: Makes sense. One last question about school: do your classmates know you’re a Smash player? I’d assume the answer is yes?

Lz: Yeah, when I started high school somebody came up, asked if I was Mr. Lz, and introduced me to the Smash scene at my school. I never really bring up Smash, but whenever my friends introduce me to people they tell them I’m a pro.

J: Alright, let’s talk about the character Game & Watch, since about 75% of the questions submitted were about him. In your opinion, is Game & Watch “jank?” (= lame or cheap) What’s your response to those who claim that he carries you in bracket?

Lz: Game & Watch is jank, but so is a third of the PM cast, so I don’t see the problem. (Laughs)  I’m thinking about using Marth or Fox some time in bracket to prove the haters wrong, but I can only play them when I have a very good mindset. It’s hard for me to get a good mindset with other characters because of all the trash talk people throw out.

J: I’m surprised that people trash talk you. Do older players get upset when you beat them?

Lz: Yes, pretty much all Melee players do, besides a few cool ones, but they get salty losing to any PM player. I haven’t gotten much salt from PM-only players after beating them, but I heard that, after Paragon, Oracle was talking a ton of shit about me. I don’t know if it’s true, though.

J: Who is Game & Watch’s toughest matchup in PM? How about his easiest?

Lz: Game & Watch’s toughest matchup is Link, but I’ve been beating HeroOfTime super consistently for the past year. He disagrees and says Game & Watch wins the matchup now, but he refuses to chain-grab for some reason. Easiest matchup is any Bowser but Plup’s.

“Game & Watch is jank.”

J: What does Plup do differently that makes him a tougher Bowser?

Lz: I’ve only played it in one game and lost but it wasn’t super serious, so I don’t know. He’s definitely the best Bowser, though.

J: What do other PM Game & Watch players need to do to reach your level?

Lz: Most Game & Watches I see are either way too patient or impatient in neutral and don’t use optimal punishes. They also try to beat out moves they know they’ll lose to all the time, which is why they hate the Marth matchup so much. They just don’t put in enough work.

J: Okay, time for the Lightning Round. Who, in your view, are the top 5 PM players in the world?

Lz: I think it’s a tie for first between me, Junebug, and Lunchables, and then I don’t really know for the other two. I think Flipp for 4th but I haven’t seen him play recently, and 5th probably Malachi or Hyperflame.

J: If PM could have one more update, what would you fix?

Lz: Nerf Snake.

J: Would you rather fight one Gimr-sized duck or a thousand duck-sized Gimrs?

Lz: Actually, never mind the last answer. I would add light shields.

J: (Laughs)

Lz: A thousand duck-sized Gimrs, just because it’d be funny to look at.

J: That’s a great answer. What’s your favorite spice?

Lz: Old. Wait. I don’t get the question.

J: Like, Old Spice deodorant? (Laughs) I mean, like, thyme, oregano, etc.

Lz: (Lengthy silence)

J: You don’t have to have a favorite spice, by the way. I’ll permit “Pass” on this one.

Lz: (Laughs) Is salt a spice?

J: Most definitely.

Lz: Salt.

J: Are you a picky eater, Mr Lz? Be honest—your fans demand to know.

Lz: No.

J: That’s all I got. Anything else you want to get off your chest?

Lz: Nope. Thanks for the interview!

J: Thanks for taking the time!


Thanks to /r/smashbros users Simonskis, Rushey, Ozley, TrueZeeker, Mojo8675309, Gmtwozero, Pikmon12, OhFrostify, Dr3amsmasher, Exlatios, Ziltoid, and others for submitting the questions that formed the basis of the interview above.

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