On March 24th, 2017, the biggest Sm4sh tournament in the history of the game’s competitive scene will begin: 2GGC: Civil War. The Civil War divides contestants up into two teams- Team ZeRo, and Team Ally. TSM.ZeRo and C9.Ally are the two best Smash 4 players in the world, both with outstanding competitive records. The reason for dividing teams along these lines? These two players have the most volatile and recognizable rivalry in the scene.

Let us briefly go back in time. In 2015, ZeRo went on an unprecedented tournament run, winning 56 tournaments in a row and establishing himself as the unopposed God-King of Smash 4 at the time. During that year,  Zero and Ally met five times. ZeRo took every single set. Shortly after winning 2GGT: EE Saga, ZeRo incurred an injury to his finger that had him sitting out of competition for nearly four months. During those four months, other players grew in skill while ZeRo was unable to compete or practice. Eager to make his return, ZeRo chose Get On My Level 2016, a major tournament in Ally’s home country of Canada, as his comeback tournament despite persistent pain in his finger. Against the odds, ZeRo stunned the world with a phenomenal tournament run and ended up sitting in grand finals against Ally. Commentators, players, and viewers alike felt as if ZeRo truly was the unstoppable God-King he had seemed to be throughout the year before. In a close game 5 set, Ally shocked the world and took the gold against ZeRo. With this win, Ally became the sixth player in history to defeat ZeRo in a tournament set, and only the second to ever eliminate ZeRo from a tournament. As the year progressed, Ally would continue to defeat ZeRo in close last-hit sets. Though ZeRo has since risen back to prominence as the undisputed number one, there remains one player who continues to have his number: C9.Ally.

But that doesn’t explain the Civil War. Why split the community into teams? What is the purpose? After ZeRo lost his second grand finals set in a row to Ally at Smash ‘N’ Splash 2, pro player Larry Lurr proposed an idea on twitter: “If there was a civil war in Smash 4 with ZeRo and Ally leading the opposing sides who do you think each top player would side with?” The idea went viral, and what was at one time a question tweeted out on a whim has become the biggest tournament in Smash 4 history. Akin to the then-popular film Captain America: Civil War, the 2GG team interviewed a series of top players to determine where they would stand in the civil war. The result is a crew battle featuring Team ZeRo and Team Ally, each headed up by their namesake. The teams are as follows:

Team ZeRo: Nairo, MkLeo, Ranai, komorikiri, Larry Lurr, VoiD, ANTi, Trela, FOW, and Zero

Team Ally: Dabuz, Mr. R, Abadango, Marss, Kameme, Zinoto, Mr. E, Ned, Pink Fresh, and Ally

Going into 2GGC: Civil War, ZeRo and Ally are tied at 6-6 in set count. In 2017, Ally is the only person among the top 10 Smash 4 players in the world to have a winning record over ZeRo (1-0). Team ZeRo has by far the upper hand in terms of raw stats- six of the top ten players on the Panda Global Ranking (PGR) sit comfortably on Team ZeRo, with the other four sitting on Team Ally. That said, every single player on both rosters is incredibly talented, and all of them have the potential to go on the run of a lifetime and destroy the other team.

All of the hype around the crew battle aside, the storyline goes much deeper. Of the 50 best players in the entire world according to the Panda Global Ranking, 47 will be in attendance. The environment born out of this level of competition is unparalleled in the Smash 4 scene. Every single pool in the bracket is full to the brim with phenomenal players- just getting out of pools will be a feat worth bragging about. Along with the PGR top 50 will come every single player worth their salt who could find the money for a ticket- drawn in from the prospect of invaluable experience derived from competing in the most competitive environment the game has ever seen. We see the return of over a dozen players flown in from around the world to compete from countries like Japan, Netherlands, and France. In the doubles bracket we see the return of some truly staggering teams- among them ZeRo/Nairo, the number one and three players in the world, along with the classic Panda Global pairing of ESAM and MVD and the ever infamous pairing of komorikiri and Ranai, the best doubles team in Japan.

2GGC: Civil War is shaping up to be the greatest tournament Smash 4 has ever seen. It has the highest level of competition ever before seen, along with the best story line coupled with an enormous prize pool and unparalleled hype and exposure. The winner of this tournament has a claim at being the best in the world. Today, Friday March 24th, 2017, the bloodbath will begin. For seasoned veterans, Civil War is a chance to answer all the questions that you have ever had about how a foreign player or a hidden boss would fair if they showed up to a big event. For a newcomer, it provides the best opportunity the Smash 4 scene has ever had for drawing in new viewers due to the unprecedented nature of the event. Civil War is the greatest landmark in the history of competitive Smash 4 to date.

You will want to be watching.