|Released||December 11th-13th, 2020 (Episode 1-8 Premiere)|
January 29th, 2021 (Vimeo)
June 6th, 2021 (Bonus Episode Premiere)
|Runtime||7 hours, 24 minutes|
Peter N. Grant Sr.
|Art Director(s)||Daniel Wyatt|
|Music by||Garrett Williamson|
Metagame is an award winning eight-part documentary series produced by Travis "Samox" Beauchamp and is a follow up to his earlier work, The Smash Brothers. The series premiered on Twitch on December 11th-13th, 2020 and was released for purchase on Vimeo on January 29th, 2021. A bonus episode featuring Leffen was released June 6th, 2021.
|1||A Beautiful Accident||Our story begins in the misty far away days of the 1990s - the golden age of console gaming. It was in this rush to produce new and engaging multiplayer experiences that Nintendo created A Beautiful Accident - Super Smash Brothers Melee.
The ostensibly casual and kid-oriented game would reveal itself to be far deeper than any fighting game in the world - and soon fostered a dedicated community of competitive players around it.
|2||The Kid||Mango’s abilities confound his opponents, but his victories are undeniable. With a clear dominance of the game, Mango shifts the center of the Melee universe to the West Coast of the USA and his scrappy Norwalk neighborhood.
Across the Atlantic, a Peach player from Europe starts to make waves; some even say he is the best in the world. International tensions run high as the news breaks that he will be traveling to America for the first time.
When Armada pushes Mango to limits he’s never faced, will The Kid from Norwalk break?
|3||The Limiter||A shy kid from a small town, PPMD must discover who he is in a new competitive gaming world; desperate to overcome his regional nemesis Hungrybox, but also hoping to make friends and fit in.
When a half-retired Mango takes the young Falco player as a disciple, he grows in leaps and bounds - but struggles to move past The Limiter he has erected in his mind.
With Armada devising a secret weapon to unleash upon his return to America, PP emerges as America’s last best hope.
|4||Fire on the Mountain||Years of competition have taught Armada that you can’t get to your goal right away - you must earn it with hard work. But after constant defeats, Armada’s confidence in ever finding a victory in America begins to wane.
In his time of need, a little piece of high school wisdom on a forgotten mural reminds the Swede of the fire which drives him on.
With Mango making a return using the game’s fastest character and all eyes on a massive summer tournament, Armada sees his chance to finally seize the Fire on the Mountain top.
|5||The Tao of Smash||After years of struggling against Mango both in-game and out of it, PPMD takes aim at his one time teacher. Seeking to understand what makes the kid from Norwalk so different, PP begins a journey into The Tao of Smash with a new teacher - Cactuar.
Meanwhile, Armada seeks to stack up more victories in the coming tournaments; but as they come, he notices a growing emptiness within himself.
The times they are a changing…
|6||Sunday in America||With a sudden explosion of popularity in streaming and a renewed interest in the game, it’s Sunday in America for the members of the Pantheon and the smash community.
But as Armada finds his fire again, he comes face to face with a player he betrayed. Leffen seeks his revenge on his former playing partner and aims to become the “One True God”.
Will the Pantheon fall to the brash “god slayer”?
|7||The Pantheon's Fall pt. 1||As hype builds for the largest tournament of all time at Apex 2015, the gods each prepare in their own ways. PPMD works to control his inner demons as Armada reveals a secret weapon at the last Apex Qualifier.
Meanwhile, Leffen’s incessant trash talk leads old-school legend Chillindude to challenge him to a money match, slated for the Apex Salty Suite.
Tensions near the boiling point in The Pantheon’s Fall Part 1.
|8||The Pantheon's Fall pt. 2||The final showdown arrives for everyone in The Pantheon’s Fall Part 2. After nearly being canceled once the original venue falls through, Apex is saved in a massive volunteer effort by the players themselves.
In the hectic final days, the fate of the Pantheon, the god-slayer and the game itself all unfold in front of over a hundred thousand viewers watching live around the world.
|Bonus||Godslayer||The story of the Pantheon's Fall is now told from Leffen's perspective as the young Swede battles to end the Era of the 5 Gods and take revenge on the top players of smash brothers.|
The documentary took over five years to produce following the release of the original documentary, The Smash Brothers. A kickstarter for a continuation of The Smash Brothers was launched on April 14th, 2014. Its goal of $26,000 was surpassed only two weeks after a launch and would total up to $34,583. This continuation of The Smash Brothers would eventually form into Metagame.
According to Beauchamp, the documentary had gone through many re-writes and the revisions that the original documentary hadn't gone through. Additionally, due to him seeking more than just a YouTube release, Beauchamp had to track down the owners of many Melee-related videos throughout many different countries.
In the summer of 2020, many prominent figures in the community had to be cut at the last minute due to allegations of sexual misconduct towards them.
On November 23rd, 2020, a trailer released, along with the announcement that the series would premiere on Twitch on December 11th-13th, 2020. Episodes 1-3 aired on December 11th at 2-5 p.m. PT, Episodes 4-6 aired on December 12th at 2-5 p.m. PT, and Episodes 7-8 aired on December 13th at 2-4 p.m. PT.
The documentary was uploaded for purchase via Vimeo on January 29th, 2021. This version of the documentary features edits in response to viewer feedback, particularly in regard to offensive language deemed appropriate at the time and the negative portrayal of Leffen.
On April 24th, 2021, it was announced there would be a three-day special event in June with a livestream of all eight episodes, new interviews with all five gods and Leffen, and a special feature and a new episode called "Metagame: Godslayer." On May 15th, 2021, it was announced the livestream to be a two-day event on June 5th-6th, 2021, starting at 10 a.m. PT each day. A new trailer was uploaded the same day. Day 1 of the stream had interviews with Mew2King, Armada, Hungrybox, and Mango in between episodes. Day 2 of the stream had interviews with PPMD and Leffen in between episodes. Day 1 had Episodes 1-4 and Day 2 had Episodes 5-8 and the premiere of the new episode, "Godslayer".
The release of the documentary's first three episodes resulted in the hashtag "metagame" rising to #2 on the United States trending page of Twitter. and the entire initial screening was viewed more than 1 million times.
The documentary received a mixed reception upon its initial premiere. The presentation received near-universal praise, frequently considered a massive improvement over The Smash Brothers on a technical level. The music was also regarded as high quality and heightened the emotions of the scene. However, some say the cinematographers and artist got too ambitious with the visuals, often over dramatizing events.
Some players prominently featured in the documentary such as Mango and Leffen publicly criticized it for not adequately providing the view the context of the time period and how old the players were during filming. Critics argued that their depictions in the documentary were biased with the editing and music choices that over villainized the players. Critics also argued that it did not focus equally on all of the featured players, depicting PPMD as the "protagonist" who received the most attention while only identifying Mew2King and Hungrybox as "gods" and giving them comparatively little screen time.
Beauchamp responded to criticism of the initial screening by removing some scenes and giving a stronger censor pass for offensive language. These changes were reflected in final cuts released in 2021. Though Beauchamp could not change the narrative structure of the original 8 episodes, he also produced a special bonus episode called 'God Slayer' featuring Leffen and filmed one-on-one interviews with each god for a special 'gods respond' event which was also viewed more than 1 million times. 'Godslayer' was released in June 2021 and provided Leffen's view of the time period and events covered in Metagame.
Final cuts of the series are being reviewed favorably on IMDB with a rating 9.5. Metagame Documentary was a finalist for 3 esport awards in 2021 including esport content series of the year, esport content piece of the year, and esport video production team of the year. Metagame ultimately was named and won esport content series of the year for 2021.
- "Final Metagame Production Update" - Samox's Patreon
- "METAGAME: Reception and Edit Updates" - Samox's Patreon
- #2 on U.S. Trending