Get to know the wolves - Raisem

Welcome to the first episode of our get to know the wolves Smash Melee series – starting it off with Frank “Raisem” Lerke. Today, we would like to talk about one of the biggest and most important Melee tournaments here in Germany: Awakening.

Smash Melee – an old game with a flourishing and modern community

Hey! Tell us how and when you started to play Melee.

Hey! My name is Frank Lerke and I’m also known as Raisem. When I was a young kid, I used to play Melee a lot, especially Young Link as I was a huge fan of Zelda. It wasn’t until some years ago that I found out about the still existing Melee scene. I was once watching streams on twitch and then I randomly ended up on a Melee tournament stream. It was so impressive and overwhelming. The game seemed to be so difficult - something that really intrigued me. You need to know that I am a person that tries to be the best in every game and after seeing these guys playing on such a high level, I wanted to be one of them.

How did you join the scene?

In 2014, I started to play with Falco. I spent every minute playing the game because I wanted to become better. Then, in 2016, everything changed. Ravenlord, who plays Melee on a competitive level since 2005, contacted me and my friends and invited us to play with him. Let’s not talk about the bush: He destroyed us. It was at that very moment when I realized how good you can actually become in this game.
We then started to practise more regularly and also started attending some events.

Did you still play Falco?

Nope, I changed to Fox soon after I met Ravenlord. I wanted more action, more speed and more possibilities for my gameplay. It took some time before I was actually decent with Fox.

That sounds like a huge development.

Yes, definitely. I mean, think about it: I’ve started to play with some friends, mostly casual and then, after meeting Ravenlord, I joined the competitive scene. There was such a huge skill gap between Ravenlord and me back then, but now I even managed to defeat him myself. That is somehow unbelievable.

Let’s talk about Awakening. How did it all start?

Awakening used to be a very small tournament and there weren’t more than 64 attendees. Technick sort of revived the scene, it is his legacy. Through Awakening, Germany got its own big and important tournament, which is why for example players from the Bavarian scene are able to compete with other players.

Why is it called “Awakening”?

Well, you might guess that it’s called Awakening because the tournament, metaphorically, resurrected the German scene or the scene in Bavaria. It all came down to the community that worked together in order to build something so special.

What about this year’s Awakening?

This year’s event takes place on the 16th and 18th of August. It is going to be a great event again, even though it might be slightly smaller this year when it comes to the number of attendees. There are similar tournaments taking place at the same time which makes it impossible for some people to attend this year, but there will still be top-notch players at Awakening this year. Every player in Europe is aware of Awakening’s reputation and this is why most of them wish to come to Germany – it is a great experience for everyone, especially for us Bavarian players. 😉

How about your personal goals?

For me, it is not that easy to play consistently because travelling to events costs a huge amount of money. It is thus good to have RoyalBlue because the organization backs me up a lot. I’m also struggling with health issues since I injured my hands twice and therefore I haven’t been able to play seriously in the past few months.
Regarding the circumstances being able to touch a controller and sit down and play is the most important thing for me right now. I hope to improve in order to take on every contender. 😉

That’s it for today’s episode!

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