Helix Weekly Update #2

Time keeps rushing and it’s already September: Helix is just around the corner, less than 4 weeks to go! We now bring you the second edition of the Helix Weekly update. Today we focus on Berlin as a city, how to get around, what kind of tickets you can get as well as a little special surprise. While we are at it, don’t forget to register on smash.gg/helix if you haven’t done so yet. This goes specially to all of those who already have booked their flights but haven’t registered on smash.gg yet.

This week’s content:

 Getting around in Berlin

What to do in Berlin

 Challenger approaching!

Getting around in Berlin

 

 Getting around in Berlin is really easy. The city has got a very good public transportation system. Even big distances can be travelled fairly quickly if the right choices are made. There are a few things that can make you save money and time if you consider them though.

As in most places in Germany, Berlin has different of public transportation. The most common and used ones are arguably the “U-Bahn” (underground) and “S-Bahn” (fast train). You will be most probably using these two trains to move around and get to the venue. It may be that you need to use the tram as well. Commuter trains (RegionalBahn, short “Regio” or RB) stop at several stations in Berlin(like the Friedrichstraße station, where the venue is), but you won’t be using them often.

Berlin has 3 different zones, conveniently named “A”, “B, and “C”. How much a ticket costs depends of course on which areas you want to be moving around in. There are 3 zone combinations: “AB”, “BC” and “ABC”. You will be using either “AB” or “ABC” most of the time during your stay in Berlin. Please note that the Schönefeld airport is just besides the B zone border, so you need to get an ABC zone ticket to get there.

Here is a picture of Berlin’s zones:

Allgemeine Tarifübersicht_article

As you can see, the inner ring, “A” zone is conveniently delimited by the “S-Bahn” which drives around in circles in both directions (this S-bahn is called the “Ringbahn”).

You can also see both airports in the picture above. In order to get to the city centre you need to take buses or trains (S-Bahn, Regio). If you arrive at Tegel (TXL) take any bus that takes you to „Zoologischer Garten“ (like the X9 or 109. X9 is quicker, about 15 minutes). These are pretty easy to find and go every 10 minutes. The TXL bus takes you to Alexanderplatz.

If you arrive at Schönefeld (SXL), you’re just outside the AB zone: You need to get a ticket valid in the ABC zone. You have three options to get to the city from Berlin Schönefeld Airport. Fastest one (about 30 minutes) is to take a  „Regional Bahn“ to Berlin’s central Station (Berlin Hbf)/Friedrichstr (if you are staying near the venue). There are four trains that commute hourly: RB7, RB14, RB 19, RB22. You can take the S-bahn (S9, S45) to go again to either Berlin Hbf or Friedrichstr. The S-bahn goes every 10 minutes and takes about 45 minutes to the centre. You can also take a bus that will drive you to a nearby U-bahn station (usually U7). You can then continue your trip to Berlin’s city centre via underground.

When it comes to prices, you also have different possibilities. There are different kind of tickets We looked up the best options for your stay depending on how many people are with you and how long you stay. These options are shown in the table below:

Captura de pantalla 2015-08-31 a las 17.13.36

What to do in Berlin

Berlin is a city that never sleeps. There is plenty to do in the german capital city. Because of this, it is hard to name just a few things, we will list a couple of things we think you should not miss while around:

– Brandenburg gate
– Holocaust memorial
– Reichstag (you can get to the top if you arrange a visit in advance)
– Potsdamer Platz
– Checkpoint Charlie
– Unter den Linden
– Alexanderplatz

Captura de pantalla 2015-08-31 a las 17.57.25

Since you’d be busy with the tournament on the weekend, you can only do as much, except if you are coming earlier. The things listed above are all quite close to the venue, with the Brandenburg gate being about 10 minutes away by foot. If you have time, you can start off at the Brandenburg gate by foot and walk all the way to Alexanderplatz. If you fancy a chill walk and enjoy the surroundings, it’ll take you about an hour and you’ll get to see a lot of things in the way like the “Museumsinseln”, the Berlin dome. If you’d rather have good cheap food and walk through streets with lots of graffitis and an alternative vibe, go for a walk in Kreuzberg (Metro stations “Mehringdamm” on line U-6 or “Kottbusser Tor“, “Görlitzer Park”, “Schlesiches” Tor on line U-12) or Friedrichshain (“Ostkreuz” on the S-bahn, both Ringbahn and several others).

Another thing you should do in Berlin is try its street food. Lots of different cheap stands that go from the typical “Döner Kebab” to Falafel, burritos, grilled chicken and more. What you get depends on the districts you are in. Everything is cheap. You may want to get yourself a cheap beer from a convenient store (called “Spätkauf”, “Späti“ for short) that are open until late hours and on sundays. Click here for list of different places where you can get good cheap food, according to the guardian travel.

If you have the time and feel like it, try to hit Berlin’s clubs. There are a lot of very different clubs in the city and you can find one for every kind of person. You have probably heard about the infamous “Berghain”, which is said to be one of the world’s best clubs. If you decide to go clubbing, grab a beer from one of the spätis while you wait in line. But don’t go out too early, as the nightlife usually starts after midnight and lasts until the very morning of the next day. If you decide to go clubbing, just be sure you’re in time for your pool/bracket matches as you’d be DQ’ed if not on time. Berlin’s nightlife is crazy and one of Europe’s best, though sometimes pricey. Lots of people come to Berlin just to party and dance all night long. Most of Berlin’s nightlife takes place in either Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain or Neukölln. Click here for a list of Berlin’s top 10 clubs, according to the guardian travel.

If clubbing is too much for you, you can just decide to go out to eat (there are a lot of good but rather pricey places around Friedrichstraße and Unter den Linden) or chill at a bar. Oranienburgerstraße (about 20 minutes by foot from the venue) has a lot of nice cozy bars where you can chill with your homies and enjoy some good german beer. Click here for a list of top 10 bars in Berlin, according to the guardian travel.

Since we are not meant to be a travel guide, but just give a small insight of what you could do during your stay, we decided to leave you some useful links from the guardian travel so you can take a look at more stuff more into detail by yourself. If you want to know what else to do or want to get more insider tips, just let us know or join the Super Smash Bros Melee Berlin group on Facebook and ask real berliners.

Challenger approaching

We are very proud to announce that the upcoming bracket at Helix just got a whole lot more spice.

Hailing from South California, we’ve got a new challenger coming our way. Tempo Storm’s own Weston „Westballz“ Dennis announced that he will join the fray on the 26th of september when it is time for Helix 2015.

ChallWestArt2

The trademark red Falco combined with his incredible technical proficiency has been a crowd favorite for a while now. We are very excited to see what Westballz can do with the slightly changed PAL version of his character against european players. In case you haven’t heard of this guy and are curious about his play, check out this compilation of some of his best plays from GRSmash:

Travel and updated hostel information for Helix

Travel information

We have looked into travel connections for some countries and specific regions. The countries we’ve researched connections for are:

  • UK
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • France
  • Spain
  • Denmark
  • Switzerland
  • Austria
  • Norway

Please understand that we cannot search for connections for every country/region. Most finns have already booked their tickets from what we have heard so that is why we left them out. If you’d like us to look for some other connections, just let us know @game5gg on Twitter. 

A general word of advice

The Berlin marathon is on the same weekend as Helix. This means that some flight connections are going to be pretty expensive if you decide to travel specifically on Friday and Monday.

Berlin has two different airports: Tegel (TXL) and Schönefeld (SXF). Tegel is the bigger, more central airport, but only more expensive airlines operate there. SXF is the lower cost airport, which is still not that far from the city (10 minute ride and you’ll be able to reach the subway).

Here, we intend to show different affordable connections for different countries and bigger cities/regions. While most of the connections shown are directly to Berlin, there are two other routes which, depending on your country or region, may be cheaper and even more flexible than directly flying to Berlin. These two other routes are:

  1. Flying to Köln (Cologne). Ryanair seems to have recently expanded to Cologne and is hence offering flights from Cologne to Berlin (Schönefeld) for as little as 9.99 €! This means that you can get to Berlin from there for only 20 €. Flights to Köln are also pretty cheap and they fly up to 5 times a day to Berlin, which leaves plenty of time to arrange a comfortable, stress-free flight. You can check some screenshots with prices here. Beware that these prices may vary extrem quickly (they have in the last 2 days) so hurry up!
  2. Flying to Bremen and then taking a bus to Berlin. Flights to Bremen are usually less than 50% the price of those to Berlin. From Bremen you can take a bus to Berlin (about 15 € one ride, takes between 4-5 hours). The cheapest bus company at the moment is “PostBus”

 

The searching tools were different search engines like momondo and skyscanner and a combination of individually looking in different airline sites. Remember to check your cookies when trying this yourself!


Regarding the bus ride:

There is a 15% discount for anyone booking on Postbus if you enter the following code: „PT25WT“. This will only work until the 31/08!

You can look for bus connections here

UNITED KINGDOM

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Mostly focused on England, London has several good connections to Berlin. Depending on the days, most range from as few as 70 GBP (Wednesday – Tuesday) to over 100 (e.g. 110 GBP Thursday to Monday). People from London can use the Stansted or Gatwick airport with very little difference in prices.

Londoners may take advantage of the Köln route: You can fly to Köln for only 9.99€ and then take another flight to Berlin for 9.99€. This makes the round trip only about 40€.

East Midlands have a somewhat okay connection to Berlin (Schönefeld) with about 120 GBP for a round trip (Friday – Monday). If flexible though, the trip can be as cheap as 60 GBP (Wednesday – Monday).

Click here to take a look at the screenshots with an overview over days and prices.
For Cologne flights, you can check some screenshots with prices here.

NETHERLANDS

NLOff2

The Netherlands have three options. The most comfortable one would be to fly with Easyjet from Amsterdam to Berlin. When playing around with dates, this may result in a round trip to Berlin for a little over 100 €. Example connections: ~100 € wednesday to monday,  ~140€ Thursday to Monday.

If you don’t care about traveling time, you might as well take a bus to Berlin for about 60€ return. This takes about 8 hours though, so be aware of that when planning your trip. Buses are more flexible and most connections keep their prices until about 10 days before departure.

The one thing the dutch may benefit from is the Köln airport. For those that live near the german border a trip to Cologne and then using the airport’s offer may be the cheapest way to get to Helix. Getting to Köln from Amsterdam is just a 2,5 hour ride and prices start at 14 €, which would make a round trip cost about 50€.

Click here to take a look at the screenshots with an overview over days and prices.For Cologne flights, you can check some screenshots with prices here.

SWEDEN

SWEoff2

The swedes from Stockholm can opt for a direct flight or a use the Bremen airport to get to Berlin . Direct flights from Stockholm Arlanda to Berlin (Schönefeld) with Norwegian are cheapest on Wednesday on the way to go and on Tuesday to go back (890 SEK return).  Wednesday to Monday costs 1490 SEK. The rest varies, as both Thursday  and Friday  are a lot more expensive.

If the Bremen route is preferred, flights from Stockholm Skavsta to Bremen are about 360 SEK return (Thursday – Tuesday). You can then use the Bremen combination and get to Berlin for an additional 20-30 €, which is still pretty cheap.

For the Gothenburg scene, Norwegian offers flights that start from Gothenburg Landvetter to Berlin Schönefeld from on Wednesday (775 SEK) and flights starting at 684 SEK from Berlin to Gothenburg on Tuesday for a total of 1459 SEK
The rest of the flights are quite expensive, so we left them out.

Click here to take a look at the screenshots with an overview over days and prices.
For Cologne flights, you can check some screenshots with prices here.

FRANCE

FRoff2

Parisians have it the easiest with their Easyjet connections from Paris Orly to Berlin (Schönefeld). The cheapest connection is worth about 87€ (Thursday – Tuesday). Thursday to Monday costs about 140 €. Flights on Friday are quite costly, so being flexible and trying to go for Thursday is advised. You can als combine Easyjet with Germanwings.

Click here to take a look at the screenshot with an overview over days and prices.

SPAIN

ESPoff2

If you are coming from Spain, most specifically Madrid or Barcelona, then you have pretty good offers too.
Direct flights from Madrid to Berlin (Schönefeld) are about 100€ return with Ryanair(Thursday – Tuesday). Alternatively, you can get to Bremen for 60€ (Thursday – Tuesday) and then use the bus combination stated above. Madrid has also the chance to use the Köln combo as well. You can get to Köln for 60€  return (Friday –  Monday) and then fly for an additional 20€ to Berlin.

Barcelona’s cheapest bet would be to try to use the Köln airport again. You can get there for under 70€ (Friday – Monday) from El Prat airport and then to Berlin (Schönefeld) for the additional 20€, making your final trip costs stay under 100€.

Click here to take a look at the screenshots with an overview over days and prices.
For Cologne flights, you can check some screenshots with prices here.

DENMARK

DKoff2

Danes have probably one of the easiest times getting to Berlin from Copenhagen. They can fly directly with Easyjet with varying prices starting from 600 DKK (Wednesday – Tuesday) up to around 1150 DKK (Thursday – Monday) with destination Berlin Schönefeld airport.

Denmark also benefits from the Köln airport. They can fly there for 290 DKK (Friday-Monday) and then just take the additional connection to Berlin for 20€.

Click here to take a look at the screenshots with an overview over days and prices.
For Cologne flights, you can check some screenshots with prices here.

SWITZERLAND

SWIoff2

Prices from Switzerland, specifically from the Basel region go from as low as 80€ return from Wednesday to Tuesday to a couple of euros above 100 (e.g. Thursday – Monday) to even 200€ (Friday – Monday) via Easyjet to Berlin Schönefeld.

Germans from near the swiss border may benefit from this as well, as the Basel airport is really easy to reach from areas around Freiburg.

Click here to take a look at the screenshot with an overview over days and prices.

AUSTRIA

AUSoff2

The austrians have it very chill with direct connections via Airberlin. Airberlin is probably the best airline from all those listed here. Prices start at around 90€  (Thursday – Monday) and rise to 120 € (Friday – Monday) and they fly directly to Tegel.

Click here to take a look at the screenshots with an overview over days and prices.

NORWAY

NORoff2

Though fellow norwegians may rather go to their event being held in Oslo, they still have decent offers if they feel like to coming to Berlin. Their flights start at 299 NOK on Wednesday and rise to 499 NOK on Thursday from Oslo Gardemoen to Berlin Schönefeld. If overly expensive tickets are to be avoided, the best is to return on Tuesday after the tournament for 564 NOK, which would make a Thursday – Tuesday trip 1063 NOK.

Click here to take a look at the screenshot with an overview over days and prices.

Updated hostel information

Because the Berlin community cannot sufficiently house people (and those that could house have already been asked, leaving little to no more spare places left) getting a hostel is of highest priority when planning to attend Helix.

Earlier during the summer, we released a list full of hostels that were nearby. Our team has now further updated this list, taking hostels that are already fully booked (due to the marathon) out and adding current prices of the different hostels.

You can view the list here.

If you are too lazy to scroll the list, we can tell you that the cheapest hostel is the first one on the list, the Generator Prenzlauer BergWe managed to arrange a deal with this hostel, which can get you a 10% discount if you do the following:

  • Write a mail to berlin@generatorhostels.com
  • Write the code „ATRIUM“ in your e-mail
  • Give the number of nights you’d be staying, as well as the number of beds
  • The new price will be calculated after this before you book

The prices for this hostel start at 16,87€. With the 10% discount, you basically have a room for 15€.
The only problem is that this hostel is a 20 minute ride with public transportation to the venue, though the route is very easy.

Other hostels which may interest you are:

All of the above 4 hostels and generally every hostel in the list besides the very first one (Generator Prenzlauer Berg) are in walking distance to the venue. If you need more information be sure to check the google doc list as there are rooms with private bathrooms, private rooms and shared rooms.

The wisest option would be to go for a whole room with your smash homies.

Again, you can find the list here.

 

We hope that this little article of ours cleared some questions about attending Helix and we hope to see you soon in Berlin.

 

 

 

 

Helix Weekly Update #1

Helix is in little less than five weeks from today. That is why we, from Game 5, will start a small kind of update newsletter to keep you all informed about everything related to Europe’s upcoming circuit qualifier and Germany’s biggest tournament up to date. Let’s get started with this week’s Helix Weekly Update!

This week’s content:

  1. Participant statistics
  2. Schedule
  3. Venue cafeteria
  4. Pre Helix party at Meltdown Berlin
  5. Travel and updated hostel information

Statistics

With about five weeks to go and registration still open for around 3 more weeks (until the 15th of September that is) we took a deeper look at the numbers and details of our attendees. The following chart depicts the current country distribution amongst participants:

Captura de pantalla 2015-08-23 a las 17.53.59

Germany is as to be expected the country with the biggest amount of participants, with a not too shabby 109. Most of them come from either Berlin, northern Germany or north rhine westphalia in western Germany

With a total of only 21 people from abroad, international representation is rather weak. We hope this changes in the upcoming weeks as some internationals who have booked their tickets but have not yet registered need to do so.

Congratulations to Finland for bringing the strongest out of country smash army!

Schedule

Tentative schedule is as follows. Please note times are not yet final.

Saturday 26th of September:

09.00 – 10.00 Venue opens, freeplay
10.00 – 13.00 Melee Singles Pools R1 / PM
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch Break
14.00 – 18.00 Teams Bracket
18.30 – 19.30 Melee Pools R2
19.30 – 20.00 Small break
20.00 – 22.30 PM Top 8
22.30 End of the first day

Sunday 27th of September:

09.00 – 12.00 Melee Top 32
12.00 – 13.00 Lunch Break
13.00 – 15.30 Teams Top 8
15.30 – 16.00 Break
16.00 – 18.30 Melee Singles Top 8
18.30 End

Venue cafeteria

There is a cafeteria in the venue, where they sell coffee, snacks and food during the breaks. The cafeteria is nice, cozy and technologically equipped. There is an XBOX 360 for playing and different screens where we may project our hype matches from inside the venue for people chilling and having coffee. An update with pictures and the normal menu will be provided later.

Pre Helix party at Meltdown Berlin

With so many different players in the german capital, some new and other well known veterans, as well as a decent amount of internationals, it makes only sense to get to know as many new smashers as possible and of course, play some matches with them! This is why we’ve talked to the team of Meltdown Berlin and we’ll be working with them to bring all Helix participants and anyone who feels like coming a fun night with finest german beer, gamer cocktails and of course lots of Melee.

We will make sure to get more TVs and Setups to the Meltdown venue so more people can play. Come by and have a drink with the community while getting to play friendlies. If there’s enough interest,we may organize a Salty Suite that night, but that of course, depends on the players. 

The party will take place on Friday, 25th of September. More information will follow in the upcoming weeks.

Travel and updated hostel information

Since this section is a bit longer, we gave it its own post. You can read everything about different travel options, Berlin airports and the updated hostel information here

 

Drop us a line!