Most of our fond memories of Smash Bros come from silly late-night college tournaments, but for some players the Nintendo battle royale is Serious Business™. Game director Masahiro Sakurai has announced some new adjustments for the next game that will impact the tournament scene, specifically to the way edge-grabs and airtime work.
An official post on the Miiverse (via Joystiq) shows a screenshot of an edge-grab, seen above. In it, Link appears to be repelling Mario from grabbing the edge. Sakurai said he's "trumping" Mario's grab, which is one of "many changes being made to attack and defense options."
Smash Bros largely relies on sumo-like rules, in which victory is secured by knocking someone else out of the ring. While a well-placed smash will knock them too far to recover, simply pushing them off the edge is a tried-and-true method as well. Clever players have been able to prevent their opponents from recovering with an edge-grab, and it seems like these changes are meant to address that very thing.
In the comments, Sakurai reveals two other notable changes. Grab controls will be consistent, rather than impacted by whether you have above or below 100% of damage. And, air time and accumulated damage will determine how long you're invincible while hanging onto a ledge. Those small changes might amount to some big strategy shifts for high-level play, and considering how popular Melee was at the last Evo tournament we're sure some Smash aficionados are already thinking through their revised strategies.