In the latest edition of Super Smash Sundays, the reigning champion S2J finished yet again in first place, defeating bobby big ballz in grand finals. It’s his second straight victory at SSS Online, and including previous iterations of SSS, his 17th win in total, tied with Westballz for the most out of any player .
Congratulations to @johnny_S2J for winning SSS Online #2! Now he has 17 wins!
Happy Valentines Day and don't forget that TMT is happening tomorrow!
— Team OXY (@TeamOXYgg) February 15, 2021
To start the weekend on Friday, Hungrybox won East Coast Fridays over Ginger (temporarily popping off so hard that he passed out). A day later, iBDW won the North America bracket for Saturday Night LEVO over S2J, while Leffen finished in first place over Nicki in the EU bracket.
- The Tale of SUNG475
If you weren’t around the Melee scene during 2014 to 2016, you missed a treat. Super Smash Sundays in SoCal used to be a mainstay of nearly every weekend of the year. At SSS, the best players of the world’s most stacked Melee region would gather together and tear each other down.
I can’t overstate how ridiculous these tournaments were for the era. They were so stacked (as were other SoCal locals) to the point where top players from other regions would get invited to SoCal – typically as part of a “SoCal Fraud Fund.” One of the most notorious examples of this was Plup. Before he broke out into the Top 10, he came to SoCal and got bodied by S2J and OkamiBW to finish in seventh place. Shortly after, Plup would finish in fifth place at CEO 2014, an actual major. That’s how good SoCal tournaments were.
If you look at a list of SSS winners, you’ll see household names in Melee history, or at the very least, instantly recognizable names. Westballz. S2J. Lucky. SFAT. Fly Amanita. Fiction. Mango. Mew2King. Armada. Ice. MikeHaze. Druggedfox. Captain Faceroll. Santiago. Then, you got SUNG475. Wait – what?
If you looked up SUNG, he would seem innocuous enough: a former Top 100 player who was ranked in the mid-level of SoCal and eventually left the scene. But if you ask anyone from around then, they can attest that SUNG was something of a tech skill genius, as well as someone who was good with multiple characters(Marth, Falco, Sheik, Falcon, and Samus). He’s also often recognized as one of the first well-known users of shield dropping alongside Axe, aMSa, and OkamiBW.
Legend has it that the SSS he won, Super Smash Sundays 11, was the one where he showcased shield dropping for the first time. Apparently no one knew how to deal with it and would just try to pressure him on a platform as if he was shielding on the ground.
This sounded like an urban legend, so I tried looking for video evidence. I couldn’t find videos of this event, but I did find an empty YouTube playlist and the bracket. Wow; is this a throwback or what? Look at some of the names involved: ROFL, Connor, Hyprid, and DEHF. Honestly, it’s kind of insane that he won. It’s not like he had an incredibly fortunate bracket either. SUNG had to beat S2J and Lucky – two people who have basically been Top 5 in SoCal forever – to win.
Because I was bored and didn’t know what else to do for this column, I decided to investigate more. I watched videos of SUNG playing on YouTube, and let me tell you: it is so funny. This is someone who you can tell has clearly put all his points into controlling his character, going for cool things of the time, and hitting tech skill.
I then looked at his tournament results within Smashboards. If Smashboards is correct….then the Super Smash Sundays that he won was the only tournament of note that SUNG ever won in his career. He may have the biggest disparity between three things: his metagame impact (colossal), average tournament results (modestly impressive), and his best tourney performance (winning an SSS).
Who are you, SUNG475? How did you innovate the metagame? How did you win one of the most stacked regionals in the world, and yet disappear from the scene? Certainly, there must be more to this story. But that’s for another time and another place.
2nd place in teams, 2nd place in singles at SSS
Congrats to @Sung for his first Oxy win, next top 6 player in Socal for sure
— bc | S2J (@johnny_S2J) January 13, 2014
2. Monday Morning Mailbag
Europe has a ton of good up and comers who have pretty much taken over Europe in the past two years. Do you think that Europe is getting stronger relative to the US, or is rollback going to make the US more dominant than ever over the rest of the world? Which out of the new Europeans do you think has the most potential? Also, going off of eye test, how good do you think HP, Shunsuke, and Chape are? – Vinco2
This is a lot to take in, but I’ll try my best to answer all of these questions.
Your first one is tough to answer. The only way we’ll know for sure is how top players from Europe perform at in-person events which feature heavily American fields, or vice versa. Until then, I can only think of vague American (or NA analogues) to how I envision a lot of Europe’s rising stars. For example, I tend to think of Albert and Frenzy within the same tier of play, but I’d likely give the advantage to Albert right now. Similarly, I think I’d put kins0 slightly under NOOT.
As far as the new European players go, I obviously think quite highly of Pipsqueak and Solobattle. If I had to pick a more hidden breakout star for 2021, I’d choose Charon; check out my EU crews circuit preview from earlier this year.
Finally, for your last question, I honestly have no idea. I tend to err conservatively when it comes to “good” players in “limited data” regions, or at least try to find people with similar results to them.
You might think that Shunsuke would be someone I’d feel a little more comfortable ranking. He has been Top 5 in Japan (more or less) for the last few years alongside more established faces like Shippu and Sanne – two people I would have internalized around being just outside Top 120. Considering he did win the last Battle Gateway and defeated aMSa in a LAN exhibition, it’s probably safe to say that he’s the best active player in Japan, at least within the local field (aMSa, obviously, should be seen as better overall, but I tend to view his local results with a grain of salt, for reasons I’ll get into).
Sadly, I have no idea what that actually means. Beating aMSa is a tremendous accomplishment, but it’s also not one that distinguishes Shunsuke from Shippu or Sanne. If I was forced to seed Shunsuke at a hypothetical future supermajor, I think I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Since you asked specifically about the eye test, Shunsuke has really good defense, tech skill, and endurance.
I’m going to assume that he’s somewhere around the same level as Zuppy, with a really high baseline level of play and an ability to not get caught off guard in tournament by strange or floaty matchup. I’m sure if I wrote out the list of active players in rollback, my opinion of these two players would change, but let’s say this is somewhere around solidly Top 70 among active players.
HP and Chape are in the top tier of Chile, but based on what I know about the region (very little), Chape recently won Phantom Hit over HP. For whatever it’s worth, HP has beaten Roche – one of the Chilean players I’ve always seen around the same borderline Top 100 level as Blassy, who notably beat Lovage and Spark.
I’m not going to pretend like I know anything about these two like Shunsuke, so here’s my gut take: borderline Top 100 level; wherever Lotfy finishes when LAN events return.
I’ll do my best to answer the rest of the questions for next week, along with any additional ones you readers have.