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Published February 3, 2020

On Saturday, Fiction won the SoCal regional Saving Mr. Lombardi 2 over iBDW – the latter who made it to Smash Summit 9. Meanwhile, Bladewise won Washington’s Domino Effect 16 over Panda and in the United Kingdom, Frenzy won Cannon Fodder: Ice Breaker over Setchi. For other tournaments over the weekend, moky won Ottawa’s Frostfire 2020 over Ryan Ford on Sunday, and in the Netherlands, nebbii won Sector Z over Amsah.

In terms of Summit news, Spark became the first voted-in nominee for Smash Summit. Currently, Ryobeat, Magi, Pricent, moky, Chillindude, Soonsay, Westballz, BBB and bambi remain in the race for the final spots.

Monday Morning Mailbag:

would love to know your thoughts on the new emplemon hbox video if you watched it

if not, i’d like to know how you’ve been feeling on plup and his pretty obvious waffling on sheik and melee in general

– sportsboy85

I haven’t had a chance to watch the EMPLemon Hungrybox video yet, so I don’t have any detailed thoughts. I assume it goes into great detail about Hungrybox’s career and why he has such a uniquely antagonistic relationship to the rest of the Melee community. Most people with above average investment in the scene are already fairly familiar with this question and its litany of answers. Personally, it’s not something I particularly feel like reading about or consuming again, but maybe on a day when I have free time, I’ll check it out.

As for Plup, it really feels like an issue of time commitment and motivation for him. If I were to guess why Plup wanted to switch to solo Fox, it’s probably because he doesn’t want to warm up multiple characters and balance that with competing in Ultimate.

Realistically, I don’t see an out for him. Take a look at the bottom half of the Top 20 for 2019. How many of those players do you think is a favorable daw for Plup in bracket? Maybe S2J, n0ne, and Trif? In six sets against SFAT, moky, Fiction and Swedish Delight, Plup came out winless. It’s not looking great.

Did you catch Drephen vs. ARMY and if so why was it the funniest set of Melee I’ve ever seen?

– Hufff

I caught the end of Drephen vs. ARMY when Drephen immediately switched back to Sheik. I can’t say whether or not it’s definitively the funniest set of Melee, but it’s definitely up there.

Do you think Hax’s recent success is going to reignite discussions on the Boxx’s legality? I don’t know much about it, and I’m glad someone like Hax is able to play through an actual physical disability, but a (much more technical) friend of mine says it drastically lowers the tech skill barrier and provides an unfair advantage. Thoughts?

– Oligarr

I doubt it. The community is overwhelmingly exhausted from the same “controller legality” debate we had three years ago. Even the people who don’t like alternate or “box” controllers have given up on trying to reignite this discussion.

What do you think about the possibility of moving to 6-month ranking periods instead of a 6-month summer rank alongside a 12-month year long rank?

– 60s_cut

It’s an unambiguously terrible idea. See how much the community has bitched and moaned about the 2019 Melee rankings? Imagine that, but for a ranking period where someone might get two Top 50 wins at a supermajor and then not attend anything else. We already have limited information to draw from for a whole year’s worth of data. There is zero chance that this would happen, and if it does, I, and likely many others, would leave the panel.

Which players who haven’t gotten into Summit 9 already do you hope to see there? Also, thoughts on the new Summit format with 18 players?

– Spideydawg

I like most of the remaining nominees and believe the new format could ensure competitive sets throughout the event. If I were to pick the ones I wanted to see the most in order, I’d pick Magi, Ryobeat, Pricent and moky.

Where do you think zain winning genesis puts him in terms of like, an all-time ranking? Is he tied with Plup and Isai?

– jeez louise

By the end of Zain’s 2018, I had him around Chillin and Jman on my all-time list – roughly speaking, around the bottom half of Top 20. Following his Genesis 7 victory and 2019, he should be ranked above CaptainJack and KoreanDJ, at the very least. His metagame impact is comparable to their’s, and he has 19 top eight performances, which is more than both of them combined (KoreanDJ with 11 and CaptainJack with five).

With regards to Plup and Isai, Zain isn’t too far behind the latter, but it’s going to take a dominant 2020 or some more time for him to catch up to Plup. Zain has two less major top eight appearances than Isai, but he’s 18 behind Plup, who for all intents and purposes was either a dark horse to win a supermajor or a contender from mid 2015 or so to the end of 2019. The major victory “tie” between Plup and Zain doesn’t take into account how long Plup has been at the top level.

Funnily enough, I have Axe in between Isai and Plup, so the discussion of Zain’s all-time place in Melee history should use Axe as a measuring stick, where Axe’s longevity easily outweigh’s Zain as well. Wizzrobe is closer to Zain than Isai is, and I’d probably give Wizzrobe a slight edge in career accomplishments although he has one less major win.

Zain is likely No. 15. With enough time, or maybe continued victories across 2020, that could change.



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