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Published April 30, 2018

This series is a tribute to standard “Monday Morning Quarterback” columns in traditional sports. In it, I discuss my quick takeaways from the last week of the smash community. Consider this a mix of news and mild takes. Featured image from Westballz’s Twitter – will take down, if requested.

Smash Summit 6 hasn’t happened yet, but last weekend was pretty great. Westballz won the newly revived Super Smash Sundays, while on the other side of the country, La Luna won Apollo 13, giving Nebulous a memorable ending. AbsentPage also tore through the competition at House of Paign 18 on Saturday, defeating Crush, Ginger and KJH.

1. House of Paign Is The Most Underrated Monthly

Even before garnering AbsentPage, Crush and Michigan last weekend, House of Paign has slowly become one of the most underrated tournament series to watch. If you haven’t heard of it now, you should definitely stay tuned – and not just for up-and-coming in-region players like Zamu.

In March, AbsentPage won over Fiction, with National Arcadian champion Michael coming in third. Just before that, Iori, Squid and Rik took the top three spots at HoP 16, with Reeve, Drephen, local star Shabo and longtime Midwest hidden boss Dart! filling out top eight.

And if you thought that was cool? Check out HoP 15 back in December, where lloD made a sick losers run to first place, after losing in winners round of 32 to Prince Abu. Keep in mind that AbsentPage, Rik, Reeve, SK92, Drephen and Cal were also in attendance.

If you like exciting storylines, promising out-of-region players traveling to Champaign to test their mettle and good old-fashioned Midwest Melee, this is the monthly for you. I know I can’t wait for House of Paign 19, even if it’s pushed to much later.

2. Resurgence from the top two at Apollo

You would have been hard-pressed to have any faith in La Luna after his last couple of months. In fact, heading into his early match against Atomsk, I feared he was going to lose yet again, due to his historically questionable record against Jigglypuff.

Instead, La Luna tore through the competition at Apollo, showing much of the regained discipline and strong play characteristic of his prime. He won the tournament without dropping a game.

In second came Slox, who had a crazy losers bracket run. He suffered an early loss to Darktooth, but then beat Jflex, his longtime kryptonite dizzkidboogie, Kalvar, Darktooth in the runback and iBDW.

Slox might have been favored over most of these opponents, but, like La Luna, he has struggled in recent memory. Many of his losses over the last couple months came to players ranked beneath him, especially against Marth, whom he still needs to find a solution for.

Either way, perhaps it’s fitting that two players who have had a relatively tough time lately could find redemption at the last Apollo.

3. A quick recap of SSS

Westballz was certainly the star of SSS – and winning it certainly boosted his confidence heading into Summit. But just like Slox on the East Coast, Lucky had a nice return to form after initially dropping a set in winners quarters to Squid (who himself had a great fourth place performance, beating HugS and MikeHaze).

Defeating the HoP 18 champion AbsentPage to make it to top eight, Lucky then beat ARMY, SFAT, Squid, S2J and took a set from Westballz to conclude his run. His victory over AbsentPage is especially impressive, as the two looked on completely different trajectories, at least since Full Bloom 4.

Speaking of which, Captain Faceroll also added another name to his resume for the year: AbsentPage. Keep in mind that Faceroll has already beaten Slox, S2J, 2Saint and FatGoku at regional+ events, per Tafostats. With more notable performances like his Flatiron 3 and SSS, the current world No. 53 could continue steadily climbing up the national rankingss.

4. My Lock For Summit: Mew2King Will Defeat Hungrybox

I know what you might be thinking: Mew2King hasn’t exactly shown greatness in 2018. But take a look at his history at Summit.

Outside of Summit 3, where he finished just about as expected, his other showings show him performing well when you least expect it (1 and 2), but then suffering relatively disappointing showings when he was fresh off strong performances (Spring 2017 and 5).

Notice a consistent theme? It’s not that Mew2King does well at Summit – it’s that he completely defies logic and expectations. When he looks great, he randomly sucks, while he always somehow bounces back at Summit during a slump.

If you don’t want to go into psychoanalytical territory, watch any of Mew2King and Hungrybox’s sets over the last two years. They often seem underlooked because of Hungrybox’s career dominance over Mew2King, but many of them come down to last-stock “coin flip” situations.

Even then, if you’re still skeptical, check the numbers. Per tafostats, since 2017, Mew2King has boasted the second best record against Hungrybox within the big six.

Armada: 3-5
Leffen: 4-9
Mango: 5-7
Mew2King: 7-10 (they have not played this year yet)
Plup*: 8-26 (though this counts locals)

For reference, the player ahead of him in winning percent, Mango, has lost his last six sets against Hungrybox. Mew2King, if you’re reading this, you’re the field’s biggest hope against Hungrybox.

If that doesn’t work, then 2saint can warm the other Fox players up.

What I like:

  • Kalvar 3-0’ing Captain Smuckers for his best non-New England victory, just after I talked about him last week.
  • This ungodly, fat combo by Zain on Alex19.
  • Smash Summit 6 is coming!

What I don’t like:

  • Tearing apart public figures in smash for…fessing up to making a bad mistake, rather than the mistake itself.
  • Battle of Five Gods videos almost being lost to history.
  • Dreading the inevitable beating of initially good Summit-related jokes to the ground over the next few months.

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