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 Hungrybox’s Twitter – will take down, if requested.
Here we go, guys. It’s Evo 2018 week – and before it, Hungrybox reasserted his reign of terror at Low Tier City 6, winning the stacked Texas major from loser’s bracket. Similarly, La Luna won Apollo XIV after dropping a set to iBDW, while SFAT took Big Nimbus. NorCal reigned supreme at Vancouver’s Cascade 2, with Spark and Kalamazhu taking the top two spots, while Hanky Panky conquered Super Smash the Stadium in the Midwest.
1. ARMY beats Mango!
Near the end of the MPGR ranking process, I and the rest of Melee Stats privately talked about our ballots. One of us, who shall remain nameless, initially had ARMY higher than PewPewU, due to the former’s extremely strong results within SoCal. At first, I thought this was jumping the gun.
After last weekend however, my fellow Melee Stats member looked closer to correct. ARMY had the best win of his career at LTC6, clutching out a tight 3-2 victory over Mango. Like last year, the set spawned endless community discussion on how to avoid downthrow-dair from Ice Climbers. It also made people question Mango’s skill.
Army about to make a run for socal. Then Mango vs Armada after :0
Check out the Low Tier City stream!https://t.co/StFgJ288yG
— HugS (@HugS86) July 29, 2018
Everyone, take a chill pill. Have we learned nothing from 2017? When ChuDat beat him three times in a row, Mango came back roaring with a vengeance at Royal Flush. Shit happens.
Two losses to Zain and a recent loss to ARMY is hardly any proof that he should be ranked below Wizzrobe, who has his own fair share of questionable losses. Mango might show cracks in the armor every now and then, but don’t sleep on the Kid.
2. Leffen finally beats Hungrybox, but runs out of gas in grands.
On Sunday, Leffen broke his long losing streak against Hungrybox to make grand finals. In the set prior, Leffen frankly looked way ahead of Armada, despite looking a little shaky in a few high-risk situations. By all accounts, this looked like Leffen’s tournament.
Alas; it was not. Save for a winning game that Hungrybox curiously threw away as Ness, Leffen looked outclassed through grand finals, losing the other six games against his Floridian rival. Rather than confident and determined like in winner’s finals, Leffen was more antsy, jumping in predictable fashion and often conceding space.
Ah, that sucks. Playing well consistently is so hard. One step at a time I guess.
— leffen (@TSM_Leffen) July 30, 2018
2018 has been a fantastic year for Leffen. Along with climbing his way up the ladder of competitive Dragon Ball FighterZ, he’s been remarkably consistent against the field. His only loss out of the top six came to Axe at a tournament the Swede won anyway, and Leffen boasts a 5-2 record on Armada for the year, alongside winning or even records with Mango, Mew2King and Plup.
The downside – Leffen’s 1-7 record against Hungrybox. But at least now, he’s on the scoreboard.
3. The Final Stretch of The Summer of Smash
It’s hard to believe, but the summer has about a month left – and boy, what a month it’ll be for Smash. From next week’s Evo to the following Super Smash Con 2018, Heir 2018 and Shine 2018 in consecutive weeks, this year’s August is among the most stacked stretch of Melee tournaments in recent memory that I can remember.
Save for Heir, which is still exciting due to its status as the most attended European tournament ever, every other major is expected to have multiple members of the top six, alongside entrant counts that should reach near or into the thousands, across multiple games. Legacies will be defined, changed and even created within the short span of a month.
I know that this is mostly just restating the obvious, but I had to show my excitement somehow, right? Especially because of one more factor.
4. Attention Monday Morning Marth Readers: I will be at Evo 2018!
I’ll be landing in Vegas around 4:40 p.m. (local time) and will get a ride straight to the venue from the airport. Hopefully, my pool request will be taken into account, since right now I won’t be making it on time. Either way, I’d be happy to talk to anyone who wants to catch up!
Just as a note though, I’m attending Evo to primarily to interview people for The Book of Melee. If you see me on my computer or holding my handy dandy journalist notepad, you’ll know the reason why.
Evo marks my fourth ever national (Shine 2016, Royal Flush and Shine 2017 being the other ones). Needless to say, I’m pumped.
This is a pretty short column for the week – and I don’t really have much else to say that isn’t already obvious. If you held a gun to my head and forced me to make an Evo prediction, it’s tough to say that the favorite isn’t Hungrybox, but I’d be happy to go into more detail later this week on the Melee Stats Podcast.
Here’s to an awesome summer!