Dropping only one game throughout the whole day, Mango tore through Zain, iBDW and Ginger to take home the gold at SCL Season 2 Week 1. It was quite a return to form for the ever volatile former world No. 1. Previously, Mango had finished in ninth place at Four Loko Fight Night – sandbagging on the final day of the tournament due to personal reasons – while before that he had won LACS 3.
According to Pikachu942 – the current manager of the All-Time Major Database – Mango’s latest victory made history in an unusual way. Counting the latest SCL as a small major, Mango is now the oldest Melee major champion ever at 29 years and four months old. This beat out Mew2King’s Smash Summit 6 victory when he was 29 years and three months old. In her words, “it would also make him the first smash player to have a 13 year gap between their first and last major wins.”
Either way, Mango will have a chance to prove himself further at an even more prestigious event this upcoming July: Smash Summit 11. Most excitingly, the actual format of this event remains ambiguous; it is currently unknown to the public whether this will be an in-person tournament or online like Smash Summit 10.
Outside of Mango’s victory at SCL, the event carried several other notable results. For example, Gahtzu knocked Axe out of Division 2. KoDoRiN did the same to Plup, who had previously made his grand return to SCL by winning the previous LEVO. Next week’s Division 1 of SCL will feature Mango, Zain, iBDW, Soonsay, SFAT, moky, S2J and Wizzrobe.
- Smash World Tour Deep Dives: Oceania
We’re in the final stretch of three more regions to look out for. Last week was particularly difficult, as Asia SSBM was far smaller than both North America regions and Europe. As a result, I limited my scope of player research to just 25 people. In today’s column, I will be doing the same thing for Oceania.
Just like with Asia, I will be a little more forgiving of inactivity among top players. I’m choosing include them within this list if they have had notable in-person results over the last few years.
However, there will be one notable absence who I should briefly bring up here. From speaking to Cailan, another player from the continent, Spud has completely retired from Melee due to a mix of not finding it fun any more and the pandemic forcing the scene to temporarily move online for a while. As a result, he will not be included in this list.
I also want to mention that this “list” will be far less ordered than the ones in the past. According to Cailan, after the top four, it’s extremely difficult to differentiate players from each other due to up-and-down activity within Australia’s mid-level as well. This becomes even more difficult when you factor in how in-person events have made a bit of a return throughout the continent.
Consider this list a mix of evaluating activity, looking at results in 2021, considering legacy, and “predicting” how players will perform moving forward. This is an entirely subjective process in which I am going, mostly, off of my gut feel. Please feel free to take this with a grain of salt.
- SA Nick
In 2019, Sora became the second Australian player ever to be nominated for MPGR. I looked at his rollback events and wow. Since a second-place finish to DonB at a June 2020 Couch Warriors League event, Sora won 11 straight Melee tournaments before the end of the year. The Fox main hasn’t entered anything in 2021, but this stretch of dominance probably ensured him a spot for the Oceania in-person regional finals. He could be on a tier of his own.
Sock is a good Fox player I recognized for defeating Top 100 player Franz in early 2020 and finishing just outside of Top 64 at Genesis 7. The Sydney No. 1 has won all three tournaments he’s entered in 2021. He seems like the best available challenger to Sora’s throne for the whole continent.
The next name I mention in this tier is someone who hasn’t competed too much in 2021: SA Nick. When he has showed up, it hasn’t been very seriously. For what it’s worth, his performance late last year at Rollback Rumble was a very impressive second place, in which he beat Sock, DonB and Nangs. I’m inclined to think this is more indicative of what we should expect from the longtime top regional player than whatever he’s done this year.
DonB is known for his contributions to Bad Melee, but over the last five years, he’s been one of the strongest Fox players in Australia. In June 2020, DonB won an entire tournament over Sora: a rarity in the scene. Earlier this year he won a Rollback Steakhouse over smopup and Dekar. I would be stunned if he wasn’t at the in-person regional finals.
- Microsoft J
If I were to wager on the best Falco main in Australia, it’s probably MC. When in-person events were around in 2020, he beat Toph at Genesis, finished in second to Sock at the Star Forge event and third at Phantom. Through the rest of 2020 Netplay, he made top eights at the tournaments he didn’t DQ from, including finishing third at a Rona Rumble where he beat DonB and Davox.
In early 2020, Davox beat Sock and Smopup at Phantom en route to second place. During the Netplay era, he’s been making top eights at the events he’s entered, and he’s likely the best Sheik main in Oceania.
Dekar’s been around for a while. He’s an old school Marth player that’s been around Top 5 to Top 10 in the continent for the last decade. Back at Phantom, he finished in fifth place, beating DonB and Muscat. In 2021, he had a solid third place finish at Rollback Steakhouse, where he beat Davox.
McCloud has experienced a bit of a breakout in the Netplay era. Since switching from Luigi to Peach, he has had several notable victories. To close 2020, he finished in seventh place at Rollback Rumble, and he topped it recently in March at a Couch Warriors tournament. Here, beat Cailan, Nangs and Sock en route to second place.
Skeleduck, also known as GnomeDome is one of the better players in Melbourne. Lately he seems to have leveled up. He had an incredible showing at an in-person CouchWarriors monthly, where he beat Dekar and Microsoft J to finish in first place.
I first learned about Fess when he beat Warmmer at Genesis 7. Looking into his record more, he was the No. 9 in Oceania’s continental PR around early 2020. At Smash Brews #17, he beat DonB and Microsoft J, finishing in second place.
Nangs is a Samus main who consistently finished in the top half of Netplay top eights throughout 2020. Without citing his specific records against other individuals, I can broadly say that he mostly beat everyone ranked beneath him. In recent times, he returned from a brief hiatus at a March Couch Warriors event to finish in an impressive third place.
Cunchy, a Captain Falcon player, doesn’t enter much online. Per the current database I have, the former No. 11 of Australia only has two online events and a fifth place at Phantom 2020. But what he has is pretty good: a 3-0 record against Dekar, a win over Microsoft J and no losses to players beneath this tier.
Smopup is a Fox main from Queensland. In 2021, he’s been another big-time Netplay grinder, attending four big events and making top eight at all of them. He started the year winning a Project Skippi tournament over Muscat and he recently beat Dekar at Rollback Steakhouse, where he finished in second place.
In January, it seemed like Muscat had taken a leap forward in his play. He finished in second and third place at consecutive Project Skippi tournaments, where he nabbed wins over Cailan, smopup and Dekar. I’m curious to see how he does throughout the rest of the year.
Sundowns is a Marth player who had a breakout CWLeague performance last November in which he beat GnomeDome, DonB and Currypuffs en route to second. He beat DonB again earlier this year at Project Skippi, also nabbing a win over SA Nick.
Niko is a strong Captain Falcon who I recognized for beating DonB at a Rollback Rumble in Australia at the end of 2020. Before that, he beat Emps, melodiic and Microsoft J at a Melbourne event.
Microsoft J is one of the better South Australian players. He’s probably the next best Falco main in Australia after MC and Fess. He’s lately taken a set from Dekar at a CouchWarriors event and he seems to be a safe bet for top eight at Smash Brews tournaments he attends.
Emps is a Jigglypuff player who was formerly one of the better Arcadian players within Australia in 2020. In 2021, he’s improved a lot. He recently beat smopup at a Couch Warriors League in March right before winning a small weekly earlier this month.
Melodiic is one of the better Marth players in Australia right now. In March, he’s hovered around top eight at the events he’s gone too, grabbing victories over the likes of Dekar, Cailan and Emps.
Currypuffs is a Sheik main and likely New Zealand’s best player. He competes with players on the Australian scene a lot more on Netplay than other New Zealand players. Currypuffs usually hovers anywhere from 7th to 9th place at the Rollback Steakhouse events he competes in.
We saw Rek start the year off pretty well, finishing 4th at the final Project Skippi event of January. The truth is that like a lot of other promising mid-level Australian players, he just hasn’t been around very much. Still; I’d look out for him when LAN events come back.
Along with being my source for the Oceania scene, Cailan is a pretty good Fox player, as well as a regional TO. Unlike a lot of his peers, he’s been quite active, entering 8 tournaments in 2021 alone. Last weekend, he finished in third at Smash Brews, where he split sets with Melodiic.
Zxv seems to have leveled up in 2021. The Sheik main beat Dekar, Sundowns, Currypuffs and Rek earlier this year. Even more impressively they came at just two Project Skippi events.
Cookbook, an Ice Climbers player, hasn’t been too active as a competitor within New Zealand. He has just one tournament performance in 2020 I could find: a 13th place at Rollback Rumble in December. It was good enough for me to include him here; he beat Niko and Lemonpot.
Quetz only has one tournament I could find in 2020 – he beat Microsoft J and Fess at Rona Rumble. Most of his results I could find were pretty old, but I decided to keep him on the list anyway out of his legacy and since he still seems pretty good.
Just like last week, I’m sure that I missed a few borderline people who have technically been active enough to qualify for this list. Please don’t be mad at me if I made a mistake, didn’t include you, or didn’t include your friend in the bottom end of the 100 players!
For next week’s column, I’ll be previewing Mexico and Central America.
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