On Sunday, the undisputed world No. 1 Hungrybox won Genesis 6 over the rest of the nationally packed field. Notably, Axe made his first grand finals of a supermajor ever, defeating Kalamazhu, Rishi, Zain, Ginger, PewPewU, aMSa and Plup in a massive loser’s bracket run.
The rest of the three-day event was packed to the brim with upsets, particularly on day two, which featured results like Louisiana’s Magi besting Mango in Falco dittos, Trif clutching out a last-stock victory against Mew2King and several more.
For other events, Rik held off Morsecode762 in grand finals to win Indiana’s Midway Melee, and Professor Pro withstood a valiant effort from Setchi in Britain’s Quartered 12 to come out on top.
1. Top 8 From Top 8
- At this point, Hungrybox victories transcend modern “hot takes” about his standing in the metagame; they’re just more trophies in his all-time standing, which was already clear cut as a Top 3 player ever. So at what point do the “Hungrybox is GOAT” opinions start becoming less of a fringe opinion?
- With his second place finish at Genesis 6, Axe had his best major performance ever. I’ve gone into detail about Axe before, specifically my theory that he’s actually Melee’s true protagonist, so I’m just going to link it here. This isn’t a legacy-changing victory, but it does make the possibility of Axe winning a major seem closer than ever before. If he manages to do it one day, it’ll be the greatest performance from a non top-tier player in Melee history. Pretty cool, right?
- I have no idea how Plup lost that set against Axe. I watched it again and am still confused. My tinfoil hat and armchair theory is that he was still pretty annoyed because of his loss to Hungrybox and wasn’t prepared for his loser’s match with Axe.
- If it weren’t for Axe, his teammate and fellow non-top-tier representative, aMSa, might have been the hero of the tournament. His victories over SFAT and Mango were especially impressive. Out of active players right now, the only top player aMSa hasn’t defeated in tournament is Leffen.
- Over/Under: How many more sets until a Marth beats Axe at a major?
- If you want to learn more about Magi, the woman who defeated Mango in Falco dittos, I’d read this piece by my friend Alex Lee. It adds a lot more context to what made the victory so meaningful. As far as Mango goes, he began heating up more in loser’s bracket, but against aMSa abandoned all discipline in an embarrassing 3-0 loss. It happens.
- What’s up with Mew2King at Genesis? His 33rd last weekend is his worst performance ever, and it continues a long line of disappointing Mew2King showings at this event.
- I can’t front; I thought top eight was pretty boring until the second half, where it suddenly became incredible. Funnily enough, I wasn’t even watching most of top eight because of the Super Bowl, which I watched at the hotel.
2. Edwin Attends: Genesis 6
So as most of you guys know, I attend a fairly high amount of nationals and larger tournaments, at least in proportion to locals. For the sake of reading ease, I’ll try to chronologically organize everything about my time attending
Day one was a blast. I barely missed making it out of pools, but I was happy with most of my play and learned a lot from my matches. I did well against these two Sheiks whom I was worried about playing against, which made me very happy, given how much I hate playing against her. In terms of my losses, I blew an otherwise big comeback game one and threw away a big lead in game two to lose to a very respectable Sacramento Falco, while my gameplan against a Pikachu player, wasn’t quite where it needed to be. I couldn’t be too upset – I just lost to better players.
However, I felt extremely let down by my day two experience. In addition to the lack of friendlies stations, the ones that were available were cramped in between or adjacent to tournament matches going on. Sometimes they were so close to each other that certain televisions simply took up space to where no one could sit down. This isn’t even taking into account my issues with a lot of the arduino adapters, many of which I’m especially frustrated about because I have no frame of public reference to tell if any muscle memory differences I feel are just the placebo effect in action or legitimate. It also doesn’t open the can of worms regarding some of the technical problems with the adapters, which I witnessed not register certain controller ports at times for tournament sets.
As a spectator, I was happy to watch high-quality Melee, but I was still pretty annoyed that the most amount of games out of bracket I played came well into the late night hours, rather than earlier in the day, on setups that weren’t always functional. I doubt too many other smashers would agree, so for next supermajors and multi-day tournaments I attend, I’ll have to change my expectations for what I do in between bracket time and top 64.
Day three was slightly better, although I once again was annoyed that so many of the televisions were being shut down, and friendlies forcibly ended. From the standpoint of logistics, I get why this was the case, but as an attendee looking to play a lot of Melee, waking up early, heading to venue and seeing a field of CRTs isn’t exactly awe-inspiring when you’re told that you aren’t allowed to use them. At the same time though, I was also thinking about the Super Bowl, so I had something to distract me.
To recap my thoughts on each major: I think Evo is by far the worst for playing Melee and the best for overall out-of-game experience. Shine is by far the best for people trying to play as much Melee as possible, and The Big House is a middle ground that’s mostly spectator-friendly, as well as centered around the tournament series’ deep history.
Genesis, however, is in a tricky spot. Its brand recognition is strong, but its differentiator is in a weird spot. It sounds basic, but I really believe there was something magical about the Genesis series being inherently tied to Mango and Armada’s rivalry. Now that Armada isn’t in Melee any more, it’ll be interesting to see how Genesis finds its new identity. It can’t play the location card as convincingly as its contemporaries, and isn’t as historically groundbreaking as it used to be, at least in terms of Melee.
I’m happy and grateful for the event staff and their efforts this weekend. However, as far as whether you should attend Genesis yourself, frankly, it depends on proximity to NorCal. Between travel, hotel costs, food and transportation, I spent a little over $750 on the trip (I’m from Boston). I’m glad I came, but I don’t think I’d do it again, barring extreme circumstances.
3. Random other takeaways from the event
- FatGoku had one of the best runs of the tournament, and it would have been awesome to see him in top eight. In case you missed it, he beat Rishi, Duck and 2saint, among others, to finish ninth.
- While I’m disappointed in Leffen DQ’ing out of Melee for Ultimate, it was kind of cool to see him gain so many cheers when he played his matches. Don’t forget that just three years ago, a lot of us weren’t sure when Leffen was going to ever come back to the United States.
- Magi is the only person in the entire venue that a majority of people were happy to defeat Mango early in the event.
- Speaking of which, I was floored by the amount of people at Genesis 6 who weren’t just other men. I don’t have data to prove it, but speaking with Dr. Piggy, I wasn’t the only person who noticed greater gender diversity. I don’t mean diversity in some kind of “nice to have” way; I mean in the sense that it’s undeniably good for the game! Look at Magi – people like her aren’t just inspirational; they represent a whole portion of the player base that deals with barriers that most smashers couldn’t imagine having in their lives. A victory over Mango isn’t going to erase any of the cultural problems that they face in the scene, but it’s a beautiful moment for showing the kind of potential that people like Magi have. It’s both the morally right and leads to sick Melee!
- When Trif beat Mew2King, I was actually grabbing dinner with two of my friends, and upon seeing this result, I was hit with a greater pang of sadness than any other time I’ve seen him lose to someone. Seriously; I don’t think I’m ever going to watch this set.
- Ginger deserves credit for making top eight of a supermajor, and I don’t mean to take away anything from him, but the absurdity of his bracket needs to be highlighted. In order to finish seventh at Genesis 6, Ginger had to play Chango, because Chango beat ChuDat, then Azel, because Leffen DQ’d, Eddy Mexico, because AbsentPage DQ’d and Violence beat ARMY, then FatGoku, who had the run of his life, and Axe.
- Zain’s loss against Axe, and the painful way in which it ended, had to be karma for Fiction’s absolutely heartbreaking phantom hit in their last-stock game five winner’s round of 16 set.
- On the topic of heartbreakers, where does the end of Lucky vs. Darkatma rank for funniest and most unfortunate endings of a major set? Where does it rank for unlucky Lucky moments?
Also, I literally wrote this late last night, quickly finished this in in the airport and I have a flight to catch. Apologies in advance for any errors!