Summer is finally here. Melee’s biggest major season since 2019 had already started with Battle of BC 4, but with CEO 2022 out of the way, we’re about to head into a long stretch of notable tournaments. The next three weekends involve Get On My Level 2022, Double Down, and Phantom. As a result, you’ll notice this column getting more clinical and focusing on previews.
Get On My Boat, the official #GOML2022 Cruise After Party⛴️
Enjoy a three level vessel taking you on a spectacular tour of the Toronto skyline w/ sounds courtesy of @RedBullCanada 🎶
— #GOML2022 👉 start.gg/GOML (@GOMLsPlan) May 22, 2022
For this week’s Monday Morning Marth, I’m breaking down 16 players that you should be looking out for at GOML 2022. These aren’t necessarily the 16 best players attending this event – just the people I want to highlight. If someone’s name isn’t on here, it’s because I’ve already written about them before or I wanted to write about someone else.
You know, I should probably dial back expectations for Duck. What we’ve seen of his post-Samus days of competing has mostly surmounted to ho-hum performances. Still – it’s Duck, one of the greatest players of all-time. As far as I’m concerned, any tournament he enters is one where I’m interested in seeing how he does, no matter which character he decides to play.
I recognize Inky from all the way back to the Smashladder days. He’s a Sheik player from Nova Scotia who’s been getting more notable results this year, albeit at online tournaments. Most recently, he finished in second place at the Conduit Gaming Invitational, where he defeated Maples, Dawson, mvlvchi, and Kuyashi, even taking a set from Medz as well. Depending on how you view it, these are five potential Top 100 players.
Player Spotlight: Inky, for placing 2nd at the Conduit Gaming Invitational as the 15th seed, beating DannyPhantom, Kevin Maples, Kuyashi, mvlvchi, Dawson (x2), and Medz!
— Melee Stats (@MeleeStatsPod) June 19, 2022
Where do I start with Kingu? As a Melee Stats Patron, he’s someone I’m required to speak about in glowing terms. Not too long ago, he took sets off Professor Pro and Frenzy, coming damn close to winning a tournament over them. Right now, Kingu is unambiguously in the United Kingdom top five. If you were to ballpark what his results over the last year within Europe point to, it would be somewhere in contention for being on the final MPGR ballot as a nominated player. A big performance at a North American major could cement his presence on the annual list.
Similarly, max could benefit a ton from a great major showing. For those of you who aren’t familiar, let me share two things about them. One: they’re the current No. 3 in the United Kingdom. Two: after Frenzy beat Jmook, he said that “max was harder,” than every other North American Sheik player that he had sets against. As far as I know, max also has never come to North America for a Melee tournament.
Surprise: another pick from the United Kingdom! Can you blame me – GOML is basically set to be the region’s breakout party. Anyhow, we saw Frenzy beat down up-and-coming players like Mekk and Salt at Summit. Combined with his status as one of approximately three British people who don’t immediately keel over and die vs. Professor Pro, Frenzy could be due for his first major top eight.
The last and unambiguously greatest of our United Kingdom players whom I’m covering, Professor Pro is making his first appearance in an open North America event since 2020. Back then, he finished in 25th place at Genesis 7, where he beat null, KoDoRiN, and billybopeep. Those three players were obviously not the same players they are today, but the same goes for Professor Pro. Also, I lied. His last performance in the continent was actually a fourth place at Saving Mr. Lombardi 2, where he beat nut, Faceroll, KoDoRiN, ARMY, and S2J.
Want to know what Joshman’s positive LAN records have been since he DQ’d from Smash Summit 13? Here it goes: 2-1 vs. KoDoRiN, 1-0 vs. Lucky, 1-0 vs. Zealot, 1-0 vs. Suf, 1-0 vs. Aura, 1-0 vs null, 1-0 vs. Luigi Ka-Master, 2-0 vs. Asashi, and 1-0 vs. Zeo. Outside of these results, he has only lost to Leffen, S2J, and Fiction. I’ll put it this way – if you’re not Top 25, chances are that Joshman will destroy you.
Soonsay‘s had two big LAN showings of note in recent times – a disappointing fifth place at Emerald City X and a great run to seventh place at BoBC 4. In the latter, he beat S2J and Lucky, only losing to Eddy Mexico and KoDoRiN. I expect his third showing of the year to be a strong one that matches the Soonsay we’ve seen do great online and in 2021. Depending on how this event turns out, Soonsay could make a splash right before the Summer PGR season ends.
Top 8 Picks
I listed n0ne as a Top 10 player in my post-Summit Monday Morning Marth, and yet I wonder how much of that will transfer over to an event like GOML. He’s favored at this point vs. aMSa and he’s obviously proven himself as someone who can take a set from Hungrybox. At the same time, this specific field of competitors is not the one n0ne wants. Making it far in bracket likely involves taking multiple sets from Aklo, Mango, moky, iBDW, Jmook, or Zain. All of these players outright trounce n0ne, are heavily favored, or are broadly scary.
Even though Hungrybox is unusually great at making top eights, I’m not so crazy about his chances for a deep run at GOML. Both Aklo and moky are terrifying opponents for him, and if KJH taking an offline set shows anything, it’s that repeating the same feat on LAN may not be as difficult as most people would have thought. With both iBDW and Zain attending, along with someone else like n0ne lurking around top eight, Hungrybox has a tough road ahead.
SOMEONE DONATED LMFAO
— hungrybox 🥯 (@LiquidHbox) June 26, 2022
It’s absolutely wild that Jmook’s fifth place at Battle of BC 4 was, all things considered, a “bad” performance. With that in mind, I expect his GOML showing to err closer to how he did at BoBC. In addition to both Hungrybox and aMSa being here, Mango, Aklo, and moky’s presences add more difficult obstacles. I’m moreover curious at how a Frenzy-Jmook rematch would go – Frenzy was the last person to beat Jmook on LAN right before Jmook suddenly rose to being a borderline Top 5 player.
I still believe in aMSa as a dark horse at majors, though I have to admit that his last set vs. Leffen made me reassess how long-term sustainable his dominance vs. Fox could be. With Zain, n0ne, S2J, and Wizzrobe as other potential bracket-enders at this tournament, GOML doesn’t seem like the event where aMSa breaks through.
Mango had basically never been a non-Top 10 player until now. I have to believe that he’ll turn it around and do well, if only right now is uncharted territory for his career. There’s not a player in the world who Mango can’t beat on any given day. Frankly, he’s still shown glimpses of promise in having taken sets over the likes of Jmook, SFAT, and Axe. We just haven’t seen that Mango for a whole weekend.
iBDW has had a bit of a seesaw year. We’ve seen him lose a regional in his home state before showcasing the highest quality Fox gameplay of all-time in a third place supermajor performance. He followed that up not only by flaming out of top eight at Pound, but getting humiliated at home in similar fashion yet again – all before whooping everyone in his path at Smash Summit 13 to become the first person to win consecutive Summits since the dinosaurs were around. I think the version of iBDW we saw at Genesis is the most likely to come back again here.
I haven’t been fair to moky in this column. When I wrote about interesting players to look out for at BoBC 4, I wrote about Wizzrobe instead of him. So for a major that’s happening in his figurative backyard, my prediction is that we’re going to see the appearance of the player who once genuinely had online results that looked Top 5. No early winners’ bracket loss; no loser’s runs that leave him exhausted near their tail end; no bullshit. After GOML 2022, moky will be finally talked about in the same breath that we currently talk about Jmook – as someone who could feasibly win a major.
In addition to still overall having the best head-to-head records and performances of 2022, Zain also has to be relieved that there’s no Leffen or Plup in attendance. I’m choosing him as the boring, but safe, pick to win GOML 2022.