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Published June 6, 2022

After a bit of a wait, we finally have another major weekend coming up. By every metric, Battle of BC 4 is going to be a bonafide event. Capitalizing on the success of its previous three iterations, it features multiple top 10 players: nearly  all the people who could win majors. In sheer representation of talent, this tournament is as stacked as any event other than Genesis or The Big House can be. Furthermore, with the PGR deadline extended to mid-July, it could have an immediate impact on players rankings.

So, as I’ve done with previous majors, I’m jotting down the 16 players you should be looking out for at this tournament. Remember: this is not a strict ranking of the 16 best players at this event – just a brief description of whom I find the most interesting to watch. At the end of the column, I’ll offer my prediction on who will win Battle of BC 4.

Super Hometown Sleepers

Last week, I found myself wondering, “who the hell is Unruly?” I kept seeing their name pop up late in online brackets, with a recent run coming at a Spudfest where they beat PJ, Yamasaki, and Amrak. Apparently, Untruly is a Fox and Marth player who finished in No. 7 on BC’s late 2021 PR. Briefly looking at their results, Unruly seems like a breakout tournament away from being considered a top Canadian player. Oh – there’s one other thing. Unruly and Plup once had a best-of-100. Plup won, 51-9.

Everyone always talks about knowing “the coolest player that nobody knows.” Or maybe that’s just me. Anyway, Polo’s one of the best active players in BC and his name’s in contention for second best Canadian Captain Falcon. You can usually catch his results every week, where he and Amrak typically take turns winning locals over each other. Most notably, he had a great performance at Emerald City X, where he beat SA Nick, Espi, and Bladewise.

I feel like Amrak is strangely overlooked in a field of similarly overlooked Canadian Fox players. Although he doesn’t have the same resume of someone like Zuppy, the results point to Amrak being not too far off in potential from Lotfy. In addition to having a set over Dacky, Amrak’s usually consistent vs. the field. That could come in handy at a time when strong players get routinely upset.

Where in the world has Elliot been? The answer: at home. All seven events he’s entered this year have been regional LAN tournaments in BC. Nonetheless, you’re not going to find a more proven hometown breakout pick than someone who literally beat Hungrybox online. I have a ton of faith in Elliot’s ceiling and will go as far as to say that he could get as high as ninth place at this tournament.

Wild Cards

It’s as if every top player who’s played friendlies vs. Salt has suddenly just decided that Salt’s inevitably going to be a Top 10 player. But as impressive as it was to see Salt take Plup, Leffen, and Zain to the brink, we’ve seen them flame out of top eight at relatively big regionals before. Salt has as much of a chance as finishing in 49th place here as he does for fourth place.

Last year, I wrote that Zuppy was a Top 50 player, and that it was all but a formality that he wasn’t much higher. In recent times, he’s recovered from a disappointing Genesis 8 to having excellent showings in New York, where he beat Krudo, Chem, Salt, Mot$, JoJo, 2saint, and Aklo. The four-time reigning Salt Mine champion has started to translate his online results to memorable offline performances.

Sora’s had a strange second time around in the United States. He had a very out-of-character 65th place at Genesis, an alright showing at Pound, a solid Emerald City, had to DQ out of Smash Summit 13, and then he took a set off KoDoRiN at the New Mang, repeating the same feat again a week later. Sora’s tournaments have gotten increasingly better over time. Is it crazy to envision him taking a set from a top seed?

2saint is quite literally the best active regional player in the Northeast. In spite of them strangely dropping a whole tournament to Bbatts – who might have honestly just ascended into another plane of existence that day – 2saint boasts dominant records vs. the field at The Nightclub. Furthermore, I like their chances of punching above their respective weight class within this field. For example, how many people can say they are a scary draw for Jmook? It’s a short list.

Top 8 Picks

Hilariously coinciding with Fiction’s trip to Germany, S2J’s rise in local activity has shown signs of a return to form. In May, he snagged a New Mang win over KoDoRiN and Sora, additionally winning a Verdugo over null. This is someone who’s been a Top 25 player for basically a decade now. You should never be surprised by his success. That’s why I have him here – he’s due for a big LAN performance. Besides, after last weekend, he’s actually up on Fiction (8-7) this year.

After a massive break from competing, Wizzrobe is back at Battle of BC 4. How will he perform? Who knows? I can’t imagine that he would be knocked out before Top 16, despite both his rust and a strange precedent of him having lost to a BC Fox in the Stone Age. I have to think he’d be a tall order for any of the floaties in attendance, right? My prediction: he makes it to seventh place, only losing to Zain and Mango.

Speaking of which, the fact that Wizzrobe is attending might help Mango out. It could decrease the chances of Mango getting an unfavorable opponent like Hungrybox, while giving him a much better chance vs. someone he’s historically throttled. I also think people are sleeping on Mango, which is awfully strange for someone who won his last LAN set against the best player in the world. Better yet; he’s won 7 of his last 9 offline tourney sets versus the same guy.

Look; Leffen sometimes looks like the best player in the world. I still have him this high because he has Hungrybox on lockdown and is, well, Leffen. But I can’t shake the feeling that the Leffen we’ve seen in 2022, entering this specific tournament, has his work cut out for him. Beating any of aMSa, Jmook, Mango, and a returning Wizzrobe feels like such a tall order for someone who has to balance playing another character for Zain.

Leading Contenders

Obviously, Jmook has looked like a Top 5 player so far in the two offline events he’s entered this year. I am curious though; when does the honeymoon period end? Even someone like iBDW has taken his fair share of beatings on off days. I’m not betting against Jmook yet, but I’m waiting for him to hit his first real roadblock. My guess is that if this happens, it will come from Jigglypuff or maybe a traditional “Sheik slayer” like SFAT.

I once said that I thought Hungrybox had no chance of winning a major. This has changed. He’s shown a surprising amount of resilience vs. the broader field, began owning Mango, and is fresh off three strong showings. The biggest challenges for Hungrybox, as it pertains to this tournament, are Leffen, Zain, and Wizzrobe – all three being players that he may not necessarily play in order to win a major.

Honestly, I just didn’t feel like picking Zain.

My Pick

Is aMSa great against the field? Check. No Peach? Check. Rusty Wizzrobe who he might not have to play? Also check. Potentially a very favorable showdown with Mango instead? Super check. Could he beat Leffen for a consecutive time? Sure; cautious check. Can he beat Jmook? Check. Is it possible for him to beat Hungrybox? Yes, even if it’s probably hard. Is beating Zain a tall order? Yes, but does he have to beat Zain to win this major? Not necessarily. Could he beat Zain anyway? If lloD can, sure.

Fuck it. aMSa’s my pick to make history at Battle of BC 4 and win his first major.


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