It’s time for the very first edition of my version of Monday Morning Marth! I am Pikachu942, taking over for EdwinBudding as he takes a hiatus from the Melee scene with the release of his book (which you should all check out by the way!).
Anyways, in regards to Melee at large, Mango ends one of his longest droughts of major victories with a win at GOML 2019, while players like Leffen and Wizzrobe make their return with style, Wizzy in particular making his way into Smash Summit. Spud defended Australia from the international talent of Professor Pro, with Sora coming into his own as well. Meanwhile, Captain Faceroll celebrated his birthday by winning Zotcade the day after, defeating Santi in a hard fought Grand Finals.
With both Come to Papa 3 and Get On My Level in the rear view, what’s next for the Jigglypuff main? Of course he’s still the consensus #1, winning both GENESIS and Pound this year, but he’s looking more vulnerable than he has in quite a while coming into the middle of the year. Losing to two players who haven’t been to tournaments in a while, Leffen and Wizzrobe, has got to be worrisome. This led Hbox to place 5th, the lowest he has placed at a major since The Big House 6 over two years ago!
I don’t think there’s anything huge to worry about moving forward, but it’s something to keep in the back of your mind. Hungrybox is no longer indestructible, and the race for #1 is still open.
2.The Next Tier
As the year continues on, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the top echelon is a lot more muddied than it used to be. Players like Zain and Axe are really stepping up this year with strong performances, while Mango is once again rising and Plup seems to be in a slump. Even players like Wizzrobe, aMSa, S2J and SFAT are just on the cusp of breaking into the next tier. It’s a very precarious spot the scene is in right now, one that I feel is only really comparable to 2008 and early 2009. A transitional period seems to be underway, and the end of year rankings might look very different from what we have come to expect the past decade.
With their biggest tournament of the year, BAM 11, just finishing up this weekend, I wanted to take this time to highlight one of my personal favorite regions of the scene, Australia. I’m going to rundown the top players of the continent, and people you should look out for if they ever come stateside.
Spud-Of course, the Top 50 Marth main needs no introduction. The clear #1 in the area, this ferocious and flashy player wows the audience with stunning combos and a flare hardly matched by anybody. He’s also in the running for Summit!
Sora-The #2 in Australia, Sora has been quickly improving, with multiple visits to SoCal no doubt being an aid. This Fox main just defeated Professor Pro this weekend, in addition to making Top 64 at GENESIS. In my eyes, he’s a clear Top 100 level player, if he can just meet the activity requirements.
SA Nick-Another Marth main, Nick has had recent wins on Sora at The Big Cheese late last year, and is typically seen as the next one down after him. He is actually the only player to win a tournament over Spud since his rise to the top of the continent, when he won BAM 8 in shocking fashion.
Rainbow-A fairly longtime player at this point, Rainbow has made many trips to America in the past, doing fairly decently but lacks a huge amount of wins. His Peach notably defeated Sora at BAM 10 last year, and typically seems to show remarkable consistency.
Sock-The final player I wanted to highlight is an up and comer, Fox main Sock. In the past couple months, Sock has risen fast, going from losing his locals to the likes of Falco main MC to consistently beating him, as well as taking sets off of both Rainbow and Sora very recently. I believe he’s the next great Australian player, and he looks hungry to prove himself.
That’s all I have for today, but I hope to see you all next time! Please be sure to send me your questions, as the Monday Morning Mailbag won’t be going anywhere, and I hope to offer a type of column series you can all enjoy just like you did the last one! I’m Pikachu942, signing out.