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Published October 29, 2018

This series is a tribute to standard “Monday Morning Quarterback” columns in traditional sports. In it, I discuss my quick takeaways from the last week of the Smash community. Consider this a mix of news and mild takes. Featured image from Hungrybox’s Twitter. Will take down if requested.

Last weekend, Hungrybox won Canada Cup 2018, but not without a fight from Duck, who notably swept Hungrybox in the first set of grand finals. At The JorHouse 4 in Virginia, Jerry emerged victorious, while AbsentPage won Queen City Clash in Ohio. Over in Europe, Ice took first at Germany’s HTS Smash 2 and Amsah conquered the Netherlands’ Spice 16.

For out of tournament news, the five Smash Summit vote-in spots have been confirmed: DaShizWiz, KJH, Slox, Rishi and Swedish Delight will all be attending the seventh installment of Melee’s most prestigious invitational series. In two weeks, the final spot will be awarded to the highest placing non-invitee at The Mango: Homecoming.

1. Top 8 Takeaways From Canada Cup’s Top 8

  • Hungrybox won as expected, but he’s clearly not as invulnerable out of the top echelon of play as some people think. In fact, I wonder if a loss to Duck will hurt his shot at No. 1 by the end of the year, or if a dominant showing at Summit will ensure that people forget about it. Many people forget that Leffen isn’t his only competition for No. 1 – Hungrybox has Armada lingering over him.
  • What else is there to say about Duck? His preparation heading into his initial set with Hungrybox clearly showed glimpses of promise that me and others clearly didn’t think would be there. Heading into grand finals, I would have called you crazy if you predicted a 3-0 victory for him. This is the best Duck has played in his life, and another victory over n0ne should put to rest the notion that their earlier set at Smash ‘N’ Splash 4 was a fluke.
  • Since August, n0ne has quietly built a case for Top 15. Outside of a strange ninth place at Show Me Your Moves 19 and an unfortunate bracket at The Big House 8 leading to 25th place elimination via Plup, his consistency has been remarkable, with ninth places or higher at every other significant event, including a great victory over Wizzrobe at The Script.
  • Two wins over Hax at this tournament, along with victories over Ice, Ryan Ford (who he has defeated numerous times in 2018) and 2Saint throughout the year should cement Moky one of the biggest rising stars of 2018. Don’t be surprised if you see Moky claw his way to that last Summit spot at The Mango.
  • This was a good tournament for Hax. He lost to Moky twice, but took impressive victories over Fiction and Ryan Ford, so those two losses probably say more about Moky’s prowess in the Fox ditto than necessarily anything negative about Hax.
  • Bladewise lost the streak!
  • Duck and Hax aren’t bad losses, but dealing with the pressures of the big stage is an issue that’s plagued Fiction for most of his career. He has the talent and skill to beat anyone in the world; let’s see if he can develop the mental grit to consistently perform up to his standards.
  • Jamrun has been among Ontario’s strongest mid-level talents for quite some time. He didn’t finish within the region’s power rankings, but if I’m not mistaken, this was mostly because of inactivity. Finishing seventh at this tournament inevitably came as a result of Leffen dropping out early, but the Ontario Peach also 3-0’d Prince Abu, which may have been one of the tournament’s most shocking results before grand finals.

2. Other Miscellaneous Thoughts From Canada Cup

Though he didn’t win those sets, Soonsay still took both n0ne and Fiction to game five. If he shows up at a major, don’t sleep on the former Alberta No. 2.

That said, how about a ninth place showing from Kyle, Montreal’s most well-known TO and solid Peach main? In his loser’s run, he beat Dope, Lunar Dusk and Matteo to finish ninth, as Montreal’s highest placing representative. Unless I’m mistaken, this is probably his best out-of-region performance ever.

When it came to the event itself however, there was no question which Canadian region stood out. In addition to walloping Montreal in crews, Ontario showed up throughout bracket, notably with the regionally unranked Ontario Fox Buckee (formerly known as Zuppy) defeating Legend, Montreal’s No. 1, in winner’s bracket. Given the Fox’s victories over Drephen and Kage earlier in the year, the result was not too out of the question – or at least not as massive as their relative status to their respective regions indicated.

In fact, Buckee finished last year as a hidden boss in SSBMRank (though in somewhat questionable circumstances) and could finish in a similar position this year, a loss to an unranked Marth notwithstanding. His status out of Ontario’s Top 15 might be proof that the region has one of the most stacked mid-level talent pools in the world, with people from its No. 5 (Plat) to unranked players like himself having strong resumes.

3. Full Bloom 5 Legalizes Wobbling

Though I’m disappointed with the Full Bloom team’s decision to keep wobbling for its next event, I can’t say I’m too surprised. Jackzilla clearly gave it a lot of thought and certainly defended his ultimate decision well. For the most part, my differences with the decision come from foundational ones, like its distinction between the circumstances of banning stages and techniques.

If anything, I’m annoyed that this debate was hashed out publicly on the Save Melee platform, but without any significant change. Even if the intent was genuine, the impact of the wobbling discussion over the last week and a half has essentially acted as a publicity stunt for Full Bloom 5, which leaves a bitter taste.

What I find as a…actually, nope. Not going to get pulled into this one again. You win this time, wobblers.

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