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Smash Summit 5: A New Era?

New Super Smash Bros. champion crowned.

Competition is fierce.  eSports leagues continue to grow.

11/10/17 – Super Smash Bros. Melee may have a new No. 1 player in the world after a new champion was crowned at last weekend’s Smash Summit 5. The Smash Summit is a Super Smash Bros. Melee invitational tournament that invites 16 of the best players in the world to play in a wide array of competitions including a doubles bracket, an iron man bracket (each player has 20 stocks and five different characters) and the main event: the singles bracket.

Liquid Hungrybox with Smash Summit 5 Trophy
Liquid Hungrybox with Smash Summit 5 trophy.

Liquid Hungrybox (Juan DeBiedma) has won one of the most important Melee tournaments of the year, Smash Summit 5, after defeating one of his biggest rivals and demons, Alliance Armada, who had won the previous four Summits in controlling fashion. Hbox defeating Armada at this Summit is monumental for a couple of different reasons. The first, this is the only Summit Armada has ever not gotten first at. Second, Hbox has been on a string of wins lately as the Puff main from Florida also won the super major, The Big House 7, only just a month ago. Could this be the start of a shift in the Melee script?

Hbox, No. 2 on the MIOM top 100, ran through a gauntlet of Foxes, which is widely considered to be Jigglypuff’s worst match-up in the game. He started with a dominating 3-0 win on CLG SFAT, rank No. 8, in the first round of the bracket. He then went on to defeat c9 Mang0, No. 3, 3-1 in winners semi-finals, and beat TSM Red Bull Leffen, No. 5, 3-1 in winners finals to get into winners side of grand finals.

Armada, the Peach and Fox from Sweden, who is currently No. 1 in the world according to MIOM, was taken down in a close 3-2 set with Leffen, a fellow Swedish Fox main, on the other side of winners semi-finals. He had to make a big losers run to get to grand finals. In this losers run, he took down the electrifying Pikachu main, Tempo Axe, No. 9 on MIOM, in a respectable 3-1. Armada then proceeded to beat Mang0 3-1 in losers semi-finals. Armada then blew out Leffen in their run back with a convincing 3-0 in losers finals. Now the stage was set for another classic Hungrybox vs. Armada grand finals.

Tensions were high in the Summit House. Whoever won between Hbox and Armada would be in a great position to be considered the best player in the world. In a game five thriller, Hbox was able to clutch out the tournament in a nail-biting last stock situation, giving him his first Summit title, and the potential spot of the No. 1 Melee player in the world for next years rankings, an accomplishment Hbox has been trying to reach for years.

So, with a Puff winning Smash Summit 5, a new era of Melee filled with new, back-airing Jigglypuff mains inspired by Hbox could be on the horizon for competitive Melee. The marshmallow with a seemingly unlimited amount of jumps could be a new go to character for newer players. It’s the counterpart to the flashy, technical 20XX movement where Foxes try to play as perfectly as possible, aiming to be untouchable.

This is all in theory of course. While there are only two players even in consideration for being the best in the world, those two being Armada and Hbox, it’s not entirely safe to assume that Hbox is the best Melee player on the planet. Only time will tell if a new era is to be born, but if Hbox is named the best player of 2017, the rise of Puff might not be a theory anymore. The reign of Hbox may be among the competitive Melee scene.

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