Super Smash Bros. Melee summer preview: Who will come out on top?
June 21, 2016 - Super Smash Bros
By Daniel “Tafokints” Lee
If we asked me 6 months ago who would win a Super Smash Bros. Melee climax during Evo 2016, we would answer “Armada” before we finished a sentence.
Ask me now and I’m not so sure.
I suspect Adam “Armada” Lindgren is still my choice, yet how distant behind are Juan “Hungrbox” Debiedma, Joseph “Mango” Marquez, and William “Leffen” Hjelte? The doubt creates my methodical conduct go haywire, yet it creates for an sparkling summer of Melee.
These 4 contenders have demonstrated an considerable ability to win pivotal events. Armada and Hungrybox dominated early 2016 and are still a many unchanging players. Mango has won a few events here and there, yet seems to constantly finish Top 2. A resurgent Leffen won Get On My Level 2016 in May.
While any of these stars has seen some high notes, they all have weaknesses. How do they adjust going into a 2016 summer of Smash?
Armada started off a year strong, yet has depressed off in new events. He finished in a unsatisfactory fifth place during GOML, and while routinely we could write off a below-average opening as a fluke, there are some worrying trends developing.
Armada is impossibly unchanging during defeating a sub-Top 6 players, yet now he deals with a new set of struggles in dual-maining. He cultivated a Fox to improved Hungrybox’s Jigglypuff and other tip turn Fox players who have figured out his Peach. It worked: Armada’s Fox won him several vital events over a likes of Hungrybox and has given him a delegate arguable choice to contest with players like Leffen.
However, a preference has backfired in some aspects. Armada now has to persevere his time to personification dual opposite characters during a really high level. At Battle of a Five Gods, Armada achieved good with his Peach, yet his Fox underperformed when he indispensable it many since his Fox never had a eventuality to comfortable up. In winners, Hungrybox swept a set 3-0 and a woes carried over into losers, where Armada mislaid a initial dual matches in a Fox ditto opposite Mango. After descending behind 0-2, Armada switched to Peach, yet it was too small too late as he finished an altogether third place; not bad for everybody else, yet unsatisfactory for a actor of his caliber.
To be fair, Leffen and Mango are apropos many some-more efficient opposite both of Armada’s characters. Although Armada’s Fox can retaliate well, Leffen’s Fox seems to be on another turn in both a neutral and retaliate games. Historically, Mango has struggled with Armada’s Peach, yet he looked really assured in a matchup and even 3-stocked Armada’s Peach during GOML.
On one hand, we can contend that Armada was carrying a bad day, yet credit needs to be given to his improving rivals. How does Armada understanding with this relocating forward? What’s his diversion devise opposite Leffen? Does he labour his Fox matchup in a wish that he surpasses Leffen in a ditto? What does Armada do opposite Mango in a future? Does he rise his Fox or continue with his Peach? He’ll need to figure out something soon.
Much has been pronounced about Hungrybox’s improvements in 2016. He began a year ripping off 4 vital contest victories, holding his steady, unchanging play to new heights. In a difference of Leffen, “Hungrybox is no longer a stepping mill to a final boss. He is a final boss.”
But while his initial 4 months of 2016 looked amazing, he is now starting to uncover some holes in his play, privately in a Fox matchup.
After starting 6-2 in sets opposite Mango, Hungrybox has mislaid a final 3 sets. Armada and Leffen have both gotten a improved finish of him in their final particular encounters. In many ways, a tip Fox players have blending to Hungrybox’s new style. They are lasering some-more frequently, spacing better, and avoiding Hungrybox’s fatal grabs. If Hungrybox wants to win a large summer event, he needs to go behind to a sketch house with his manager and rise some new strategies.
This brings us to a biggest conundrum in Smash, Leffen. He went by a boss-rush to win Get On My Level, defeating 4 gods in a row, yet can he lift a movement into a heart of summer?
That’s adult in a air. We can’t forget final year, where he was deliberate a favorite to win Evo 2015 after winning a 3 tournaments heading into it usually to land in fifth place. We also can’t forget about his flaws opposite Samus. Since 2015, he’s mislaid several sets to James “Duck” Ma, Justin “Plup” Mcgrath and Hugo “HugS” Gonzalez. If he wants unchanging results, he needs to find a approach to urge in this matchup, that will be formidable deliberation a miss of tip turn Samus players in Europe. Otherwise, he might humour early exits if he runs into any of them in bracket.
One of his other issues has been his mental fortitude. The throng cheered for Leffen during GOML, yet what happens with a throng is entertaining opposite him during another event, or if creates some automatic mistakes? Can he courage his approach by tighten sets? Perhaps his GOML run will give him a certainty he needs to pierce by a summer.
Mango has in many ways taken stairs brazen from his 2015 campaign. He’s so distant finished in a Top 2 during each 2016 eventuality solely for Smash Summit 2, where he finished fourth after losing to Armada. His placements have been plain and his losers joint runs have been impressive, yet he has been disposed to mental tired by a time he reaches grand finals. While he can positively remove to a far-reaching operation of people, Mango has a plain record opposite many of a large 6 and has shown that he can kick Armada and Hungrybox.
The pivotal for Mango? Making a clever winners joint run so he doesn’t have to marathon his approach by losers anymore.
The summer of Smash kicks off Jun 11 with Smash N Splash 2 in Illinois, where a slew of Top 15 size players will be competing. This will start an heated contest deteriorate that includes outrageous events like CEO 2016, Evo 2016, DreamHack Summer, Super Smash Con, and Shine.
Who will come out on top? I’m still adhering with Armada. Even yet he has some weaknesses, half a conflict is reaching Top 8 in winners, and Armada is by distant a safest collect to strech that point. His unchanging turn of play is still unusual and that’s critical in additional prolonged events. But with a others only as dangerous, it’s a flattering open season.
Daniel Lee is on Twitter @tafokints.