On April 21, Liquid Hungrybox took 2 sets off C9 Mang0 to win Pound 2019’s Melee event from losers bracket. Having lost to Mang0 in winners semi’s earlier in the tournament, the event marked Hungrybox’s first set loss this year as well as his first time taking a tournament from losers since Canada Cup last year. While many would attribute this to Hungrybox’s dominance, the sheer lack of tournaments attended by top level players in the first quarter of 2019 and last quarter of 2018 have made analysis of the top level of play difficult.
The bracket of this tournament was unique when considering who did and did not attend, and how it affected top level competitors’ placements. TSM Leffen’s choice to drop out of Melee again to focus on Ultimate cleared a way for once-great Liquid Chudat to upset Gahtzu and OG Swedish Delight to make Top 8, where he lost to PG Zain in a controversial game 5 timeout and HLCG S2J in a precipitated flare-out. Leffen’s ‘false’ attendance also placed Zain on different sides of the bracket from problem match-ups S2J and Tempo Storm Axe, where he was able to take losses to expected higher seeds PG Plup and Hungrybox. Additionally, Axe’s potential underseeding after a second place finish at Genesis 6 and a first place finish at Battle of BC 3 placed him on the wrong side of a bracket that could have included
easier wins for him, like Zain and Plup, who Axe has outplaced at his last 3 tournament attendances.
Due to FOX Mew2King and Wizzrobe’s focus on Ultimate Singles, Melee fans in the post-Armada era have had less top-level talent to root for to shake things up. However, with current top talent RB VGBC Amsa’s decision to focus on Melee full-time and former #1 EG PPMD’s return to streaming, it’s looking like more and more competitors are looking to make their mark on the Melee scene and take the title for themselves.
The next major in the Melee calendar year is Smash ‘n’ Splash 5, which is taking place in Wisconsin Dells, WI on May 31st– June 2nd.
Image Source: VGBootcamp