In an emotional video released earlier today, Adam “Armada” Lindgren announced his retirement from Super Smash Bros. Melee singles play. The Swede, who is sponsored by Team Alliance, has experienced multiple stretches as the world’s top-ranked player, and his multitude of major championships have contributed to the commonly held belief that he is the greatest Melee player of all time.
This isn’t Armada’s first shot at retirement. In 2013, the Peach main announced that he would be stepping back from competitive play due to a lack of motivation following a particularly dominant stretch of major victories. He soon found that he regretted his decision, and he returned to competitive play when Melee was given a main-stage spot at Evolution Championship Series 2013. Armada says that this retirement is a decision that he’s been considering for over a year—since Evo 2017—and that it is likely that he will retire from singles play for good this time around.
For the last year, Armada has been outspoken about his troubles with motivation, often taking to Twitter to discuss the feelings of burnout that follow long stretches of back-to-back majors. Major tournaments, the Swede claims, have gone from being the weekends that he looks forward to most to sources of dread for the longtime competitor.
In his announcement video, Armada states that he has achieved every goal that he ever set for himself in Melee. In the past, there were always higher heights to achieve; when he satisfied his goal of becoming the best in the world, he had filled its void with a burning desire to become the greatest player of all time. Now that his GOAT status is all but undeniable, pushing further upward would be pointless—his hands are already on the ceiling.
Though Armada is confident that he will be quitting singles play for good, he will continue to participate in the Smash community by streaming, creating videos, and attending tournaments to commentate and enter doubles with his brother, Andreas “Android” Lindgren.
“I still feel like we have so much more to do,” said Armada about his doubles aspirations. “Not only in terms of winning, but also in terms of showing how far teams can be pushed.”
In addition to his continued work within the Melee scene, Armada suggests in his video that he might enter tournaments for the upcoming Smash title for the Nintendo Switch, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
“Maybe that’s what I need, a new challenge for a new game,” mused the Swedish Sniper. “I’ll take things one step at a time.”
The implications of Armada’s retirement are unclear, and will be played out over the coming year. The immediate effects are obvious enough; in his video, Armada says that he will still be attending The Big House 8 to enter teams and participate in community events, but he will not be in attendance at Smash Summit 7.
Armada was one of three players vying for 2018’s year-end No. 1 ranking, essentially tied with Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma and William “Leffen” Hjelte up to this point. Now that Armada is out of the picture, this race comes down to a two-sided battle between Hungrybox and Leffen, hated rivals who have participated in some of the year’s most heated sets.
Armada’s retirement comes towards the end of a year that might also be the final year of serious competition for his longtime rival Joseph “Mang0” Marquez. Mang0 has candidly stated that his interest in top-level singles play is waning, and his Twitch popularity has ensured that the Falco main can continue to support himself through gaming even without entering major tournaments. Mang0’s response to Armada’s announcement incorporates a quip about his own possible retirement, but offers no concrete information as to when that might occur. With Armada gone, Mang0 might seize this opportunity to win himself a few more majors—or he might lose the competitive flame that has long been kept alive by his rivalry with the Swedish Sniper.
Mang0’s tweet was just one of many tributes that began to flow in from fans across the world following Armada’s announcement. Whether or not he continues to compete in any capacity, it’s clear that the Team Alliance member has touched the hearts of thousands with his stellar gameplay and famously level-headed demeanor.
Armada’s exit will reverberate throughout the metagame as well. For years, he has been the only representative of Peach in the top-level meta. Now, the onus is on Peach players in the next tier, such as Álvaro “Trif” García Moral and Arjun “lloD” Malhotra, to form the vanguard of top-level Peach play.
In order to properly answer his fans’ questions about his retirement, Armada promised to answer questions on his stream. For more information, check out his full announcement video here: