The Big House 8 was an exciting Super Smash Bros. Melee event from beginning to end. Though the tournament’s Sunday Top 8 featured gripping matches, such as Joseph “Mang0” Marquez and William “Leffen” Hjelte’s back-and-forth winner’s semi-finals showdown, arguably its most entertaining set occurred during Saturday’s Top 64 bracket: the five-game Marth ditto between Zain “Zain” Naghmi and Rishi “Rishi” Malhotra.
Entering the set, there were many apparent similarities between the two competitors. They began their Melee careers in the same region, Maryland/Virginia; they both main Marth; both have experienced noteable come-ups this year, with Zain winning Shine 2018 and Rishi defeating Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman at Evolution Championship Series 2018; and their playstyles are similar, both featuring shades of new-age Marth technology that sets them apart from old-school Marth players such as Mew2King.
The set delivered on the hype. As commentator Kashan “Chillin” Khan noted, the two were extremely familiar with each others’ play, making each game into a cerebral battle of wits decided by a few crucial moments and reads. Each game went down to the wire, with the fourth ending in a stunning reversal by Zain that prevented him from losing the set 3-1. But as entertaining as it was, much of the true drama remained locked inside the heads of the competitors.
Until now. Aside from his impressive resume as a player, Rishi is also an avid content creator; he has his own podcast, Analog, which he co-hosts with commentator Zane “Epengu” Bhansali. And on Tuesday, he released a 90+ minute analysis of the set, getting into the nitty-gritty to explain his—and Zain’s—decision-making. Check it out below:
This analysis is a must-watch for anyone interested in competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee. Competitor interested in improving their game, particularly Marth mains, would learn much from watching it, and commentators hoping to understand the mindsets of top players would benefit as well. And regardless, it’s just entertaining. If you’ve got an hour and 36 minutes to spare, don’t hesitate to take a look!