Do Armada Numbers Hold The Same Weight Now That The Streak Is Over?

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If you’re at all a fan of competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee—and you don’t live under a rock—then you’ve likely heard about James “Swedish Delight” Liu’s historic victory over Adam “Armada” Lindgren at Evolution Championship Series 2018. Swedish’s 2-1 win over Armada marked the end of Armada’s mind-blowingly long streak of only losing to players ranked in the top six, which began after his loss to Amsah “Amsah” Augustuszoon at Pound 4 in January 2010.

Five months ago, I wrote up a guide informing readers about the best ways to find their lowest possible “Armada number”—that is, a popular metric of player skill based on the number of tournament wins a player has to chain together to get from themselves to Armada. Thanks to Swedish Delight’s efforts last weekend, members of the New York/New Jersey competitive scenes have just gained a massive boost in their Armada numbers, a boon even more powerful than similar Armada number-boosting upsets such as Matthew “MattDotZeb” Zaborowski’s infamous victory of William “Leffen” Hjelte at CFST: Warzone 2. Now, anyone who’s beaten Swedish Delight has an Armada number of two, and anyone who’s beaten someone who has a win over Swedish has an Armada number of three.

However, there’s an important question to be raised at this juncture: now that Armada no longer boasts a spotless record over players outside the top six, does the concept of Armada numbers hold as much weight as it did before? Indeed, one could argue that the prestige of an Armada number was linked just as closely to one’s ability to trace their wins to the top six as it was to their ability to chain wins to Armada himself.

Don't get me wrong—I know that Armada numbers are inherently a frivolous concept, more of a fun fact for Melee nerds to dither about than a real measure of skill. But perhaps the concept should be retired altogether now that Armada’s streak has been broken for good. Let me know in the comments: do you think Armada numbers still carry the weight they did before Swedish Delight’s win over the Swedish Sniper?