2017 has been interesting, to say the least, in regards to the scene of competitive Super Smash Bros 4, and there's no denying a change of guard could be underway for the sport's top guy. While some are skeptical in regards to Salem's top play as of late, Smash 4 commentator Phil "EE" Visu tells us it's hard to deny he's the top guy in the game right now:
If you're asking me right now then it's Salem, we are in the PGR season 4 and he's already won two premiere events in Evo and DreamHack so he's def leading the pack. Some might think this is a knee jerk reaction but it's not, results prove it, I expect things to switch up as the season goes but it's hard to deny two strong back to back wins like he's amassed for a start to this new rankings season.
As for the secret to Salem's recent success, that remains a mystery. Unlike "Zero," who manhandled the past 2 years in a convincing unbeatable fashion, Salem's last two wins were not a cake walk. Meanwhile, the community seems stuck on a debate on whether this is just a guy on a hot streak or someone who will eventually fall once his peers figure him out. Is it the sport is struggling to cope with a new champion whose recent run doesn't have the same untouchable flair of its former champ? Or instead, does Salem's struggle show that his run as Smash 4's top guy could be short lived?
That's not really a question anyone can answer at this time, including EE, who seems just as baffled as the pros Salem faces on how he managed to rise above his recent losses only to come back stronger and secure both EVO and Dreamhack Atlanta:
I can't answer that, but the kicker is that apparently no one he faces can either, at least not consistently because he's won the run back convincingly against both Larry n Tweek who put him in losers bracket at the events he'd go on to win. I'd say he just has his own approach if I had to pick something tho, he's committed to taking his time at all points in the match and it's been yielding amazing results so far.
The conversation will continue throughout 2017 as there are still many events to play before the year is out. Right now though, Salem is the guy to beat.