SMASH E-Sports: Best in the Game, 2016?

After taking first in four majors, including the world’s largest fighting game tournament, Evo, and five smaller tournament; Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma is considered the top Super Smash Bros. Melee player of 2016. Hungrybox, only placed out of top three, during the WTFox tournament so far this year out of the fourteen he’s attended which makes him the dominant force of this year.


Hungrybox’s main rival, Joseph “Mang0” Marquez, has taken a dip in the leaderboards this passed year, with his number four ranking. He has only taken first in two major tournaments and one smaller tournament, during 2016. Mang0 is now fighting to stay in the top five rankings. One of his first place wins was this last weekend, August 13-14, at Super Smash Con against Hungrybox.



Third place at Super Smash Con was taken by, Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, who is also ranked third in the world in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Mew2King has not taken first at any major tournaments this year, but has taken first in eight smaller tournaments and tied for first in one as well. The Smash god has been competing since 2005 and has moved up from last year’s fifth place world ranking.



The number two, world ranked, player did not attend the last tournament of Super Smash Con, but did take second at Evo. Adam “Armada” Lindgreen,lost to Hungrybox after the second set that went to game 5. Although he took second at the largest fighting game tournament, Armada did take first at the largest Super Smash Bros. Melee, exclusive, tournament of Genesis 3, along with one other major and three smaller tournaments this year.



2016 has been a year of upsets, Evo being the prime example. Justin “Plup” McGrath, placed third while being ranked tenth in the world. Along with Plup, there were a few others that placed top eight for the first time at Evo like Johnny “S2J” Kim who jumped from seventeenth at Evo 2015 to fifth at this year’s. S2J also brought his main character, captain falcon, to top eight with him for the first time as well. Weston “Westballz” Dennis, also leaped from thirteenth at Evo 2015 to seventh at Evo 2016 being taken out by S2J in the loser’s bracket of top eight. During Evo 2014 and 2015 Kevin “PewPewU” Toy, was on the brink of top eight and he finally broke into top eight, getting seventh at Evo 2016.



Players and characters, that are not labelled as a god, or top tier in smash are climbing up the rankings and fighting for higher status which makes for intense and unpredictable games and matches. If mid-ranked players keep surprising us with their game play, the top four players for next year could be completely different than they are this year.


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