This past weekend, Super Smash Bros. Melee talent from across the country (and world) traveled to Long Island for OMEGA II, a regional event arguably more stacked than some tournaments billed as small majors. With over a dozen SSBMRanked players in attendance, viewers both in person and online were given a treat at OMEGA.
Though OMEGA II’s bracket was chock-full of surprises, its victor was the player everyone expected to succeed: top seed Zain “Zain” Naghmi. OMEGA marks Zain’s second large tournament victory after being signed by Panda Global after his Pound Underground win in May.
In second was top Spaniard Álvaro “Trif” García, who flew to the United States for the event alongside his countryman Roberto “Overtriforce” Iglesias. Overtriforce finished at a solid fifth place, losing only to Zain (in a close five-game set) and Cody “iBDW” Schwab, who himself finished at an impressive fourth place.
The tournament’s top four was rounded out by James “Swedish Delight” Liu, whose third-place finish marked a continuation of his success at the OMEGA series—Swedish was the champion of last year’s iteration of the event.
To finish out the top 8, top MD/VA Sheik Arjun “Junebug” Rao tied with Overtriforce at fifth, while Rosario “Darktooth” Fuschetto and Rishi “Rishi” Malhotra finished at seventh. OMEGA II was surely a disappointment for Rishi’s brother, Arjun “lloD” Malhotra, who finished in ninth place despite entering the tournament as one of its top seeds (and one of the few players with a decent shot at beating Zain).
However, Rishi and lloD more than redeemed themselves in the doubles bracket, taking the entire event from winner’s side despite being drastically underseeded at fourth under local tri-state teams. Though they suffered from out-of-region pressure and wild cheering for local opponents, Rishi and lloD can walk away from OMEGA II knowing that they are still one of the world’s top doubles teams.