Yesterday, hundreds of Super Smash Bros. Melee players traveled to Long Beach, California to participate in The Mango, the eponymous tournament hosted by Cloud 9’s Melee champion and 2GGaming. Although the event ended up being as much a party as it was a tournament, there was still plenty of exciting Melee and riveting commentary to go around.
The tournament’s top seeds, Joseph “Mang0” Marquez and William “Leffen” Hjelte, decided to take it easy, perhaps to save themselves for the more serious competition at next weekend’s Full Bloom 4. The Swede Shadow Clawed his way to 13th place with Mewtwo and Marth, while a drunken Mang0 finished his tournament at 17th, ostensibly to free up time in order to be as gracious a host as possible.
With the gods out of the way, The Mango’s spotlight fell on a host of lower-ranked players, with James “Swedish Delight” Liu coming out on top. Although Swedish Delight’s rock-solid Sheik play took home the gold, his performance was not the only surprise of the tournament. Kyle “Kalamazhu” Zhu placed second after taking sets over a series of highly skilled Fox players, including Shephard “Fiction” Lima, Justin “Syrox” Burroughs, and Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni.
Although The Mango had more entrants than any other non-GENESIS tournament in 2018, it was more of a SoCal super-regional than a national, with most of the bracket consisting of local legends and challengers from nearby regions such as Northern California and Arizona. Now players and fans alike will turn to Bloomington, Indiana, where a more serious—and stacked—competition is due to occur next weekend at Full Bloom 4.