Super Smash Bros Melee Evo 2017 odds

Evolution 2017 takes place next weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, and in classic Vegas fashion I’m here to present the odds for Super Smash Brothers Melee. Of the 1,493 entrances, one of these players on the list below will be Evo champion. Will it be a past champion or a new name that takes the title?

9/4 Adam “Armada” Lindgren

It’s been a long time since anyone other than Armada was the favorite heading into an event. The two-time Evo champion is still amid the best year of his career. For Armada, he’s already accomplished the Melee gauntlet of tournament wins in his career. The lone achievement missing from his mantle is a third Evo title, or the “threevo.”

The 2017 tournament will be his second chance to obtain the illustrious third title that Hungrybox ripped out of his grasp in 2016. Armada will be focused and prepared. It will take an inhuman effort, like Hungrybox last year to take out Armada.

13/5 Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma

Armada is the favorite, but Hungrybox has the most recent major victory between the two of them. Smash N’ Splash 3 presented another game five set and like Evo 2016, Hungrybox edged him out. If anything, Hungrybox will have the most momentum of any player. With the recent win and the fact that he’s a returning champion, Hungrybox must feel a wave of confidence.

The key match will not be with Armada, but with Mango. The play of Mango’s Fox could be a potential hurdle en route to another championship.

Armada and Hbox, Evo 2016. Photo courtesy of twitch.tv/evo2k

15/5 Joseph “Mango” Marquez

Mango has had two disappointing Evo performances in the last two years. After scraping out two Evo titles previously, much was expected of him the last couple of years and in both instances Hungrybox ended his run. It was a despairing couple of losses due to the anticipation of the “threevo,” which is a title not many fighting game players hold.

The reality is that Mango still has another Evo run inside him. His talents still show up, not as often as in previous years, but the potential to win is there. This aspect makes Mango such a dangerous player heading into this weekend.

6/1 Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman

M2K is the one of the top four that has failed to win an Evo. Historically, Evo has been M2K’s worst major of the year. Some of his worst career performances have taken place at Evo. He’s never made it past a fifth-place finish. It’ll be another difficult year to break through for M2K, especially if Leffen plays up to par.

6/1 William “Leffen” Hjelte

Leffen is the wildcard once again. Recently, he’s given Armada some trouble and has pushed players like Hungrybox to their limits. Leffen rarely wins the tournament, but on any given day he’s capable of beating anyone. There’s not many players with the matchup prowess and understanding of Leffen.

18/1 Justin “Plup” McGrath

Plup is coming off a third-place finish at Evo 2016. A performance in which he took out Mango. Well, guess what? Plup will play Mango and his tournament success could ride on that matchup and if he can rewrite the history between him and Hungrybox.

25/1 Zac “SFAT” Cordoni

SFAT has cooled off a bit in 2017 after a breakout 2016, but the Fox player still has enough winnable matchups to get him over the top. SFAT avoids his problem matchups in M2K and Armada and will get ChuDat, Hungrybox and Mango. All players he’s had mild success against. If he can somehow get a win over a couple of these players, he could carry that momentum into the top 8.

30/1 Weston “Westballz” Dennis

The return of the extreme punish heavy Westballz has seemingly returned in 2017. The defense is still there, but now he’s starting to hit harder again with his Falco. He matches up with Leffen, who he has had close sets with in the past, but could run into some problems down the line.

30/1 Jeff “Axe” Williamson

Axe will have his hands full with Wizzrobe and Armada in bracket. He’ll have to play extremely well to have a shot at top 8 winners. The secret advantage Axe possesses is having the raucous Arizona crowd, which is in close proximity to the Vegas area, cheering for him.  Let’s see if Axe has the Evo main stage magic once again.

35/1 Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett

Wizzrobe could be the one underdog to place your money on this weekend. It feels like a matter of time before he has another breakout performance. He can compete with the upper echelon players and he’s starting to win more of the 50-50 matchups. Wizzrobe now has the tournament experience necessary and is a threat to win an Evo.

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Featured image courtesy of twitch.tv/evo2k

The Local: Hungrybox’s Injury Issue, Salem and M2K’s Performances at Smash Conference

Genesis 4 is still two weeks away. The Smash world will now focus in on these next two weeks to prepare for one of the marquee events of 2017. Tournaments have slowed; aside from Smash Conference, there has been no high-level matches since Don’t Park On The Grass. That said, there’s still plenty of news to cover around the entire Smash community.

Hungrybox Struggled with his Finger Injury

Photo via https://twitter.com/LiquidHbox/status/816358130611318785

Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma was not the main story of this weekend, but his finger injury suffered last week playing dodgeball has his Genesis 4 status in question. Hungrybox did say on twitter that he’s planning on playing at Genesis 4, but that he might have to switch up how he holds his controller and try a different button press for his aerials (he usually uses the Z-button).

However, Hungrybox did make an appearance at MVG”s Smash Conference in Florida this weekend, and he didn’t look like his usual self. On top of losing to players he often beats, Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman and Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett, his aerial spacing and conversions on hits were clearly not as precise as normal.

Hungrybox will play at Genesis 4, but how effective his play will be is still up in the air. He has two weeks to rest or practice holding his controller different ways.  A half healthy Hungrybox can still make a deep run, but it’s hard to see a scenario where he takes out a God with a busted finger.

Mew2King Wins Smash Conference for Melee

M2K got the win, but the real story was Wizzrobe and Zac “SFAT” Cordoni’s performances at this event. SFAT went 1-9 against M2K in 2016, but early in 2017 he took an early 5-3 game lead with a set win and a game five loss at the Smash Conference. He even had success against M2K on Final Destination, taking two games off him.

On the other hand, Wizzrobe nearly outshined everyone by taking out Ryan “TheMoon” Coker-Welch 2-0, SFAT 3-0, and Hungrybox 3-0. He unfortunately fell to M2K, a matchup that’s known to heavily favor M2K. His performance doesn’t go unnoticed though, and is a building point heading into one of the biggest events of the year.

Finally, M2K earned his first tournament victory of 2017, but it did not come easy. SFAT had him on the ropes on game four in the second set, but a bad positional decision from SFAT gave M2K the corner, and eventually the edge guard. The entire match favored SFAT’s pace of play, but in the end, M2K was able to repeatedly overcome large stock deficits to win.

Salem Takes Smash Conference for Smash 4

Photo via https://smashboards.com/threads/smash-wii-u-at-smash-conference-lxix-mvgs-finest-take-on-florida.444611/

Saleem “Salem” Akiel Young, a legend in Brawl for taking an Apex, earned another career victory by winning Smash Conference over Jamaal “Samsora” Morris Jr. The Bayonetta main had little trouble disposing of the other Florida players, only dropping one game the entire tournament. He made a statement by taking care of busisness in a tournament that featured the likes of Eric “ESAM” Lew, Jestise “MVD” Negron, and Andrew “ScAtt” Huntley.

Even M2K entered Smash 4 and made a splash before being eliminated by Esam. Esam, on the other hand, made an insane losers bracket run to finish third, after falling to Samsora’s Peach earlier in winner’s bracket. It was a tournament of mixed results, as ScAtt was eliminated in losers round two by Florida native, Day.  Strong players had to face off against each other earlier because of upsets, allowing for players like ScAtt, MVD, and dyr to fall out of bracket early in the day.

The consistent and balanced play of Salem and Samsora flashed. Both players had no trouble navigating through a tough bracket and might be two players to watch out for the rest of 2017.

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EMG N0ne: The Fan Favorite Captain Falcon Main in 2016

It wasn’t long ago that the world didn’t know much about Edgar “EMG N0ne” Sheleby, who has been a hidden boss within the Ontario, Canada Smash scene since he moved from Nicaragua in August 2014. Now after a number of breakout performances in 2016, two decisive tournament wins at Smash Factor 5 and SoCal Colosseum 2, he’s become a household name for Melee fans.

“I show up 19th there so that’s not bad,” N0ne talking about the recently released Glick rankings, “I think I can still step it up a bit, but it all depends on my luck in these future tournaments. As long as I don’t have like bad seeding, I can make it far.”

The list of names taken out by N0ne in the last few weeks alone prove that he’s made a huge jump from his 58th place ranking on the 2015 Melee It On Me top 100. He’s taken out Khasir “Liquid Chillindude” Khasar (54 MIOM ranking), Mike Haze (40), Javier “Smash Factor Javi” Ruiz (26), and double-eliminated S2J who finished fifth at Evo 2016. That’s not even mentioning his wins over CLG’s Kevin “PPU” Toy, and Echo Fox’s Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman in the past year (all of whom rank in the top 15). He’s starting to make a strong case to make into the top-20 for 2016.

“I think I played like an eight out of ten,” said N0ne on his performance these last two weeks, “I personally think I can be better.”

N0ne is saying this after winning back-to-back semi-major tournaments for this first time in his long Melee career showing that he’s not done improving. Even after his strong showing this Summer, he’s still not completely content with his play.

“All these tournaments I had tough brackets [EVO, CEO, GOML], but I’ve been doing alright,” said N0ne. “I’ve been beating the people I’m supposed to beat and if I lose usually it’s not an upset. But probably next year when I get a better seeding or, I’m sorry, a better MIOM [Melee It On Me] ranking it will help out my seeding so we’ll see.”

 

N0ne on the changing Captain Falcon meta-game

In the rotating carousel that is the rankings for best Captain Falcon main, N0ne has made it clear that he’s a top three Falcon and that Falcon is a viable character in today’s Fox-heavy meta-game. “You got Wizzrobe doing good, you got Johnny doing good as always,” said N0ne,” Between the three of us, and the other Falcons, people are starting to pull out new tech. Like tech I only used to back at home with my homies, nobody used to do it here.”

I noticed after my Mew2King set, everyone is crouching cancelling now. That’s like a personal thing I’ve noticed. The meta will always keep switching around. I even noticed stuff I used to do back in like 2006 got to a point where it didn’t work anymore and nowadays it works again. It’s like options people forget about. It’s like everything is going in a circle. You just have to find the right calls on what to use,” said N0ne.

N0ne went on to explain why Captain Falcon mains have been making it further it brackets recently, “I guess just all the Falcons complement each other. I guess we just work together in unison and that overall helps the meta for Falcon and that’s why he’s making it pretty far lately

In terms of fan favorites, N0ne has quickly risen to the top of a lot of peoples list. His play style with Captain Falcon is not only conducive to bringing out the hype in crowds, he also shows that he’s capable with low-tier characters like Ganondorf, who he pulled out Sunday at Smash Factor 5 against Hugs.

“Sometimes that’s just the way it is. Like if you saw the sets, he was messing up my Falcon,” said N0ne, I couldn’t get anything off…and I don’t know, I’ve used Ganon against him before and I felt it worked.”

N0ne lost 3-0 in Winners Finals to Hugs with Falcon, so a character switch to Ganondorf in Grand Finals was needed. Alright, let’s see what happens. I don’t know what it is, if it’s a completely different play style or what his match up experience is, but it definitely paid off,” said N0ne talking about his gusty switch to Ganon.

(Courtesy of youtube.com/VGBootcamp)

N0ne reset the bracket in the first set of Grand Finals 3-2, barely edging out Hugs on Fountain of Dreams on game before switching back to Falcon on the second set and taking that losers bracket momentum to beat Hugs 3-1 in the second set.

“Against Hugs, I actually like his Samus a lot but it’s frustrating as hell. It was a long set, it was interesting to see how we were exchanging hits. It was like power shields all over, lots of defense on his side and lots of aggro on my side,” said N0ne.

N0ne has had to come from losers in both of his tournaments to bring home the win. I don’t’ know, whenever I get sent to losers I get that focus,” said N0ne. He talked about how the set he lost to S2J in Grand Finals really woke him up and forced him to play better. N0ne also commented on the edge guarding during that set…

“The ledge was free.”

The life of a Melee Pro

N0ne becoming a well-known player and traveling all across North America has taken a toll on him, “It’s nice at the beginning man, because who doesn’t like traveling,” said N0ne. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about back when I was living in Nicaragua, looking at everyone, but right now I haven’t slept much and I’m kind of wrecked”

He continued on explaining the little amount of time to himself before each trip, “I basically come back, do laundry and fly out to Columbia,” said N0ne, but he still has an appreciation. Overall it’s nice, you meet new people, new cities, new cultures. It’s stuff you haven’t seen before so it’s all exciting”

It’s been an insane ride for N0ne, who comes from a Nicaraguan scene that has 15 players at most at their locals. He transitioned from a Smash scene that didn’t take tournaments and placings as seriously and focused more on the game and having fun. His upbringing definitely shines through his play style, where he plays the high risk-reward game which translate to a more fun game for both N0ne and the crowd cheering him on.

What’s next for N0ne?

“I’m going through a bit of, uh, I was like a month out of my house, and now that I’m home I’m getting into real life problems right now, real life situations,” said N0ne. “I might have to take a step away from Smash for a little bit, but in the mean time I’ll be at Heir 3, Dreamhack Montreal and The Big House 6.”

As the summer of Smash comes to a close, most players will have to get back to reality like N0ne, but as he pointed out to me he’ll be back for most of the major events. Unfortunately, N0ne will not be able to make Super Smash Con, but will be attending other major events in September and October.

Follow N0ne on twitter at @n0ned and look for one of the most explosive Melee players right now at Heir to the Throne 3 at the end of this month.

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