It was unusual to see Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma play well below his average at The Big House 6. He not only had his worst placing since WTFox 2 (5th place), but he just didn’t look himself and struggled against players he’s had success against in 2015.
Reports are now coming out that Hungrybox has committed to his Melee career by quitting his engineering job to play Melee full-time. The move for Hungrybox is significant as he’ll get more time to work on match ups and practice, but it also means a great deal for Melee as a whole. The move might also explain his poor showing at TBH6.
The move for Hungrybox comes at an interesting time. Based off speculation, it sounds like Hungrybox made the move after he failed to get the proper preparation in for The Big House 6. The extra workload seemed to hold back Hungrybox mentally and physically in Dearborn, Michigan.
The more top players that can make a livable wage off of playing Melee means the scene is growing. Hungrybox making the move to full-time shows the progression the Melee scene has made on becoming a self sustaining ecosystem. On top of tournament winnings and his Team Liquid salary, Hungrybox will also be streaming full-time.
Luckily for Hungrybox, he currently ranks second in all-time tournament winnings with $131,392. He’s had no problems in the last couple years finishing in the top three, securing him a sizable reward. The realization that the Melee workload is a full-time gig might have pushed him over the edge.
In any case, this move should make Hungrybox that much more formidable in the future. A more rested and practiced Hungrybox could make the difference at future events. It’ll be interesting to see if any other top players follow suit and make the move to full-time. With all the new teams forming and constant signings of Melee players, it might become the norm.