Fox or Falco? It’s the age old question going into tournaments for Joseph “Mango” Marquez. At Super Smash Con, Mango pulled out the bird and put on a performance that raises the question of wether or not Fox is in his future plans.
That said, Mango, at this moment in time, is the premiere Fox player in Melee. He’s won countless tournaments with Fox and has been the character he relies on when all else fails. It’s foolish to think he’ll ever abandon Fox, but at the same time, Falco seems to suit his play style more than Fox.
Mango’s Creativity with Falco
Mango’s got a brilliant mind for Melee. He’s able to constantly throw various looks at a player to keep them off balance. Falco’s play style is conducive to this and Mango is the perfect player to bring out the full potential of a character that’s been neglected by the rest of the scene.
In effect, Mango was able to play more to his style and dictate the pace of play. Top 8 was a show from Mango’s Falco. Fortunately, he didn’t have to face Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma so it was Falco all afternoon long and it was a display of Mango’s mixup game.
For example, let’s look at his two sets with Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman. In both sets Mango was able to control the stage by the virtue of Falco’s laser game. In his winners finals set against Justin “Plup” McGrath, the gameplay changed drastically. Mango adapted and played aggressively on Plup’s shield. Facing M2K, Mango emphasized the laser pressure and stayed clear of out of shield range.
The mixup game is a staple of the Falco meta. Mango made it imperative that the same option wasn’t coming twice in a row. Both Plup and M2K had trouble predicting what Mango was going to do and in many cases set themselves up for down-air finishers. The DI traps continually put Mango in advantageous situations.
Where does this place Mango?
Certainly, this win and his recent results at Evo have propelled Mango to second overall in the Melee ranks. Couple that with Hungrybox’s struggles against Plup, and it’s clear who’s been the better overall player. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Hbox struggle to this extent. He’s usually a guarantee to finish in the top three.Plup and Mango. YouTube.com/vgbootcampvods
As for Mango, it’ll be interesting to watch if he makes the change back to Fox at future tournaments. And yes, Adam “Armada” Lindgren didn’t make it to Super Smash Con, so his presence might make Mango change his mind. Mango’s Fox has a positive record against nearly every player outside of Armada’s Peach.
The next major event is Shine and the player list is nearly identical to SSC. Mango will have the edge heading into the event, but a face-off against either Hbox or potentially William “Leffen” Hjelte could stall that momentum. Unfortunately, Armada is not confirmed so we might not see a matchup with Mango till the fall.
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