It’s been a long time coming for Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, who has been on the brink of taking major tournaments over the last couple years, but unfortunately struggled with certain top players that prevented him from winning the big prize. However, M2K’s luck changed this weekend in Houston, Texas at Clutch City Clash.
The event was host to 22 ranked Melee players, including four top eight finishers at Evo and the fan favorite Joseph “Mango” Marquez. The event had 270 unique entrants for Melee and 618 total players (that includes Smash 4 and Melee) making it a fairly large event with a $2,000 prize pool.
The script, as it usually plays out, reads that Mango tears through a bracket with no Hungrybox, Leffen, or Armada, beats M2K in a close set and takes home the top prize. The predictable became unpredictable when Zac “SFAT” Cordoni, a rising star in the Melee scene, was able to double-eliminate Mango. SFAT’s overall set count against Mango was 6-2, winning both sets 3-1, 3-1.
SFAT’s dominating performance in the top 8 is extremely rare in today’s tournament scene. Mango rarely ever struggles against SFAT, with an overwhelming lead in games over the Northern California Fox main. But this has been no ordinary summer for SFAT, who has had his best average placings at majors in his career in 2016. He’s also starting to consistently beat players in the top six.
Even with the huge momentum gaining win over Mango, SFAT struggled against M2K’s Marth in both winners and Grand finals. The overall set count was 6-3 in favor of M2K, but SFAT did push M2K to a game five in winner’s finals. M2K managed to win on 100% of his counter picks with having Final Destination in his back pocket and being so proficient on Yoshi’s Island with Marth’s ability to get players off stage and gimp on the small stage.
The final sequence in game 5 of Winners Finals collectively brought up the blood pressure of anyone watching. SFAT nearly had a gimp (killing your opponent by taking away their recovery) by teching the side of Yoshi’s Island stage and hitting M2K out of Marth’s dolphin slash recovery, but M2K being as smart as he is, dolphin slashed again and stage spiked SFAT off the bottom.
M2K barely advanced, sending SFAT to face Mango once again in Losers final. Mango switched back to Fox, after losing two games with Falco and one with Marth in the first set against SFAT. However, the result stayed the same. SFAT was better off-stage with his edge guarding, and showed off his strong grab-combo game.
SFAT’s composure throughout his top eight run was impressive, even in games he was down he never seemed nervous. He was down in three of his six wins against Mango, but made in-game adjustments to take the set.
Unfortunately, M2K’s play style doesn’t allow for on the fly adjustments as much as Mango. His methodical, optimal play means you have to come into the game with a strong game plan and SFAT didn’t necessarily have that in Grand Finals. M2K took the set 3-1, with three two-stock victories. The only win for SFAT coming off a full stock comeback on Pokemon stadium in game three, giving M2K a chance to counter pick Final Destination.
It was M2K’s first major win since PAX Prime back in August of last year (the famous Leffen 6-0). M2K didn’t have to face his worse matchups like Hungrybox or Armada, but the fact that he got a major win under his belt heading into Super Smash Con is a good sign for the Marth main for Cinnaminson. We might get to see the “return of the king” once again in 2016.
TOP 8 Placings:
1. Echo Fox/ MVG/ Mew2King (Marth, Sheik)
2. CLG SFAT (Fox)
3. C9 Mango (Falco, Fox, Marth)
4. G2 Westballz (Falco)
5. Tempo S2J (Captain Falcon)
5. mYi Ice (Fox)
7. Kingsmen The Moon (Marth)
7. Arc (Marth)