Don’t Park on the Grass 2018 just came to a close as it turned to Monday on the east coast. The final tournament that will influence the 2019 rankings is in the books and there were a number of surprising performances. Here, we’ll look through the bracket at some of the best runs of the last tournament in the 2018 Melee Season.
Johnny “S2J” Kim took home gold in the Pacific Northwest. Zain “Zain” Naghmi, James “Swedish Delight” Liu, and Kalindi “KJH” Henderson are all on the list of talented players S2J had to beat to win Don’t Park on the Grass. His victory over Zain – a game-five set that went to the last stock – adds another victory over a player in the top ten rankings.
The 2018 Summer Rankings placed S2J outside of the top ten, which was a fall for the Captain Falcon main. S2J made his first appearance there in the prior rankings and this performance gives him an outside chance of getting back.
Voters on the upcoming rankings will have to choose between S2J and Jeffery “Axe” Williamson. Axe wasn’t as active in the second half of the 2018 season and when he was, it wasn’t with his usual success. He attended four tournaments and placed top-eight at two of them.
S2J now has wins at Don’t Park on the Grass and The Roast of Hugo Gonzalez. He also made top-eight at Evo 2018 and Shine 2018. His resume speaks volumes and a win to cap off the year may just be enough to push S2J back to tenth.
Te-Tuhi “Spud” Kelly is a native of New Zealand and the highest ranked player in Australia. He’s also imbued with special powers as his flight crosses into the northwestern part of North America. Spud pulled off multiple upsets over top players including Zach “SFAT” Cordoni and Aziz “Hax” Al-Yami.
Spud previously finished 17th at last year’s edition of Don’t Park on the Grass and he won Bridgetown Hyper Blitz. At the Portland event, Spud went on a tear, beating the likes of Edgard “n0ne” Shelbey and Aaron “Professor Pro” Thomas and others. Spud’s top-eight this weekend is another notch on his northwestern belt.
A number of players may have been better off staying at home this weekend for the sake of their rankings.
The highest seed and favorite to win the weekend, Zain, finished third. He lost to Swedish Delight and S2J. Zain is typically strong against Sheik, but his performance against S2J’s Falcon marks another loss to a top Falcon player. S2J double-eliminated Zain at The Roast earlier this year.
Zain’s placing here likely puts him out of contention for the sixth spot in the upcoming rankings. He was competing with Joseph “Mango” Marquez for that spot. Mango’s catalog of tournament wins in years past should give him enough standing to hold on to sixth.
Connor “Bananas” Lamb was a player on the rise as the calendar turned to 2019. He was also one of a handful of players with the capacity to win Don’t Park on the Grass considering his two victories over gods at Smash Summit 7. However, a loss in the final round of winners before top-32 pumped the breaks on any run in the upper bracket.
Then, a loss in the first round of top-32 at the hands of Michael Rollberg ended his tournament in an abrupt fashion. Bananas failed to take a game in either loss. He also failed to record a win over a player ranked inside the top 100. If Bananas wants to see his rank increase during the 2019 Melee season, dominating smaller events like this one is the next step.
Melee’s Ultimate Ambassador
Don’t Park on the Grass was also the first major for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. A large portion of Melee’s top competitors chose to test their metal in a new game. Players like n0ne, Swedish Delight, and SFAT participated.
However, the title of best Melee player in Ultimate belonged to Theodore “Bladewise” Seybold. The Washington native finished 25th in Ultimate. Incidentally, this would go on to be his exact placement in Melee as well. While Bladewise may have been looking for a higher placing in his main game, a stellar performance in Ultimate should have left a familiar crowd satisfied.
Melee’s 2018 season is in the books but we’ll be covering the release of the 2019 rankings and more while the next year begins.
You can follow Kyle @ffkylethekid where he tweets about fantasy football, Overwatch, and Smash.
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Feature image courtesy of: Don’t Park on the Grass