Genesis 5 was the largest Super Smash Bros. Melee event of 2018. It set the stage for the year and gave fans a Grand Finals for the ages. Here, we’ll preview Genesis 6, the storylines entering the tournament, and if it can live up to prior years.
Genesis 6 kicks off at 10:00 A.M. PST. on Friday and with it the 2019 Melee season begins. The biggest question will be whether Juan “Hungrybox” Dibiedma will continue to tower over his competitors. Or will someone be able to dethrone him from his presumed second year as Melee’s No. 1 ranked player?
The Reign of Hungrybox
Hungrybox is the clear favorite to take home first. His first real threat will be just before top eight where he is projected to face Jeffery “Axe” Williamson. However, Axe hasn’t beaten the Puff main in four years. His next opponent should be Joseph “Mango” Marquez. Mango took just one of eight sets from Hungrybox last year.
Hungrybox’s success at Genesis 6 hinges primarily on his ability to get the better of William “Leffen” Hjelte or Justin “Plup” McGrath. Both players were able to defeat Hungrybox en route to Super Major victories in 2018. This kept Hungrybox from winning his first event with at least 500 entrants until October. He finally got his Super Major title at The Big House 8. Hungrybox will look to set the tone for the 2019 season early with a Genesis 6 first place.
Outside Looking In
A number of Melee’s top players have been spending large amounts of time in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate recently. Leffen, Mango, and Plup’s streams have all been dominated by the game and Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman has already said that he won’t be playing Melee seriously at Genesis 6. It will be interesting to see how players like Leffen juggle Melee and Ultimate.
Leffen and Plup are scheduled to face off in Winner’s Semifinals. If both make it, the winner of this game has the best chance to unseat Hungrybox and take home first at Genesis 6. Mango, on the other hand, hasn’t won a tournament since August of 2017. His fans are still waiting for another victory.
After winning Shine 2018 over Hungrybox and earning marquee wins over Plup and Mango, Zain Naghmi is now a threat to take home gold at any event. If anyone is going to make a surprising run at Genesis 6, it’s going to be Zain.
Names to Look Out For
Charlie “AbsentPage” McKinley just made his first appearance in the top 25 Melee Rankings. He rose 50 spots since his 74th rank from a year ago. He’s projected to lose to Ice Climbers main Army but if he can win here, he’s positioned to have a much more favorable bracket in losers. Here he would have best a number of Spacies to reach top eight. Making it to Sunday would be a career high for the young Fox main.
Aziz “Hax” Al-Yami will bring his box-style controller to Genesis 6 and if he makes it to bracket from winners, he’ll face Mango. Hax’s chances at winning are minute at best but this matchup has given the fans a number of iconic moments. If he can find success against Team Dignitas’ Lucky and Hugs, Hax is poised to make a run.
Masaya “aMsa” Chikamoto is possibly the most beloved Smasher in the game. His combo-heavy Red Yoshi and propensity to upset top players have garnered him a spot in the heart of the community. Genesis 6 may give the people more of what they want. aMsa is projected to lose to Leffen, who he has never beaten, and then face Zain on Sunday.
aMsa has no sets against Zain at national events but won their only meeting at a local. aMsa hasn’t lost to a Marth in over two years. Next, he’d face Mango. Their two most recent outings have both gone to Game 5. Then he’d likely get Plup. He’s beaten Plup in both of their meetings in the past two years. As far as upsets go, aMsa has a real path to make a number of them happen.
State of the Melee Union
Genesis 6 will set the tone for the competitive scene this year, but it will also set the tone for the longevity of Melee. The Genesis tournament series was revived in 2015. Its collection of 1,828 attendees stands as the third largest Melee event in the game’s history. That number has gone down every year and just 1,103 competitors will square off at Genesis 6.
Also, for the first time at Genesis, Melee doesn’t own the final spot on Sunday. That honor goes to Ultimate this year. Melee’s Grand Final will be the precursor to Ultimate’s top eight. The upside is that Melee starting at 2:00 P.M. PST. allows more European and East Coast viewers to watch.
Despite signs of Melee’s decline, many of esports’ biggest predictors of longevity are the viewership numbers. If Melee can retain a large audience, there will be little to worry about.
Featured image courtesy of Genesis.
You can follow Kyle @ffkylethekid where he tweets about fantasy football, Overwatch, and Smash.
If you enjoyed what you read, consider contributing to our Patreon account!