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Mang0 vs. Zain: Who is the Top Melee Player?

After Mang0’s impressive win over Zain at Smash Summit 11. There have been rumblings within the smash community that state that Mang0 should be considered the best in the world. At the same time, Mang0 has a solid case to be given such a title. On the other hand, Zain has shown time and time again that he deserves the illustrious number one position. This article aims to go over the current season’s sets between the two titans of smash to find out if Mang0 has usurped Zain or if Zain still holds the title.

Want to see the results of Riptide: click here!

Head to Head Overview

As it stands, all-time, Mang0 and Zain have played a total of nineteen with a record of 11-8 in Zains favor. In the current season, Zain still holds the lead over Mang0, with a set count of 5-3, giving Zain a 62.5% win rate against Mang0. In contrast, Zain has a three-game lead against Mang0’s Falco. However, Mang0 has been playing more Fox lately, switching to Falco only when his opponent is a Fox main themselves. Mang0 has the set and game advantage in this instance, with a 6-4 game count against Zain.

This Fox development for Mang0, while not new, gives him an edge against Zain, letting him swap between Falco and Fox in a future tight set. While many would say that Zain has the advantage over Fox, given that the last time he lost to a Fox who wasn’t Mang0 back in 2019 at Smash ‘N’ Splash 5, where he lost to Leffen 2-3. Still, Mang0 shut down the doubters at Summit 11.

Past Set Results

Inven Global Awards] The top 5 Melee matches of 2020 - Inven Global
Picture of Mang0 and Zain

Many have called Zain the “King of the online era” of melee, making it seem as if Zain was carried by online gameplay. However, this is easily proven false due to his phenomenal record against Mang0 all the way back in the 2018 season, where he had a 3-1 set count (11-7 game count) against Mang0, and in 2019 he broke even with Mang0 in terms of Game count going 16-16 but falling short in the set count going 3-4. In this current COVID infested season, Zain was able to send Mang0 to losers side at Genesis 7 after that Zain beat Mang0 in Grand Finals at  Smash Summit 10 Online*.

Note: Smash Summit 10 is viewed by most as not a “true” Summit due to it being held online.

Against Other Top Players

Disclaimer: This section will go over the current season only, counting online results as well due to the meta shift during the online era.

Hungrybox

Picture of Hungrybox at CEO

Hungrybox has been the bain of “spacies” (Fox/Falco) thanks to his incredibly patient and campy playstyle. As a result, Mang0 has had trouble with Hungrybox in the past. As it stands, Mang0 has a 3-4 (42.86%) set count this season. However, in recent events like Smash Summit 11, Mang0 has won both of his close sets against Hungrybox. While many have said that Hungrybox is “out of practice” due to him shifting his focus on Smash Ultimate. He is still a force to be second with, with him getting third in Smash Summit 11, a placement that many people assumed he would not get.

Marth is a massive counter to Jigglypuff on the opposite end of the spectrum due to his massive disjointed hitboxes. This season, Zain has dominated Hungrybox with a 6-1 (85.71%) set count against said player. It seems as if Zain has Hungrybox’s number and is one of the main reasons Hungrybox is not the number one player he once was in 2019.

iBDW

Three takeaways from Riptide Super Smash Bros. Melee Singles
picture of iBDW after Winning Riptide.

iBDW is a dangerous Fox main who has done exceptionally well recently, with his dominant performance at Riptide. However, Zain and Mang0 did not compete at Riptide and if they did, it is more than likely that there would be a different Riptide champion. In this current season, both Zain and Mang0 have gone undefeated against iBDW, (Mang0 – 7-0 set count / Zain – 4-0 set count) not without close sets. Still, it would appear that Mang0 and Zain are on another level entirely.

Plup

Riptide: Melee's Top 8
Picture of Plup at Riptide

Plup is another top player with a distinct playstyle revolving around his impeccable yet simple reaction-based punishes with Sheik.  Even so, Plup has struggled against Zain and his oppressive spacing. However, with a 3-1 (75%) set count against Plup, Zain has shown that he has mastered the matchup, only giving up two games in their last three encounters.

Mang0, on the other hand, has struggled against Plup in recent events, with no better example being when Plup sent Mang0 to losers bracket early at Smash Summit 11 in a 3-1 set. Still, Mang0 was able to bounce back and defeat his bracket demon n Losers Semi-Finals, where he reversed the set going 3-1. With Mnag0’s unpredictable playstyle, it is difficult for a player like Plup, who realizes heavily on read/reaction-based playstyle, to capitalize on Mang0 defensive options. Having said that, Plup does have a positive set count against Mang0, 3-2. This shows that Plup is a threat to Mang0 in bracket and should be viewed as such. No wonder each of their sets are always a sight be behold.

Wizzrobe (Wizzy)

Picture of Wizzy winning Smash’N’Splash 5

Wizzrobe (Wizzy) is known as the best Captain Falcon in the world and it shows. With his optimized punishes into Knee, he can take out opponents in quick succession when he lands any of his combo starters. While Wizzy has been a threat to number one players like Hungrybox in the past. He has yet to defeat Zain during the current season. Zain can space Wizzy out due to his disjointed hitboxes against Captain Falcon’s connected hitboxes. This shows with their few results this season, with Zain having a 2-0 set count against Wizzy.

Mang0 also has a similar record against Wizzy this season. However, unlike Zain, who has a negative set count against Wizzy overall. Mang0, has never dropped a set against Wizzy in his competitive career. Mang0 has said in the past that Captain Falcon is an easy win for him and it shows.

Closing Thoughts

Both Zain and Mang0 are on a different level compared to their Melee counterparts. Even Hungrybox has said that these two players are the clear two best players in the world right now. Even so, Zain dominated the “online era” of Melee, giving him the well-deserved number one spot. However, with the online era coming to a close, there is one person banging on the proverbial door for the number one spot, that being Mang0, who struggled in the online era. Now that in-person events are becoming more frequent, it seems to be Mang0’s time to take the number one spot from the raining champion Zain, who will undoubtedly not let it go without a fight.

All information was taken from SmashData.GG


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