The biggest Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament of the year came to a close Sunday evening with the game’s hottest star continuing a spectacular run through the summer season.
Joseph “Mango” Marquez emerged from the event as champion. This was Marquez’s third significant victory in less than a month’s time and his second consecutive Evo championship in Super Smash Bros. Melee. And while Marquez did not go unchallenged during his run to the title, it was clear by the end of the day that he was again a cut above his competition.
:) Back to Back baby— C9Mang0 (@C9Mang0) July 14, 2014
Surprisingly, Marquez’s most significant challenge did not come from Swedish player Adam “Armada” Lindgren. Marquez and Lindgren had met in the grand finals of three consecutive events, but Lindgren came up just shy of facing Marquez in Las Vegas thanks to the play of Juan Manuel “Hungrybox” Debiedma.
Debiedma, widely considered to be the world’s premier Jigglypuff player, was able to defeat Lindgren in both the upper and lower brackets. Their lower bracket match was especially intense, with Lindgren taking the first two games in the best-of-five series before Debiedma was able to rattle off three consecutive victories to take the match in dramatic fashion.
The confrontation saw the use of multiple character switches, as Lindgren switched from Peach to Young Link to counter Debiedma’s play, while Debiedma himself tested the water with “space animal” characters before returning to his main character in Jigglypuff. Debiedma’s faith in his most practiced character ultimately paid off, and he was confident heading into his grand finals clash with Marquez.
I have bested Armada. Let's win this shit— Crs. Hungrybox (@juanthefatty) July 13, 2014
That confidence wouldn’t pay off. The grand final set was tight, but Marquez was ultimately able to prevail by a score of three games to two, the same score by which he had defeated Debiedma in the upper bracket final.
Reigning Apex champion Kevin “PPMD” Nanney rounded out the top four behind Lindgren.
The 970-player event saw a surprising amount of character variety: 13 different characters were put to use by the top 24 players in the final standings, and of the top eight finishers, only two shared a character choice.
Screengrab via Twitch/Evo