After a four-year absence, Super Smash Bros. made its triumphant return to a Major League Gaming (MLG) stage over the weekend in Anaheim, Calif. And judging by the reaction of the raucous fans in attendance, it was a successful return.
Not since MLG Dallas in 2010 had a Smash Bros. game been featured at an MLG event. To find the last time Super Smash Bros. Melee was featured, you'd have to go back even further, to MLG Las Vegas in 2006.
Fans and players didn’t skip a beat in bringing the action back to MLG. The field of 325 entrants was the fifth-largest the game has ever seen in its long history. The tournament ultimately came down to a set of matches played between American Joseph “Mango” Marquez and Adam “Armada” Lindgren of Sweden. Attendees were eager to see who would come out on top in the clash between two of the game’s biggest names.
With a crowd cheering him on with chants of “U-S-A,” Marquez ultimately prevailed over his European rival in both the upper bracket finals and grand finals with matching 3-2 scores in his favor. The games were close, and Marquez leapt up joyously following his victory. The normally stoic Lindgren, meanwhile, was left looking dejected while Marquez celebrated on stage.
Also on display was the recent infusion of major esports organizations into the scene. The top eight finishers at the event included players represented by such well-known team names as Cloud9, Evil Geniuses, and Team Curse.
Defending Apex champion and tournament favorite Kevin “PPMD” Nanney of Evil Geniuses left with a disappointing fourth-place finish after losing to Marquez and third-place finisher Jason “Mew 2 King” Zimmerman.
Also notable was Masaya “Asma” Chikamoto, whose inventive play with rarely used character Yoshi has made him a fan-favorite. Chikamoto did qualify for the championship bracket but wasn’t able to make a deep run, finishing tied for 17th.
Screengrab via Youtube