The Biggest Question in Evo 2018 Super Smash Bros. Melee Competition is whether or not one of the "gods" of the game would win a sixth consecutive title. And now we have our answer: the gods are dead, long live lefts.
After an intense competition weekend, eight participants entered the Mandalay Bay Events Center in search of Super Smash Bros. fame. Among them were three of the strongest players in the community: Adam "Armada" Lindgren, Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma and Joseph "Mango" Marquez. (Frighteningly, my friend Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman was eliminated before the final). All eyes belonged to this trio to get the title of Evo 201
The most promising rivals to compete on Sunday were two prominent God killers. William "Leffen" Hjelte and Justin "Plup" McGrath are not opponents of high-level competition, and both have defeated their share of gods in the past, albeit on smaller stages than Evo, the largest and most prestigious fighting game tournament in the world , As the games began, it was clear that these players were hungry for victory. Leffen prevailed on Hungrybox and sent the swaying jigglypuff into the loser scene while Plup sent Mango out without giving up a single game. In the final of the winner Leffen showed no sign that he stopped and impressed Plup with a lightning fast 3-0 beatdown.
Armada took a completely different route. As the reigning Evo champion, his loss to James "Swedish Delight" Liu was quite shocking during the competitions, and he had to crawl through the losing group into the top eight. There, however, he played like a man possessed and dropped ranked players and other gods in tight, efficient matchups. It was against Hungrybox that he looked most domineering and used Peach's tools to counteract Jigglypuff's deadly spacing capabilities. And when it came time to meet Plup, he was ruthless and ransacked the losing finals without looking back.
The grand finale was a purely Swedish affair, with Armada's magnificent pedigree showing Leffen's hungry challenge the way. Armada chose Fox against Leffens own Fox, a mirror game that often leads to stalemates because of the similarities in the tools that every player can use. Unfortunately, Leffen had the upper hand for Armada. The so-called god was forced to switch to his old on-call service Peach to fend off Fox's relentless assault.
It all came down to a final game on Final Destination, the flat, featureless stage that became the most widely used melee 's arenas. When the Evo title got out of his grasp, Armada used every available tool to avoid Leffen's rush-down, to float around the stage and examine the landscape before moving on to anything. But in the last few seconds, Leffen could catch Armada with a grab, throw him in the air for one final attack and let him take a back seat.
The meaning of this moment radiated from Leffen. He rose from his chair and looked as if a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He had finally climbed the top of the mountain, pulled the gods down to his level, and secured one of the best titles in the fighting game community. Evo 2018 belonged to him