It’s starting to feel like Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma is an unstoppable force when he gets in the zone during late tournament runs and his recent victory over Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson at Mainstage is just another sign.
Hungrybox earned his seventh Super Smash Bros. Melee Major victory this year and his fourth during this ranked season in dominant fashion last night. And after closing out the grand finals in a classic Melee clash, he may have secured another year of being the best player in the world.
Axe had already fallen to Hbox once during the top eight. He was only able to take a single stock off of the highly-maneuverable Jigglypuff.
Axe’s Pikachu, who’s arguably the character with the most options for recovery in the game, was completely shut down because Hbox spaced the stage so well. Falling backairs and well-timed grabs were the end of Axe in the winners bracket.
Hbox had a close set with Zain Naghmi in a matchup that continues to be a show—every set they’ve played over the last three Majors has gone five games. Axe set up a rematch with the top player in the world after sweeping Zain 3-0, but the matchup didn’t start any better.
After Hbox three-stocked the third-best player in the world, Axe decided it was time for a swap to try and take advantage of how rarely he plays other characters.
Out of the many top players who swap characters, Axe might have the deepest pool to pull from. After getting destroyed with his signature Pikachu, he swapped to Young Link, which might not have been the best call.
Despite picking a known Jigglypuff counter and having more projectiles and approach options, Hbox had a huge advantage in maneuverability and two-stocked Axe. That forced Axe into his third character, and one that Hbox is intimately familiar with, Falco.
After one more two-stock victory, Hbox was holding his seventh Major trophy of the season.
Since he’s played so well at so many events, placing in the top six at every Major this season, Hbox has almost guaranteed that 2019 will be his third-straight year as the top player in Melee. Unless Axe or William “Leffen” Hjelte can pull off some insane runs to finish off the year, this was a crowning victory for the Jigglypuff main.