Typically if a party is thrown for you, that makes you the center of attention. And that was true for Joseph “Mango” Marquez last night when he took down Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma to win Mango’s Birthday Bash.
In the final big Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament of the year, almost every top player gathered in Toronto to battle it out before the season ends.
The birthday boy went undefeated in pool play and got off to a hot start in the bracket, despite the early start time for the event. His first major win came against James “Duck” Ma, where he beat the Sheik main 3-0 to guarantee a spot in the top 16.
From there, Mango stayed hot, taking two straight 3-1 wins over Edgard “n0ne” L. Sheleby and Zain Naghmi. Meanwhile, Hungrybox was struggling more than usual in his part of the bracket, dropping an early set to Aziz “Hax” Al-Yami in the pair’s first meeting of the year.
Hbox went on to beat both Justin “Plup” McGrath and Zain to make it into the top four, where he swept n0ne’s Captain Falcon and then beat Hax$ 3-2 in the rematch.
But by the time Hbox managed to reach Mango in the grand finals, he looked a little gassed in terms of his normal playstyle and ability to capitalize on the Fox player’s mistakes. This was likely due to his deep run in the Ultimate side of the tournament, where he placed eighth with his recently buffed Jigglypuff.
The two rivals still had an extremely close series, with each game going down to the final stock except for game two, which Hbox won 2-0. But Mango was at the top of his game and was making reads that eventually sealed his second Major victory in a row.
Paired with his wins at The Big House 9 and Get On My Level 2019, along with his other top finishes this year, Mango is making a strong case for his rank to move up from fifth in the world for the first time since 2017 when he was ranked third.
The next big Smash event will be GENESIS 7 on Jan. 24, which will begin the 2020 season for both Melee and Ultimate.