Hungrybox jeered, Armada revered in Evo Smash finale
The stoic Swede staved off an incredible comeback bid from Team Liquid’s Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma to win the title of world champion in front of a partial Las Vegas crowd. The Peach-player-turned-Fox-master was arguably the least of Super Smash Bros. Melee’s headlines after a contentious final eight.
Most notably, Debiedma secured silver in the twilight of his career to a chorus of boos from the collected crowd. Those assembled jeered vociferously against Debiedma’s character, Jigglypuff, due to her penchant for dodging fights in favor of decisive, big-damage opportunities. Fighting game community members, particularly those from games where such tactics are admired instead of derided, defended the player in the face of the outcry.Debiedma garnered even more ill-will when a pair of fatal technical errors from two-time champion Joseph “Mang0” Marquez all but surrendered their deciding match in the loser’s bracket. Spectators rushed the stage to boo the underdog after taking one of the biggest wins of his career.
Elsewhere, surging upstart and heavy underdog Justin “Plup” McGrath ended tournament favorite William “Leffen” Hjelte with some special tactics of his own. McGrath holstered his usual Sheik for the supposedly weak Samus against one of the world’s best players, knocking the TSM heavyweight out of the running for good.
Another fan favorite, Kevin “PPMD” Nanney looked rusty in the final rounds, dropping the winner’s bracket final to Lindgren three games to zero before another shocking upset at Debiedma's hands in the loser’s final. The Marth/Falco player looked undaunted in defeat however, smiling after taking third in only the second tournament he has entered so far in 2015.
Still, all performances looked dim in the face of Lindgren’s Fox masterclass. The Swede will hold the unofficial title of world champion until Melee’s grizzled contenders converge on Las Vegas once again one year from now.
Image via Nintendo