Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma finally captured the Super Smash Bros. Melee Evo title that had eluded him for the past three years on Sunday. Hungrybox had come close to glory every year since Melee returned to the Evo lineup in 2013, but he had never been able to bring home the big title until Sunday. He finished third in 2013 and was runner-up in each of the past two years.
His championship came at the expense of the defending champion, Sweden’s Adam “Armada” Lindgren. Armada defeated Hungrybox for the title last year and came incredibly close to repeating the feat on Sunday, but Hungrybox got the better of nearly every clutch moment in their epic grand final encounter.
Hungrybox, who entered the grand final from the losers’ bracket, raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first-to-five set before Armada responded with two dominant games to tie things up. Armada held a full stock advantage when he reduced Hungrybox to his final stock, but Hungrybox found a way to pull the game back and force a bracket reset. Armada then took a 2-1 lead in the second grand final set, and he twice reduced Hungrybox to what could have been his final stock of the tournament. But in both games, Hungrybox found a way to win.
He wouldn’t be denied.
Before he ended Armada’s repeat bid, he derailed Joseph “Mang0” Marquez’s quest for a third Evo championship. Mango won the Evo crown in 2013 and 2014, but his first attempt at the “3vo” fell short after losses to Justin “Plup” McGrath and Hungrybox limited him to a fifth-place finish.
Mang0 bowed out in fourth place this year under nearly-identical circumstances. Plup defeated him in a match to reach Sunday’s top eight session, just as he did last year. Hungrybox eliminated him on Sunday in the losers’ semifinal match, one round later than the two had faced in 2015.
Plup finished in third place this weekend. After sending Mang0 to the losers’ bracket, he beat Hungrybox on Sunday to reach the winners’ final. Once there, he lost 3-0 to Armada, then lost 3-1 to Hungrybox in the losers’ final.
Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman and Johnny “S2J” Kim tied for fifth place, while Weston “Westballz” Dennis and Kevin “PewPewU” Toy tied for seventh. Mew2King was also favored to make a deep run in the weekend’s Super Smash Bros. for WiiU tournament, but he withdrew from that event to focus solely on his Melee performance.
Although the 2,500-player tournament was the largest Melee event of the year by far, a pair of notable players were absent. Kevin “PPMD” Nanney withdrew from the event two weeks ago due to health concerns. Then, just two days before Evo began, William “Leffen” Hjelte announced that he would miss Evo due to ongoing visa issues that have kept him out of the United States since late 2015.