Super Smash Bros Melee at CEO 2017 was an experience. While the ending was a bit predictable, the journey through the tournament was exciting and worth taking – just as we discussed in our tournament preview. Upsets happened from pools on up, and some lesser known players got to shine. The tournament shows the shrinking of the gap between players since the sets are often close and nail biting. Below are the players and highlights for any fan of Melee to enjoy.
Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma
There is no surprise when it comes to this year’s CEO winner. Hungrybox was always favoured to win and for good reason. His adaptability in the face of challengers always keeps him on course for victory. A few people are focusing on his ledge camping technique. Many view ledge camping as a cheap way to earn a victory. That said, his use of the technique was entirely strategic. Throughout the games, he breaks up his camping with a plethora of other techniques. He forces his opponents into a more favourable position. Then, uses moments of camping alongside aggressive neutral and strong combos. All the while, he focuses heavily on changing his playstyle to throw off his opponent.
It seems that is is a strategy that works. Nobody can get full control over him. Instead, they need to whittle him down little by little. All this while simultaneously dealing with his ever-changing style. Competing against hungry box means understanding how the game can change moment to moment.
There were some who came quite close, namely Plup and Axe.
CEO 2017 Smash Melee – Liquid’Hungrybox (Jigglypuff) vs PG | Plup (Fox, Sheik) SSBM GF
Justin “Plup” McGrath
Plup managed to grab second place. This shows his position as gatekeeper to the Melee Top 5. His toughest match aside from Hungrybox is probably the one against Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett. Looking at it, it is a close match throughout. Through pure perseverance did Plup manage to seize victory. After that, Plup made a beeline towards the Winner’s Finals. That’s where he met Hungrybox.
After a brutal set, he was sent down to losers. His Sheik made quick work of Axe, and he headed back for a rematch with Hungrybox. With persistence, he managed to reset the bracket. However, with Plup fatigued, and Hungrybox getting help from Luis “Liquid`Crunch” Rosias, the second set of Grand Finals became a one-sided match. It’s not the first time we’ve seen Plup challenge Hungrybox, but the potential to win a major held promise that was exciting throughout.
CEO 2017 Smash Melee – Tempo | Axe (Pikachu) vs PG | Plup (Sheik) Melee LF
Jeffery “Axe” Williamson
Axe turned heads at CEO, having been one of a few who pushed Hungrybox to his limits. Their set in Winner’s Semifinals was down to the wire. Had Axe pulled through, it would have been the biggest upset of the tournament. As it stood, Hungrybox was just a step ahead of Ace along the way. Still, Axe came through with a strong third place finish, showing everybody he is not to be counted out.
CEO 2017 Smash Melee – Tempo | Axe (Pikachu) Vs. Liquid | Hungrybox (Jigglypuff) SSBM WS
Colin “Colbol” Green
At fourth was Colbol, who has been on a streak over the past few tournaments. After being sent to Loser’s bracket by Johnny “S2J” Kim, he made an impressive run to Loser’s Semifinals. His CEO loser’s run consisted of eliminating Crim, iBDW, Shroomed, King Momo, and Wizzrobe. His performance at CEO, and other recent majors, has shown that Colbol is back as a threat to take seriously.
CEO 2017 Smash Melee – SS | Colbol (Fox) vs MVG | King Momo (Falco) Melee L7ths
Michael “King Momo” Morales
Finally, one of the most impressive runs at CEO was the performance by King Momo. Overcoming The Moon in pools, he made an explosive showing of his skills. Sending Vro to Loser’s, and eliminating DJ Nintendo, he met Colbol in the first match of Top 8. What followed was the most high-octane match of the tournament. An all-out brawl, the set was a trade back-and-forth for dominance. Unfortunately, the set ended with an SD by King Momo, putting a stop to his journey upward.
CEO 2017 – King Momo (Falco) vs The Moon (Marth) – Pools
With so many good sets to watch, and watch again, CEO was a spectator’s dream. Seeing so many players pushed to their limits is exactly what viewers ask for, and this tournament delivered. Some of these sets may just be talked about for years, and many players will want to analyze them for their own improvement. We certainly hope to see more of these players in the future, and hope that this is only the beginning of their breaking through barriers.