It feels weird to go to another Major, especially since Genesis 3 happened so recently. I had a great time, enjoying the tournament, PAX, and the southern BBQ throughout the weekend, but you didn’t come to this blog to hear about good food; You came for Melee chatter. Here are some my thoughts:

1. Hbox > Mango?

Here are some facts about their rivalry. Hungrybox has now won 4 of the last 5 sets against Mango, going back to Evo 2015. Although the lifetime head 2 head record is heavily one-sided in Mango’s favor at 26-9 (sets), Hbox has been putting in work. Historically, Mango has gotten the better end of game 5s but Hbox managed to win both of them. Also, it’s important to note that this is the first time ever that Hbox has taken 2 sets off of Mango at the same tournament. Maybe, this will push Mango back into the lab to refine a matchup he hasn’t extensively worked on for years.

2. Poor M2K

It’s very clear that the lack of Melee practice has affected M2K, who dropped several guaranteed punishes and made several questionable decisions in doubles.  He’s still going to be a top player for an incredibly long time, but the window for him to have a dominating streak of wins may be all but over. On the bright side, he found the perfect character to play in Smash 4 and it’s heartwarming to finally see him find his own style.

3. Wizzy?

With a top 16 at Genesis 3 and a top 6 at PAX, Wizzrobe has been performing incredibly well. At PAX, he managed to defeat Socal powerhouses, s2j and Lucky, and took Westballz to a close final game in Loser’s Quarters. Hypothetical question: Could Wizzy win a SSS with everyone in attendance? I don’t think he is the favorite, but it’s a thought worth coming back to in 3 months.

4. Axe

In a surprising turn of events, Axe managed to beat his nemesis, Mew2King. For a while, M2K dominated Axe, winning 9 of 10 sets prior to PAX. Implementing new techniques in neutral such as d-tilts, fairs, and smarter mixups, Axe had the upper hand in both the neutral and punish game in their set.

5. The Power of Friendship

And once again, a Norcal Team, SFAT and Shroomed, was able to claim another victory for their region. In two nail-biting sets, they defeated Hbox-M2K in Grand Finals. Hungrybox made it incredibly close with several clutch rests (and even a double!), but Norcal’s synergy proved to be too much. I wonder how much Hbox will pay for a Fox partner that can take stage control in the future.

Bonus: The Sleeper Mexicans

Under the radar, Valdo and Rael pulled off amazing performances at PAX. They finished in the Top 6 in doubles and managed to also upset Mojo and Jake13 in singles. In bracket, Rael took a game off of Hungrybox and took s2j to game 5 in loser’s. Hopefully, they have the opportunity to travel to larger events in the future.