The biggest issue coming into Evo 2018s Super Smash Bros. Melee contest is whether one of the "gods" of the game would win a sixth title in a row or not. And now we have our answer: the gods are dead, lives long Leffen.
After an intense competition weekend, eight competitors entered the Mandalay Bay Events Center in search of Super Smash Bros. honor. Among them were three of the strongest players in society: Adam "Armada" Lindgren, Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma and Joseph "Mango" Marquez. (Chockingly, goodbye Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman was eliminated before the final). All eyes were one of this trio to grab the Evo 201
The most promising competitors who came to Sunday were two prominent god killers. William "Leffen" Hjelte and Justin "Plup" McGrath is no stranger to high-level competition, and both have defeated their share of gods in the past, albeit in less stages than Evo, the largest and most prestigious martial arts tournament in the world. When the games started, it was clear that these players were hungry for a victory. Leffen came out strong against Hungrybox and sent the floating Jiggly Puff to the loser's console, while Plup sent Mango without giving up a single game. In the final of the winner, Leffen showed no sign of stopping, amazing Plup with a flashy 3-0 beatdown.
Armada took a completely different road. As the ruling Evo champion, his loss for James "Swedish Delight" Liu was under the competition basins as quite the shock, and he had to get into the top eight through the loose holder. Once there, however, he played as a man obsessed, ranks players and other gods in dense, effective matchups. It was against Hungrybox that he saw the most dominant, using peach tools to counteract Jigglypuff's deadly spacing. And when it was time to meet Plup, he was reckless, surging through the losers final without looking back.
The big finals were a whole Swedish deal, with Armadas grand pedigree on the way from Leffen's hungry challenge. Armada chose to run Fox against Leffen's own Fox, a mirror match that often leads to stalemates due to the similarities of tools that each player can use. Unfortunately for Armada, Leffen had the top edge. The so-called God had to switch to his old standby, Peach, to ward off Fox's relentless assault.
Everything came down to a final game at Final Destination, the flat, featureless scene that has become the most common of the Melee s arenas. With the Evo title sliding from his grip, Armada used every tool to avoid Leffens rushdown, hover around the stage and measure the landscape before committing anything. But in the last few seconds, Leffen could catch Armada with a grip and throw him in the air for one last attack and send him into the background.
The significance of this moment radiated from Leffen. He rose from his chair and looked like a big weight had been lifted from his shoulders. At last he had stripped the mountain peak, pulling the gods down to his level and securing one of the greatest titles in the game. Evo 2018 belonged to him.