EVO 2018 in Mandalay Bay, Nevada USA, was an exciting time for Super Smash Bros. Melee as Team Solomid’s (TSM) Swedish player William “Leffen” Hjelte made history on the Grand Finals stage by beating Alliance’s Swedish player Adam “Armada” Lindengren in a decisive 3-0 set. The crowd cheered as Leffen stood up from his chair as if a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders. After tearing through the bracket in Winner’s and not dropping a single set, Leffen did the incredible and seemingly impossible – he surpassed the “Gods of Melee” at EVO, the “superbowl” of fighting games and won the tournament. The Gods of Melee consist of four of the Melee community’s strongest players: Adam “Armada” Lindengren, Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma, Joseph “Mango” Marquez, and Jason “Mew2king” Zimmerman. For the past five years these Four Gods of Melee always showed consistent absolute dominance in Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament meta-game, usually only losing to each other in the finals. So Smash fans everywhere were expecting one of these four Gods to bring home the Grand Prize, but Leffen, the God-slayer of Melee, showed the world that he is more than capable of winning a super-major such as EVO and beating the Four Gods at that. The road to victory for Leffen was both monumental and suspenseful in Super Smash Bros. history.
First off, it was very shocking how Mew2king, the God of Melee who co-mains Marth, Sheik, and Fox, got eliminated at thirteenth place before the finals. Mew2king was sent to the Loser’s Bracket early by Rishi Maholtra, a mere mortal who mained Marth. This resulted in a thirteenth place matchup between him and Armada, who was also sent to Loser’s moments earlier by James “Swedish Delight” Liu, another mere mortal who mained Sheik. Armada and Mew2king, two Gods destined to compete against each other again, had to fight with everything they had in the Loser’s to remain in the game. Both players were clearly having an off-day but Mew2king’s off-day was clearly worse than Armada’s, thus this resulted in Armada’s triumph over Mew2king and Mew2king getting eliminated at an unfortunate thirteenth place. With one God down, all eyes were set on the remaining three Gods to take the tournament as everyone was expecting the ongoing dominance of these Gods to remain prevalent at EVO 2018.
In the meantime, Leffen had sent Hungrybox, another God of Melee, to the Loser’s Bracket. Leffen, the Fox main, was able to shine, back-air, up-air, and up-smash his way to victory against the Puff Titan. Leffen’s victory over Hungrybox allowed him to meet-up with Plup, another top contender against the Gods, in Winner’s Finals. Previously, Plup had defeated Mango, another one of the Gods, without dropping a single game in the set. Leffen was relentless in his set against Plup, making quick work against him with a 3-0 triumph! Leffen really showed the main strengths of his Fox, with his amazing speed in the neutral-game and follow-ups with shine, up-air, and back air. Plup’s Sheik was no match for the methodical aggression of Leffen’s Fox. Leffen’s victory against Plup secured him a spot in Grand Finals.
On the Loser’s side, Swedish player Armada, a God of Melee and the reigning EVO champion, was making quick work of his victims with both his Peach and Fox. Armada shined, turnip-ed, parasol-ed, and clawed his way through the Loser’s Bracket to meet Leffen in Grand Finals. His shocking loss to Swedish Delight was a wake-up call and the fuel he needed to step-up his game and defend his title as a God and the reigning EVO champion. Armada showed complete dominance with his Peach when he had to go toe-to-toe against Hungrybox and his Jigglypuff, in the Loser’s Semifinals. With another God down, it came time for Armada to go against Plup in Loser’s Finals. Armada pulled out his Fox for the matchup against Plup’s Sheik and showed no mercy. Armada’s Fox showed systematic approaches and efficient finishes that left Plup’s Sheik in the dust. With Plup out of the way, Armada was now in the position to go toe-to-toe with Leffen in the Grand Finals.
Super Smash Bros. Melee EVO 2018 Grand Finals was strictly a Swedish affair, as the two top players from Sweden fought with everything they had in Grand Finals. Armada, one of the four Gods of Melee and reigning EVO Champion, was destined for a final showdown with Leffen, the God-slayer of Melee. Fans were raving with suspense and enthusiasm as they watched to see who would win. Armada was on the Loser’s side of Grand Finals and Leffen was on the Winner’s side, so Armada had to win two sets against Leffen to take home the Grand Prize while Leffen had to only win one set against Armada. The first two matches in the initial set were Fox mirror matchups, with Armada’s Fox versus Leffen’s Fox. Fox is known to be the best character in the game and in the hands of two of the best players in the world; this can often lead to insanely close matches and stalemates. Leffen, having fought with absolutely everything he had, came out on top for the first two matches in the set. On the last match, Armada switched from Fox to his bread-and-butter Peach in order to bring Leffen down and have a chance at resetting the bracket. The last match was a truly suspenseful match on Final Destination between Armada’s Peach and Leffen’s Fox. The match ended up being down to the wire with both players having only one stock left. Leffen then closes up the match with Fox’s grab to up-throw to up-air combo, following Armada’s DI and KO-ing Armada’s Peach in the process. Leffen, having won his third match in the best 3 out of 5 Grand Finals set, wins EVO 2018! The crowd went wild as Leffen received his first place EVO 2018 trophy. The God-slayer had won EVO 2018! The Era of the Gods Of Melee was no more!
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