The world of fighting games once again turned its eyes towards Florida for the state’s largest fighting game event, Community Effort Orlando. Several top names in the world of Smash threw their hats into the ring for this major tournament and the bracket stages were hyped. In a pool filled with high talent such as Nintendude, Plup, Lucky, Swedish Delight, Shroomed, Hungrybox, and Mew2King, coming out on top would be no small task. After grinding through the pools filled with hundreds of players, we were left with a top 8: ChuDat, Shroomed, Axe, Wizzrobe, Plup, SFAT, Mew2King, and Hbox. That’s when the real fun began.
The top 8 brought more diversity in characters than we normally see in the final stages of a major. Samus, Marth, Jigglypuff, Sheik, Fox, Ice Climbers, Pikachu, and Captain Falcon all saw play. The diversity was a breath of fresh air as many tournaments end up with Fox and Sheik players at the top (and Puff of course if Hungrybox is playing). The top 8 was action packed and saw several great plays and cringe worthy mistakes. There is a lot to cover, so here’s the important info in rapid fire:
QUICK’N’DIRTY TOP 8 RECAP
Set 1 saw clean play from a seemingly unbeatable Hungrybox as he 3-0’d SFAT, sending him to the loser’s bracket. Unfortunately for SFAT, his own play seemed shaky at best in his first final 8 match.
The next matchup, Mew2King vs. Plup, was an intense Sheik mirror match. It seemed that the 2 players made a gentleman’s agreement to avoid chain grabs and ended up having a 5-game slugfest with Mew2King coming out the better Sheik.
Chudat, with the trademark Ice Climbers and pose, was the first player in our top 8 to be sent packing. Shoomed elected to play Marth in the matchup instead of his normal Dr. Mario/Sheik. Powerful forward and up smashes came out of Marth whenever possible to separate the Climbers and take out Nana. Although he did find several wobbles, once his pink friend was gone Chudat found it difficult to answer back. Shroomed fought hard and won a close 3-2 set with only 1 stock left.
Axe and Wizzrobe were next in the ring with a matchup we don’t get to see very often, Pikachu vs. Capt. Falcon. Wizzrobe was able to perform fairly well and had some success in edge defense, but Axe got the better of him finding a 3-1 victory.
SFAT vs. Shroomed brought us back to Earth with the common Fox vs. Sheik matchup. The 2 players have faced each other countless times and SFAT put that intel to good use. SFAT dispatched Shroomed’s Sheik in a 3-0 match and looked like he was ready to make a run for the finals.
Plup pulled out his Sheik to deal with Axe’s Pikachu but seemed to be out of his league in the first game. After losing 2 stock within the first minute, Plup gave up on the game and let Axe draw first blood. During the second game of the set, Axe’s incredible edge work again proved too much for Plup to handle. With his back against the wall, Plup was able to calm down and come back for a reverse sweep winning the series 3-2.
Hungrybox and Mew2King are all too familiar with meeting one another near the end of a tournament, and Hbox took this one handily. Mew2King seemed to lose his way making more and more mistakes as the set played out. Hbox looked to be in form and took the set 3-1.
Plup decided to start his set against SFAT by playing Sheik, but decided he needed to switch up strategies after a rough first game. Samus was his secondary choice, but he continued to unravel finishing his tournament run in 4th.
Mew2King’s Marth and SFAT’s Fox met to decide who would face Hbox in the finals. SFAT fought hard but was stuffed by Mew2King’s ledge work. After losing 2 stock in just 35 seconds in game 4, SFAT lost the set 3-1 and claimed his 3rd place finish.
MEW2KING VS. HUNGRYBOX
The win over SFAT meant that Mew2King would once again play Hungrybox. After Hbox sent him to the losers’ bracket earlier in the tournament, M2K had revenge on his mind. In their earlier meeting Hbox seemed to have his number, so Mew2King began the set thinking he would play anything but Fox.
Mew2King opened the set with his Marth maybe feeling lucky after shutting down SFAT. The first game went to Hungrybox.
In game 2 Mew2King brought Sheik to Yoshi Story in hopes of finding a bit of momentum. The second game also went to Hungrybox.
After losing 2 games in a row, Mew2King thought that another change might bring better luck. Inspite of his rough loss to Hbox earlier, Mew2King decided to play Fox. Turns out Fox might have been the way to go. At nearly 150%, Mew2King collided in-air with Hbox and both went flying with Puff finding the edge of the screen. Mew2King had won his first game of the set. Notorious for tilting when in a difficult situation, M2K looked to have found his groove. Unfortunately for him, Hungrybox was unphased.
The 4th and final game featured Hbox getting every opportunity his heart desired and he took advantage of every single one. M2K played a bit scared and Hungrybox punished every move he made. Hbox took the 4th game, the set, and secured his 8th first-place finish of 2016.