by Aidan Adams / @ComradeAidan
Photograph by: Robert Paul / @TempusRob / rmpaul.com
“And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”
- Genesis 4:8
New year, new tournament. With 1700 entrants, Genesis 4 kicked off in full gear, a sold out full weekend venue, crowdfunded players and a larger corporate presence giving the first major of 2017 quite the atmosphere. With near full attendance from all of our favorite pro players, from the likes of Canadian contender KirbyKaze, to old school cool ChuDat, to fan favorite American as apple pie Mang0, attendees got quite the show in Top 64. Even with the star-studded cast, one young player helped upset the Doubles bracket, and another solidified his position at the top.
Doubles aren’t exactly the highlight of any tournament, but the Doubles Finals at Genesis 4 were absolutely riveting. Featuring a mix of top 16 to top 4 players, and one very interesting exception, the doubles bracket had CLG’s finest PewFat (PewPewU with SFAT), Leffen and Ice, Plup and Axe, and finally, Armada and his brother Android. Leffen and Ice took a commanding position in the winners bracket, but found themselves against the Swedish brothers looking for redemption. Armada and Android took a set 3-1, but needed a second set to take the Finals from the losers bracket, an unfamiliar place for Armada, but that didn’t hinder his performance. With a nail-biting 2-2 tie, the duos took a quick break to discuss strategy, and then dropped into Yoshi’s Story. Leffen and Ice played their staple Fox, while the brothers took a Fox/Sheik composition. In what started as a promising comeback for the Winners duo, the Swedes took a lead a mile and juggled the Winners around like ragdolls. The series ended with a double two stock lead, showing the supreme synergy of the Swedes, and leaving yet another salty taste in Leffen’s mouth. The brothers celebrated their comeback on stage, and Android went back to the crowd to watch his brother continue onto the Top 8 in the Singles bracket.
As the brackets solidified, we were left with the legendary Armada, Mang0, the infamous Mew2King, handicapped Hungrybox, Leffen the God killer, Sheik savant Plup, Axe with his shocking Pikachu and Addy Daddy Westballz. But, enough introductions. Albeit an impressive top 8, a few players stood out. Plup did not drop a single game throughout the brackets until reaching the winner's semis, where he lost to Mew2King and then lost his final set of Genesis to Hungrybox. Quite a promising performance, except that his final opponent had a broken finger. Apparently you only need four functioning fingers to pull the guillotine that is Hungrybox's infamous Jigglypuff, not to mention being able to casually 3-0 his opponents. With Leffen losing to Mew2King just after taking out Axe, Top 4 solidified extremely quickly with a predictable cast of Armada, Mango, Hungrybox and Mew2King.
Four Gods. Top 4. Genesis 4.
As if Mary Poppins casually floated onto the stage, Armada’s Peach descended onto the finals bracket with grace, poise and destruction. Only stumbling against S2J earlier in the tournament, Armada solidified his place in the Winner's Finals with a close best of 5 against Mew2King. Acting as judge and jury of the bracket, Armada took down Mang0 3-1 in the early stages of Top 8, leaving the Fox prodigy to play executioner, knocking out Leffen, Hungrybox and Mew2King of losers to crawl back into another bout with Armada. Just like every other Genesis before this, it was Armada versus Mang0, with the classic Peach v Fox matchup. With another clash of the titans underway, the final Melee set began on Dream Land, the same map Armada clinched a game in Set 1 of the Genesis 3 finals. Showing his mastery of not only the stage, but the matchup, Armada started the set off with a solid 2-stock victory. The hype in the crowd built up again as the players switched to Yoshi’s Story, assorted cheers of “USA” and “Mang0” leaked on the stage, along with plenty of support for two-time Genesis champion Armada. While Shy Guys floated along, and Randall the Cloud began his infinite journey around the stage, Armada had another day at the office, taking another 2-stock victory with little struggle. The atmosphere seemed to congeal, as Mang0 was on his last leg of the tournament, needing to reverse sweep Armada to have a shot at the championship. The third match of the set didn’t see a change in scenery with another bout on Yoshi’s Story. The crowd and stage were visibly tenser. The casters’ voices began to shake. Mang0 felt the pressure, and Armada acted on it. Taking his spacing and punish game even farther, Armada’s Peach decimated Mang0’s Fox, ending the set with a humiliating 3-stock finish, leaving the Genesis 4 Finals a clean 3-0 for Armada and his patented Peach.
Throughout the tournament, Armada showed even more surgical precision with his Peach, cutting through competition like Cain, embarrassing other Melee Gods, but giving an inadvertent spotlight to rising stars like Plup and the controversial Leffen. Genesis 4 was definitely a spectacular tournament, with Hungrybox placing 4th with a broken finger, and Armada taking both Singles and Doubles, celebrating his invictus alongside his younger brother, Android. With such a chaotic, fast-paced, destructive set of games, a lot of beauty seems to be forged in the Melee competitive scene; brotherly bonds, ancient rivalries and damn good games of Melee.