Going late into the night, the Smash Bros. Melee championship at Evo 2017 saw Sweden’s Adam “Armada” Lindgren silence any remaining critics as he battled his way to a second ever victory at the event.
Stacking up one commanding performance after another in the winners bracket, if anyone could beat the Peach player it would have been SoCal legend, Joseph “Mango” Marquez, winner of two previous Evos and once considered by many to be the game’s undisputed best player. But without blinking in front of a crowd of hundreds in Las Vegas and over a hundred thousand online, Armada made quick work of Mango in their first meeting with a 3-0 series.
As a result, the Fox-main was forced to drop down into the losers bracket and claw his way back by defeating last year’s champion, Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma. A close, 3-2 series that had both men sweating ultimately ended up going Mango’s way, giving him one last shot at trying to stop the turnip-tossing Swede in his tracks.
Determined not to repeat his three and out performance previously, Mango played perfectly find but failed to take a set off of Armada until the third game. A few uncharacteristic errors on the part of the latter helped the former eke out a win, with both players going into what would end up being the final match with a scoreline of 2-1.
But Armada’s retribution was swift, thrashing Mango into the stage’s abyss early and often, at one point gaining a two stock lead during the bout. There was none of the cockiness that foiled Armada’s ambition the last time he and Mango met in tournament finals, and instead it was the Peach player who seemed unflinching and completely in the zone throughout the grand finals.
Armada might have been beatable, but late last night he certainly didn’t look it. If there were any remaining questions about the 24-year-old’s legacy, they had been answered.
A brief controversy from earlier in the night regarding yellow cards and unsanctioned coaching were pushed from memory, with no one able to doubt Armada’s talent or his hard work and dedication to the now nearly 16-year-old game (yes, Armada was eight when Super Smash Bros. Melee was originally released on the Nintendo GameCube).
The player had his ambitions thwarted at last year’s Evo, when both he and Hungrybox played an unbelievable series that ultimately saw the latter come out on top, as if by sheer force of will. This year’s finals weren’t nearly as dramatic. Armada was too surgical, giving Mango hardly an inch. As a result, he is now only the second player (Mango was the first) to win two separate Melee championships at Evo.
You can re-watch the grand finals via the Twitch VOD starting at around 12:35:00.