Johnny “S2J” Kim started a chair-raising trend this past weekend at Shine 2017, a Super Smash Brothers major at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA. It all started during Saturday’s Melee pools and lasted through the rest of the weekend.
On Saturday, S2J clawed his way up through the loser’s bracket, culminating in a face-off with LG Ice. The winner of that match would determine who would advance to Sunday night’s Top 8 finals. As soon as S2J earned a narrow 3–2 victory, he rose to his feet, ignored his losing opponent’s outstretched handshake, and lifted his chair over his head in joyful triumph:
In the video from the event, LG Ice can be seen laughing at this “sore winner” behavior, pulling away his handshake to protect his head from S2J’s exuberant chair-waving. After S2J calms down and puts his chair away, the two opponents go in for a hug.
The chair-raising stunt became a theme of the weekend for S2J, who went on to perform better against high-level pros in Top 8 than ever before. At previous Melee tournaments, S2J has done well up until he’s had to face off against one of Melee’s Five Gods, the five players who tend to place at the top of every Melee competition. (For example, S2J ultimately lost to Armada at Genesis this past January after winning his first two matches.)
On Sunday night, every time S2J won a round in Top 8, a few members of the crowd would raise chairs over their heads in solidarity. S2J stayed calm, never lifting his own chair, even when it came time to face off against Melee “god” Mew2King. For the first time in a matchup against a “god,” S2J dominated and sealed himself a third-place finish:
His win had most of the crowd standing and lifting their chairs in a stunning (and slightly dangerous) display of excitement—even the event’s commentators joined in.
Sadly, S2J did not manage to advance beyond third place. Two Melee “gods,” Hungrybox and Mango, placed in first and second, respectively. Still, though, S2J’s Captain Falcon rose higher than ever, and the chairs can’t have hurt.