Smash’N’Splash 5 Super Smash Bros. Melee Singles concluded on June 2, with Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett shocking the world by taking home the gold. However, Wizzrobe’s run was not the only unexpected result of Smash’N’Splash’s Super Smash Bros. Melee event. Drew “Drephen” Scoles won a spot in Smash Summit 8 because of his performance at Smash’N’Splash, and he was perhaps the last player anyone expected to earn it.
Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni technically earned the Summit spot as the only player in the Smash’N’Splash Melee top 8 who was not already invited. However, SFAT cannot attend Smash Summit 8. As a result, a tiebreaker round robin was held among Drephen, DaJuan “Shroomed” McDaniel, and Kalindi “KJH” Henderson, who all placed 9th and were not yet invited.
The fact that old-school Sheik main Drephen placed 9th was itself an impressive feat. Drephen started top 64 in the losers bracket, losing to Michael “techboy” Leleniewski in pools. In top 64, he scored noteworthy wins over Erik “Rik” Gerlitz, Josh “Morsecode762” Morse, and Luis “TheSWOOPER” Olivo.
Drephen continued his run by upsetting Edgard “n0ne” Sheleby and Weston “Westballz” Dennis. Though he lost to SFAT in the top 8 qualifier, Drephen’s strong performance did not stop there. In the tiebreaker round robin, Drephen defeated both Shroomed and KJH, allowing him to make it into Summit. Now only one Summit spot remains, and someone will earn it at The Kid, The Goat, and The Mang0 on June 9.
Congratulations Drephen!! 🎊🤯 pic.twitter.com/VEa4xdddwr
— Beyond the Smash (@BTSsmash) June 2, 2019
With four god-level players in attendance, it is easy to see why Wizzrobe’s victory at Smash’N’Splash Melee was so surprising. Joseph “Mang0” Marquez’s 7th place finish was definitely an underperformance, considering he won the previous supermajor. Mang0 is now 0-2 against Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto in 2019.
Like Wizzrobe, William “Leffen” Hjelte took a hiatus from Melee until GOML 2019. Though he did not win either, Leffen secured respectable 3rd place finishes in both the GOML and Smash’N’Splash Melee tournaments. After losing to Wizzrobe in Winners Quarters, Leffen went on a deep run through the losers bracket. He beat Cody “iBDW” Schwab, Mang0, Justin “Plup” McGrath, and Zain Naghmi before losing to Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma in a five-game Losers Finals.
Though he boasts an impressive 3-0 record over Zain, Plup has not yet beaten a god-level player in 2019. Plup has earned his best wins against players ranked below him, like aMSa and Johnny “S2J” Kim. With his mediocre results in the past month, Plup faces the greatest risk of dropping below players like Wizzrobe, Zain, and Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson on the summer rankings.
While Hungrybox did not win either of the past two majors, he still likely holds on to the no. 1 spot for now. He boasts winning records against Mang0, Plup, and Axe, and an even record against Leffen. However, Hungrybox is 0-2 against Zain and 0-3 against Wizzrobe in 2019. With seemingly all of the gods underperforming and many of the demigods overperforming, it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict how the 2019 summer Melee rankings will pan out.
Dylan Tate is a student in the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, including Smash Bros., Splatoon, ARMS, and Pokémon. Dylan also writes competitive guides for Dignitas and Nintendo news articles for Nintendo Enthusiast.