Aziz “Hax” Al-Yami won Super Smash Bros. Melee Singles at Paradigm Shift in Davenport, Iowa on July 21. Paradigm Shift Melee marks Hax’s first tournament win at a regional outside of the Northeast since NChi Ultra in March.
Hax was not playing his best on the first day of Paradigm Shift, as he did not arrive at the venue until 6:00 a.m. the morning of the event. As a result, he suffered an early loss to Daniel “Zamu” Bernstein. Hax finished off day one by defeating Ben Strandmark in order to advance into top 8.
Day two of Paradigm Shift Melee Singles held much better results for Hax. He cruised into Losers Finals with 3-0 wins over Anthony “Preeminent” Braun, Michael Rollberg, and Zamu. His Losers Finals set with Griffin “Captain Faceroll” Williams ended up being much closer, going all the way to game five. Nevertheless, in the end, Hax emerged victorious. Hax won the tournament by taking both sets of Grand Finals over Avery “Ginger” Wilson.
This season has been Hax’s best since he took a break from Melee back in 2016. Hax has had incredibly strong regional performances and respectable placings at majors in 2019. He also boasts wins over Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni, James “Swedish Delight” Liu, Weston “Westballz” Dennis, and Kalindi “KJH” Henderson.
Kelly “Kels” Smith was the sixth seed at the Paradigm Shift Melee event. However, Kels placed a disappointing 17th at this tournament. His early finish came as a result of upset losses to Preeminent and Alec Russell.
As mentioned previously, Zamu scored an impressive upset over Hax in Winners Quarters of Paradigm Shift. Zamu’s run to 4th also included wins over Chris “ORLY” Brittain and Robert “Bobby Frizz” Fraser. Similarly, Bobby Frizz had an unexpected run to 5th place himself. He was able to score wins over Ben, ORLY, and Connor “Bananas” Lamb.
Dylan Tate is a student in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media 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 Nintendo news articles for Nintendo Enthusiast.