Joseph “Mang0” Marquez won Super Smash Bros. Melee Singles at The Big House 9 in Detroit, Michigan on Oct 6. It was his second major tournament victory of the year, following his win at GOML 2019 in May. This shows Mang0’s marked improvement since last year, as he did not win any majors in 2018.
Mang0 had a smooth run through top 64 to top 8 on winners side at The Big House. The players in his projected path — Drew “Drephen” Scoles, Kurtis “moky” Pratt, and Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett — were upset. As a result, he had a slightly easier path than expected. Still, he blazed through Jeffery “billybopeep” Palmer, Josh “Morsecode762” Morse, and Shephard “Fiction” Lima with little trouble.
However, Mang0 faced a harsher reality in top 8, where he immediately lost 3-0 to William “Leffen” Hjelte. He was then forced to make a losers run through the Big House 9 Melee bracket. He started his run by bringing out Fox to win 3-1 against the No. 1 seed, Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma. After this, he rematched Fiction in Losers Semis. While Fiction put up a much greater fight, Mang0 still won the set 3-2.
In Losers Finals, Mang0 got a second chance against Leffen. This time the tides changed, as Mang0 came out on top in another five-game set. Then in Grand Finals, Mang0 faced off against a seemingly dominant Zain Naghmi. After a bracket reset and a grueling ten games, Mang0 emerged as the victor of The Big House 9 Melee.
This wins for the fans
I know I suck sometimes but they always stick with me and always believe I can do it
Best fans in the world
— Joseph Marquez (@C9Mang0) October 7, 2019
The Big House 9 notably featured the long-awaited “return of the king” to Super Smash Bros. Melee. This, of course, refers to Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman. This was only Mew2King’s second tournament of the year. And at his first, GENESIS 6 in February, he underperformed considering his status as one of the gods of Melee. There, he placed 33rd (his lowest placing ever) and dropped sets to Álvaro “Trif” García Moral and Connor “Bananas” Lamb.
Mew2King entered The Big House 9 as the No. 9 seed and greatly exceeded expectations. He was able to defeat Michael “MikeHaze” Pulido, and he scored upset victories over Cody “iBDW” Schwab and Hungrybox. Ultimately, Mew2King finished in a very respectable fifth place.
Though he could not clinch the tournament victory, Zain had a phenomenal run to 2nd place. He advanced through top 64 with wins over Michael “Nintendude” Brancato, Avery “Ginger” Wilson, and Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni. But Zain really began to shine in The Big House 9 Melee top 8. He seemed untouchable as he reached Grand Finals on winners side, earning 3-0 victories against Mew2King and Leffen. And these were certainly no easy wins. This event marked Zain’s first win over Leffen for the year and his first-ever win over Mew2King.
Fiction had his best major tournament performance to date at The Big House 9, placing 4th. Along the way, he only dropped sets to the tournament’s champion, Mang0. In the winners bracket, he scored impressive victories against Kalindi “KJH” Henderson and Wizzrobe. Fiction’s run continued strong in losers, as he defeated Justin “Plup” McGrath, iBDW, and Mew2King.
For various reasons, many of the top seeds at this event underperformed. Leffen placed 3rd, suffering issues with his hands. Hungrybox placed 5th, dealing with stomach pains. Wizzrobe lost to Fiction and Joey “Lucky” Aldama for 13th, on account of no sleep and back pain. While Plup lost to SFAT and Fiction for 9th in Melee at The Big House 9, he exceeded expectations in Ultimate. Plup placed 17th in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, beating Hector “Meme” Cardenas, Noah “Ismon” Gray, and Saleem “Salem” Young.
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.