Zain “Zain” Naghmi won Melee Singles at Come to Papa 3 in Orlando, Florida on April 28, double eliminating the #1 Super Smash Bros. Melee player in the world, Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma.
Zain clutched out the winners finals set 3-2. He finished by landing his classic Marth forward throw into pivot tipper forward smash combo against Hungrybox’s Jigglypuff. Zain reacted with a pop-off so intense it shook the camera. The Grand Finals set was more convincing, with Zain winning 3-1, only dropping a game on Hungrybox’s strongest stage, Dream Land.
His run to 1st place included a win against against Jason “Gahtzu” Diel, a Captain Falcon player. Gahtzu notably beat Zain when they last met at The Big House 8 in October. Zain also won Melee Doubles at Come to Papa 3. His teammate was Justin “Plup” McGrath, a fellow player for Panda Global.
Hungrybox lost his first set of the year to Joseph “Mang0” Marquez at Pound 2018. However, Hungrybox managed to win both Grand Finals sets against Mang0 at Pound quite convincingly, securing 1st place at his 9th tournament in a row. Come to Papa 3 marks Hungrybox’s first time placing lower than 1st at a tournament since Shine 2018 in August. Interestingly, Zain also double eliminated Hungrybox to win Shine.
He is now one of only two people who has beaten Hungrybox in 2019. He is also currently the only person in the world to have a winning record against Hbox for the year.
His strong performances last year enabled Zain to be ranked #7 on the MPGR 2018. This was just below the level of the “gods” of Super Smash Bros. Melee. But with a tournament win over Hungrybox under his belt, along with the retirement of Adam “Armada” Lindgren and the relative inactivity of William “Leffen” Hjelte and Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, Zain has found himself in an excellent position to rise up in the rankings.
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.