October 9, 2019

Behind esports’ newest Hall of Fame inductee: Armada

Adam “Armada” Lindgren just became the first Super Smash Bros. player to win the Esports Hall of Fame Community Awards. Armada earned over $300,000 in prize money during his career and ranked first on the annual SSBMRank in both 2015 and 2016.

The Swedish player’s dominant career led to the Super Smash Bros Melee (SSBM) community affectionately naming him one of the “Five Gods of Smash”.

Breakout season

Armada began his career competing locally in the early 2000s maining Peach. His first major waves came when he finished fourth at his first national tournament, The Renaissance of Smash 4. He defeated top-ranked player Faab in the losers’ quarters match. In the following match Armada came close to knocking out Amsah, the best European player at the time, though ultimately losing the series.

After spending the next six months training, Armada pops up at Epita Smash Arena 2 (ESA2). His gameplay looked more well rounded, especially his edge-guards and punishes. Making a bigger run than his last national, Armada crushed through the losers’ quarters and semis to reach the lower bracket final against veteran player Captain Jack. The difference in experience showed as Armada struggled to keep up with Captain Jack, ending his run in place.

Road to the top

In 2009 Armada entered into another national tournament, SMASH ATTACK, where he was knocked into the lower bracket again. This time however, he wins his way back to the grand finals. Armada confidently 8-0’d Zgetto to take his first national tournament win. Following SMASH ATTACK, Armada competed in Epita Smash Arena 3. During the tournament he didn’t drop a single set, dethroning Amsah in the grand finals with a stunning 4-0.

Winning ESA3 established Armada as the best in Europe. GENESIS, a tournament based in the United States, sported world-class competition Mew2King and Mango. Armada exceeded all expectations during his run. Going nearly undefeated in the tournament, he beat both Mew2King and Mango in back to back matches. Despite having the upper seed, Armada lost twice to Mango in the grand finals.

Complete dominance

Armada placed highly in his next US tournaments, Pound 4, Apex 2010, and Pound 5, but never won. The losses made him realize that his main—Peach—was too weak against Jigglypuff for skill to overcome. Armada solved the unfavorable matchup with a surprising Young Link pick, using range to out-camp Jigglypuff. When GENESIS 2 rolled around, Armada finally took first in a US tournament, defeating Mango in the Grand Finals.

From 2011-2012 Armada placed first in every single Melee tournament he competed in. He won several US nationals and every EU national, including B.E.A.S.T II where he didn’t lose a set. In addition to winning singles in Apex 2012, he paired up with Mew2King to win doubles as well. After defending his title at Apex 2013 Armada announced his retirement.

The return

Only a year later Armada decided to break retirement and entered B.E.A.S.T 4. His rust showed, but only slightly as he placed second behind Leffen. His return saw various playstyle changes as well, most notably his abandonment of Young Link in favor of Fox. Looking to sidearm his Peach with something stronger, he stated that Fox would prove more useful against Jigglypuff, in addition to giving him an equal footing in the mirror matchup.

Armed with a confident new weapon, Armada won various tournaments across Europe. After qualifying for MLG Anaheim 2014 he returned to the United States to make his first international debut since his return.

Despite playing well the whole tournament, Armada lost to Mango in the Grand Finals. He got his revenge at CEO 2014 knocking Mango out to take first. Following his win, he signed to Alliance as their first-ever Smash player.

A year later EVO 2015 hosted one of the largest melee tournaments in the world. Here Armada defeated famous Jigglypuff player and contender for the best in the world: HungryBox. Armada ended 2015 as the No. 1 ranked player. The Swedish player would then go on to win GENESIS 4, B.E.A.S.T 7, Smash Summit Spring 2017 and EVO 2017.

Retirement

Coming into 2018 Armada suffered an unfortunate series of losses in Valhalla, GENESIS 5 and Smash Summit 6. Statements from the player made it clear he lacked the drive he once had and that he was no longer having fun competing. On Sept. 18, 2018, Armada announced his retirement. The incredible tournament runs and pristine winning records mark Adam “Armada” Lindgren as one of the best to ever touch Smash—and one of the greatest esports athletes of all time.

Written by Jash Rai

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