Mainstage 2019 has concluded, albeit with the two attending Smash games having very different results. In Melee, long-time world No. 1 Hungrybox adds yet another Major win to his extensive resume. On the other side, Nairo walked away with his first Major win in Ultimate.
Mainstage 2019: Hungrybox still at the Top
In a Melee tournament full of talent, to win the entire thing on the Winners’ side of the bracket while only dropping five games all tournament is a feat few can accomplish.
HBox’s rampage started with 3-0 demolitions of Kevin Maples and Spark. However, his next test would be one of his toughest all tournament.
Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto, AKA “The Red Yoshi”, took HBox to the brink of falling into the Losers’ bracket. Coming back from a stock deficit in game two, HBox was able to even up the series.
He won game three and went on match point, but aMSa took the set all the way. In the deciding Game 5, Hungrybox took advantage of Jigglypuff’s mobility and evaded aMSa all game, timing out the contest and advancing to Winners’ Semifinals.
HBox’s next set against Axe would be a small reprieve. Axe’s Pikachu couldn’t close distance onto the floaty Jigglypuff and HBox would advance to Winners’ Finals 3-1. The set against Zain would be the last time HBox dropped a game in the tournament. HBox’s dominant win in Game 5 on Battlefield sent him through to Grand Finals in his second full set of the event.
On the Losers’ side, Axe was on a roll after his loss to HBox, winning Losers’ semis in five games against aMSa and crushing Zain in just three. The Grand Finals were set, but the outcome would be no different from earlier in the tournament. Hungrybox crushed Axe in three games, making him play three different characters to try and counter the Puff.
Hungrybox is the undisputed champion of Mainstage Melee.
Mainstage 2019: Nairo does it with Palutena
Ever since Ultimate came out, Nairo has been trying to make Palutena work as a character. His main in Smash 4 was Zero Suit Samus and many fans believed it was his best chance at winning. Nairo would prove them wrong during this event.
After wins in bracket against Legit, Pandarian and VoiD, Nairo found himself against Light. Nairo found himself on the back foot immediately, going down two games to zero against Light’s Fox. However, Nairo pulled the momentum back after a close game three win and took it all the way to a reverse sweep.
The 3-2 victory sent him to Winners’ Finals.
His next matchup saw him against Marss’ Zero Suit Samus. Just like his last set, Nairo went down two games early but managed to pull the series back. After coming back from one stock down in Game 4, Nairo took the set in five and advanced to Grand Finals after two consecutive reverse sweeps.
With only one more best-of-five win required, Nairo met MKLeo’s Joker. It was the first time Nairo played against Joker in this tournament, and it showed. MKLeo was able to reset the bracket off of a 3-0 stomp.
A fourth straight win would put him up in the true Grand Finals, but Nairo would not let this chance slip away. Looking to have figured out the matchup after losing four games in a row, Nairo pulled back the set and won three in a row.
The Mainstage Ultimate title belonged to Nairo.
While the two storylines were different as could be, both showed an integral part of Smash Bros esports and competition as a whole: A storied legend continues to build his legacy in Melee on one side; On the other, an established player’s legacy is just getting started in Ultimate.
Written by Zakaria Almughrabi