Hbox brings down the (Big) House
October 10 2017
Hbox Brings Down the (Big) House
With the coming of October comes another installment of one of Melee’s most prestigious tournament series, The Big House. The once small tournament has seen incredible growth in both entrants and viewers, becoming an annual event known for creating some of Melee’s most exciting and memorable moments. Being the last “supermajor” of the Melee calendar year, performances are heavily taken into consideration for the end-of-year rankings, placing additional value on the already distinguished title.
Almost all of Melee’s “gods” have had some of their biggest career victories at previous iterations, including Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, Adam “Armada” Lindgren, and Joseph “Mang0” Marquez. After an electrifying Top 8 packed with historic matches, Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma adds his name to that list, reminding us all what it takes to be a champion.
Gods, Old and New
Finals day started out as standard as you can imagine, with four of the top six players waiting on the winners side of bracket, the remaining two in losers. In winners, Armada would take on Justin “Plup” McGrath, leaving Hungrybox to play William “Leffen” Hjelte. The former matchup was thought to be a guaranteed win for Armada, as the undisputed number one player in the world hadn’t lost to a non-god in over seven years, whereas the latter is known as a rivalry that sways back and forth between the two players. With Plup’s streak-ending victory over Armada, and Hungrybox’s loss in a toss-up game five with Leffen, all four gods in attendance had to fight for their tournament lives in losers bracket.
The first rung on Hungrybox’s Big House ladder was Mew2King. In Hbox's win at last week’s Game Tyrant Expo, M2K was the only person to take a set off of him, a thought that was surely resounding in both players’ minds. After 4 close games, Hbox walked away victorious, and advanced to play tournament favorite, Armada.
Prior to the beginning of the tournament, most would say that the winner of the set between these two would determine the outcome of the tournament itself. With Hungrybox’s incredible discipline and mix up game, Armada’s surgical Fox is often pushed to its limits. The three sets prior between the hallmark grand finalists of 2017 have gone to game 5, so it was no surprise that we saw another grueling exhibition this time around.
After winning the set against Lindgren 3-2, the endurance test that is a losers run came full circle. The man that sent Hungrybox to losers, Leffen, was all that stood in the way of a trip to Grand Finals. Leffen jumped out to an early lead, taking game one in dominating fashion. Visibly tired, Hungrybox had to polish his edge play and punish game to the level of his opponent if he wanted to keep his hopes alive.
He did just that.
Awaiting him in Grand Finals was long time comrade and fellow Floridian, Plup. For many, Hungrybox stopping Plup’s Cinderella story was likely, but one that could perhaps be eked out by the underdog. Plup, opting to go Fox instead of Sheik, had managed to win a few sets against Hbox in the last few years, but a fiery Hbox hot off the gauntlet was too much for the rising star to handle. Hbox was on fire—one game featured a four-stock in a mere 56 seconds. Two sets and eight games later, Hungrybox stood victorious, taking home back to back supermajors.
Thank you all for your continued support, and we hope that Hbox's bittersweet win is only the appetizer that primes his tastebuds for more.
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