At the historic Genesis 4 in San Jose, California, Alliance's Adam "Armada" Lindgren defeated Cloud9's Joseph "Mango" Marquez in Super Smash Bros. Melee in such dominant fashion that the crowd was left deflated. Even Armada didn't jump up in celebration like he did last year.
The past three Genesis tournaments have ended with a Mango and Armada grand finals. It's what makes the series so mystical and exciting. And once again, the two fought it out to continue the trend, adding to the storied rivalry.
But before the grand finals, Armada sent Mango into the losers bracket in the winners' semis. Mango then went on a rampage, narrowly squeezing victories, all for a chance to take on Armada once again. His match against Team SoloMid's William "Leffen" Hjelte was particularly hair-raising. Each game was close and with Leffen ahead and Mango with an accidental suicide during Game 4, Mango would have to clutch out the win. And clutch it out he did with a comeback that had the crowd in hysterics.
Game 5 of the set was no different, with Leffen ahead and another accidental suicide. Still, Mango found a few small openings, applied pressure and sent Leffen into the blast zone. The commentators were dumbfounded. Even the host, VG Boot Camp's Terrence "TKbreezy" Kershaw, was on the floor, speechless.
Mango's next match was against Team Liquid's Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma. Coming into the match, many wondered how Hungrybox would perform with his injured finger. Overall, he held his own, but Mango cleaned the set 3-1. It seemed that Mango was on a train of momentum, as he dominated Echo Fox's Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman in losers finals. Mango was playing the perfect anti-Mew2King meta, meaning he was fast and unpredictable. A final down-smash sent Mew2King's Marth to the blast zone, making it another 3-1 win for "The Kid."
This led into the finals, where Mango would face Armada for the fourth time. Mango defeated Armada at the first Genesis in 2009, but Armada came back for revenge in at Genesis 2 in 2011 (Genesis skipped a year in 2010). Armada continued that trend, winning Genesis 3 in 2016, making the Genesis 4 rematch all the more satisfying. "Somehow it's Mango and Armada again ... I swear to you Melee has a soul ... this stuff is just eerie," Twitch's Arian "Blur" Fathieh tweeted.
But that's where things fell apart. It wasn't the tight set that fans remembered from Genesis 3, when Mango reset the bracket. It was rather a complete steamroll by Armada that ended things. The set went 3-0, with only a glimmer of hope left for Mango. Armada played with absolute precision as Mango threw out attacks in frustration. For every move Mango made, Armada countered as if he were fighting someone who was way in over his head. It was difficult to watch, and even Mango admitted in an apologetic Tweet that it was one of the worst grand finals he had ever played.
It wasn't just Melee who ended on a strange note; so did the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U side of the tournament.
At the beginning of top-eight on the losers side, Team SoloMid's Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios knocked out Renegades' Samuel "Dabuz" Buzby in what seemed to be a typical match. But it wasn't until the next round, between 2GGaming's Rei "Komorikiri" Furukawa and DMG's Zack "CaptainZack" Lauth, that troubling information came to light.
After Komorikiri lost in the fourth game of the set, he felt something was amiss and called over the tournament organizers to explain. Upon opening the game's settings, it became known that knockback had been set to 0.9. This meant that the match was not played at a tournament standard. The change in knockback equated to characters not flying as further back, with hits not turning into potential combos, and of course, the legitimacy of wins. It also meant that not only were Komorikiri and CaptainZack's matches affected, so were ZeRo and Dabuz's.
The validity of the entire top-eight for Smash 4 was now in dispute. Unfortunately for Komorikiri, only the fourth game of the set was replayed, and CaptainZack won it convincingly. In a tweet, Dr. Z admitted that Genesis would take full responsibility for the error, but as of now, it's uncertain what will be done.
As for grand finals, Echo Fox's recent hire, Leonardo "MkLeo" Lopez Perez, took the tournament without too much fanfare. He was sitting on the winners' side against Cloud9's Elliot "Ally" Bastien Carroza-Oyarce, last year's Evolution Championship. MkLeo was using Marth, an uncommon character to be found at the top of many Smash 4 events. But it seemed that he had been putting in some significant time to build the character's meta.
Just as in winners finals prior, MkLeo's Marth overwhelmed Ally's Mario. Ally just had trouble getting in, and some of his better-known combos and techniques were being countered. MkLeo was able to take the tournament 3-2, preventing a bracket reset.