Ever since the inception of Genesis in 2009, Joseph "Mang0" Marquez and Adam "Armada" Lindgren have faced off in the grand finals.
Last night, Justin "Plup" McGrath brought that tradition to an end.
After defeating Mang0 to make it into the winner's side of the Top 8, Plup zoomed into the finals with a 3-0 win over Armada in the semis. With two "gods" in his pocket already, he defeated Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma to progress to the grand finals. And at the end of the night, the crowd erupted in cheers as Plup capped off his first super-major victory with another nail-biting victory over Hungrybox.
While Hungrybox delivered choice words to William "Leffen" Hjelte after defeating him in the winner's semis of the event, the recently-minted world No. 1 had nothing but smiles for Plup when he congratulated him for his first super-major win.
Though Leffen fell short at third -- and, perhaps more stingingly for the Swede, lost two sets to his hated rival Hungrybox -- his efforts at Genesis 5 were still impressive, featuring a winner's quarters victory over Mew2King and flashy wins over both Mang0 and Armada in the loser's side of the Top 8.
The tumultuous upsets that defined Genesis' finals were foreshadowed by the carnage of the tournament's Top 64 bracket, which saw Mang0 and Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman fall to the loser's bracket before the Top 8. Though Mang0 would eventually make his way into the loser's side of the Top 8, Mew2King experienced a shocking loss at the hands of Joey "Lucky" Aldama in loser's Round 6, ending his tournament at 9th.
Though most viewers would not have expected Lucky to earn a Top 8 berth, he wasn't the only unexpected face on stage for the tournament's final day. For his 5th place finish, he faced off against Hugo "HugS" Gonzalez, who qualified for the Top 8 by winning a set over Japanese champion Masaya "aMSa" Chikamoto.
The fact that they both made impressive Top 8 runs last weekend is not the only thing that Lucky and HugS have in common; both were recently signed by United Kingdom-based esports organization Team Dignitas. Their Round 7 set marked the first time that teammates have ever faced off in a Genesis Top 8.
aMSa's stellar performance was a highlight reel of its own. Fresh from reaching the 24th spot on the 2017 SSBMRank, the Japanese Yoshi main was able to take sets off Top 10 players Zachary "SFAT" Cordoni and Justin "Wizzrobe" Hallett before falling just short of the Top 8.
The shakeups weren't limited to singles, either. Genesis 5's Melee doubles bracket showed signs that the guard might be undergoing some changes, with Alliance's formerly dominant team of Armada and his brother Andreas "Android" Lindgren dropping two Game 5 sets to Team Liquid's Hungrybox and Daniel "ChuDat" Rodriguez. Despite their efforts, however, Team Liquid was unable to win the tournament, losing in the winner's finals and grand finals to Plup and Mew2King.
Though Plup looked like the best player in the world last night, only time will tell if he can keep his momentum going through the rest of 2018. But if he can maintain the level of play that he exhibited by knocking off all three of 2017's top-ranked players in successive sets, he might just challenge Hungrybox for the SSBMRank No. 1 spot next January.