Alliance's Adam "Armada" Lindgren has sealed his second Evo title in Super Smash Bros. Melee, beating out Cloud9's Joseph "Mang0" Marquez in a largely one-sided set Saturday night in Las Vegas.
In grand finals, both Mang0 and Armada were played clean. Mang0 uncharacteristically was relying on short-hop lasering, toning back his aggressive style to rack up easy damage. Throughout the set, the two traded stocks, but each time, Mang0 would find himself off the stage, and Armada would never cede him any room to get back on. It was strong control of neutral territory by Armada, coupled with his edge game, that thwarted Mang0's attempt at a third Evo title.
But Mang0 did perform better against Armada than he did in winner's finals. There, Armada beat Mang0 3-0, definitively knocking him into the losers' bracket.
In the losers' finals, Team Liquid's Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma and Mang0 had their Evo 2016 finals rematch. Mang0 played hard, not giving Hungrybox any room to move, winning the first two games. But Hungrybox came back, not willing to go down, winning the next two. But unlike Evo 2015 and 2016, in which Hungrybox knocked Mang0 out, Mang0 had eliminated 2016 Evo champion Hungrybox with a solid combo, leading into a definitive up-air. Before the game had even finished, Hungrybox knew he had lost, and turned to Mang0 for a congratulatory first-bump.
One notable placement in top 8 was Misfits' Ryan "The Moon" Coker-Welch. The Moon had the biggest upset of the tournament, eliminating Team SoloMid's William "Leffen" Hjelte, a top contender who many believed could win. The Moon also took out Luminosity Gaming's Mustafa "Ice" Akcakaya, Alliance's Andreas "Android" Lindgren and Team Liquid's Daniel "ChuDat" Rodriguez on his road to the top 8.
There was a bit of controversy leading up to the final round. Earlier in the tournament, Hungrybox was dealt a yellow card for having Team Liquid coach Luis "Crunch" Rosias come in mid-set to coach him against Counter Logic Gaming's Zachary "SFAT" Cordoni. The rules state that mid-set coaching is forbidden past the pools stage. Interestingly, Gordon "G$" Connell also came on-stage to coach SFAT as a joke, but because of that, SFAT was also issued a yellow card. One yellow card will "almost always also be accompanied by match forfeiture," according to the rules. But in this instance, neither player had to forfeit a match.
This year Melee was not featured on the main stage at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, but even then, the stream had more that 120,000 concurrent viewers at one point. A highly respectable number, especially for a game that's been around since 2001, and the oldest game at the tournament.