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Shephard “Fiction” Lima won Super Smash Bros. Melee Singles at Saving Mr. Lombardi 2 in Irvine, California on Feb. 1. This tournament was the final qualifier for Smash Summit 9 prior to vote-ins.
The top 16 seeds of the event were floated into round robin pools. Eight additional players qualified for round robin pools through a double-elimination bracket. The top 16 players from these pools then advanced into a final double-elimination bracket.
Fiction had a rough start at Saving Mr. Lombardi 2, losing his first set of the day 0-3 to Joey “Lucky” Aldama. However, he performed much better throughout the rest of his pools matches, defeating Zaid “Spark” Ali, Jonathan “Bimbo” Rocha, Luis “Blassy” Madrid, and Gio “null” Rossi. As a result, Fiction still entered the top 16 bracket as the No. 1 seed.
Fiction swept through the final bracket without dropping a set. In the process, he beat Armand “ARMY” Del Duca, Avery “Ginger” Wilson, and double-eliminated Cody “iBDW” Schwab. His Grand Finals match against iBDW was the only set Fiction played all tournament that went to game five.
Fiction’s 1st place finish at Saving Mr. Lombardi 2 was hardly surprising given his strong start to the year. He recently placed 5th at Genesis 7, losing only to the two highest-ranked players in the world. Because of his top 8 finish at Genesis, Fiction had already qualified for Smash Summit 9. Aziz “Hax” Al-Yami, Edgard “n0ne” Sheleby, and DaJuan “Shroomed” McDaniel also qualified for Summit at Genesis.
Other results from Saving Mr. Lombardi 2
One could argue that iBDW was the real winner at Saving Mr. Lombardi 2, since he earned the Summit spot. iBDW defeated Álvaro “Trif” García Moral, Albert Luu, Kyle “Kalamazhu” Zhu, and Jeremy “Squid” Deutsch in pools. Then, on his road to 2nd place, iBDW beat Lucky, Aaron “Professor Pro” Thomas, and Johnny “S2J” Kim.
British Fox main Professor Pro pulled off a handful of impressive upsets in order to place 4th. He defeated Griffin “Captain Faceroll” Williams, Michael “MikeHaze” Pulido, and ARMY, in addition to trading sets with S2J. All the while, Professor Pro only dropped sets to top 15 players.
ARMY’s run to 5th at Saving Mr. Lombardi 2 was also a bit surprising. Most notably, he won two sets in the Ice Climbers’ hardest matchup against Spanish Peach player Trif. ARMY also took sets off of iBDW, Albert, Squid, and Captain Faceroll.
Chilean Fox main Blassy made it through both rounds of pools in order to reach top 16. Along the way, he defeated Joshua “Sora” Lyras, Bimbo, and Spark. Similarly, null had a strong run to 13th place at Saving Mr. Lombardi 2. He was able to defeat Evan “Fizz” Akhavan, Oliver “Zeo” Pei, Blassy, Bimbo, and Lucky.
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.