Mango cements legacy with Smash Summit victory
Mango at Smash Summit 11 | An incredible comeback from Cloud9's Mango at Smash Summit 11 after an incredible comeback victory
Photographed by Todd Guttierez, provided by Beyond the Summit.

Mango cements legacy with Smash Summit victory

In mere hours, Mango went from waving the white flag on social media to waving a gold medal at Smash Summit 11
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On Sunday, July 18, at 3:36 p.m, during Smash Summit 11, the biggest tournament in Super Smash Bros. Melee’s 20-year history, Joseph “Mango” Marquez was ready to go home.

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Following a rocky first few days to the tournament, dropping back-to-back sets to Yoshi extraordinaire, Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto and Justin “Plup” McGrath’s Shiek, the Melee legend found himself in the lower bracket. Mango had traversed this treacherous road before, but this Smash Summit was different. Recovering seemed almost infeasible after 15 months away from playing in person.

It was OK. The 29-year-old was still a successful streamer and valued part of the Cloud9 organization. Mango’s cupboard had more trophies inside than most million-dollar traditional athletes. The candid, bearded jokester had pulled off miracles before, but this time he was conceding.

His play wasn’t good enough.

He’d get them next time. Or so it seemed.

Six hours later, Mango sat, locked into the screen before him, top-ranked Zain Naghmi sitting beside him. One moment his hands were in the combat of their lives, fending off Zain’s Marth, and the next, they were in the air, triumphant.

Mango had just won the biggest tournament in the game’s history and earned $46,700, the most ever awarded for Melee. Eight years earlier, when he won the Evolution Fighting Championship, the crown jewel event in the calendar, the grand prize was $3,205.

In mere hours, Mango went from waving the white flag on social media to waving a gold medal at Smash Summit 11.

Author
Image of Tyler Erzberger
Tyler Erzberger
Tyler Erzberger is entering a decade of covering esports. When not traveling around the world telling stories about people shouting over video games, he’s probably arguing with an anime avatar on Twitter about North American esports.