No. 1 Melee player Zain joins Moist Moguls - Upcomer
Ludwig pops off in a video after Zain joined Moist Moguls

No. 1 Melee player Zain joins Moist Moguls

Plus, the state of Melee roster moves

Professional Super Smash Bros. Melee player Zain “Zain” Naghmi has joined esports organization Moist Esports under the Moist Moguls brand, co-owner Ludwig “Ludwig” Ahgren announced Thursday. The announcement came a little more than a week after Zain announced his departure from Golden Guardians.

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Zain previously represented the Mogul Moves brand at one tournament, Genesis 7, which he won in early 2020 shortly before joining Golden Guardians. Ludwig’s announcement video referenced this fact, depicting Zain joining Moist Moguls as a sort of homecoming.

Zain ended 2022 as the No. 1 player in the world with four major victories. He is also off to a solid start this year, peaking with a second-place finish at Collision 2023. At the few tournaments he has entered this year, Zain has already conquered Cody Schwab, Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma, William “Leffen” Hjelte and more.

Now that he represents Moist Moguls, Zain is on the same team as fellow Melee player Kurtis “moky” Pratt, who is poised to rise up this year’s rankings following his top-eight finishes at both Genesis 9 and Collision. Read below for more information about recent Melee roster moves.

New players join Golden Guardians after Zain joins Moist Moguls

Following Zain’s departure for Moist Moguls, Golden Guardians brought on two new Melee players to fill the void left in its content team: Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto and Brandon “YungWaff” Collier, also known as “homemadewaffles.”

The acquisition marked the end of aMSa’s nearly 10-year tenure with VGBootCamp. He is currently ranked No. 2 in the world, although he started 2023 by missing top eight at both Genesis and Collision before bouncing back with a third-place finish at Major Upset.

Meanwhile, YungWaff is a player, tournament organizer and commentator best-known for his role in the most iconic clip in competitive Melee history: the Wombo Combo.

Questions remain after dissolution of CLG

Madison Square Garden Sports recently dissolved the Counter Logic Gaming brand by selling its League of Legends team to NRG, which MSG now owns a major stake in. Meanwhile, all other staff and players were let go, including Melee players Cody Schwab, who had joined CLG less than three months earlier, and Sasha “Magi” Sullivan, who had joined less than a month prior.

As a result, both players are now free agents. It is possible that Magi could return to beastcoast, which she left in order to sign with CLG. Given YungWaff’s recent departure from beastcoast, it is conceivable that the organization would be looking to bring on another Melee player, although this is unconfirmed.

Interestingly, Luminosity Gaming CEO Alex Gonzalez and esports manager Dan “croosie” Almeida have both publicly shown interest in signing Cody Schwab. The organization recently signed Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey and Leonardo “MkLeo” López Pérez, who are arguably the top two Smash Ultimate players in North America right now. By signing Cody Schwab and potentially Justin “Plup” McGrath, another top 10 Melee player who is currently a free agent, Luminosity could be well on its way to creating a superteam for both Melee and Ultimate.

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Dylan Tate
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.