Since time immemorial, Super Smash Bros. Melee’s “five gods” have dominated the competitive Smash scene, with only four individuals ever attaining the world No. 1 ranking since the first SSBMRank in 2013. This year, a new contender has put together a string of results that threaten the gods’ hold over the No. 1 spot: Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett.
Wizzrobe has been a top-10 player since mid-2017, but he reached a new level earlier this month by winning Smash’N’Splash 5 over a stacked field—and double-eliminating reigning world No. 1 Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma on the way. Entering Smash Summit 8 as the third seed, Wizzrobe defeated challengers such as Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto and Zain “Zain” Naghmi before falling to Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson for his second consecutive top-two finish at a major.
With wins over Hungrybox and William “Leffen” Hjelte this year, Wizzrobe has established himself as one of the strongest Melee players in the current metagame. However, if he wants to cement his status as No. 1, he will have to overcome two of his demons: Joseph “Mang0” Marquez and Justin “Plup” McGrath. Wizzrobe has never beaten Mang0, and hasn’t scored a win on Plup since 2014—in fact, he lost to the Sheik main during the pools stage at Smash Summit 8.
Additionally, Wizzrobe is hampered by his lack of a sponsor, which may prevent him from traveling to as many events as his rivals. If he is able to attract a top-tier sponsor before the end of the year, Wizzrobe may find the boost he needs to defeat his demons and secure Melee’s top spot.