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Following the return of in-person Super Smash Bros. Melee at Smash Summit 11 last weekend, and with open offline majors set to return within a couple of months, many players have finally written off netplay competition. Even so, Kevin “Dhir” Dhir and the Galint Gaming team had at least one more online tournament in them.
Here are the biggest takeaways from what may have been the last netplay major of the quarantine era, Galint Melee Open: Summer Edition.
Hungrybox claws through the losers bracket to earn his second GMO victory
Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma has earned his second Galint Melee Open victory, repeating his win from the inaugural event in Jan. At that first tournament, he cruised through the winners bracket without dropping a set.
Initially, it seemed Galint Melee Open: Summer Edition wouldn’t be any different. Hungrybox made it to top eight without dropping a game, serving up 3-0 defeats to Andrew “Chem” Khalili, Rishi “Rishi” Malhotra and Aaron “ALP” Espinoza. However, a shocking upset at the hands of Dan “Tyler Swift” Petruso ended Hungrybox’s hopes for a flawless run.
This early trip to the losers bracket appeared to awaken his inner Clutchbox, however, as Hungrybox narrowly defeated Dawud “Aklo” Rahman 3-2 in losers quarters. From there, Hungrybox eliminated all of his remaining opponents 3-1, avoiding the ever-tense Game 5 altogether. In the process, he beat Isaac “bobby big ballz” P., won his runback against Tyler Swift and double-eliminated Edgard “n0ne” Sheleby in grand finals.
I WON GALINT SUMMER 2021 🏆
ONLINE + LOSERS RUN
— hungrybox (@LiquidHbox) July 26, 2021
Axe isn’t the only high-level Pikachu
Pikachu main Tyler Swift is perhaps best known as Zain “Zain” Naghmi’s training partner. He frequently prepares Zain for match-ups against Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson, whom Zain has never beaten. But, at Galint Melee Open: Summer Edition, Tyler Swift established himself as a competitive threat in his own right and a potential challenger to Axe’s status as the lone top 100 Pikachu.
The constant practice against Zain’s Marth clearly paid off. Tyler Swift started his Cinderella run by defeating Marth main Logan “Logan” Dunn (formerly known as “LSD”) 3-1. Then, to qualify for top 16, he earned a 3-2 win over Aklo. Notably, Aklo had beaten Axe when they played just a week prior at Smash Summit 11.
Tyler Swift showed off his expertise in the Marth match-up yet again in winners quarters, defeating John “KoDoRiN” Ko 3-0. But, his biggest win came not by his trusty Pikachu, but instead by his secondary Fox; which he used to conquer Hungrybox in a five-game set.
All this led to an unexpected winners finals, which included a game of Tyler Swift’s Pikachu against n0ne’s Mario on Final Destination. While Tyler Swift forced the set to Game 5, n0ne ultimately won it with a three-stock on Fountain of Dreams. Though Tyler Swift failed to win his rematch against Hungrybox in losers finals, he still established himself as one of Melee’s fastest-rising threats.
Huge shoutouts to @teamP_U_L_S_E, super happy im a part of such a great team now and im glad i made them proud today as this was my first tourney while sponsored 🙂
— Pulse | Tyler Swift (@TylerSwift420) July 26, 2021
Bobby big ballz bounces back at Galint Melee Open: Summer Edition
Considering his recent 97th place finish at Rollback Rumble: The Big One, bobby big ballz did not seem poised to have an exceptional performance at Galint Melee Open: Summer Edition. And yet, he did just that, placing fourth while defeating multiple players who far outperformed him at The Big One.
He advanced into top 16 after defeating fellow Falco main Kristian “Rocky” Cruz 3-2. Then, in winners quarters, bobby big ballz overcame The Big One runner-up Toussaint “2saint” Turnier in another five-game set. However, n0ne proved too big of an obstacle for him. He lost their winners semis set 3-1.
In losers quarters, bobby big ballz lost his first two games against KoDoRiN, who finished in third place at Rollback Rumble: The Big One. Even after winning Game 3, bobby big ballz was in a tough position. He needed to win twice on Final Destination; a stage notorious for Marth’s devastating punish game against Fox and Falco.
However, KoDoRiN struggled to find the chain grabs that make Final Destination advantageous for Marth. Meanwhile, bobby big ballz took advantage of the lack of platforms to string together his own high-damage combos. As a result, his flashy playstyle led him to two straight wins on Final Destination. This enabled him to complete the reverse 3-0 and win the set over KoDoRiN.
With a REVERSE 3-0, 2 games on FD, bobby big ballz makes his way through to Losers Semis with a close fought victory.
— Galint Gaming (@galintgaming) July 26, 2021
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.