Tipped Off 14 preview: Georgia’s oldest Melee regional turns major - Upcomer
Tipped Off 14: Resurgence logo

Tipped Off 14 preview: Georgia’s oldest Melee regional turns major

See where the top five players currently stand

Tipped Off is Georgia’s longest-running Super Smash Bros. regional series and one of the longest-running active Smash tournaments overall. It has had several iterations since its debut in May of 2007, leading up to Tipped Off 14 this year. In the past, it has featured clashes among some of the best Melee players in the Southeast.

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However, the stakes will be higher than ever at this year’s event as the current contenders for top five in the world will all make their way to Marietta, Georgia, this weekend. As a result, the 14th iteration will be a bona fide major for the first time in the history of the series.

Here are the biggest storylines to keep in mind heading into Tipped Off 14: Resurgence this weekend.

No. 1 contenders meet at Tipped Off 14: Jmook and Cody Schwab

Jake “Jmook” DiRado quickly established himself as the player to beat this year with back-to-back major wins at Genesis 9 and Collision 2023. He placed a more modest fourth at Battle of BC 5, where he lost to Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto and Cody Schwab while still defeating Joseph “Mang0” Marquez and William “Leffen” Hjelte.

At Tipped Off 14, Jmook is once again seeded to face aMSa in winners semis, against whom he has a 1-5 lifetime record. No one else at the tournament has such a commanding record against Jmook, meaning his best chance of winning may be for aMSa to suffer an upset earlier in the bracket.

Meanwhile, Cody Schwab has also won two majors this year, with additional accolades including top-three finishes at his other two majors, a handful of regional victories and first-place finishes at seven of the eight online Coinbox tournaments up to now. Impressively, he holds an even or winning record against every single player he has lost to at an in-person tournament so far this year.

While he did lose seven consecutive sets to Mang0 in 2022, the two of them are not projected to play each other unless Zain beats Cody Schwab in winners semis. With no obvious roadblocks in his path, Cody Schwab is by far the favorite to win Tipped Off 2014.

Mr. Consistent: Zain

As the reigning No. 1 player in the world, Zain “Zain” Naghmi’s 2023 has been disappointing in that he hasn’t yet won a major. Still, he hasn’t lost to anyone outside of the top five and he boasts winning records against the likes of Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma and Leffen.

Admittedly, Tipped Off doesn’t look favorable for Zain. If he beats Cody Schwab, his projected opponents will be either Jmook or aMSa; he is 0-3 against Jmook this year and lost his last four sets against aMSa last year. Nevertheless, Zain proved multiple times in 2022 that he could win a major with a tough bracket, which he will need to start doing again to climb back to the top of the rankings.

Peaks and valleys: aMSa and moky

Despite ending 2022 with a precipitous rise to No. 2 in the world, aMSa missed top eight at his first two majors of the year, incurring upset losses to Toussaint “2saint” Turnier, Blake “Zuppy” Burnham and Arjun “lloD” Malhotra along the way. However, he has made up for it with dominant performances at regionals and a crucial second-place finish at Battle of BC 5, where he defeated both Jmook and Zain.

At Tipped Off 14, aMSa’s chances of winning are hampered by his 0-3 record for the year against Cody Schwab. In addition, he runs the risk of losing before top eight to someone like Daniel “Zamu” Bernstein, who has already taken a set off of Cody Schwab this year.

Kurtis “moky” Pratt has been the breakout star of 2023 Melee so far, rising from No. 13 on the 2022 SSBMRank to a clear contender for top five in the world. He boasts a 6-4 record this year against the top eight players on the 2022 SSBMRank, with flawless records against aMSa, Hungrybox and Justin “Plup” McGrath.

But, like aMSa, moky has also been prone to the occasional upset, dropping sets to Zuppy, Dawud “Aklo” Rahman and Mile “Soonsay” Foster so far this year. Considering he has never beaten Jmook, Zain or Mang0 offline, it seems a bit unlikely that Tipped Off will be moky’s first major win.

Nevertheless, the trajectory he has been on indicates that a major victory could very well be on the horizon.

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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.