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Zain Naghmi won Super Smash Bros. Melee Singles at Pound Online on April 26. It was the first Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament to take place as part of the Quarantine Series online circuit.
Zain swept through the first two rounds of pools unopposed. In the process, he defeated players like “Netplay Joe,” Evan “Fizz” Akhavan, and Jason “Gahtzu” Diehl without dropping any games. Zain’s greatest challenge of the bracket came in Winners Quarters, where he won a five-game set over Edgard “n0ne” Sheleby.
Despite the intense level of competition, Zain went through top 8 almost completely unscathed. In Winners Semis, he scored a 3-1 win over Justin “Plup” McGrath, one of his offline demons. Then in Winners Finals, Zain defeated Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma 3-0. Impressively, he repeated the feat in Grand Finals, beating Hungrybox 3-0 again to win Pound Online Melee Singles.
Even with an increase in Melee netplay tournaments, Pound Online was the first to allow international participation. Most online tournaments up to this point have been region-locked to prevent excessive lag. This was also notably Zain’s first major netplay tournament since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Other results from Pound Online Melee Singles
Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni had an impressive run to 3rd place in Pound Online Melee Singles. Along the way, he only dropped sets to Hungrybox. SFAT reached top 8 by defeating the likes of Jerry Powell and Arjun “lloD” Malhotra. From there, he eliminated Kevin “PewPewU” Toy, Plup, and Johnny “S2J” Kim.
Due to an error with Smash.gg, S2J was DQed into the losers bracket during top 128. Despite this, he was able to make an incredible losers run all the way to 4th place. He reached top 16 with wins over the likes of Ryan “La Luna” Coker-Welch, Jerry, and Christian “Amida” Durham. S2J also eliminated Weston “Westballz” Dennis, Avery “Ginger” Wilson, n0ne, and Zaid “Spark” Ali before his only loss to SFAT.
Kevin “Bones” Emm has not yet had his breakout at a major offline tournament. However, he proved that he could shine on netplay at Pound Online’s Super Smash Bros. Melee bracket. Bones reached Winners Quarters with huge upsets over Cody “iBDW” Schwab and James “Swedish Delight” Liu. He finished in 9th after respectable losses to Spark (who also beat Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson) and PewPewU.
Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman humorously opted to play as the low-tier Pichu throughout all of Pound Online Melee Singles. As a result, he finished in 129th place, only winning a single set. Mew2King’s Pichu dropped sets to Timothy “Timteee” Truong (a Link player) and Nick “R&R” Downey.
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.