Slippi Champions League Finals reinvigorates Smash Bros Melee
The Slippi Champions League was a lively Smash Bros Melee event over the week few weeks, giving us a great showcase of the Slippi netplay at work in a tournament setting. The league has shown pretty definitively that there is still life left in Melee, and an audience for it in the crowded esports streaming market.
Online Melee has been a surprisingly popular event throughout 2020, with the lack of in-person tournaments not making much of a dent on the game’s community. The Slippi Champions League finals featured some of the most fun to watch Melee that we’ve seen in a long time, and the event seems to have ironed out all kinks with the broadcast and online play.
HE DO BE KINDA READING THOUGH… 😳📖
Congratulations to our THREE-TIME Slippi Champions League winner… @ZainNaghmi! 🎉
— Beyond the Smash (@BTSsmash) November 1, 2020
The Slippi Champions League finals were broadcast on Halloween. Choosing that night for the grand finale of an online tournament of a very old game feels a little like tempting fate. The jokes about a dead game nearly write themselves. The Slippi Champions League finals showed there is still a lot of new ground to be broke in Melee though. Even after we’ve been through multiple occasions of players supposedly finding the peak of Melee, the game’s events are some of the most entertaining fighting competitions to watch.
The Slippi Champions League Finals
The Slippi Champions League Finals were the culmination of the last few weeks of games. There were 19 matches played in the finals with four players taking home a prize for all of their efforts.
In first place for the event was Zain who played Marth throughout. Zain has been dominating for the entire tournament, so the result wasn’t a huge surprise. The quality of the game was still impressive though. Zain is showing off some of the most skilled Melee playing we’ve seen to date. At the end of the event, it was clear he deserved the grand prize. Over the four weeks of the tournament, Zain has placed first in three out of four and taken second in the first week.
Outside of Zain, there were great showings from the other players who rounded out the top four. Captain Faceroll had a good few weeks too, but came up short in the end. He was fairly easily put down by Spark in the Semi-finals. Spark’s performance is slightly tainted after Zain took him 3-0 in the finals. Although that can more be blamed on Zain’s complete steamrolling of the competition than any failure on his part. Further down the rankings, Mango underperformed, but that could just be attributed to going up against Zain in the first round.
The Slippi Champions League finals were a polished and sleek affair but the event had some teething issues in early week. The system is now pretty well-honed. Online melee looks stronger than ever, and it can definitely support an intricate tournament that shows off high-level technical play.
The next major melee event is Smash Summit, which is due to be held Nov 10th . The Slippi Champions League finals did have a decline in viewer numbers. However, the tournament as a whole has had impressive viewership given the circumstances. Broadcasting on Halloween was always going to result in a dip. Melee is proving as popular as ever. Now that pros have a dedicated way to practise against other high level players online, we can expect even bigger things at the Summit.
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