In what seems like business as usual, Team Liquid's Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma takes home his third consecutive Smash major at Pound 2016, defeating Cloud9's Joseph "Mango" Marquez in grand finals. This time around, Hungrybox's performance was nothing short of dominant, going undefeated in 10 sets and finishing 24-1 in games.
"I'm very well pleased with my run, being able to sweep people who were able to take games in the past. I have the ability not to just clutch close wins, but I'm winning very solidly. It's a good feeling." Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma
The Pre-Cursor Exhibitions
The first day, Hungrybox was the anchor for team Jigglypuff for the crew battle exhibitions. Against team Falco, team Jigglypuff found itself at a 4-9 stock deficit with Hungrybox as the only player left. Normally, a large stock deficit of this size is unsurmountable, but Hungrybox managed to make the comeback, taking nine stocks before losing his four. If any indicator demonstrated how Hungrybox would perform at Pound 2016, this was it.
Lo and behold, Hungrybox's bracket run looked no different from what everyone saw earlier, swiftly defeating everyone 2-0 to advance to the winner's quarterfinals. Surprisingly, his quarterfinals opponent was Jason "InfiniteNumbers" Gauthier, a newer Ice-Climbers player from the New England region. InfiniteNumbers had an impressive run, upsetting several top 100 players, but Hungrybox put an end to his run with a 3-0 sweep. In the winner's semifinals, Hungrybox continued with another 3-0 set over James "Swedish Delight" Liu to make it to winner's finals.
Meanwhile, Mango opted to play Marth instead of his usual Fox in his winner's semifinals match against Aziz "Hax" Al-Yami. In a nail-biting set, Mango failed a set-ending edge-guard, giving Hax the 3-2 victory and sending him to yet another early appearance to the loser's bracket. In winner's finals, Hax gave Hungrybox some early troubles with a grounded reactive style Fox, but Hungrybox adapted and swept Hax for another 3-0 win.
Honestly thank you everyone. I'll never take these moments for granted.
Next stop: Smash Summit 2!!!
— Juan DeBiedma (@LiquidHbox) April 4, 2016
Through loser's, Mango's gameplay looked very inconsistent, but he managed to claw his way back through to meet Hungrybox in their third consecutive grand finals. After his loss at Battle of the Five Gods, Mango vowed to play more defensive with a more liberal use Fox's projectiles to force Hungrybox to approach. Unshaken, Hungrybox looked comfortable with Mango's overall game-plan, ready to adapt to whatever Mango would throw. They ended up splitting the first two games, but Hungrybox gained momentum off of game 3 where he found crucial rests with a 3-stock victory on Dreamland. Hungrybox rode the momentum to seal game 4 on Pokemon Stadium and win Pound 2016.
With his set against Mango, Hungrybox said "I am able to remain calm. I learned a lot from our last set at Battle of the Five Gods. In my set (against Mango), I was able to apply a correct mindset to win." While many argue Alliance's Adam "Armada" Lindgren as the current #1 player, Hungrybox continues to make his case as well. Short of rest after the tournament, Hungrybox mentioned looking forward to competing at Smash Summit 2 and Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo (EGLX) in the next month where he will have many opportunities to compete against the other top players including Team Solo Mid's William "Leffen" Hjelte and Armada.