Super Smash Bros Melee players competed for a piece of a nearly $10,000 prize pool at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Saturday set off the highly anticipated Melee singles bracket, which began with 438 entrants and dwindled down to just eight by the end of the night. DreamHack Austin boasted an impressive roster similar to CEO Dreamland hosted in mid-April, but with a bit more firepower. Here's how things panned out leading into the Top 8.
As pools arranged those good enough to qualify for the Top 48 and onward, Saturday proved to be a dramatic day full of high level play. Not surprisingly, Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma and his cute but lethal Jigglypuff solidified their spot in the Top 8 Sunday. Hbox came first in his pool and only dropped a single game against Justin "Wizzrobe" Hallet in their winners quarterfinal match. Hbox will face Justin "Plup" McGrath Sunday in the winners bracket semifinals.
William "Leffen" Hjelte looked particularly strong Saturday in pools, taking opponents out with flashy maneuvers. But Leffen's success would come to an end against Joseph "Mang0" Marquez in the quarterfinal. The two heavyweights would slug it out earlier than spectators anticipated, but that didn't faze Mang0, doing away with Leffen in a convincing 3-0 series win.
Mang0 actually saw more trouble in the previous round, going to a deciding Game 5 against a resilient James "Duck" Ma, a purple Samus user. Although falling to Mang0 and eventually being sacked from the competition, Duck has continued to show his worth amongst the Melee community, consistently challenging other accomplished players.
Many old-time players sunk into the lower bracket, resulting in some household names getting eliminated before the end of the night. Weston "Westballz" Dennis would fall early to Plup in Round 1 of the upper bracket, eventually leaving the tournament entirely after squaring off against Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman, another notable veteran to lose early on, in Round 4 of losers bracket. Mew2King would claim a surprisingly close 3-2 series win, propelling him into the final day of competition, where he will square off against TSM's Leffen.
Daniel "ChuDat" Rodriguez and his Ice Climbers performed well throughout the winners bracket, taking out Andreas "Android" Lindgren and Michael "MikeHaze" Pulido in relatively easy matches. Chu will need to oust a perilous Mang0 to maintain his winners bracket status quo.