With a grand total of 743 entrants over three different Smash games, Low Tier City 4 has been one of the largest tournaments that Texas has ever seen! The weekend has come and gone, the competitors have clashed, and three champions have been crowned.
With players like FX PG | Wobbles, COG | Wizzrobe, Selfless | Lucky, Javi, PG | ESAM, Tai, and Uncle Mojo entering into the bracket, LTC4 Melee had no shortage of heavy hitters. The real question on everyone's mind, however, was one for the pantheon; who would win in the next chapter of Liquid | Hungrybox vs C9 | Mang0?
The preliminary bracket pools for the tournament went off with nearly every player taking their expected seed, which truly speaks to depths of the skill gaps, and the deep dedication to Melee's players. In the world of Melee, the great players are like kings, and the top players are Gods!
Newly sponsored player Lucky, however - now a member of Selfless' new Smash branch - aimed to prove that even a God could bleed. In his Winner's Semi-finals set against Hungrybox, he looked poised to take it - winning the first game, and then taking a dominating four stock in the third match on Pokemon Stadium, bringing the set count to 2-1. In game four, last stock, he was pixels away from landing an upsmash that would have sealed the set...but that small opportunity gave Hbox all that he needed to bring things back. After working through a few other attempted finishers, Hbox landed the hit that would push Lucky offstage for the edge guard finish, and though the last game on Yoshi's Story was close, Hbox coming down on his last stock second gave him enough of an advantage find an uair, leading to a platform missed-tech rest punish to win the set.
On the other side of the bracket, two other players slowly made their way into Winner's Semis. Mang0 blazed through the bracket, winning over Chandy, TaylorHJ, and Texas' Mojo. In the other branch, Wobbles cleaned shop, beating Tapsody, Pit, and Wizzrobe. The Winners Semis set of Mang0 vs Wobbles was particularly vicious; Mang0 does an exceptional job of separating the Ice Climbers and KOing Nana, and that left Wobbles with only SoPo the majority of the time. Wobbles' SoPo is legendary, but you can only take a solo climber so far...in the end, Mang0 walked away from the set with a 3-0 victory.
The stage was set for the gods to clash; Winner's Finals, Mang0 vs Hungrybox. Despite Mang0's strong performance throughout the tournament, however, Hungrybox showed up to dominate. In game two Hbox lost a nailbiter game to a stage spike from an offstage trade (Jigglypuff fair vs Fox upB), but that aside, he swept the set, doing an excellent job navigating neutral, and punishing hard with multiple U-air to rest combos.
(Fun fact of the day; Hungrybox dabbles in Ness, originally putting more time into the character as a potential counter-pick to Armada's Young Link, who had given him trouble around the 2014 era. At LTC4, Hungrybox had two money matches using the character, beating DFW local Nihlus in the Ness ditto, and then making a come-back victory vs PM powerhouse Lunchables' Melee Roy.)
Entering into the top 12, of the Loser's bracket was full of top level talent. ESAM faced off against FX | Hamyojo with a win, and then went through Marth expert Tai with a hard 3-0 win, and followed up with a 3-2 victory over fellow PG player Wobbles. Long time teammates Jake13 and Uncle Mojo went head to head, with Mojo coming out the winner. Wizzrobe defeated FX | Albert, going on to defeat Mojo, and then playing against Selfless | Lucky. Again, Lucky took momentum early on, leading the set count at 2-1, but again his opponent started to make the come back. The last game went down to the last stock, but with one read on Lucky's wavedash out of shine, Wizzrobe landed a D-air to set up a for a tech chase, reacted to the get up in place with his dash dance grab, and that was the end of the set.
Wizzrobe went on to play ESAM in Loser's Semi-finals. Straight out the gates, back-and-forth damage from the players was even, but Wizzrobe managed to hold out for longer, surviving to an incredible 206% on his first stock, on Battlefield no less! In game two, an unfortunate reverse-knee trade set the tone again, and with clean strings and brutal knee finishes, the set was looking hopeless for the Samus. In game three, ESAM attempted a desperation pick with Fox, but it was quickly dismantled by Wizzrobe's Falcon, ending in a 3-0 set.
Next set was Loser's Finals, Wizzrobe's Falcon vs Mang0's fox, and Mang0's fox is a completely different beast. Mang0 didn't let up the pressure for a second the entire set, bringing in a JV four stock game one, a close victory game two, and then another brutal three stock to take the set.
Grand Finals; once again, a set between two Gods, C9 | Mang0 and Liquid | Hungrybox. The set started out well for Mang0, leading the game in stocks and finishing with a close one stock victory, but after that, things quickly went downhill. Hbox took the victory on Dreamland game two, and on game three, Mang0 had the lead, but a quick upthrow rest and then another upthrow tech chase rest tore through Mang0's stocks for Hbox's win. Game four was close, but in the end, Hbox clutched out an U-air interception on Mang0's recovery, taking his last stock, and taking home the tournament!
With two more sets over Mang0, Hungrybox's record against him in 2016 is now an impressive 8 set wins versus 5. His placing as #2 in the world has been well-ingrained, and he's now one step closer to his goal; to be best in the world. Congratulations to him!