Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo (EGLX) goes down this weekend, March 9-11, in Mississauga, Ontario. This is the second installment of EGLX, which hosted a tournament in late April of 2016 but did not host one in 2017. This year’s lineup consists of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Halo 5, and a number of fighting games, including Dragon Ball Fighter Z and Street Fighter V Arcade Edition, among others.
The Smash Bros. events will be streamed on twitch.tv/evenmatchupgaming (for Melee) and twitch.tv/evenmatchupgaming2 (for Wii U) on Friday and Saturday. Doubles will be run in their entirety on Friday afternoon, 5-10 P.M. Eastern Standard Time. On Saturday, pools and the bracket, from top 32 to top 8, will be run starting from noon. On Sunday, both top 8 events will be run on twitch.tv/evenmatchupgaming, with Wii U going from noon to 4 P.M. and Melee in the prime time spot from 4 to 8 P.M. Venue-specific information can be found here.
Things to look for in the Melee bracket:
Absolutely no waffling about it, Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma has been, for more than a full calendar year, and still remains, the man to beat. In 2017, he placed first at 17 of the 29 tourneys he attended that year, including majors with every other top five player present, taking first at The Big House 7 and Smash Summit 5. At EGLX this year, he faces real competition in Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, Justin “Plup” McGrath, Zach “Sfat” Cordoni, and Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett; each of these players has had at least one significant win over Hungrybox since January 2017. The most significant of these wins easily belongs to Plup.
Hungrybox versus Plup: the GENESIS 5 rematch. It feels like it was just yesterday that Hungrybox fell to Plup after a thrilling 8-game set in Grand Finals. The two players have not met in tourney since then. Plup is looking for more big wins over Hungrybox and Mew2King; Hungrybox will be wanting to take back the crown in what is becoming a great home-grown Florida rivalry.
The return of the King? Mew2King has come off a somewhat down year. Despite good placings at several tourneys, most notably taking Canada Cup 2017 over Adam “Armada” Lindgren and William “Leffen” Hjelte and winning Smash Conference LXIX over Wizzrobe and Hungrybox, he had a few disappointing finishes, including placing 7th at Dreamhack Denver, 7th at Smash Summit 5, and 9th at GENESIS 5. EGLX presents a good opportunity for Mew2King to get over the disappointing GENESIS 5 finish and head into the spring with a solid performance.
Wizzrobe continues to make the case for Captain Falcon in powerful fashion. Throughout 2017 he has established himself as a threat to every player above him on the Melee It On Me ranking, on which his own position has skyrocketed to #8. Could this be the first major for a Captain Falcon player to win it all? It’s never seemed more possible than it does in 2018.
Hugo “HugS” Gonzalez and Joey “Lucky” Aldama shone on the biggest stage in Melee at GENESIS 5 earlier this year, placing 7th and 5th respectively, immediately after their acquisition by Team Dignitas. Unfortunately, they had to battle it out in the first round of loser’s top 8, following a big win by Lucky over Mew2King and a nail-biter of a set between HugS and Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto. Their outstanding performances sold Team Dignitas on their newest players and set a high standard for both players to measure up to in the future.
Zain “Zain” Naghmi will be in attendance and looking to continue his meteoric rise into the Melee top ranks. Expect him to take some shots at players above him and likely finish somewhere in the top 8. Jack “Crush” Hoyt looks to follow up on a fantastic 9th place finish at GENESIS 5. aMSa returns to the North American continent to spread the gospel of Yoshi, and to hopefully continue to earn trips to NA majors. Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson, James “Duck” Ma, Sfat, and James “Swedish Delight” Liu will all provide top level competition and viewers should not sleep on any one of them.
Things to look for in the Wii U bracket:
The power vacuum created by Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios’ retirement continues to dominate the Smash 4 scene. With only a couple of events since his retirement in mid-January, Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey has emerged as a candidate for the new number one spot. Tweek is attending EGLX along with Larry “Larry Lurr” Holland, Ramin “Mr. R” Delshad, Elliot “Ally” Carroza-Oyarce, Jason “ANTi” Bates, Chris “WaDi” Boston, Tamim “Mistake” Omari, and Eric “ESAM” Lew, and all will be playing their hearts out, as the stakes are higher than ever.