Full Bloom 4 was one of the must see tournaments for competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee. Started in 2015, Full Bloom was a well received Midwest Regional that showcased what the scene had to offer. Since then, the IUB Smash team has been putting continuous effort towards improvement. In 2018, it has become a Major tournament with high level names throughout. Here, we will take a look at the Top 8 finishers, and their journeys through Top 48.
1st - Hungrybox
Coming out on top was Team Liquid’s Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma. After receiving the top slot for SSBMRank 2017, Hungrybox has been the player to shoot for since 2018 started. At Full Bloom, he proved once again why he earned that slot. His tournament run saw not only no sets dropped, he had managed to drop only two games throughout. He managed to maul lloD(3-0), S2J(3-0), and n0ne(3-0) before finally showing blood to Leffen(3-1) in Winner’s Finals. In Grand Finals, he faced and defeated long time rival Mang0(3-1). With this performance, it’s looking like 2018 is going to be a dominating year for Hungrybox.
2nd - Mang0
Coming up just short was Cloud 9’s Joseph “Mango” Marquez. Mang0, always a crowd favorite, had some of the most heart-pounding sets of the tournament. His ability to clutch out kept him alive all the way to Grand Finals. His run through Upper Bracket had a win over Duck(3-1) and possibly the closest set of the tourney against aMSa(3-2). He met and fell in Winner’s Semis against Leffen(0-3), where he began his sprinting. A close set against SFAT(3-2), a shutout on Wizzrobe(3-0), and the rerun against Leffen(3-0) earned him a spot in Grand Finals. Though he managed to get some ground against Hungrybox, he fell short(1-3). While Mang0 had some struggles, his ability to keep cool made him a close possibility for the spot of champion. We will have to see if he can be the one to catch up to Hungrybox by the end of 2018.
3rd - Leffen
Team SoloMid’s William “Leffen” Hjelte came into Full Bloom with a few reservations. He has been grinding out Dragon Ball FighterZ, and has gained recognition as a potential powerhouse for the game. He was even called out by GO1, the de facto champion of DBF, for a match. With his new passion, Leffen was questioning how much he wanted to practice Melee. Though, the results show that Leffen has not lost his touch at Melee. In Upper Bracket, he defeated Shroomed(3-1), Zain(3-0), and Mang0(3-0) to qualify for Winner’s Finals. There, he became the first player of the tournament to take a game off of Hungrybox, but ultimately fell(1-3). In Loser’s Finals, he had to once again face Mang0, who came back with a vengeance(0-3). Leffen is still trying to figure out how he wants to schedule DBF into his schedule, but nobody ought to take that as a moment to sleep on him. If Full Bloom is anything to go off of, Leffen is still as much of a beast as before.
4th - Wizzrobe
Since his introduction, Fry’s Electronics’ Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett has seemed to only climb. His technical approach to Melee has made Captain Falcon a character that’s not only flashy, but terrifyingly efficient. In round one of Top 48, he had a tough set against n0ne(2-3) which sent him down to Lower Bracket. From there, Wizzrobe had the longest run of the entire Lower Bracket. He managed to get set wins over Crush(3-2), Ginger(3-1), Zain(3-2), aMSa(3-0), and got the runback against n0ne(3-1). His run was ended by Mang0 in Loser’s Semis(0-3). His performance at Full Bloom showed that this growth has no intention of slowing down, and anybody who has to face him in bracket ought to be on the top of their game.
5th - n0ne
With some of the names that were at Full Bloom, one of the biggest head turns was Allegiance’s Edgard “n0ne” Shelby. n0ne is a strong player within his own right, but sometimes he goes above and beyond his norm. He made waves with his first round victory over Wizzrobe(3-2), and he rode that wave through beating HugS(3-1) to qualify for Top 8. There, he met and fell to Hungrybox(0-3) and was sent to Lower Bracket. In Lower Bracket, he had to once again face Wizzrobe, who was on a hot streak, and was eliminated from the tournament(1-3). Full Bloom had n0ne place higher than several players who outranked him, and may be his best performance of 2018. Whether this trend will continue or not, will be seen in the coming months.
5th - SFAT
At this point, it is hard to imagine a Top 8 without Counter Logic Gaming’s Zac “SFAT” Cordoni. He has been a consistent Top 10 player since 2015, and has continually strived to become a Top 3 threat at many majors. At the end of the first quarter of 2018, he may be starting to push through that barrier. His run at Full Bloom hit a hiccup at round one, where he fell to Zain(3-0). From there, he managed to pull himself together for an incredible Lower Bracket run. He managed to defeat KJH(3-0), Shroomed(3-1), HugS(3-1), and S2J(3-2) to reach Loser’s Quarters. There, he managed to give a good fight to Mang0, but ultimately fell to one of his biggest hurdles(2-3). SFAT is known for his high striving goals, and has always put the effort towards achieving them. Whether 2018 is his year is yet to be seen.
7th - aMSa
Ever since his sponsorship with VGBootCamp, Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto has been a powerhouse at American tournaments. At Full Bloom, he showed that his spot in the limelight was not a one time deal. In Upper Bracket, he defeated PewPewU(3-0), before he had the closest loss against Mang0(2-3). From Lower Bracket, he defeated AbsentPage(3-1) before his run was put to and end by Wizzrobe(3-0). aMSa has been a regular threat for a few months now, and 2018 is looking like his year to truly make a statement. With his current trajectory, he may be sniffing out a Top 10 rank by the end of the year.
7th - S2J
While Tempo Storm’s Johnny “S2J” Kim has been a strong player, he has really stepped up his game the past few months. His signature aggressive Captain Falcon has been a wild ride to watch, and he has been cleaning up the various points that has held him back. The result has been more a more targeted approach that has resulted in cleaner and more rewarding play. For Upper Bracket, he defeated Rik(3-0) round one, then was sent to Lower Bracket by Hungrybox(0-3). There, he defeated Duck(3-0) to qualify for Top 8. His tourney run was put to an end in Loser’s Quarters when he met and fell to SFAT(2-3). S2J had a consistently strong 2017, and it earned him a Top 10 ranking for 2017. 2018 may see him become even stronger, but only time will tell.
Full Bloom 4 was a great send off for the first quarter of 2018. Many ranked and well known players made an appearance. The early stages saw upset after upset, and the level of play present was well worth the view. Full Bloom 4 was a treat for any fan of Melee, and many will likely look forward to Full Bloom 5 in 2019.
All recorded sets can be found here.
Full Top 48 bracket found here.