Smash

Zain upsets Hungrybox to win Genesis 7 Smash Melee Singles

by Andrew Amos

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Zain Naghmi has claimed his first Genesis title after taking down Team Liquid’s Juan ‘Hungrybox’ Debiedma in an intense five-game set, kicking off 2020 for Melee in style.

2020 spells a new dawn for the Smash Melee competitive scene, as Zain has established himself as a huge threat to the five Gods by taking out Genesis 7. The Marth main dominated the weekend’s action, not dropping a single set in his run to his second major title.

Zain came into Genesis as the sixth seed, although he had never finished top 8 at a Genesis before.

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On his run to the final, he had to take down Hungrybox in the Winner’s Semis, doing so in a nail biting 3-2 match.

Cloud9’s Joseph ‘Mango’ Marquez was next in his way, with Zain almost throwing a 2-1 lead in the set to scrape on through to the Grand Final.

Hungrybox’s path to the final was much more of a grind, with the Jigglypuff master pulling out a reverse sweep against Aziz ‘Hax$’ Al-Yami in the Loser’s Semis, before taking down Mango 3-2 to book himself a rematch with Zain.

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The two traded games back and forth, however Zain looked more comfortable in controlling the tempo on Marth, dictating the stage for the most part. Hungrybox didn’t bow down to him though, fighting tooth and nail to keep at least one finger on the trophy.

However, Zain ended up overpowering the Team Liquid pro, edging him out in an intense battle on Pokemon Stadium to deny the bracket reset and claim the trophy for himself without dropping a set all weekend.

It was redemption for Zain, who was knocked out of Mango’s Birthday Bash in December by Hungrybox in the Loser’s Semis. "A whole year of heartbreak," he said on Twitter after the match. "I finally attained my dream.

"To everyone who has supported me, I love you. 2020 Melee will be insane."

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Zain and Hungrybox played doubles together at Genesis 7 as well, finishing in 5-6th behind eventual winners Jason ‘Mew2King’ Zimmerman and Justin ‘Plup’ McGrath.

In the Smash Ultimate top eight, Leonardo ‘MKLeo’ Lopez Perez will be looking to defend his Genesis 6 title, currently sitting in the Winners bracket. James ‘Void’ Makekau-Tyson, who climbed to the grand final last year, bowed out of Genesis 7 in 65th.