This Friday, thousands of Super Smash Bros. enthusiasts will converge upon Detroit’s Cobo Center for the last Smash supermajor of the year, The Big House 8. The Big House is one of the most long-running major series in the Smash scene; from its origin as a Midwestern regional-level qualifier for Apex 2012, it has accrued its fair share of legends, ongoing narratives, and cachet.
This year, former Big House champion Adam “Armada” Lindgren will not be a contender for the Midwest’s biggest trophy. The Big House 5 winner announced his retirement from singles play two weeks ago; however, he will still be in attendance at this weekend’s event to compete in doubles and interact with fans.
Armada’s absence puts two competitors front and center in the race for the year-end No. 1 ranking. While Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma has won a smattering of smaller majors and boasts winning records over every active elite-level player, he also has more losses outside the Big Six than any of his peers. On the other hand, William “Leffen” Hjelte has an Evolution Championship Series title under his belt, and has winning records over every elite player except for Hungrybox and Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman (who will also be absent at The Big House 8). Though The Big House is not the last tournament of consequence this year, a first-place finish at the year’s last supermajor would be quite the feather in either contender’s cap.
That isn’t to disregard Joseph “Mang0” Marquez’s chances at victory. After all, the three-time The Big House champion has won every even-numbered iteration of the tournament series so far. Though Mang0 has stumbled over the last few months, it hasn’t been that long since he showed up at Smash Summit 6 to defeat both Hungrybox and Armada on the same day. If he can pull out the stops again, he might be able to edge out a victory at The Big House 8.
The last two contenders for The Big House 8’s Melee trophy are both members of Panda Global: Justin “Plup” McGrath and Zain “Zain” Naghmi. The former was ranked No. 2 on the Summer 2018 Melee Panda Global Rankings on the strength of his stunning Genesis 5 victory in January and a solid string of second-place finishes at smaller events in the first half of the year. Though Plup’s summer has been relatively quiet, he’s shown that he has everything it takes to win The Big House 8.
As for Zain, the patient and precise Marth main demonstrated his ability to win majors at Shine 2018. With Armada and Mew2King not in contention, Zain has beaten everyone who stands in his way at The Big House. Could this be his first supermajor victory? It just might happen.
To catch the action at this weekend’s event, tune into the stream on VGBootCamp this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!