Four takeaways from the Poilon Colosseum EU Melee invitational
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Zain “Zain” Naghmi has been dominating the North American Super Smash Bros. Melee scene relatively unopposed since the beginning of the Slippi era. However, as the return to in-person events draws closer and the international communities look to converge, Sweden’s William “Leffen” Hjelte may pose a serious threat to Zain’s reign.

At the very least, Leffen has proven himself to be far and away the best player in Europe. Here are the major takeaways from Leffen’s recent victory at Poilon Colosseum, an online European Melee invitational.

Leffen dominates Europe without dropping a game

None of Leffen’s opponents could take even a single game off of the godslayer throughout his run at Poilon Colosseum. He went 11-0 in sets and 33-0 in games. And yet, even this statistic fails to fully capture just how convincing Leffen’s performance was.

Among his sets in the round robin pools phase, Leffen took 84 stocks from seven opponents. Meanwhile, he only lost 36 of his own, less than half of the total number of stocks he had at his disposal.

In winners quarters of the final bracket, Leffen two-stocked Niklas “Kins0” V. in every game. Álvaro “Trif” García Moral put up the best fight against Leffen in winners semis, taking him down to his last stock in two of their three games.

But Leffen refused to look mortal for more than a little while. He two-stocked Elliot “Frenzy” Grossman in Game 1 of winners finals, then three-stocked him the last two games. In grand finals, Leffen dismantled Aaron “Professor Pro” Thomas with a two-stock, then a three-stock, and then a four-stock to win Poilon Colosseum. Against Professor Pro, Leffen needed only three openings on average to find a kill, a testament to how destructive his punish game is.

Professor Pro earns many hard-fought victories en route to second place

Professor Pro was the third seed in his pool and the sixth seed overall, making his road to second place at Poilon Colosseum a difficult one. However, Professor Pro rose to the occasion, winning numerous close sets along the way.

Professor Pro swept through his pool, defeating both of the players seeded above him. This included a 3-1 win over Trif, the overall No. 2 seed. He also earned a 3-0 win against Frenzy, a fellow British player against whom he has a significantly winning lifetime record.

However, Professor Pro faltered against Frenzy in winners semis of the main bracket, losing 3-2. From there, he embarked on a hard-fought losers run that saw him beat Dominik “Nicki” Kunze 3-1 and Trif 3-2. After going down 0-2 against Frenzy in losers finals, Professor Pro pulled off a reverse 3-0 to secure a spot in grand finals, where he lost to Leffen in a set that wasn’t nearly as close as all his others.

MINT vastly exceeds expectations at Poilon Colosseum

Christopher “MINT” Montgomery was seeded sixth in his pool and 12th overall, a fact that struck Nicki as questionable before the tournament even began. Nicki’s concerns proved well-founded as MINT finished second in his pool, only behind Leffen. In the process, he defeated Linus “Pipsqueak” Nordin 3-1, Juhana “Solobattle” S. 3-2, Nicki 3-2, Mahieddine “Mahie” Tsouria 3-0 and Charles “Fuzzyness” Kimmelmann 3-0.

Though he lost 3-0 to Frenzy in winners quarters of the main bracket, MINT still had a few more good wins up his sleeve. He beat Pipsqueak yet again, this time without dropping a game. MINT also defeated Yann “Jah Ridin’” Girardin 3-2 before Trif eliminated him in fifth place.

Pipsqueak’s standing in Europe is unclear after an underperformance at Poilon Colosseum

In recent months, Pipsqueak has established himself as one of Europe’s premier Melee players. At online tournaments, he has won sets over Trif, Professor Pro, Mustafa “Ice” Akçakaya and even Leffen, albeit only when Leffen was experimenting with the Frame1 box-style controller.

However, inconsistency seems to be the greatest thing holding Pipsqueak back from firmly cementing himself in the upper echelon of players. Poilon Colosseum proved to be an underperformance for him, as he placed ninth with numerous losses to lower-ranked players.

Despite being the second seed in his pool, he dropped sets to Jah Ridin’, MINT and Mahie, along with his more predictable loss to Leffen. Because of these losses, Pipsqueak started the main bracket on the losers side. He got a bye thanks to Isdsar “Isdsar” Inath dropping out, only to lose his first real set of the day to MINT. Though he was projected to place fourth, Pipsqueak ultimately failed to even crack the top eight at Poilon Colosseum.

Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.