S2J wins Smash Melee Singles at Rona Rumble: West Coast VIII
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Johnny “S2J” Kim won Super Smash Bros. Melee Singles at Rona Rumble: West Coast VIII on May 8. Throughout the whole tournament, no opponent was able to take more than one game off of S2J.

S2J started his run in pools with predictable 2-0 victories over Tristan “Mustache Massacre” Hoefer and Brandon “Panda” Orooji. He dropped his first game of the tournament in Winners Quarters to Juan “Medz” Garcia. Nevertheless, S2J defeated Medz 3-1 and advanced into top 8 on winners side.

S2J played dominantly throughout most of Rona Rumble: West Coast VIII’s top 8. He reached Grand Finals on winners side after earning 3-0 victories over both Luis “Smashdaddy” Rangel and Kristian “Rocky” Cruz. Then S2J beat Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni 3-1 to win the whole event.

Other results from Rona Rumble: West Coast VIII

Rocky continued his streak of solid netplay performances at Rona Rumble: West Coast VIII. He beat Salam “salami” Habib, Ryan “Traplord” Willard, Michael “Nintendude” Brancato, and SFAT to reach Winners Finals. Rocky finished in 3rd after losing to S2J and SFAT.

Traplord and Jason “CrossFitJesus” Fagundes both scored many upsets in order to reach top 8. Traplord beat Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson, Medz, and CrossFitJesus en route to 5th place. CrossFitJesus beat Weston “Westballz” Dennis, Christian “Kürv” Melendez, and Isaac “NOOT” Blake en route to 7th place.

Zaid “Spark” Ali has generally performed well in online Super Smash Bros. Melee tournaments since the beginning of the pandemic. However, Spark underperformed a bit at Rona Rumble: West Coast VIII. He placed 17th, losing to Nintendude and Axe.

Down South

A few hours before the beginning of Rona Rumble: West Coast VIII, Brandon “homemadewaffles” Collier launched Rona Rumble: South. Colin “Colbol” Green placed 1st at this inaugural event. Colbol defeated Gregory “Captain G” Aguila, Matthew “MT” Chan, Jason “Gahtzu” Diehl, Albert Luu, and Kyle Krudo.

Rona Rumble: South was born out of a controversy where multiple Southern players entered a West Coast tournament under a single false name. Justin “Plup” McGrath, Forrest Griffin, Colbol, and Krudo disrupted the bracket by taking turns playing on this “smurf” account. As a result, homemadewaffles established an online tournament for the South, with these players providing monetary prizes.

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.