Team NorCal wins Super Smash Bros. Melee Rona Rumble Crew Battles - Upcomer
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Team NorCal won the Super Smash Bros. Melee Rona Rumble Crew Battles event on July 26. The crew consisted of Kevin “PewPewU” Toy, Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni, DaJuan “Shroomed McDaniel, Zaid “Spark” Ali, and Kyle “Kalamazhu” Zhu.

In its first match, Team NorCal faced off against Team Southwest/Mountain, a crew spearheaded by Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson. Team Southwest/Mountain got off to a decent start, with Mewtwo main Tony “Taj” Jackson winning the opening match against Shroomed. However, with Axe as the crew’s only top 30 player, it was unable to keep up with Team NorCal’s four top 30 players. Spark ultimately finished off the crew battle against Axe, as NorCal won by three stocks.

In the Semifinals, Team NorCal fought Team SoCal, the favorite to win Rona Rumble Crew Battles. NorCal made the bold decision to lead with its strongest player, SFAT. This decision paid off, as SFAT took nine of SoCal’s 20 stocks on his own. Though SoCal’s Johnny “S2J” Kim took eight stocks later in the crew battle, NorCal still earned a narrow one-stock victory.

In the Finals of Rona Rumble Crew Battles, Team NorCal overcame Team Tristate. Impressively, NorCal maintained the lead throughout the entirety of the crew battle. As a result, Spark was ultimately able to secure the victory with a two-stock win over Dawud “Aklo” Rahman.

Other results from Rona Rumble Crew Battles

Despite falling short of 1st place, Team Tristate had impressive performances throughout the entirety of Rona Rumble Crew Battles. This crew consisted of Cody “iBDW” Schwab, James “Swedish Delight” Liu, Toussaint “2saint” Turnier, Rosario “Darktooth” Fuschetto, and Aklo. The team was able to overcome crews from the Midwest, Florida, and Canada en route to the Finals.

Though they received round one byes, Team MD/VA and Team Florida both lost their very first matches. Florida generally has one of the strongest crews, as it boasts four of the current top 10 players: Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma, Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett, Justin “Plup” McGrath, and Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman. However, all of those but Plup opted not to participate in Rona Rumble Crew Battles. As a result, Team Florida had to include sub-top 100 players, leaving the crew much weaker than normal.

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.