UltimateSSBMRank No. 5: Hungrybox

5. Hungrybox

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No. of years ranking in the Top 10 of RetroSSBMRank/SSBMRank: 7 (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

No. of years ranking in the Top 5 of RetroSSBMRank/SSBMRank: 7 (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
No. of years ranked as RetroSSBMRank/SSBMRank’s No. 1: 1 (2010)
No. of titles: 8 (Apex 2010, The Fall Classic 2013, Paragon Orlando 2015, DreamHack Winter 2015, PAX Arena, Battle of Five Gods, EGLX and EVO 2016)

*EDITOR’S NOTE: A lot of the content I’ve placed below is from my previous articles regarding Hungrybox. If you’ve been following my website since earlier in the year, you might have read a similar piece about Hungrybox winning EVO 2016, briefly summarizing his post-documentary career up until his victory. I’ve since deleted that post, but kept much of its content within this write-up on Hungrybox’s legacy, due to the topic being somewhat similar. As you might also recognize, many of the quotes in this article are from an interview I did with Liquid Crunch, which you can read here. Does this count as recycling my own work? Who knows.

Hungrybox began playing Super Smash Bros. Melee from a young age. At some point in middle school, both he and his best friend (now coach) Captain Crunch became the two best at their school – and they played together frequently, with Hungrybox first maining Ness.

The two were in for a rude awakening. Entering their first real competitive tournament around late middle school, they got “rocked,” per Crunch’s recollection. Though they were clearly not ready to successfully compete, both Hungrybox and Crunch joined what would become one of Florida’s best crews in WATO (What Are The Oddz).

“Originally, when Juan and I joined the crew, they were surprised at how quickly we learned,” Crunch said.  “We were by far the youngest (13 and 14 years old) in the crew and they took us in as the young apprentices.”

At some point in their training and playing, it became evident that Hungrybox wasn’t like everyone else – he had the resources, competitive drive and talent to become much better than being just the best of his friends.

“Juan had a few factors that were beneficial: as a person, he’s always been able to focus and compete in anything he put his mind to,” Crunch said. “But he also had a ton of support from his parents. He literally had people from WATO over his house like every single day after school. If he was ever alone, he’d constantly invite people over to play. I guess his need to be around other people and competitive nature brought it out.”

Within WATO, Hungrybox quickly gained expertise in different matchups, facing Peach mains like Legion and Marin, Sheik players, such as H1roshi, and Fox, versus uuaa and Crunch.

Moreover, the rest of the Florida scene had a variety of other high-level mains and playstyles for Hungrybox to learn. With players like DaShizWiz and Lambchops representing Falco, Green Mario and UberIce (also an Ice Climbers) playing Mario, KeepSpeedN sometimes bringing out Sheik, Linguini playing Ganondorf, Skrach and QueenDVS playing Marth and Smashmac playing Doctor Mario, Hungrybox’s knowledge of matchups expanded far beyond his initial crew.

Even though Melee temporarily died after its sequel Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out, Hungrybox continued playing, having switched mains to Mario to Jigglypuff to Doctor Mario and back to Jigglypuff again, now getting top eight placings at tournaments like FAST 1, TGMTSBCO and Event 52. In an AMA he held on Reddit before Apex 2014, Hungrybox wrote, “Well, I chose Puff because she had Rest and I thought it was a super funny move to use on my friends. I realized it was easier to use than most people made it out to be, and so I took advantage of it.”

While his first place finish at Revival of Melee 2 in 2009 is considered by many to be when Hungrybox was considered a top player, he still had several impressive victories before. At the first Revival of Melee in March, he placed seventh, losing to legends PC Chris and Chu Dat, but also defeating respectable players in Reno, RaynEX and KoreanDJ: considered at that point to still be legendary in skill.

These weren’t Flukes either. Hungrybox finished third at Get Smashed in January and second at Tipped Off 4, showing that he was one of the best players in the South, if not soon to be its No. 1. Hungrybox also won HERB2 and Tipped Off 5, along with placing third at GENESIS, considered to be the most important Melee tournament of the year and still thought of as as the go-to-watch for legendary tourneys.

Think about it: his 2009 resume clearly showed that Hungrybox wasn’t just a rising star: he practically jumped to being a top five player out of nowhere. Let’s take a look at his victories in the year – Eggm, Hax, Cactuar, Kage, Chu Dat, Zhu, Jman and a combined 13-2 record against Dr. PeePee, DaShizWiz and Mew2King.

This is despite getting heavily underrated by most tournament organizers. For example, at GENESIS, Hungrybox only lost to Mango, once in losers finals, but again in the winners round of 16. Even at a tournament he actually won in RoM 2, Hungrybox got seeded to Mango’s side of bracket, being projected to play him again in winners semis, before Kage upset Mango in winners quarters.

When I asked both Scar and Toph on their show about their thoughts on 2009’s RetroSSBMRank, they both immediately stopped reading the list upon seeing who was at No. 3: Hungrybox. Though this seems to be accurate of what others thought at the time, facts and research definitively paint a different picture of his skill.

In retrospect, there were several reasons for why Hungrybox was underrated. Jigglypuff was overwhelmingly seen by members of the community as cheap, along with being slow and boring to watch. Jigglypuff’s best kill move, Rest, was seen as an unfair one-hit KO against her opponents, while her aerial mobility and range was also thought of as broken.

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Despite Mew2King’s hilariously blunt assessment (even with his own weakness and hatred for Jigglypuff), you could have argued that Hungrybox’s success was not sustainable, due to matchup unfamiliarity for many people in the scene. In fact, if you were a critic, you could easily point to one player as a consistent thorn in Hungrybox’s side: Colbol.

A fellow teenager and a Florida Fox player that finished No. 4 within the state’s PR in 2007, Colbol routinely dismantled Hungrybox in tournament (or clutched out heartbreakingly close sets) from 2007 to the end of 2008. That slightly changed in 2009, when Hungrybox got a lot better and was able to now take sets from him, but he still finished 11-13 on the year against Colbol. Perhaps Jigglypuff wasn’t as good as people thought: this might have been enough reason to discredit Hungrybox’s achievements in 2009 and expect a return to earth for him in 2010.

Instead, Hungrybox placed second at Pound 4, then the biggest Melee tournament of all-time, and second at HERB3 to Dr. PeePee. He then proceeded to win CEO 2010 over Dr. PeePee, defeat Jman twice again at a No Johns monthly in January and breeze through Apex 2010, where he plowed through Kage, VaNz, Mew2King and Armada (twice), winning the major tournament without dropping a single game.

Let that sink in for a moment: Hungrybox won eight straight games against gods of the era, including defeating Mew2King’s Fox on Rainbow Cruise, one of the most lopsided counterpick choices ever. Winning Tipped Off 6 over Dr. PeePee also helped his national perception and made Hungrybox the official king of the South, especially with a new 9-2 record on the year against Colbol, his former kryptonite.

However, like several great rivalries, you can’t mention Hungrybox’s successful 2010 without acknowledging that he still lived in the shadow of Mango: then a well-liked rival, due to his flashy, aggressive and unrelenting style of play, with all his characters, including the loathed Jigglypuff.  In contrast to Mango being a crowd favorite, Hungrybox, frequently rooted against, often would force his opponents to play more deliberately and less combo-heavy game. It made Hungrybox a source of derision within the smash community, both to Mango and others who insulted how he played, saying that it was bad for the game or not fun to play against.

In fact, at Pound 4, Mango beat Hungrybox in mostly Jigglypuff dittos, notoriously jabbing him to punish a missed rest in grand finals, causing a furious and humiliated Hungrybox to drop from ledge seconds later, forfeiting his last stock of the tournament. This moment was unfortunate for Hungrybox because it also obscured what was actually an exciting winners finals in their last set, where he came within a stock from beating Mango.

Even with his successes in the year, the images of Mango’s jab punish was enough to leave Hungrybox’s rise to the top with an asterick. Was he really the best player in the world or was he just taking advantage of a year when Mango no longer cared about competing? That’s not going into Mew2King prioritizing Brawl ahead of Melee or Armada rarely being in America. Even after winning Apex, Hungrybox was routinely whooped in money matches and friendlies against Mango’s secondaries, causing many to still question his legitimacy as a Apex champion, since Mango sandbagged for the majority of the tourney and was popularly seen as still the game’s most talented player.

Strangely enough, Hungrybox hit a slump to end his then-best year as a Melee player. Although he technically got his revenge against Mango at Revival of Melee 3 (beating his Marth and Captain Falcon), Hungrybox lost to Mew2King and Dr. PeePee, finishing fifth. An up and down performance at the year’s final major in Don’t Go Down There Jeff, where Hungrybox beat a serious Mango (now playing Fox), but lost to Fly Amanita and Lucky for fourth, showed the RetroSSBMRank No. 1 of 2010 in danger of losing his spot.

Hungrybox then had a moderately successful 2011, when, outside of dropping two local sets to Plup and losing a set in GENESIS 2 pools to Lovage, he lost only to fellow gods. Consistently beating everyone else and continuing a stretch of dominance against Mew2King, winning three consecutive sets, Hungrybox made a name for himself with his hallmark consistency. A soon-to-be college student who didn’t always have the time to prioritize Melee, Hungrybox still had three major obstacles in the three gods above him, which included Mango’s return to seriously competing with his new main, Fox, at GENESIS 2.

Armada, in particular, had been biding his time until playing Hungrybox again in winners semis of Pound V, this time having developed a surprise counterpick.You may have already read what I wrote before about the significance of Armada pulling out Young Link for the first time against Hungrybox in winners semis of Pound V – but  just in case you haven’t, here’s what happened.

Imagine the setting: you’re a competitive Melee fan and at this point, you’re a believer in Armada being a “god,” but you’re not quite sure about his ability to overcome Hungrybox, given how badly his Peach lost to the Florida Jigglypuff a year ago. Maybe you thought that Armada would reveal a Fox secondary, but when he tried that at the first GENESIS, it got humiliated by Mango’s own Jigglypuff. By the time the first game of the set starts, it hasn’t sunk in yet, but the stone-faced Swede is playing Young Link. This is the first time a player of Armada’s caliber has seriously picked a non-top tier in tournament as a counterpick.

Four minutes pass by in the match and you’ve realized the Young Link character select wasn’t a joke or a sandbag attempt – it was a brilliant counterpick that led Armada to a two to one stock lead over 2010’s most successful player. Eight minutes later and Armada completes a double-two stock set victory, with a simultaneously baffled, excited, bored, yet cheering crowd.

Hungrybox now had a new problem on his hands in Armada’s Young Link, also losing to Dr. PeePee in losers finals at Pound V. If you thought his set against Armada at Pound V was brutal, watch the 30+ minute set at GENESIS 2 winners semis, where Hungrybox clutches out a timeout, one-percent victory in the first game, but gets thoroughly dismantled in what commentators HomeMadeWaffles and Phil called “the wackest fucking set in the world,” with gameplay that “kills tournaments,” among other statements. Hungrybox finished fourth at GENESIS 2, getting eliminated by Mango in losers semis.

At Apex 2012, Hungrybox initially looked vulnerable. In the third round of winners bracket, he lost to KirbyKaze, being cast into a brutal losers bracket that featured heavy hitters from every region.

Hungrybox proceeded to have one of the most underrated losers runs of all-time. Starting off by making his way through Silent Wolf, Hungrybox then beat Zhu in a runback of their last-game set at GENESIS and overcame a god-slaying Wobbles (who at just beat Mew2King in winners) to make top eight. If that wasn’t enough, Hungrybox had to beat Shroomed: a rising Doc player whom Hungrybox worried about playing in bracket one day, due to both Shroomed’s skill and Doc’s perceived favorable matchup against Jigglypuff at the time.

Rematching KirbyKaze for fifth place, this time Hungrybox came out as a victor, also dominantly 3-0’ing the tournament’s hero in Javi, who was hot from an upset over Dr. PeePee in the previous round. That left just two more opponents: Mango and Armada. Solidly 3-1’ing Mango in losers finals, Hungrybox also managed to take a set off Armada in a 40+ minute 3-2 set, before finally falling in the second set of grand finals around half and hour later. Although Hungrybox hadn’t won the tournament, his epic losers run stood as one of Apex 2012’s most remarkable stories.

But as more time passed on, Apex 2012 felt like just another tournament that marked close-but-not-quite results for Hungrybox, seemingly stuck as Melee’s silver and bronze medalist. Zenith 2012 was especially a disappointment for Hungrybox, who plac e an underwhelming fourth place with losses to Chu Dat and Dr. PeePee. At the other majors he attended in the year, IMPULSE, FC Legacy and The Big House 2, Hungrybox placed third, second and second, losing all his sets against Mango and Dr. PeePee.

Still successful in his sole set against Mew2King in 2012, Hungrybox looked more or less destined to be stuck at No. 4, no matter how consistently he did well at larger tournaments. Hungrybox even suffered a rare tournament loss in the middle of the year at YOL4, where his old Achilles heel Colbol double eliminated him. Though those were the only local sets Hungrybox ever dropped, they still showed that he wasn’t quite as untouchable as a trying Mango, Dr. PeePee and Armada.

Enter 2013’s first major: Apex 2013. Hungrybox went through his bracket, including tough opponents in Shroomed, Leffen and Overtriforce, before playing Armada in the one-year tournament anniversary rematch. Before the set even started, Hungrybox eagerly asked Armada if both of them would agree to a double blind character pick. As Armada selected Young Link, Hungrybox chose Ness, causing a bizarre mix of groans and hype from the crowd near them. Yes – you read that right.

Needless to say, Hungrybox’s out-of-nowhere counterpick didn’t work, even if doing better than expected. After going down 2-0, he went back to Jigglypuff, briefly winning a third game, but losing a soul-crushing game four in which he lost via a timeout after two failed rests. Mentally destroyed from his loss to Armada, Hungrybox fell to Mango for fifth, bringing his lifetime record against the SoCal legend to 3-13, with only two wins over Mango’s mains.

Even after defeating Mango at NorCal Regionals 2013, winning after flying out to Northern California with little money, Hungrybox still couldn’t break out with a premier win. Placing second, third and second at Zenith 2013, EVO 2013 and The Big House 3, losing to Mango another three times, Wobbles and even Mew2King twice, Hungrybox only won a single major all year with two or more gods attending at The Fall Classic 2013, winning it over Dr. PeePee and Mew2King. It was clear that Hungrybox could take sets from anyone in the world, but could he put it all together to win a title with all of the top three in attendance?

As Dr. PeePee seemed to fall in the god rankings, Mew2King started to pose a new problem for Hungrybox. After he started off the year with a lopsided 13-4 lifetime record against Mew2King, the latter seemingly figured out how to fight Jigglypuff, dominating Hungrybox at The Big House 3 and repeating his performance at Revival of Melee 6, along with going on a tear of winning tournaments to close the last quarter of the year. As a result, Hungrybox finished No. 5 on 2013’s SSBMRank.

2013 wasn’t only a tough year for Hungrybox as a player. His resentment with being consistently rooted against, along with always feeling like he was second to someone else reached an ugly boiling point when he wrote a lengthy comment on Mango’s Reddit AMA in 2013, detailing personal grievances and negative accounts regarding Mango – all after the latter won EVO 2013, then the biggest tournament in Melee history and one that spawned a new generation of players.

Regardless of whether the listed complaints were justified or not, Hungrybox’s comment derailed the AMA and brought one side of an embarrassing conflict between them to a national audience. The two were forced to talk out their problems in front of the Melee community’s viewers on an episode of Melee It On Me. It was a messy and tense situation for everyone involved, with a still-incensed and prideful Mango clearly livid at Hungrybox, apologizing for some of his behavior in the past, but still angry that he had ruined Mango’s reputation, which Mango said he had been especially trying to work on, given the scene’s growth and his standing as its best player.

Though many people saw Hungrybox’s actions as selfish, if not immature and ill-timed grudge-holding, others saw it as Hungrybox standing up for himself, after years of being seen as a villain. Come the release of “The Smash Brothers,” a competitive Melee-related documentary that also chronicled his rivalry with Mango, Hungrybox gained a fair share of new fans and supporters, though the documentary is still criticized for showing Mango in a negative light. To this day, there remains controversy over the AMA, though the two have grown from it and resolved most of their problems since.

Hungrybox started 2014 with a respectable, but slightly disappointing fifth at Apex 2014, losing to an upstart Leffen and his rival Mango again. He showed a brief return to form at Shuffle V with taking a set off Mew2King, but once again finished as a runner-up, before finishing third at Revival of Melee 7: just under Mango and Mew2King, but getting sponsored by Team Curse (later merged with Team Liquid) shortly afterward. Hungrybox managed to defeat Mew2King in a thrilling five-game losers set at GOML 2014, but still lost the tournament to Mango after almost making a four-stock comeback in the final game.

His high hopes quickly started to fade again, with convincing losses to Mew2King at Pat House 2 and Hungrybox’s worst tournament since becoming a god: a seventh place at MLG Anaheim 2014, where he was eliminated by Axe. It was his lowest performance at a significant major since getting seventh at RoM.

After two strong comebacks at CEO 2014 (a failed Fox counterpick against Armada’s Young Link aside) and EVO 2014, where he placed third and second, Hungrybox looked like he was back to his regular self. At these tournaments, he had not only beaten Mew2King, he also beat Dr. PeePee and double eliminated Armada’s Young Link (retiring it), before just failing to defeat Mango. Hungrybox also won Tipped Off 10, plowing through Mew2King 6-1 to win the tourney, giving him his first tournament win over a god in 2014 and a hot hand heading into The Big House 4.

Unfortunately,the Michigan tournament marked an even worse placing for Hungrybox at a major than MLG – he finished ninth, losing to Leffen yet again and getting eliminated by Lucky. Although he finished the year as No. 5 on SSBMRank, Hungrybox – and his character Jigglypuff, once considered to be cheap and low-skill to use – was clearly on the decline. With many members of the community not even sure if he deserved No. 5 over Leffen, it was natural to wonder: was Hungrybox still a god?

Like he’s done throughout his career, Hungrybox responded to any skepticism by winning. At the beginning of the year, he won Paragon Orlando, with wins over Mew2King and Armada’s new Fox. This tournament was particularly special, not just because of winning in his home region or its comically lopsided grand finals – it was the first time Hungrybox had won a tourney in years, with Armada or Mango in attendance.

Hungrybox then had a few bumps in the road, with otherwise decent placings. Eventually finishing fifth, Hungrybox lost to PewPewU in winners quarters at Apex 2015, before being eliminated by Armada in the Paragon rematch. At MVG Sandstorm, Hungrybox defeated Leffen, but was sent to losers by Armada and lost to Westballz in a controversial losers semis where the two were moved to another setup mid-set. Hungrybox then placed fourth at Press Start, losing to Lucky and Mango again, but making his way through Mew2King and SFAT.

According to Crunch, CEO 2015 marked a turning point for Hungrybox in the summer. Although he finished a respectable fifth, he was crushed by a lopsided 3-0 against Armada and held yet another loss to Mango: his eleventh straight loss in a row to him. It all but seemed to confirm that even if Hungrybox was a consistent top eight placer at nationals, with exceptional victories every now and then, he had already peaked.

This self-doubt, along with questions about how much longer he could play this game, along with graduation and a full-time job coming up, depressed Hungrybox and made him wonder if a Jigglypuff could ever win again. Crunch said that at this point, even he was beating Hungrybox in friendlies. After the tournament, Crunch decided that he was going to do his best to help his friend succeed at the top level, due to seeing what he thought were obvious, but fixable flaws within Hungrybox’s gameplay.

“Instead of repeatedly exploiting the same holes that he had, I decided I could close them up,” Crunch said. “I saw how much potential he had, but also noticed a lot of stupid habits that we could easily remove. I believed we could make it happen.”

With renewed confidence and backing from his best friend, Hungrybox didn’t immediately win another tournament, but he showed fight and a new-found discipline in his victories, even embracing crowd boos when he started ledge stalling as an evasive tactic. Finishing second to Leffen at FC Return and second again to Armada at EVO 2015, Hungrybox still was able to take two sets off Armada, another off Leffen, but most importantly, finally vanquish his long-time demon in Mango, not only eliminating him from the biggest tournament of all-time, but poetically denying his chances at a threepeat.

Granted, Hungrybox still had a long way to go before he could win a title again. At Paragon LA, he suffered an early loss to Professor Pro in bracket, subsequently defeating Ken in a three-game, last-stock scare, S2J, Fly Amanita, Shroomed, Plup, Lucky, Leffen and Westballz, before just barely losing to Mew2King in losers finals. Hungrybox followed that up with a strong second at HTC Throwdown, though he was completely outclassed in grand finals against Leffen, losing, but not acting too defeated about it and having to prepare for The Big House 5.

Here, Hungrybox tore through a Fox-filled bracket of Zhu, Darkatma’s Fox, Ice, Mango and Mew2King, placing only second to Armada. Even though he hadn’t won a major and suffered an upset loss, Hungrybox was looking the best he had ever been in his career, now optimizing his gameplay through the help of a training partner and coach in Crunch. While Hungrybox’s out-of-smash ambitions initially seemed to be reason to think his decline was inevitable, the balance between his career and hobby seemed to give him fresh clarity and insight.

With DreamHack Winter 2015 coming up in Armada’s hometurf of Sweden, Hungrybox came prepared, training harder than ever with Crunch and optimizing his own gameplay. With the support of his best friend Crunch, Hungrybox won the tournament, defeating Axe, Westballz and Armada, losing only one set in grand finals to Armada. By the end of the Melee season, Hungrybox had now become the No. 2 of 2015’s SSBMRank. The question was how much further he could go.

For the first half of 2016, it looked like Hungrybox was unstoppable. After getting third at GENESIS 3, partially due to SDing on the last stock of a game within a loss to Mango, Hungrybox tore through Pax Arena, Battle of Five Gods and Pound 2016, dropping only one set to Mango at Battle of Five Gods, otherwise dominating him and every other opponent he faced. After a second place at Smash Summit 2 in a thrilling two-set loss to Armada, Hungrybox obliterated Mango and the field at EGLX. During this period of time, 2015’s No. 2 player had a case to be the new world No. 1.

Even with occasional tournaments like DreamHack Austin 2016 (second to Mango), Get On My Level 2016 (third to Mango and Leffen) and WTFox 2 (fifth, after losing to Wizzrobe and Mew2King), Hungrybox still had fantastic showings at Low Tier City 4 and CEO 2016, winning both tourneys without dropping a set, thumping Mango and Mew2King in his victories. It was then to almost no one’s surprise when, after getting sent to losers early by Plup, Hungrybox came back through S2J, Mango and Plup to face Armada in the grand finals of EVO 2016: the biggest tournament ever and decided for which of the two would become the world champion.

Despite playing against Fox – a matchup now considered to be Jigglypuff’s hardest in the game – Hungrybox soon held a commanding 2-0 lead in grand finals against Armada. But when Armada adjusted, dominating on his own counterpick, as well as Hungrybox’s in the fourth game, the set’s momentum shifted toward Armada at 2-2.

In Game 5, down two stocks to one and gaining enough percent to die from a stray up-smash from Fox, Hungrybox mounted his own comeback, smash DIing out of an upair from Armada that would have otherwise ended the tournament. After taking Armada’s third stock of the game, Hungrybox only had one more to go, but was under a tremendous percent deficit of over 100 percent. With the world watching, Hungrybox finished off Armada with a clutch rest: just another crazy comeback that smashers had grown accustomed to seeing from “Clutchbox,” this time on the Melee’s biggest stage ever.

With the bracket now reset, Hungrybox and Armada traded games of the second set, but by the end of Armada’s commanding three-stock victory in Game 3, Hungrybox found himself in a 2-1 hole against the world’s best player. Once again under a huge percent disadvantage against Armada, Hungrybox found a grab and rested Armada to end the game. Hungrybox then won a last-stock final game to cement himself as the EVO champion.

Hungrybox once said that his goal as a Melee player was to be able to “touch the ceiling,” effectively meaning that he wanted to have a moment where he could affirm to himself and everyone around him that he was the world’s best Melee player. Winning EVO 2016 was the final validation that Hungrybox had always dreamed of achieving.

But just as quickly as it felt he won EVO, Hungrybox found himself somewhere he had never truly been: the No. 1 target for other players to beat. After finishing second to Mango at Super SmashCon 2016, losing to SFAT and Mango again at Shine 2016 for fourth and dejectedly placing fifth at The Big House 6, losing to SFAT for the second time in a row and Armada, Hungrybox looked more vulnerable, as he did earlier in his career. Though only a few people thought it at the time, some people went so far as to say that SFAT’s dominant 3-0 at TBH6 proved that Jigglypuff had been “figured out.”

However, on October 13, 2016, Hungrybox announced that he had quit his engineering job at WestRock to pursue Melee, marking the first time that he has fully invested himself into smash. Since then, Hungrybox has streamed far more and placed better than his brief post-EVO slump, finishing second to Armada at Canada Cup 2016, Smash Summit 3 and DreamHack Winter 2016 (though he finished second at CFL Smackdown Weekly 104 last Monday to Plup).

Moreover, with UGC Smash Open happening this weekend, Hungrybox could potentially add yet another title to his already lengthy list of accomplishments. Even if he doesn’t finish this year as No. 1 in SSBMRank, his undeniable impact as a competitor this year has placed him within a special stratosphere of greatness: even higher than he was before and arguably within the Mount Rushmore of Melee players, as HugS puts him (though in HugS’ list, he has Hungrybox as No. 3 of all-time).

Despite controversies surrounding his career, whether they be in his outspoken personality, his infamously lengthy popoffs, the character he plays, his playstyle and more, Hungrybox is without question one of the five best Melee players ever: a resilient, odds-defying force to be reckoned with and an irreplaceable part of this game’s history.

2 thoughts on “UltimateSSBMRank No. 5: Hungrybox

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