During the GMO Fall grand finals set between Hungrybox and Aklo, the mental game between both players became of utmost importance. After already sending Hungrybox to losers in dominating fashion, Aklo would seize finals momentum early by playing Fox as a defensive wall of dash-dances, empty hops, and ambiguous movement.
Aklo's Fox looked so oppressive that non-ironic discussions about Fox's tournament legality began filling Hungrybox's Twitch chat. Yes, banning Fox is a horrible take and also yes, Ultimate players were the ones to bring it up so they get a pass.
With Aklo now leading 2-0, each Jigglypuff stock loss (and subsequent Fox taunt) made Hungrybox look physically exhausted. In the clip below, notice how difficult it is for Jigglypuff to keep up with Fox's deceptive empty hops and standstills:
But there is a reason Hungrybox has earned the nickname Clutchbox. Faced with a doomed set and on his last stock against Fox's remaining three, Hungrybox miraculously brings it to a last-stock situation and secures the win with a rest.
The rest of the set can only be described as Hungrybox doing what he does best. Aklo previously iron-willed patience game was beginning to show cracks and he even stopped taunting. Japanese pro player aMSa in Twitch chat was quick to note this mind game misplay. Could Hungrybox have sensed Aklo's wavering nerves as a result?
Once the bracket was reset, it became Hungrybox's turn to appear unstoppable. Aklo's tricky movement was being punished and his usually rock-solid mechanics were fading. In fact, during the post-match interview, Hungrybox explained how Jigglypuff can take advantage of long sets in this way:
"That was legitimately one of the hardest tournaments I have ever played in online. Aklo was playing basically like a wall. I realized he was just trying to bleed me out.
But you know what the difference is when you try to bleed out a puff player and you're a Fox player? You are clicking way more buttons than I am. You are clicking way more buttons and I could tell his thumbs were f***ing tired, dude. They were getting tired. If you are going to dash-dance me for 6 minutes straight, I'm going to do 1 input for 6 minutes straight. Eventually, he budged and that is Melee -- it is not always about rushing down, It is forcing the error."
Enough about Fox vs. Jigglypuff tactics. A legendary popoff was promised and Hungrbox does not disappoint:
A 6-0 losers bracket comeback victory is exactly the type of situation that warrants a face-melting Hungrybox popoff and it's hard to argue Hungrybox hasn't earned this one fair and square. It's easy to accuse Hungrybox of manufacturing his reactions for content, but this one is undeniable in its sincerity.
Galint Fall edition was the last major until Smash Summit 12 and Hungrybox has been known to go on tournament hot streaks thanks to momentum empowered confidence. However, Zain, iBDW and Mang0 have been practicing intensely leading up to the tournament and those players don't tend to lose when up 2-0 in winners.
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.