We have finally concluded the votes for the inaugural Inven Global Smash Awards, which celebrated the best players, content, and talent in the competitive Smash scene. This was an important endeavor for Inven's Smash team since the community has been the driving factor keeping the esports scene alive. It's full of passionate players, fans, and TOs that care more about Smash than anything else.
The Inven Global Smash Awards are celebrating the Smash community and what makes us great. And we're starting with Super Smash Bros. Melee, which has now been around longer than 20 years. Throughout those two decades, the community has continued to grow, thrive, and remain in love with the technical fighting game that defined an era.
Here is the best Melee player of 2021, voted by a panel of experts, journalists, and pros from the scene.
Best Melee Player: Mango
Joseph "Mango" Marquez is one of the Five Gods. He has been consistently a top player with an abundance of versatility and mechanical skill. But what makes Mango the BEST in 2021? The fact that he is still winning. Smash Summit 11 was just confirmation that Mango is an unstoppable force who is here to stay.
Mango has been considered a top-six player for the past 10 years. He may not have always been number one but that alone has shown he is consistently present as one of the best. The California native is one of the best Fox players of all time. He has won Evo more than once. While Mango's career doesn't always have him as number one, he was most definitely proving that he deserved that spot once again in 2021.
Best Melee Player: Community Award
No Melee player can deny the insane run Mango had in 2021, including the wild victory at Smash Summit 11 against Zain. The return of Mango is just an iconic moment in Melee's history and lore. It's something that is not only impressive to watch, but exciting, emotional, and nostalgic. It's not a surprise to see that more than half of the Smash community was focused on Mango's journey in 2021.
Zain rightfully earned a second-place finish. He is often considered the best player in the world currently. He has taken down a lot of the Melee Gods and was THIS CLOSE to KO'ing Mango in the incredibly close, nail-biting Grand Finals of Smash Summit. His 2021 was another undeniably exciting Melee story.
Esports writer and editor with a passion for creating unique content for the gaming community.