Rumors of Super Smash Bros. Melee's demise have been greatly exaggerated. During Smash major Get On My Level 2019, Melee peaked at 65,000 viewers on Twitch. According to statistics provided by TwitchTracker, Melee's peak viewership during the tournament surpassed Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's peak viewership by 20,000 viewers.
Super Smash Bros. Melee began to be considered on the decline when Alliance's Adam "Armada" Lindgren announced his retirement from Melee singles. Armada, one of the Five Gods of Melee, is widely considered to be the greatest player the game has ever seen in its eighteen years of existence. Armada's retirement was a loss for the competitive Melee community, and with the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the horizon, it was speculated that other pros might follow Armada's lead.
On February 26, premiere fighting game tournament EVO announced that Super Smash Bros. Melee would not return to the lineup. While EVO 2019 would be the first EVO to feature Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Melee had run concurrently with previous Smash titles Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U [Smash4] for the past six years. Melee made its debut at EVO 2007.
Despite the inevitable lack of Melee at EVO, the community, as it has for nearly two decades, seems to be as empassioned about the game as ever.
The top 8 of the Melee Bracket of Get On My Level 2019, which featured top competitors including Team Liquid's Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma, TSM's William "Leffen" Hjelte, and Captain Falcon maestro Justin "Wizzrobe" Hallett, surpassed 65k viewership at its peak. The Grand Final featured two of Melee's finest in Cloud9's Joseph "Mang0" Marquez and Tempo Storm's Jeffrey "Axe" Williamson.
Mang0 dominated GOML2019, heading into the Grand Finals on the Winners side of the bracket and besting Axe in a five game epic. The victory marked Mang0's first championship since Super Smash Con 2017.
Despite controversy surrounding the tournament's banning of the Ice Climbers' wobbling, Get On My Level 2019 featured high quality gameplay from top players in both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros Ultimate to the delight of onlookers worldwide.
GOML2019 proved not only that Melee and Ultimate can co-exist harmoniously, but also highlights the grassroots support the Melee community that continues to keep the game alive as it continues to defy expectations.
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