Super Smash Bros. Melee fans have been commenting on Juan "Hungrybox" DeBiedma's performance all year, wondering why the Melee God has seemed so much worse online than in offline tournaments.
While there's no denying that online play is completely different than in-person competitions (the bad internet has even created a completely different meta), it seems that Hungrybox wasn't only bad due to input lag. He apparently had an audio handicap for the entirety of 2020.
In a recent stream, Hungrybox was fiddling with his headphones while telling viewers that he finally got a wired headset. He mumbled that the Bluetooth headphones he'd been previously using had 12 frames of audio delay.
"That's probably pretty important," Hungrybox grumbled.
The Smash community immediately responded with astonishment. Super Smash Bros. Melee is a highly technical game that's all about frame rates and fast inputs, with players making split-second reads to stay ahead of their opponents. A single frame can make a difference in Melee which is why players like Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman study the frame data of the game so frequently.
After switching to wired headphones, Hungrybox won the Galint Summer Open Melee Run, an online tourney with $5,000 on the line.
"The audio is helping so much dude, you have no idea. I can't believe my audio was delayed during the entire pandemic. Fucking stupid as fuck," Hungrybox commented, saying that he would have edge guarded a lot easier throughout 2020 if he'd known. "Crazy, what a difference it makes."
So maybe Hungrybox wasn't as trash online as the Melee community believed.
Either way, online Melee tournaments are slowly returning. This will be Hungrybox's time to prove that he's still the top Melee player in the world when it comes to offline competition. But players like Joseph "Mang0" Marquez are giving Hungrybox a run for his title.
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