The Super Smash Bros. Melee esports scene is defined by its pantheon of champions, the “Gods” of Melee (whether they number five or six is up for debate within the community). Among them sits Joseph “Mang0” Marquez, the poster child for American Super Smash Bros. and former greatest player in the world—still often referred to as the GOAT by his loyal following, who in turn go by the name of Mang0 Nation. If it’s not clear already, Marquez has a unique cult of personality in the esports world, and he’s just leveraged that influence to start his own Mang0-themed tournament.
“The Mango” comes as a partnership between Marquez and Smash.gg, the online hub used by tournament organizers throughout all Smash Bros. games to handle registration, seeding, and the like. Taking place at Thunder Studios in Long Beach, CA on March 18, 2018, the event is headlined by a typical bracket tournament, but will also host a variety of activities befitting the party-hard legend of Mang0. Food and drink—likely alcoholic, as Mang0 Nation occasionally operate under the moniker Team Beer—will be provided, as well as pick-up basketball and a “free play” station with “various classic Nintendo consoles.” As a streamer, Mang0 frequently tackles other Nintendo titles like Mario Kart, Mario Party, and Super Mario Strikers, so expect some or all of these to make an appearance.
Also key to the Mang0 experience is the act of “bustering”—that is to say, woefully underperforming in the early stages of competition and getting eliminated, usually due to the type of overly-aggressive play that has come to define Marquez’s style. To pay homage to a history of being a buster himself, the tournament will feature an additional “Buster Bracket,” which will allow players who don’t make it out of the pools stage a chance to redeem themselves.
The Mango was undoubtedly made with his fans in mind, but with top 20 players like SFAT, Swedish Delight, and Marquez’s close personal friend S2J already registered, it should still be a worthwhile tournament for the average Melee fan to tune into. Early registration is open now, and it will be interesting to see if The Mango can expand into the “series” that it is intended to be.