The return of offline Melee has been nothing short of stellar, with the recent Smash Summit 11 boasting the biggest prize pool in Melee history. This has given fans one of the greatest Grand Finals of all time. Of course, we're referring to the matchup between Josep "Mang0" Marquez and Zain Naghmi.
The invitational tournament missed the thrill of an open bracket competition, however, with a potential upset for top seeds. This was something which Riptide provided, with Panda's Cody "iBDW" Schwab winning the first offline major since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March last year.
iBDW wins Riptide, first offline Melee major since 2020
Despite notable absentees, like Mang0 and Zain; the latter of whom explained that he was still wary of travelling and competing amid the coronavirus pandemic, Riptide featured some of the game's most beloved stars. This included the likes of Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma, Justin "Plup" McGrath, Justin "Wizzrobe" Hallett, and several others. Ultimately, this made the tournament a must-watch for all Melee enthusiasts.
iBDW, who was seeded fourth coming into the event, proved doubters wrong by displaying some of his best Fox to date. This was demonstrated after he practically tore through the bracket, without a single issue; until reaching Top 8, that is.
Once in the Top 8, iBDW entered as the underdog against Evo and Summit 9 champion, Hungrybox, with his Jigglypuff proving to be the vein of Fox mains' existence for well over a decade.
Despite consistently securing top placement in recent years, iBDW had yet to prove himself in do-or-die situations. It was, therefore, a massive shock to fans gathered at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio when he won their support after sending the fan-favourite to the Losers Bracket.
The 26-year-old Melee pro then went on to put on a show against fellow Panda member, Plup, in both the Winners Bracket and Grand Finals match-ups. The Grand Finals comprised a 5-game set but ultimately ended 3-1 in favour of iBDW, with Game 2 being a dominant exhibition for the Melee star.
Riptide 2021 Melee Final standings
- 1st - iBDW
- 2nd - Plup
- 3rd - Hungrybox
- 4th - SFAT
- 5th - 6th - Wizzrobe, Axe
- 7th - 8th - KoDoRin, Logan
Be sure to watch the full match, which we have embedded below for your viewing consideration.
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Header image via BTS.