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Zain dominates Ludwig's LACS 4 Melee tournament with emphatic win

The Marth enthusiast tore through the bracket, dropping only two games in his 12 matches.
Zain dominates Ludwig's LACS 4 Melee tournament with emphatic win

After the most important Smash event of the year, Genesis, was postponed amid the spike in COVID-19 cases, Ludwig Ahgren decided to take matters into his own hands by announcing LACS 4. The event attracted over 2,400 entrants, making it the most stacked tournament in Melee's history.

Although Ludwig disqualified roughly 600 contestants himself, the event still featured several notable players duking it out for a considerable chunk of the $30,000 prize pool. More importantly, however, the event sought to help the Genesis tournament organiser in what was essentially a massive fundraiser. 

Sadly, some iconic Melee personalities could not attend the event. For example, William "Leffen" Hjelte travelled from Sweden to North America to participate in the event but was forced to disqualify himself due to health reasons. In addition, the Mainstage 2021 winner, Justin "Wizzrobe" Hallett, also could not attend.

Who won LACS 4?

leffen misses lacs
Leffen travelled from Sweden to North America and disqualified himself amid health issues. (Picture: DreamHack)

Despite these absences, the who's who of Melee was set to compete, giving fans two days of incredible gameplay. Golden Guardians' Zain Naghmi did quick work on everyone he faced in the bracket and ultimately won the event, only dropping two games.

In contention for being the best player in the world, Zain played a total of 12 matches on his way to victory, running into a mix of veteran faces such as Daniel "ChuDat" Rodriguez (3-0) or Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma (3-1) and younger talent like Avery "Ginger" Wilson (3-1).

Of course, fans were anticipating his seemingly inevitable showdown with Joseph "Mang0" Marquez, with their recent history dictating it would be a banger of a set (spoiler -- it was not).

Whether it was the online setting or a lack of desire, Mang0 seemed unlike himself in his matchup with Fox against Zain's Marth. Indeed, this is a matchup he'd seemingly figured out after his historic Summit 11 win, beating Zain in back-to-back Final Destination games, a context that many believed was impossible for Spacie players to overcome against Marths.

Zain genesis
Zain's massive Genesis 7 victory came two months before COVID-19 suspended all offline events in 2020. (Picture: Genesis_Smash)

Zain's status as the world's best Melee player has been drastically impacted by COVID-19. His reign as the undisputed king of Melee started after his incredible victory at Genesis 7 in January 2020; however, offline tournaments were eventually halted for more than 18 months.

Since then, the Melee pro has only appeared at the Summit 11 and 12 Invitational LAN events, where he placed no worse than third. While COVID is still ongoing, Zain has repeatedly admitted that he doesn't wish to compete at massive offline events unless they're restricted to a small number of competitors (like Summit).

Although it may take a while, the dawn of Zain's rise as Melee's new star player is a matter of when... not if.

LACS 4 - Final standings

lacs ludwig
LACS 4 was a resounding success. (Picture: LACS)
  • 1st.- Zain- $9001
  • 2nd.- Mang0 - $5400
  • 3rd.- Moky - $3900
  • 4th.- Plup - $2700
  • 5th.- iBDW - $1800
  • 5th.- Hungrybox - $1800
  • 7th.- Fiction - $900
  • 7th.- Ginger - $900

If you're interested in watching the Top 12 of LACS 4, you can check out the video embedded down below.

Featured image via Genesis_Smash