The POUND tournament series dates back to 2006 and is one of the most historic tournament series for the competitive Super Smash Bros. series. It is home to some of the most iconic moments in Melee history, such as, Mango’s POUND 3 Loser’s run. If you are not too familiar with some of the iconic moments from the POUND series, the trailer gives a great summary of it.
With his most recent wins at Super Nebulous 4 and Battle of the Five Gods, Liquid|Hungrybox is the man to beat going into POUND. In form and confident, the Florida native has always established himself as one of the top players in Melee, but has recently shown to be the best player considering his placings in 2016 alone: 3rd at Genesis 3, 1st at PAX Arena, Battle of the Five Gods, and Super Nebulous 4. Right now, Hungrybox seems unstoppable and is primed for another 1st place finish at POUND 2016. It may be a different story if other players, such as, [A]rmada or RB TSM|Leffen were in attendance, but certainly without either of these players at POUND, Hungrybox’s run to Grand Finals seems guaranteed. With that in mind, upsets do happen and there are three players that could prove to be difficult hurdles for Hungrybox.
No one has a better shot at taking down Hungrybox, than Mango. His recent performance at Battle of the Five Gods reminds us how dominant Mango can be versus Hungrybox. After resetting the bracket with a quick 3-0 win. While Hungrybox took the next set 3-1, no one can doubt that Mango has potential to beat Hungrybox at POUND 2016
Hungrybox’s teammate and Panda Global’s own Plup has shown that he can beat Hungrybox with his Sheik. The Big House 5 crew battle was the most recent encounter these two Floridians faced off. And while it was only a game, it was close and had fans on their toes. While Hungrybox eventually edged out the win, Plup’s proficiency versus Jigglypuff and constant practice versus Hungrybox in Florida tournaments make him a threat.
Even though they did not meet in Super Nebulous 4 this past weekend, Westballz still has one of the best chances of beating Hungrybox. His last win over Hungrybox dates back to MVG Sandstorm almost a year ago, but with the rise of Westballz’s Fox and constantly improving Falco, it is hard to count Westballz out. Their most recent set was at Battle of the Five Gods, where Hungrybox won 3-1. With that being said, there were moments where Westballz outplayed Hungrybox.
East Coast Representation
POUND 2016 is the first East Coast Major in a little over a year, with the last one being APEX 2015 (not including CEO). This means that East Coast players will likely be the majority among competitors and spectators. It will be tournament for the New England and MD/VA region to showcase some players that normally are unable to travel far from their region. Hopefully, these East Coast hidden bosses can put in some work versus some of the out of region competitors. In addition, POUND 2016 will likely be an East Coast heavy crowd. This can change the atmosphere of the room, as the crowd will favor and support East Coast players. Players like The Moon, Slox, and Swedish Delight will have the crowd on their sides cheering them on as they fight farther and farther into the bracket.
Among the 933 Super Smash Bros. Melee entrants at POUND 2016, is an interesting group of international players, most notably consisting of VGBC|aMSa, Zgetto, JJ|Amsah, and VwS|Professor Pro. What is unique about this group is that three of them, aMSa, Zgetto and Amsah, have not been to an American major in recent memory. With this in mind, expect several upsets from these four players as they fight to get into Top 8.
With players starting to find consistent teammates and the prize pool getting larger for the doubles event, the allure of teams is growing for both competitors and spectators. At POUND 2016, there are 122 teams and the fight for the throne will be a long and difficult one. Here is a brief summary of some of the favorites to take home the gold.
CLG|PewPewU & CLG|Sfat
Best friends and teammates since middle school and the favorites to win the Melee Doubles event, PewPewU and Sfat will be looking to add another Major win to their resume. Having won several Majors in the past including, EVO 2015 and Smash Summit 1, this duo will be looking to finally get first place under the name, “CLG|PewFat”
Liquid|Hungrybox & PG|Plup
One of the strongest teams on paper, the Florida team consisting of Hungrybox and Plup looks to go far in the bracket. In the past, we have seen the success of Hungrybox’s Jigglypuff when paired with Mew2King’s Sheik. With Plup’s Sheik arguably being an upgrade, this team could be on the Winner’s side of Grand Finals.
C9|Mango & MIOM|S2J
Representing the Norwalk crew this time is Mango and S2J. Between these two players, we might see several different team combinations. Most likely, it will be a pair composed of Fox, Falco, or Captain Falcon. With their best recent placing being 4th at DreamHack Winter, the Norwalk duo will definitely be looking to place higher at POUND 2016.
CT|The Moon & DJ Nintendo
One of the best East Coast teams, the NYC duo go by the name “Grab N’ Go”. Their most recent win was at Shots Fired 2 where they took the top spot over Mew2King and Zhu. In addition, they got 2nd place at Super Nebulous 4 after resetting the bracket versus Hungrybox and Swedish Delight. Only the best of the best can rival their teamwork and communication.
BERT|Swedish Delight & Slox
Another team representing East Coast is composed of Swedish Delight and Slox. Despite being a relatively new team compared to the others listed above, the New England duo already had their breakout performance at Genesis 3 where they famously double eliminated the PokePals (Hungrybox and Axe) and placed 3rd. With both having leveled up since Genesis 3, this team will be looking to build on their past performance.
Honorable Mentions: Tempo|Westballz & SPY|MacD, Duck & Kjh, TGL DruggedFox & COG|Wizzrobe, SS|Colbol & 20GX|Gahtzhu, JJ|Amsah & Zgetto, and VGBC|aMSa & Toph.