Smash Opinions: The First Non-God to Defeat Armada?
There is no secret around the Melee community: Armada is the best player in history. With multiple EVO victories, impeccable winning streaks, and dominant performances amongst all players, one would be safe to assume that Armada will place in Top 3. Even Hungrybox and Mang0, the only two players today that can defeat him somewhat consistently, struggle versus the Swedish Sniper. The lowest he has ever placed, without sandbagging or forfeiting, is 5th place at GOML 2016. He is so proficient, dominant, and consistent that the last time Armada lost to a non-God (or Leffen) was back at Pound 4 to SilentSpectre and Amsa back in 2010. However, players have gotten close. Here, I am going to explain five players who I believe could have a legitimate shot at defeating the best player in Melee, in no particular order.
Justin “Plup” McGrath
Plup, for the most part, has been so close, yet so far away in tournaments. A dominant Sheik, Fox, and Samus player from Florida, Plup is known for always placing 5th in tournaments. Plup has defeated Hungrybox, Mew2King, and Mang0 all in 2017, and also became the first player in years to win a tournament where at least two Gods were present (DreamHack: Atlanta). Despite this, Armada has dominated Plup every time they have faced off. However, with the win at Atlanta and consistently placing high in tournaments, I feel like Plup can take Armada out sooner rather than later.
Johnny “S2J” Kim
S2J is the long-shot of this group. Despite being one of the best Captain Falcon players in the world with an amazing neutral game, Johnny has become infamous for messing up in big situations. He has also never defeated Hungrybox, never defeated Mang0 (despite being up 2-0 in a best-of-5), and just defeated Mew2King for the first time at Shine 2017 last week. However, this is one of the two reasons why I feel that he has a legitimate shot. He defeated Mew2King. For those that do not know, Captain Falcon loses hard against Sheik, and Mew2King is considered the best Sheik for a reason. To defeat him for an impressive 3rd place is great. Also, he nearly defeated Armada back at Genesis 4 in one of the best sets of 2017. Being up 2-0 against Armada in a best-of-5? Only a matter of time before he gets over Armada.
Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson
A fan favorite in the Melee community, Axe has shown the world that you do not need to use a top character to be a top-ten player. The best Pikachu in the world, Axe has defeated both Mew2King and Mang0 in the same tournament at Smash Rivalries, and he has defeated Hungrybox back at MLG Anaheim 2014. However, Axe has yet to dethrone Armada. This being said, however, he was close. Back at EVO 2017, Axe was one game away from defeating Armada in a set. Even though the set was a best-of-3, any time you can nearly take a set off Armada shows how close you are to achieving greatness, and Axe is nearly there.
Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni
SFAT could be a confusing choice here, but I have my reasons. SFAT has come nowhere near close to defeating Armada. He has only taken one game off Armada in five total sets. He also has not played Armada since Battle of the Five Gods back in March of last year. Despite this, SFAT has the most consistency versus the other three active Gods. He has defeated Hungrybox at Shine 2016, Big House 6, and CEO: Dreamland. He has defeated Mew2King at Genesis 3, Smash Conference LXIX, and CEO: Dreamland. He had a winning record against Mang0 in 2016, defeating him at Clutch City Clash twice and Shine 2016. Combine this with impressive finishes at EVO 2017 (7th), DreamHack: Atlanta (5th), Smash Factor 6 (1st), and Super Smash Con (7th), SFAT could give Armada some trouble and even get lucky enough to take a set.
Weston “Westballz” Dennis
If S2J is the long-shot of this group, Westballz is the minimal-chance-but-I-still-believe-he-has-the-slightest-chance-shot. One of the best Falco players and one of the most technical players in the world, Westballz has had success against Mang0 and Hungrybox. While never defeating Mew2King, he has come close. Even though he has never gotten close to defeating Armada, Westballz has one factor that places him on this list: unpredictability. Westballz is considered one of the craziest players with insane combos. Once he gets going, Westballz is hard to stop. Just look at his first set against Leffen back at B.E.A.S.T. 6. There is very little hope, but I truly feel Westballz could have a shot under the right circumstances.
That is my list of non-God players that could take out Armada, in my eyes. Even though these are the more likely candidates, one should not hold their breath. This particular situation has not happened to Armada since 2010. Seven years of complete dominance outside of the Top 5 players for Armada. Anything can happen in the Smash community.
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