Three takeaways from Rollback Rumble: The Big One Smash Melee Singles
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This past weekend, hundreds of Super Smash Bros. Melee players competed online at Rollback Rumble: The Big One — each of them vying for a spot at Smash Summit 11. Ultimately, Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallet and Toussaint “2saint” Turnier secured the final two Summit spots.

Here’s a closer look at how they qualified and how others missed the cut.

Wizzrobe holds his ground to win Rollback Rumble: The Big One as the No. 1 seed

Wizzrobe is the only player in 2021 so far to win sets over both Zain “Zain” Naghmi and Joseph “Mang0” Marquez; North America’s top two players. As a result, he was the favorite to win Rollback Rumble: The Big One and qualify for Smash Summit 11.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Wizzrobe barely broke a sweat in top 64. He defeated Malachi “MoG” Markos 3-0, Cruz “OkayP.” Peterson 3-1 and Luis “TheSWOOPER” Olivo 3-0. In winners semis, he earned another dominant win over 2saint, losing only one game due to sloppy play and a couple of self-destructs.

Wizzrobe’s greatest challenge of the tournament came in winners finals against John “KoDoRiN” Ko. One round prior, KoDoRiN had proven his ability to tech chase Captain Falcon into oblivion by beating Johnny “S2J” Kim 3-1. However, Wizzrobe’s own tech chase heavy style was just enough to combat KoDoRiN. He narrowly eked out a 3-2 win to earn a spot at Summit.

Wizzrobe rematched 2saint in grand finals, a set that was mostly for show since both players had already qualified for Summit. This time around, 2saint opted to play a risky style, going for many Rests that missed and were subsequently punished. As a result, Wizzrobe comfortably won the set 3-0.

2saint clutches his way into Smash Summit 11

Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma, long considered the best Jigglypuff main in the world, has often been revered for his clutch factor. But at Rollback Rumble: The Big One, 2saint gave viewers reason to believe he might be the clutchest Puff around.

In top 64, 2saint beat Steven “Blues Clues” Joseph 3-0 and Steven “FatGoku” Callopy 3-2. He then got a free bye into top eight after Armand “ARMY” Del Duca was disqualified for connection issues. However, Wizzrobe quickly sent 2saint to the losers bracket from there.

In losers quarters, 2saint got a theoretically good draw, facing Peach main Kyle “Kalamazhu” Zhu. Many players consider Jigglypuff to be Peach’s hardest match-up by a large margin. Despite this, Kalamazhu pushed 2saint all the way to Game 5 thanks to his masterful placement of both turnips and aerials. Nevertheless, 2saint managed to take control on Fountain of Dreams and two-stocked Kalamazhu to win the set.

Next, 2saint fought S2J. While S2J might have been the favorite based on results alone, 2saint boasted a 3-0 record against him for the year. S2J looked poised to flip the script and get his first 2saint win of the year, as he had the lead toward the end of Game 5. However, S2J self-destructed on his penultimate stock, then fell victim to a Rest from 2saint.

Finally, 2saint challenged KoDoRiN in the final Summit qualifier set. Despite KoDoRiN’s masterful play in the winners bracket, he was no match for 2saint’s clutch edgeguards and Rests. 2saint won 3-1, securing his spot in Smash Summit 11, before falling 3-0 to Wizzrobe in grand finals.

“I f***ing told you that I was getting into Summit,” 2saint told his stream after he beat KoDoRiN. “Who the f*** doubted me?”

Notable players who failed to qualify for Summit

With only two Summit spots available at Rollback Rumble: The Big One, it’s only natural that multiple top-level players failed to make the cut. Foremost among them was S2J, the second seed and a favorite to qualify alongside Wizzrobe. After suffering an upset loss to KoDoRiN, S2J was unfortunate enough to face his bracket demon in the losers bracket. While all four of their sets this year have gone to Game 5, 2saint ultimately proved to have S2J’s number every time.

Likewise, Ginger has been one of Melee’s top online players and would have been a reasonable pick to qualify for Summit. However, he lost his first round of top 64 to ARMY in the midst of ARMY’s first breakout performance of the Slippi era. He had a commendable run through the losers bracket, defeating the likes of Joey “Lucky” Aldama, TheSWOOPER and Jacob “Jflex” Pinto. But, in losers quarters, he had to fight S2J.

While Ginger’s main, Falco, has historically done well against Captain Falcon, Ginger himself has not. Against the top three Captain Falcon players — Wizzrobe, S2J and Edgard “n0ne” Sheleby — Ginger has won only four sets while incurring more than 30 losses. This record held up at Rollback Rumble: The Big One; S2J eliminated Ginger 3-0, ending the set with a three-stock.

Though Isaac “bobby big ballz” P. was not one of the favorites to qualify for Summit, he could have made a deep run through the bracket, at the very least. However, bobby big ballz had an unexpected underperformance, failing to even make it out of pools. He finished in 97th place after losing to Captain Falcon mains Zach “Midnight Blue” Marra and Vish “Vish” Kumar.

Looking ahead

Now that Rollback Rumble: The Big One is over, the Smash Summit 11 roster is finally set. The following 16 players will compete at Melee’s first in-person major since March of 2020:

  • Zain
  • Mang0
  • Cody “iBDW” Schwab
  • Justin “Plup” McGrath
  • Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni
  • Kurtis “moky” Pratt
  • Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto
  • Linus “Pipsqueak” Nordin
  • Hungrybox
  • Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson
  • n0ne
  • Logan “LSD” Dunn
  • Dawud “Aklo” Rahman
  • Nick “yingling” Yingling
  • Wizzrobe
  • 2saint

The btssmash Twitch channel will livestream Smash Summit 11 from July 15-18.

Dylan Tate is a student in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.