The FGC has no shortage of hype clips. At their core, fighting games are structured to allow for big dramatic moments, comebacks and flashy finishes. But, once in a while, something truly special happens. A moment so intense, so cathartic, that it goes on to live in the collective memory of the FGC forever.
As of July 18, 2021, a new event made its way onto this revered list. A true anime protagonist moment, where Joseph “Mang0” Marquez, a Smash god, defeated each and every opponent in his path. He claimed victory in a nail biting 10-game grand final, taking both the title of champion and $45,000; the biggest prize that Smash Melee has ever seen.
But while those that witnessed this triumph call it an instant classic, or the best grand finals they’d ever seen, the road to this moment was a decade in the making. So lets take a look back at the story behind C9 Mang0’s ultimate comeback.
C9 Mang0 and the five Smash gods
In the beginning, there were the five Smash gods; players that stood far beyond the rest of their competition. This included Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, Kevin “PPMD” Nanney, Adam “Armada” Lindgren, Mang0 and his long time rival Juan “HungryBox” Debiedma. Over the years, two others would enter the pantheon: the infamously villainous William “Leffen” Hjelte, and the more understated but equally lethal Justin “Plup” McGrath. They defeated all five of the gods, both earning themselves the title of God Slayer.
But, the Invitational tournament series that is Smash Summit almost always churned out a champion that was one of the five Smash gods. However, Mang0 was not among them, even though he had come tantalizingly close on multiple occasions. That dramatically changed at Smash Summit 11.
Learn the whole story by watching the video above, or heading to Upcomer’s YouTube channel.