Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and right now, the Super Smash Bros. Melee crown rests solely on the head of one Zain Naghmi after he won his second-straight Major at Pound 2022. This is also technically his second-straight victory at a Pound event, having won Pound Online in 2020.
Zain had a similar path to the grand finals at Genesis 8 at Pound, defeating the same opponent two straight times and only losing a single game across both meetings. This time, he took two straight sets off of Hungrybox, defeating another top player to take a title.
On his way to the top, Zain faced several tough opponents and actually lost his first game early in a Marth-ditto against Logan Dunn. He rebounded after that to gentleman’s sweep Logan but wound up in the exact same situation against Leffen in the first round of the top eight.
Leffen, who made his first trip to the United States for a 2022 event, broke out the Shiek against Zain’s Marth, taking the first game and giving him what was arguably his closest set of the entire event. The second game had to be replayed due to some TV display issues and was the only one not to come down to a single stock.
From there, Zain won two straight sets over Hbox, with three of the seven games being decisive as he finished with two or more stocks. And while Hbox does still hold the historical win rate in the matchup, Zain has won 11 of 12 sets since the two met in the winners semifinals and grand finals at Genesis 7 in January 2020, which Zain won.
Two other Genesis 8 top finishers, lloD and aMSa, also finished in the top eight again, with both players improving on their previous appearance, finishing fourth and third, respectively. AMSa specifically had a stellar losers bracket run, winning five-straight rounds over players like iBDW, Fiction, and Leffen.