In the Ludwig Ahgren Championship Series 4 (LACS 4) final bracket on Sunday afternoon, Zain “Zain” Naghmi defeated Juan “Mang0” Marquez 3-0. Both were fan-favorite contestants and Smash Melee monoliths, with Zain having the best overall record and only losing two rounds throughout the tournament.
Zain and Mang0 have faced off several times, as they are widely regarded as the best Smash players and frequently meet during tournaments. On July 18, 2021, they faced off in the final of Smash Summit 11, which they won. Mang0 forced a bracket reshuffle by defeating Zain in the loser’s bracket and then winning. This earned him his first-ever Smash Summit victory and a first-place prize of $46,611.60, the largest of any Smash Melee tournament.
With over 2400 participants, Ludwig Ahgren’s online Smash tournament was reportedly the largest Smash tournament ever. Evolution Championship Series 2016 (EVO), which had 2,372 votes, was the previous first-place winner. Unlike EVO 2016, LACS 4 did not charge an entry fee and was conducted entirely online. However, Ludwig claimed that hundreds of players were disqualified for failing to show up for the first round, causing the tournament to drop to one of the top three.
The LACS 4 placed in the top ten largest Smash Melee tournaments in terms of prize pool size, with a total prize pool of $30,001. LACS 4 is currently in ninth place, with a prize pool of one dollar higher than DreamHack Winter 2016 and GameTyrant Expo 2017.
The tournament followed the traditional format of multiple best-of-five matches with four stocks.
Many fans were disappointed by the absence of several players, including William “Leffen” Hjelte and Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett.
Genesis 8, one of the most important and prestigious Smash tournaments, was supposed to take place January 28-30, but it was postponed due to COVID-19, moving the date from the end of January to the middle of April. The organizers are said to have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this.
Ludwig planned his tournament as a way to raise money for Genesis 8 and make up for the losses he had suffered.
This was his fourth tournament, and the previous three had all been invitationals rather than open tournaments.
Ludwig announced in a December interview with Twitch streamer Nathan Stanz that in 2022, he would “make the biggest Smash tournament of all time in prize pool for Melee and Ultimate,” which he estimated would cost around $1 million.
With a slew of tournaments on the horizon, as well as the possibility of a record-breaking event later in the year, 2022 appears to be shaping up to be an exciting year for Smash fans and players.