Set Analysis: Mang0's 3-0 Comeback vs. Swedish Delight at GOML 2019
Thu 30th May 2019 - 3:00pm
Members of the Mang0 Nation have been rejoicing since Mang0 won Get On My Level 2019, his first major tournament victory in close to two years. However, the results of GOML would have been nowhere near the same had things gone a little bit differently in Winner's Quarters.
In his own words, Swedish Delight was the “best player at GOML for half an hour,” 3-0ing Axe and winning his first two games against Mang0. Despite Swedish Delight’s impressive showing, Mang0 managed to claw his way back from a 2-0 deficit in order to win the set and advance to Top 8 on the Winner's side. This article will go over the changes in Mang0’s gameplay and decision-making that allowed him to overcome one of his most unexpected hurdles at GOML 2019.
One of Mang0’s most evident struggles in the first two games of the set was his lack of control over what was happening between he and Swedish Delight in-game. Most of his approaches were either unsafe or simply unsuccessful, allowing Swedish to get big punishes on him, or at least to wall it out and stop him from mounting a substantial offense. Because of this, Swedish Delight’s responses to Mang0’s actions seemed to determine the pace of the game. The stock count at the end of the first two games proved how in-control Swedish Delight was; Swedish three-stocked Mang0 Game 1, and he took four uncontested stocks off of Mang0 in Game 2.
However, in game three, Mang0 managed to take control of the match for the first time, successfully timing his approaches with moves like down-air in order to work around Swedish Delight’s defense. As a result, he three-stocked Swedish Game 3 despite Swedish Delight’s dominating performance in the first two games. From that point on, Mang0 played a greater role in dictating the outcome of each interaction.
Mang0 prevented Swedish Delight from mounting a strong offense, just as Swedish had done to him in the first two games. As a result, Mang0 was doing far more damage than Swedish over time, even before he was able to start landing long-lasting combos. Mang0 also was able to use Swedish Delight’s counterpicks to his advantage, taking control of the space using Falco’s lasers and making his own approaches more measured.
During the first part of the set, Mang0 exhibited some sloppy movement and predictable recoveries. These resulted in easy punishes and edgeguards for Swedish Delight. While he was certainly not without flubs for the remainder of the set, Mang0's gameplay did become much more polished beginning in game three. This included his movement, which was much cleaner and more confident, helping him to shift momentum in his favor. Mang0’s recoveries also became smarter, allowing him to bypass Swedish Delight’s edgeguards and generally giving Swedish a harder time securing kills.
Other aspects of Mang0’s game plan became more polished over the course of the set as well. One such example was his ability to cover Swedish Delight’s options. In the bottom left gif above, Mang0 traps Swedish on a platform, back-airs in place to prevent him from rolling in, and then does a shield-drop back-air to punish him for dropping through the platform. In the bottom right gif above, he down smashes immediately after the down-air that kills Swedish Delight, being sure to catch Swedish if he was able to land onstage after the down-air.
Punish Game Power-Up
From insufficient shield pressure to an inability to string the right hits together, Mang0’s punish game was off at the start of the Winner's Quarters set. Of course, Mang0 is famous for his explosive punish game, and he did much better in the set once he was able to land the right hits and string his moves together.
His options were tricky and sometimes unpredictable, and he landed numerous devastating combos that dealt high amounts of damage or led into kills. He was flashy, but he typically did not overextend, something Mang0 is known to do if he is not playing carefully. Perhaps most importantly, he saw complex combos and edgeguards through to completion, ensuring that he could deal lots of damage and finish off stocks when he needed to.
Mang0’s clutch factor was noticeably absent at the beginning of the set, as his edgeguards were inconsistent and he could not find any of the right openings, combo moves, or kill moves. Naturally, a shift towards being more clutch was crucial in allowing Mang0 to win this set. Even in high-pressure situations, Mang0 pulled off big-damage combos.
Mango’s clutchness could be seen in a few key moments near the end of the set. The above right gif shows Mang0 jumping over Swedish Delight’s Needles just as he throws them. Though he didn’t get a big punish afterwards, dodging the Needles made sure Swedish couldn’t get a big punish on him and turn the tides of the match. The above left gif shows Mang0 executing DI down after taking a hit in order to Amsah tech and stay alive for a little while longer.
Ultimately, Mang0’s clutch factor is most evident in the two-stock high-percent comeback he made to win Game 5. In a situation where any hit could lead to his death, Mang0 pulled off huge combos to rack up damage on Swedish Delight’s last stock. Even after Swedish threw Mang0 offstage, Mang0 recovered and kept momentum on his side. These final clutch plays were key components of Mang0’s hard-fought victory over Swedish Delight. He also had just a bit of good fortune on his side…
Mang0 has long been revered as one of the fan favorites of Melee. Him winning a tournament is huge for the health of the scene, and spells good things for the rest of the Summer of Smash. GOML 2019 had many unexpected results, and the rest of the year may be just as wild and exciting. In any case, Mang0’s strong performances this year should have Mang0 fans excited for what lies ahead.
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