About halfway through 2016, people started to wonder what was wrong with the Swedish Sniper. Given his nickname for the freakish accuracy with which he lands projectiles, Adam “Armada” Lindgren couldn’t seem to hit his mark at any of the recent tournaments he attended.
In 2015, Armada established himself as first among the gods of Smash. That was the year he won 72% of his sets, along with nearly every tournament he attended. The only one he dropped was the last major of the year, at DreamHack Winter. In the constant arms race between the best players in the world of Smash, Armada seemed to be pulling ahead.
Some wondered whether the golden age of Armada had come and gone
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Armada came in fifth place at Get On My Level 2016, behind Joey “Lucky” Aldama. Lucky is a great player, but nowhere near Armada’s level; he’s maybe the third best Fox in Southern California, and probably best known for being Joseph “Mang0” Marquez’s frequent doubles partner.At WTFox 2, we saw that this could be more than a fluke. Armada lost to Mang0 this time, coming in second. At Evo 2016, the biggest Smash tournament in the history of the game, Armada made it all the way to the Grand Finals before losing in a narrow finish to Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma. He lost, again to Mang0, coming in second at The Big House 6. Some wondered whether the golden age of Armada had come and gone.
But the Autumn air seems to have been good for Armada. At the Canada Cup towards the end of October, Armada went up against Hungrybox yet again; this time, he walked away with first place. Earlier this month, I wrote about how Armada knocked his way through the competition at Smash Summit 3 to claim victory yet again. This weekend he did it again, making DreamHack Winter his second consecutive win at a major tournament this year.
To win DreamHack, Armada had to fight through a record number of entrants in the tournament, including William “Leffen” Hjelte in the top eight. He did so handily, beating the Godslayer 3-0. Until reaching Hungrybox, Armada dropped exactly one game in the tournament, to Luis “Crunch” Rosias.
Armada’s biggest challenge of the tournament should have been beating Hungrybox, the man who had beaten him at EVO. Armada even had to best him in two separate sets, first in the winner’s finals and then again after Hungrybox emerged from the loser’s bracket. It wasn’t close in either set, though: both times, Armada played a careful and controlled Fox game, slowly grinding down Hungrybox’s Jigglypuff until he could find a finishing blow.
It was a marked difference from how we saw the same matchup earlier this year, and it’s hard to put the blame on Hungrybox. His zone control, sudden rests and aerial mobility were all well on display at DreamHack. But at some point in between EVO and now, Armada has changed, and even Hungrybox can’t touch him now.