Top-ranked Super Smash Bros. Melee player Juan "Hungrybox" DeBiedma was crowned the Melee champion at the Genesis 6 tournament which took place over the weekend, but not without enduring some aggressive chants from the audience.
Hungrybox of Team Liquid is regarded as the best Melee player in the world no matter where you look, and the player proved that again by winning Genesis 6’s Melee tournament recently with his signature Jigglypuff pick. He faced Kevin "PewPewU" Toy who played Marth in the Winners Semi-Finals, and though it at times looked like he might lose the set by being down a stock more than once, he eventually bested PewPewU and went on to win the tournament.
The video above shows that set, but it’s what took place after the matches that didn’t sit well with the commentators or other pro players. Many in the crowd seemed to on PewPewU’s side from the beginning, and after the series was over and the two stood up to gather their controllers and leave the stage, a vocal part of the crowd started shouting “F--- HBox,” HBox being the name Hungrybox is often shortened to.
“They’re doing it so he can hear it,” the commentators said about the chant.
“You gotta respect him as a competitor,” they continued. “No one else does it with Jigglypuff like that.”
Hungrybox commented on the chants on Twitter and said they nearly “broke” him, but he thanked those who spoke against the toxicity.
And for those of you who spoke up against the toxicity in the venue:
Thank you from bottom of my heart. Those chants almost broke me. I had my family here to keep my head up. To keep fighting.
I wanted to win more than anything. You are what makes us a community.
— hungrybox (@LiquidHbox) February 4, 2019
Whether it was because of a distaste for HBox’s Jigglypuff playstyle that some don’t find as entertaining, a recollection of Hungrybox’s past comments about the community, his beef with fellow Melee pro William “Leffen” Hjelte, or just because he’s the best Melee player out there, a portion of the crowd drowned out any other cheers with their negative chants. Hungrybox has even acknowledged some of these issues people have taken with him and embraced the role of a "bad guy."0comments
Anecdotes from those who attended the event said it was a small group of people who were chanting loudly, though they weren’t there for long. Others spoke out about the chants as well including Justin “Plup” McGrath and Leffen. Leffen’s stance on Hungrybox hasn’t changed, but the Team SoloMid player still felt the chants were unnecessary.
I don't like Hbox or Puff but seriously crowds need to be respectful. Get it together.— Leffen (@TSM_Leffen) February 4, 2019
Crowd is being pretty awful. Some of them are chanting fuck hbox. Why is it so hard to be respectful while you cheer :/— Justin McGrath (@PG_Plup) February 4, 2019
Though those chants happened in the Winners Semi-Finals, Hungrybox still progressed to the Grand Finals match against Jeffrey "Axe" Williamson who lost the set as Pikachu. Hungrybox stood with Axe at the end and chanted for the player alongside the crowd as they showed their respects to one another at the end of the video below.