World’s Greatest Super Smash Bros. Melee Player Hungrybox Considers Retiring

by in Fighting Game News | Jul, 30th 2020

It’s not a controversial statement to say that Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma is the best Super Smash Bros. Melee player. Not too many people have ever had as much skill and dedication to Super Smash Bros. Melee, especially in an era where Smash Ultimate dominates the landscape. However, on Hungrybox’s YouTube page, he said he’s considering retiring from the game permanently.

What’s the pro player’s reason for considering this move? He’s tired of being viewed as the villain. It sounds like he’s tired of receiving grief and flak for being a Jigglypuff player. So, what’s the story?

Ness is Better Anyway

Hungrybox is seriously considering retiring from the 19-year-old fighting game. There’s still a very die-hard group of Smash fans that prefer Melee to any other iteration of the game. This writer isn’t in that boat, but he respects the dedication. One of the hardest things for the Melee (and fighting games in general) community this year is COVID-19, which has forced people to play online for their FGC fix.

With that in mind, Hungrybox says he’s only working with 80% of the drive to compete that he normally does. “I think no matter how hard I try can’t bring myself to the same level of dedication or be as invested as I was in IRL tournaments,” he states. This isn’t simply because of the more turbulent nature of network play, however, as Hbox delves deeper into the motivators for his feeling this way.

Now, it’s important to point out that Hungrybox isn’t a jerk. We recently talked about Hungrybox. He wanted to get ahead of potential allegations coming out about him. His online persona isn’t a mean one. He just plays Jigglypuff. Jigglypuff is safe and solid and isn’t flashy or exciting. He’s not viewed highly by many viewers/players because of this approach.

In a brief positive moment, he sais, “For the first time in a long time, I finally feel loved by a big group of people,” which is something everyone needs if we can be honest with you.

Heck, he had a dead crab thrown at him at a live event, which was awful. It was something we admittedly felt pretty bad about laughing about. He’s seen a great deal of grief and abuse in streams and on social media for years, and that has to compound into some negative, upsetting emotions. We don’t blame him for stepping away from Melee if it no longer brings him joy. It sounds like it hasn’t in a long time. You can hear his full comments here.

This move doesn’t feel like he’s trying to shield himself from sexual misconduct allegations, as that was weeks ago now. We’re curious about what he’ll do next, or if he will even actually retire. Perhaps he’ll move on to Ultimate? Or stream other things he enjoys? It’s a fascinating question, and we’ll keep our eyes on it. For now, it sounds like Hungrybox might be retiring from Smash Melee.


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