Though Dreamhack Winter may not have been one of the most stacked Melee events, the Swedish national was notable enough to draw in some of the best players in Europe, including the eventual winner of the tournament, Adam "Armada" Lindgren.
By emerging the victor of December's last major, Armada ends his year on a pleasant note; however, he's not the only one who will benefit from a crisp close to 2017. Runner-up Justin "Wizzrobe" Hallett didn't just spring to the surface over the weekend but also strongly solidified his standing in the process, strengthening his claim to the best Falcon-main in the world and showcasing further that he can give trouble to the scene's best players.
Taking third was William "Leffen" Hjelte, who, despite playing well throughout, came just short of a possible win. It's a performance that conforms to a "close, but no cigar" pattern we have seen from him lately. Hopefully, he'll be able to lift himself from the curse going into the new year.
Let's now take a quick look at the biggest takeaways of Dreamhack.
Armada carries on
Armada started out 2017 outstandingly, having more or less maintained a slew of first-place performances well into the summer. We have seen a subtle drop off in his efficacy, however, starting with his fourth-place finish at The Big House 7 in early October.
Usurping both a Big House title and eventually the No. 1 rank from Armada was Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma, who would go on to capitalize on his performance by placing first at all six of the tournaments he's attended since.
The final nail in Armada's coffin was earlier last month at Smash Summit 5, a tournament loaded with top players and featuring an $80,000 prize pool. There, he placed second behind Hungrybox, and the community agreed that Hungrybox had earned the de facto rank of best overall player. A Dreamhack Winter win may not be enough to take back his #1 spot, but it's got to be a confidence-booster to a likely downtrodden Armada. He'll be looking ahead to the next big tournament, Genesis 5, taking place in mid-to-late January; if he can win that, he has a good chance of taking his throne back from Hungrybox.
Wizzrobe's cold hands
As expected, Wizzrobe put on a fantastic show at Dreamhack. He cut through the winners bracket before facing Leffen in the semifinals, where he got beaten 3-1. Wizzrobe had an interesting reason as to why he might've lost this set against Leffen, which he explained in an post-tournament interview.
"I'd warm up and go to the bathroom and then I'd wash my hands and the water would be, like, freezing cold [...] and I'd try to make them warm before I played but it wouldn't be enough. And in winners. I almost got four-stocked by Leffen twice because my hands weren't warm enough."
Nevertheless, Wizzrobe went on to make his way through losers. After having a pretty tense set in quarters against one of Spain's representatives, Álvaro "Trif" García Moral, he went on to defeat James "Swedish Delight" Liu 3-0.
Advancing to rematch against Leffen in losers finals, Wizzy described himself as being more "warmed up." Perhaps that's why he sent Leffen out with a 3-0 convincingly. Armada bested Wizzrobe in the grand finals, but at any rate it's a very impressive second-place finish from the young Falcon-main. His next tournament, he says, is Genesis 5; and if he can play there as solidly as he did over the weekend, there's no telling how far he can go.