'Smash Bros.' Champion Hungrybox Was Told by His Father, 'You'll Never Be the Best'

Hungrybox, one of the mightiest 'Smash' players, was forged through grit, doggedness, and family drama

Juan 'Hungrybox' Debiedma recalls his father telling him, "You'll never be the best." Credit: Glixel

Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma is probably not the best all-around Super Smash Bros. Melee player. Though it all depends on who you ask, someone like Adam "Armada" Lindgren is a safer pick for that honor. But for one night last year, Hungrybox was on top of the world. After clawing his way to the Melee grand finals at Evo 16 – the biggest fighting game tournament in the world – Hungrybox had the unenviable task of facing Armada, who shares his deliberate, methodical approach to Melee, and is widely considered the better player.

And he won, after coming back from behind with a series of clutch, skin-of-his-teeth plays. The victory in itself was sweet – for a fighting game pro, winning Evo is a Super Bowl-worthy achievement – but for Hungrybox, it was loaded with meaning.

Years ago, Hungrybox's father – a failed serial entrepreneur with a mean streak and short temper – tried his best to dampen his ambitions. "You'll never be the best," he told the young Debiedma. "You'll be good, but you'll never be the best." That night on stage at Evo, he proved his father wrong. He got there on the strength of his grit and dogged determination, traits which he seems to have inherited from his mother, who refused to let her life fall apart after her husband's numerous abandonments and misadventures.

Read Juan 'Hungrybox' Debiedma's full profile on Glixel.