Christopher McMullen, more commonly known as Azen Zagenite or just Azen, is an American professional smasher that specialises in both Melee and Brawl. Although he primarily used Marth and Sheik in Melee tournaments, Azen was known for his ability to use multiple characters at the competitive level, leading some to call him The Master of Diversity and similar nicknames. He was formerly ranked 11th on the DMV Melee Power Rankings.
Azen legitimized himself to the community at large by placing fourth at Tournament Go 5 in August 2003. Shortly after, Azen placed 2nd at Game Over, defeating Chillin and Isai to make it to grand finals before losing to Ken in both sets of grand finals, and 2nd at MELEE-FC1, where he once again lost to Ken in grand finals. Azen's first national victory occurred in August 2004 at Tournament Go 6, where he defeated Captain Jack twice to claim victory. Throughout 2005, he placed 3rd at Gettin' Schooled 2, 9th at MELEE-FC3, 2nd at BOMB 4, and 2nd at MLG Atlanta 2005.
Azen placed 4th in singles at MLG Chicago 2006, and managed to win doubles with Chillin, defeating Mew2King and KoreanDJ in winners' finals and then shocking the community by taking out the largely dominant team of Ken and Isai in grand finals. Later, Azen was then victorious at MLG Orlando 2006, where he defeated PC Chris, Drephen, ChuDat, KoreanDJ, and ChuDat again in grand finals to take the tournament without dropping a set. Azen then proceeded to win MLG New York Playoffs 2006, defeating Ken, KoreanDJ, and PC Chris twice, successfully qualifying for the MLG 2006 Championships. He eventually placed 5th at MLG Las Vegas 2006, where he defeated ChuDat in a rematch from MLG Orlando in losers' top 8, but lost to PC Chris in winners' bracket and then to Ken in losers' quarters.
Throughout 2007-early 2008, Azen continued to place highly at Melee nationals, placing 9th at Super Champ Combo, 1st at Viva La Smashtaclysm, where he defeated KoreanDJ, PC Chris, and ChuDat twice, and 7th at Pound 3. In March 2009, he attended Revival of Melee, and placed 7th.
Azen picked up Brawl on its release and attended several early nationals. He played numerous characters at a high level, but was most well-known for his Lucario. He was considered the top Lucario player in Brawl's early metagame, and it is largely a result of Azen's dominance that Lucario was considered a high tier character in Brawl's early metagame. During his time in Brawl, Azen placed 2nd at Critical Hit 3, defeating DieSuperFly 2-0 before losing to Mew2King in grand finals, 2nd at Cataclysm 4, where he became the first player to knock Ally out of losers' bracket, and 17th at Clash of the Titans IV. He is also the first player to have won a large tournament with Lucario (C3 tournament), where he defeated Korn 3-1 in grand finals.
Azen temporarily retired from competitive Smash in August 2009, claiming that he lost interest due to most of his friends no longer playing the game.
Azen made his first Smash tournament appearance in over a year at Pound V in February 2011, where he reached 49th place in Melee singles and 9th place in Melee doubles with longtime doubles partner Chillin. Around this time, both Azen and Chillin stated that they had become active in the Melee scene again, though neither was as prolific as prior to their retirements.
In April 2014, the trailer for the Melee and Project M event Bar Wars: The Region Strikes Back featured clips of Azen towards the end, with Chillin claiming that Azen would return to the Melee scene at the event. However, Azen did not actually show up at the event. Two months later, Chillin once again stated that Azen would be returning to the Melee scene at the 6/3 weekly edition of the event Smash @ Xanadu. Azen indeed showed up at this event, and won Melee singles in a dominant fashion, defeating Chillin, ChuDat, and DP. He also placed 9th in Project M singles. Azen has since attended a handful of local tournaments in his area, and also placed 5th in Melee singles at the 8/19 weekly edition of Smash @ Xanadu.
Style of play
Azen mains Marth and Sheik; despite this, he can play nearly every character in the game at a high level. In some tournaments, Azen has used Samus, Link, and Pikachu in order to place high, while other characters have been used in lower-stakes matches.
In doubles, Azen still often uses both Marth and Sheik, though he has been known to use Peach and Falco in some doubles matches.
Despite considerable fame surrounding Azen as a smasher, as well as his ability to use multiple characters, Azen's longest-lasting contribution to the community is the use of his gamertag in the farcical term "Azendash".
In a match against Captain Jack, Azen (as Marth) held a slight advantage over Captain Jack (as Sheik); both had three stock, but Jack had in excess of 100% damage, while Azen had less than 40% damage. In an attempt to immediately backtrack onto the ledge in response to being thrown off the stage, Azen recovered with Dolphin Slash, then immediately tried to wavedash back onto the ledge, in what could be considered a relatively basic manuver. Azen, however, botched the manuver and ended up airdodging down and away from the ledge, causing him to self-destruct. Following this error, Azen ended up losing to Jack by two stocks. The match was of particular note because of how it was the last match of a set; because of his error, Azen was seen as having blown his only chance at advancing in the tournament.
As a result of Azen's critical error, the act of airdodging off an edge in an attempt to edgehog came to be referred to as an "Azendash".
Notable tournament placings