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Isai "malva, MevseC"
Melee mains Captain Falcon, Sheik
Other Melee
SSB64 mains Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Jigglypuff, Luigi
Other SSB64
Mario, Link, Yoshi
Crew(s) CLASH Tournaments
Former crews MC
Skill Top professional
Additional info
Real name Joel Isai Alvarado
Birth date March 17, 1985(1985-03-17) (age 30)
Location San Jose, California USA
Ken and Isai of team "El Chocolate Diablo." (Isai is on the right.)

Joel Isai Alvarado, known as Isai (often pronounced "Isaiah"), is an American Super Smash Bros. 64 player widely regarded as the greatest of all time. He is credited with creating the modern metagame and was so far ahead of all other competitors that he was virtually untouchable giving rise to the meme "Isai is too good" within the community. He mains Pikachu in Super Smash Bros., but can use the entire cast at a top professional level, choosing to use a variety of secondaries at tournaments. Isai has stated on Reddit that his favorite characters are Link, Mario, Fox, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Yoshi and Jigglypuff.[1]

He also played Super Smash Bros. Melee and was ranked 7th best in the United States before he retired from that game. He mained Captain Falcon and Sheik in Melee, while using Fox as a secondary. He was ranked first on the NorCal Power Rankings in 2006.


Super Smash Bros.[edit]

Isai is the undisputed world champion of Super Smash Bros.. The only player to ever beat him in a 12 character battle is the Japanese champion Jousuke and the only other smasher who has shown true competition to his Pikachu is the Peruvian champion Gerson, who has taken multiple matches against Isai in dittos. Isai is currently ranked 3rd on the unfinished Smash 64 ELO Rating.

Isai traveled to West Japan in November of 2006 to play the professional players there. However, no sets against the Japanese champion Jousuke (nor many other top Japanese players) were recorded and as a result of this, Isai generally did not have any true competition.

Isai is in part responsible for the higher position of Link in the most recent tier list, due to his overall astonishing performance with the character, later confirmed at Apex 2012 where he managed to finish second by only using Link, only losing to SuPeRbOoMfAn's Captain Falcon and still winning a few matches against the latter. However, with the recent banning of Hyrule Castle in certain rulesets (including Apex 2014), this newfound position is again in jeopardy.

After winning Apex 2014 and defeating Moyashi, the player considered the best Kirby in the world twice, many again question Jigglypuff's tier placement.

Isai's online crew MC was considered the preeminent crew and recruited some of the best players before its disbandment, later ceding its best crew title to PPS.

CT Live stream[edit]

Isai agreed in November 2013 to regularly stream online sessions of Smash 64 through CLASH Tournaments' Twitch channel in exchange of revenue based on viewership count. These take place on Tuesday nights at 8PM PST (11PM EST). Smashers regularly featured on the stream include Bane, Mariguas, and Near among others.

Notable tournament placings[edit]

Tournament Date Location 1v1 placement 2v2 placement Partner
GENESIS 2 July 15th-17th, 2011 Antioch, CA USA 2nd
Apex 2012 January 6th-8th, 2012 New Brunswick, NJ USA 2nd 1st Nintendude
Apex 2013 January 11th-13th, 2013 New Brunswick, NJ USA 2nd
Apex 2014 January 17th-19th, 2014 Somerset, NJ USA 1st


Isai in his prime was regarded as the best Melee Captain Falcon player in the world. Although his placings at Melee singles tournaments lowered over time, he is one of the few players to have defeated former Melee world champion Ken multiple times.

Isai and Ken constituted El Chocolate Diablo, the strongest doubles team in the world circa 2004-2006. El Chocolate Diablo remained undefeated in tournament sets until their loss to Taj and Forward at a Champ Combo tournament, and placed 1st at every tournament they entered until placing 2nd behind Azen and Chillin at MLG Chicago 2006. However, Isai and Ken would later win MLG Las Vegas 2006, the final MLG National Championship for Melee teams in 2006. Following this win, El Chocolate Diablo became inactive for almost a year until their final appearance at Super Champ Combo, where they placed 7th.

Loss of interest in Melee[edit]

Despite his success, Isai gradually lost interest in Melee in 2007. In early 2010, Isai expressed interest in playing Melee seriously again, but after smashing with Scar and entering a handful of tournaments, Isai still did not find it enjoyable anymore.

Notable sandbagging incidents[edit]

At Apex 2012, he was unexpectedly convinced by the crowd to play a Melee exhibition match against the other Smash veteran Captain Jack. However, he only sandbagged and was 4-stocked, much to the audience's disappointment.


  • He purchased Brawl but does not play it. Super Smash Bros. has always been Isai's preferred Smash Bros. game; he has been playing Smash 64 since 1999 and Smash 64 online since 2004.
  • Isai often used the in-game tags "VI" and "MEL" in Melee. In Super Smash Bros, his YouTube video tag is "malva" if it is an online match or "Isai" if it is a console match. His nickname "malva" originates from his mother's Windows login name (she used the initial 'm' for her name plus a shortened version of her last name, Alvarado or 'alva').
  • Isai's YouTube name is MevseC. This nickname originates from the fact that he plays Marvel vs. Capcom (MvsC). He added the two 'e' letters in the middle to make it look cooler and sound like a name.
  • From around 2005-2007, Isai was the leader of the then-top online SSB64 crew MC.
  • Isai calls online Smash "fake Smash" due to the delay and lag experienced online. He also calls it fake Smash because, by definition, it is emulated and thus merely a copy or imitation of the real game on console.
  • Noticing that there were exceptional Smash 64 players in Japan and Peru, Isai traveled to both of these countries and played the top players there (e.g. Jousuke, the Japanese national champion and Gerson, the Peruvian national champion). He is one of the few Smash 64 players to make a serious effort to travel internationally multiple times in order to play the top Smash 64 players from around the world.

External links[edit]