Hax, informally known as Hax$ or HAX FUCKING MONEY, is a Melee player based in Manhattan. He used to solo main Captain Falcon with the pink costume (commonly known as Captain Fabulous). However, in early 2014, he switched to solo maining Fox, and he was widely regarded as the most technical Fox player when he was still active. In April 2016, he went on a indefinite hiatus due to having a calcified FCU tendon, which was left untreated because no surgeon was willing to remove it. During this hiatus, he began working on the B0XX, a controller designed in a similar vein to the upcoming Smashbox by Hitbox, after having tested the original and finding it unsatisfactory. He has also slowly made a return to competitive Melee as of March 2017, having finally been treated for his hand problems, and will occasionally attend various Melee events showcasing the potential of the B0XX.
Origin of the name
Hax used to be into competitive Pokémon. In the context of competitive Pokémon, "hax" is lingo for the uncontrollable RNG involved in battles, such as critical hits, that can sometimes undeservedly turn the tide of a match. The high number of angry players who would call "hax" after severe losses due to this prompted Hax to name himself after this term. When switching to competitive Melee, Hax wanted a fourth character in the space given for tags in-game, and decided to add the dollar sign to it, eventually giving birth to "Hax$" or "Hax Money".
2008-2009: Starting Off
Hax began his Melee career as an up-and-coming Captain Falcon main who quickly rose the ranks in his region. At his first major tournament, Pound 3, he placed 9th; he lost to Mew2King in the first round of winners' bracket, then ran through losers' bracket and defeated LoZR, Silent Wolf, and Colbol in losers', then was eliminated by Azen. A year later, at Revival of Melee, Hax once again showed fantastic prowess with his Captain Falcon; he lost to Eggm in winners', but went on another mini-run through losers' bracket, taking out thumbswayup, HBK, and RaynEX. He then lost to Jman 0-2, with both games going down to the last stock, finishing at 13th in singles overall.
Hax's next major was Apex 2009, which was also his biggest breakthrough in the Melee scene to that day. At that tournament, he defeated ChuDat in winners' bracket before losing to Jman, but went on another run through losers', this time taking out big names such as Anther, Scar, and Kage before losing to ChuDat in a rematch, placing 4th overall. At GENESIS, he teamed with Hungrybox, where they were defeated by Armada and Aniolas in the winners' bracket. They rose through the losers' bracket, but only reached 13th place. He reached 7th place in Melee singles, besting many of the most talented players from North America and Europe.
Hax then reached 13th place at Pound 4, the second highest placed Captain Falcon at the tournament (with the highest placed being SilentSpectre, who was considered the strongest Captain Falcon at the time). In Pound 4 doubles, he teamed with Darc and was rather successful, placing 4th. At Apex 2010, Hax once again lost in the first round of winners', this time to I.B from Canada. He then eliminated WarriorKnight, th0rn, Silent Wolf, and finally, ChuDat in a rematch from Apex 2009, before being stopped by Zhu's Falco, placing 9th overall in singles.
After a comparatively low placement of 13th at Revival of Melee 3 and a handful of tournaments where he failed to break the top 8, Hax once again placed within the top 8 at Pound V. There, he continued his trend of losing very early in winners' bracket, this time to Zhu. He then tore through losers' bracket, defeating tect, MacD, Kels, Amsah, and VaNz, before meeting and being defeated by Axe in losers' quarters, finishing 5th overall. He also placed 3rd in teams, teaming with Hungrybox. Hax then placed 9th at GENESIS 2, where he sent HomeMadeWaffles to losers' and eliminated Fuzzyness and Fly Amanita, but was defeated by Taj in winners' and PPMD (then known as Dr. PeePee) in losers'.
2012: Best Falcon in the world
Hax placed in top 8 at Apex 2012. Although he lost to Zhu 1-2 early in winners' bracket, he eliminated SFAT 2-1 and MacD 2-1 in losers' bracket before losing to JAVI 0-2 in losers' top 8. He continued to perform extremely well in tournaments later that year, with a 5th place finish at Zenith 2012 and Revival of Melee 5 and a 6th place finish at MELEE-FC10R Legacy. At the latter tournament, he made it into the final round-robin bracket, where he defeated Kels 3-1 and Darkrain 3-2, with the latter match solidifying his position as the best solo main Captain Falcon in the world. However, he lost to everyone else in the bracket, placing 6th overall.
2013: Turn to the Dark Side (20XX)
Hax placed in top 8 at Apex 2013, defeating JAVI 2-1 in a rematch in winners' bracket, as well as Kage 2-0, before losing to Dr. PeePee 0-2. In losers' bracket, he eliminated Axe 2-0, but then lost to Mango 0-2 for top 8. At EVO 2013, Hax defeated S2J 2-1 in the winners' quarters pool to make it into the semifinals pool. He lost to Dr. PeePee 1-2 in winners' bracket, and then to Ice 0-2 in losers' bracket, placing 9th overall.
At this point in his Melee career, Hax popularized the "20XX" joke, depicting a post-apocalyptic world where everyone played Fox to TAS levels of perfection. He also began claiming that Captain Falcon, as a character, was not strong enough to make him become the top Melee player in the community. Although many doubted that he would switch to Fox at first, he did so regardless, dropping Captain Falcon entirely after The Big House 3, much to the disappointment of many Captain Falcon fans. It seemed for a while that Hax would take his Fox to the top level at his next major after winning No Johns Monthly, defeating VaNz and The Moon in a dominating fashion.
2014: Rise of Fox in a summer of Smash
However, Hax underperformed in Melee singles at Apex 2014, placing 17th. He lost to s0ft in winners' finals of the first round of pools, and made it to losers' quarters in the second round of pools before losing to Ice 1-2. However, he managed to win Melee doubles with Mew2King. They lost to Mango and Lucky 2-3 in winners' semis, but once in losers' bracket, they managed to defeat Shroomed and S2J 2-0, Armada and Ice 3-2, and Hungrybox and Plup 3-1 to make it to grand finals against Mango and Lucky. They won the first and second sets 3-2 and 3-1, respectively.
Hax upset Mango 3-1 in winners' finals at WHOBO MLG, including two Fox ditto victories, but then lost two consecutive 0-3 sets in grand finals to his Falco. At SKTAR 3, Hax defeated players such as ZoSo and Nintendude in winners' bracket before losing to Armada 0-2. In losers' bracket, he eliminated ChuDat 2-0 and Zhu 2-0 before being eliminated by Mew2King 0-2 in losers' quarters, placing 5th overall. Due to Hax's strong placements at WHOBO MLG and SKTAR 3, he qualified for the MLG Anaheim 2014 championship bracket.
In his pool at MLG Anaheim 2014, Hax defeated Leffen 3-2, Colbol 3-1, s0ft 3-0, and Remen 3-0, but lost to PPMD 1-3, Mew2King 1-3, and Axe 1-3. He was seeded in losers' bracket in the championship bracket, where he eliminated S2J 3-2 and PewPewU 3-2 before being eliminated by Leffen 2-3, finishing off at 7th place.
At the largest Melee tournament at the time, EVO 2014, he placed 13th out of a massive number of 970 entrants. In the winners' quarters pool, he unexpectedly lost early to Zanguzen. However, he managed to sweep the losers' quarters pool, eliminating Lovage, Reason, DEHF, Hyprid, and Nintendude, before losing to Plup 0-2 in top 16, ending his run.
At Zenith 2014, Hax placed 2nd in Melee singles, defeating Fly Amanita 2-0 and Wizzrobe 3-1 in winners' bracket, making it to winners' finals against Mew2King. He won the first two games, including a win against Mew2King's Marth on Final Destination, though ended up losing the set 2-3. In losers' finals, he defeated Zhu 3-2. Hax then won the first set of grand finals against Mew2King 3-1, with another win on Final Destination, although he still lost the second set 0-3. Hax also won Melee doubles with Mew2King, defeating Axe and ZeRo in both winners' finals and grand finals.
2014: Post summer of Smash
Hax attended The Big House 4, the 4th largest Melee tournament of all time. In pools, he had a close set with Vro, where Hax won the set 2-1. In top 16, Hax faced off against Mango's Captain Falcon and Marth, losing 1-3, sending him to losers bracket. He then had a close set with Kalamazhu in losers, taking it 3-2 and advancing into top 8. After defeating Kels 3-0, he faced Armada in losers top 8, taking the first game convincingly, but ultimately ended up losing 1-3, placing 5th. In doubles, he teamed with fellow Fox main Leffen. They beat HugS and Lucky 2-0 and DJ Nintendo and The Moon 2-0 as well, before losing to Hungrybox and Plup 2-3. In losers, they defeated SFAT and Axe, and VaNz and MacD, both 3-1. In losers finals, they had a rematch with Hungrybox and Plup, but lost once again, this time 1-3, netting them 3rd.
Hax attended the New York regional tournament series Justice 4. In winners finals, he faced Armada, where he lost 1-3. After beating Zhu 3-0 in losers finals, he faced Armada once again in grand finals. This time, Armada ended up taking it 3-2 in a much closer set. He also teamed with Armada in doubles, getting 1st without dropping a set.
On January 1, 2015, Hax announced that he would be taking an indefinite hiatus from Smash as a result of a hand injury. Due to this injury as well as insomnia, he had to drop out of singles at Apex 2015.
2015: The Return
Hax made his full return to Smash after recovering from his hand surgery at Super Nebulous 3. He lost to Nintendude in winners semis 2-3, getting sent to losers. After beating Wizzrobe 3-1, he lost to Lucky in losers semis 2-3, placing 4th.
2015: The Second Hiatus
Hax has announced another indefinite hiatus. He has been suffering from insomnia, and he has stated that it gets worse whenever he is at a national or a tournament in general. He says that it may have to do with his "20XX" mentality of perfection. He says that he will still be practicing, and going to tournaments such as Apex and EVO, but will not attended as many tournaments until his insomnia is under control. Tafokints made a video detailing Hax's condition, saying that he, as of writing this, is in a cast for his prior injury, but has been making progress, and will be making a return in the near future.
2016: The Second Return
Hax has made a return at NYC Nebulous Prime Locals. He has defeated DJ Nintendo at these events, placing first in the ones he has attended. However, he has said in interview that he is not ready to return in full force just yet. His first huge tournament of 2016 was Shots Fired 2, where he placed 3rd, and used the money he got from the tournament to pay for his last surgery. His next big tournament was Pound 2016, where he went on a rampage through pools, making it to Winner's Ro32. There, he defeated smashers such as SFAT 2-1, Nintendude 3-0, and eventually defeated Mango in Winner's semis 3-2, in a nailbiter set where Mango missed a crucial edgeguard, giving Hax his ticket to Winner's finals against Hungrybox, where he was defeated 3-0. Sent to Loser's finals, Hax was pitted in a rematch against Mango, where again, he was defeated 3-0, ending Hax's run at 3rd place.
2016: The Third Hiatus
After initially making himself eligible for being voted to participate in Smash Summit 2, Hax had to drop out due to another hand injury. Its recurrence has prompted another indefinite hiatus from Smash until he can fully recover.
2017: Third Return and B0XX
Hax posted an update video on January 19th, 2017, further detailing the complications with his hands and finally meeting a doctor that would treat most of the hand problems that arose (the incurable thumb joint arthritis that eventually developed on his left hand now prevents him from using a GameCube controller), as well as his experiences with the Smashbox during his hiatus. While Hax had a relatively painless experience using the Smashbox even before the final hand surgery, he proposed several changes, most of which were shot down due to logistical issues with submitting them. Cactuar then approached Hax and told him about two Rutgers University engineering students, Arhum Siddiqi (also known as WatchingTime) and James Taylor, who were working on a Smashbox-based product called the "Icebox" that would work better for Ice Climbers players' desyncing techniques. A controller design commissioned and approved by Frycook, Hax decided to contact them and contribute to improving the Icebox for use with Fox, slowly implementing the changes he initially submitted to the Smashbox team, and giving the product a new name-- the "B0XX". While no release date has been set, he has stated that the B0XX will be customizable, and additionally slated a return to competitive Melee for February 2017, though he would not attend a tournament until a month later at Smash Summit Spring 2017 as a commentator.
After a few months of attending locals on the B0XX, Hax won his first tournament with it, Nebulous Melee 85, in May 2017. Since he began using the B0XX, he has taken sets from ranked players such as Westballz, KJH, Crush, Fiction, Kage, Captain Smuckers, DJ Nintendo, and Qerb. He has also since made update videos defending his thinking on the legality of the B0XX and is still working on getting it legalized in the MIOM recommended tournament ruleset.
Hax was arguably the strongest Captain Falcon player in the world, utilizing much of the same deadly combos as Falcon mains before him, but with a superior playstyle. Unlike other Captain Falcon players, who relied on what Hax saw as mindless aggression, Hax played very conservatively by utilizing camping and clever baits to get openings. This made him the strongest Captain Falcon against more defensive characters (such as Marth and Sheik), and eventually, in the world. He was also the most technical Captain Falcon player, as he had amazing reactions and spacing, and utilized difficult techniques such as the "Hax-dash", an invincible ledge-invincibility refresh that doubles as a visual mixup. As Fox, Hax continues pursuing a perfectionist mindset with fast reactions and extreme technical skill, but has become a lot swingier, notably using a lot of fadeback neutral airs and jittery close-range movement. Hax is known for going for nearly frame-perfect combos and theoretically unbreakable shine pressure, along with reaction tech-chases and a strong ledge-game, often retreating to the ledge in order to be able to invincibly ledgedash and regain a strong neutral position.
However, this perfectionism has also led to losses in certain matchups. For example, Hax will rush down and approach even defensive characters such as Jigglypuff and attack with drills and shines (the most "optimal" way to pressure), instead of playing more defensively with Blaster when the situation calls for it. This can lead to him overextending, which leaves him susceptible to Jigglypuff's lethal punishes. Additionally, Hax is susceptible to psychological pressure, as shown when Mango defeated him 3-1 with his secondaries at The Big House 4 using mostly hard reads. In addition, Hax's playstyle often is very strong at short-ranges where his execution is extremely consistant, but he is often hesitant to commit to longer range approaches, leading to difficulties vs some more conservative and campy players; an example of this would be Hax's set vs Mike Haze at Smash Summit 5, where Mike shifted to a more dash-dance campy style and reverse 3-0d Hax.