From SmashWiki, the Super Smash Bros. wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
Not to be confused with the Colombian player Isa.
Isai "malva" "MevseC"
Character info
Smash 64 mains Pikachu, Fox
Other Smash 64 characters Jigglypuff, Link, Mario, Samus, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Yoshi, Captain Falcon, Ness
Melee main Captain Falcon
Other Melee characters Sheik, Fox, Marth
Team info
Former crews MC, CLASH Tournaments
Rankings and results info
Most recent ranking Super Smash Bros. 2023 Smash 64 Power Rankings: 1st
Super Smash Bros. Melee RetroSSBMRank 2006: 7th
Best historical ranking Super Smash Bros. 2023 Smash 64 Power Rankings: 1st
Super Smash Bros. Melee RetroSSBMRank 2005: 3rd
Best tournament result Super Smash Bros. 1st / 255 at Super Smash Con 2023
Super Smash Bros. Melee 1st / 32+ at MLG Los Angeles 2005
Winnings Super Smash Bros. ~$3,993.96
Super Smash Bros. Melee ~$24,547.30
Personal and other info
Real name Joel Isai Alvarado
Birth date (age 39)
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 world champion and one of 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 the top level, choosing to use a variety of secondaries at tournaments. Isai has stated on Reddit that his favorite characters are Link, Mario, Luigi, Fox, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, and Jigglypuff.[1]

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

After finishing 1st at Apex 2014, Isai went on a two-year hiatus period from Smash 64, as he preferred playing more matches against top level players without having to play lower level players first. This break from the game ended when he attended GENESIS 3 in 2016 where he placed 4th, losing twice to wangera.


Super Smash Bros.[edit]

64 League Rankings[edit]

Ranking Time period Rank Character(s) Notes
2016 64 League Rankings January 15th-November 13th, 2016 3rd Pikachu's head icon from SSB.
2017 64 League Rankings 2017 11th Mario's head icon from SSB.DK's head icon from SSB.Link's head icon from SSB.Samus's head icon from SSB.Yoshi's head icon from SSB.Kirby's head icon from SSB.Fox's head icon from SSB.Pikachu's head icon from SSB.Luigi's head icon from SSB.Ness's head icon from SSB.C. Falcon's head icon from SSB.Jigglypuff's head icon from SSB.
2018 64 League Rankings December 9th, 2017-December 16th, 2018 3rd Fox's head icon from SSB.Pikachu's head icon from SSB.Mario's head icon from SSB.Jigglypuff's head icon from SSB.


Ranking Time period Rank Character(s) Notes
2019-2020 Smash 64 Power Rankings January 1st, 2019-March 31st, 2020 12th Fox's head icon from SSB.Mario's head icon from SSB.
2021-2022 Smash 64 Power Rankings June 1st, 2021-November 30th, 2022 2nd Pikachu's head icon from SSB.Mario's head icon from SSB.Yoshi's head icon from SSB.Jigglypuff's head icon from SSB.
2023 Smash 64 Power Rankings January 14th, 2023-November 17th-19th, 2023 1st Pikachu's head icon from SSB.Kirby's head icon from SSB.


Super Smash Bros.[edit]

Isai is considered by many to be the best Super Smash Bros. player of all time. The only player to ever beat him in a twelve character battle is the Japanese champion Jousuke (possibly due to the battle being done on the Japanese version of the game) and the only smashers who have shown true competition to his Pikachu are wario and Gerson (one of the best Japanese and Peruvian players, respectively), who have taken multiple matches against Isai in dittos, as well as Alvin and Nax, who are the only two players to have winning records against Isai's Pikachu in tournament sets. Isai is currently ranked 1st on the 2023 Smash 64 Power Rankings.

Isai traveled to West Japan in November of 2006 to play the professional players there. He played at Tokyo and a Hokkaido Smashfest in December 2006 and in Osaka in January 2007 and recorded a lot of matches that can be found on his Youtube channel. He lost a few games playing as Mario, Samus, DK or Captain Falcon (against Sima's Ness, Hoto's Luigi, Tatsuman, Rinko and Tsukuru), but generally did not have any true competition.

He won FC Diamond in 2007, which can be considered the first US major Smash 64 tournament. With 64 participants, it was the largest US Smash 64 tournament for a few years. In grand finals he won Link dittos against Sensei.

In 2011 he travelled to Peru to compete against the top players there. At a smashfest in July in Lima he had no competition, but in August in Tacna he had some close matches and lost a few times against Alvin, Gerson and Marka, with his games against Gerson specifically being his favorite matches.

Isai is also known for his impressive performance with the low-tier character Link. He managed to finish second at Apex 2012 by only using Link, only losing to SuPeRbOoMfAn's Captain Falcon and still winning a few matches against the latter. He also won the European tournament B.E.A.S.T 7 using primarily Link.

After winning Apex 2014 with only using Jigglypuff and defeating Moyashi, the player considered the best Kirby in the world twice, this helped Jigglypuff's recent rise on the tier list.

From around 2005-2007, Isai was the leader of his online crew MC. MC was considered the preeminent crew and recruited some of the best players before its disbandment, later ceding its best crew title to PPS.

In 2023, Isai would win an extremely competitive supermajor with Super Smash Con 2023, even sweeping SuPeRbOoMfAn and reverse sweeping Kurabba in Grand Finals after losing to him in Winners' Finals.

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.


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.

Tournament placings[edit]

Super Smash Bros.[edit]

Tournament Date 1v1 placement 2v2 placement Partner
S.N.L August 31st, 2003 1st
MELEE-FC Diamond July 12th-14th, 2007 1st
Pasadena 64 Smash Tournament August 24th, 2008 1st
CGC IX May 2nd, 2009 1st
CGC @ SFSU XII October 10th, 2009 1st
CGC @ SFSU 15 February 6th, 2010 1st
Tourney Play 4 February 12th-14th, 2010 1st 2nd Jel
CGC @ SFSU XVI March 6th, 2010 1st
Good Shit German July 25th, 2010 1st
64 Washington Tournament August 21st, 2010 1st
GENESIS 2 July 15th-17th, 2011 2nd
Apex 2012 January 6th-8th, 2012 2nd 1st Nintendude
Apex 2013 January 11th-13th, 2013 2nd
Apex 2014 January 17th-19th, 2014 1st
GENESIS 3 January 15th-17th, 2016 4th 3rd Rith
SFS #23 (low tiers) June 17th, 2016 1st
Snosa II June 18th-19th, 2016 3rd 3rd KeroKeroppi
Super Smash Con 2016 August 11th-14th, 2016 3rd 1st Alvin
GENESIS 4 January 20th-22nd, 2017 13th
B.E.A.S.T 7 February 17th-19th, 2017 1st
Super Smash Sundays 58 May 21st, 2017 3rd
Snosa III June 17th-18th, 2017 5th 1st Gyaki
Get On My Level 2017 July 28th-30th, 2017 2nd 1st The Z
Super Smash Con 2017 August 10th-13th, 2017 13th 1st Alvin
Kansai 2018 February 11th, 2018 17th
Called Out 3 June 23rd, 2018 2nd 2nd Kort
Super Smash Con 2018 August 9th-12th, 2018 3rd 3rd Sleepy Fox
Inka Fest 2019 July 13th-14th, 2019 4th 4th Wizzrobe
Snosa 5 January 4th, 2020 5th 1st Sleepy Fox
Quarantined Rapport West Online March 28th-29th, 2020 3rd
RAINN Charity Tournament West Online July 11th, 2020 1st
Keystoned V March 20th, 2022 1st 1st Josh Brody
Super Smash Con 2022 August 13, 2022 3rd 1st tacos
Super Smash Con 2023 August 10-13, 2023 1st 1st SuPeRbOoMfAn

Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

Tournament Date 1v1 placement 2v2 placement Partner
Tournament Go 4 January 19th, 2003 7th
Snexus 2 July 12th, 2003 2nd 2nd Recipherus
Tournament Go 5 August 2nd-3rd, 2003 3rd 1st Ken
Game Over January 10th, 2004 3rd 1st Ken
Zero Challenge 1 January 17th-18th, 2004 2nd
Smash 4 Cash June 2004 1st 2nd Matt Deezie
MLG Chicago 2004 June 19th-20th, 2004 2nd 1st Ken
MELEE-FC1 July 9th-10th, 2004 3rd 1st Ken
Tournament Go 6 August 21st-22nd, 2004 5th 1st Ken
MLG San Francisco 2004 September 11th-12th, 2004 2nd
MLG Los Angeles 2004 September 25th-26th, 2004 2nd 1st Ken
MLG New York 2004 October 24th, 2004 2nd 1st Ken
MOAST 3 January 15th-16th, 2005 1st 1st Ken
MLG DC 2005 January 29th-30th, 2005 2nd 1st Ken
MLG San Francisco 2005 February 26th-27th, 2005 5th 1st Ken
Gettin' Schooled 2 June 25th-26th, 2005 7th 1st Ken
MELEE-FC3 July 10th-12th, 2005 4th 1st Ken
MLG Seattle 2005 September 10th-11th, 2005 5th 1st Kei
MLG Los Angeles 2005 October 14th-16th, 2005 1st 1st Ken
MLG Atlanta 2005 November 25th-27th, 2005 4th 1st Ken
MLG New York 2005 February 24th-26th, 2006 4th 1st Ken
Cataclysm 2 March 4th, 2006 3rd 1st Mew2King
Champ Combo: Yayuhzzz Edition March 25th, 2006 9th 1st Ken
Champ Combo: NorCal Edition April 8th, 2006 2nd 1st Ken
MLG New York Opener 2006 April 21st-23rd, 2006 6th 1st Ken
MLG Dallas 2006 May 19th-20th, 2006 13th 1st Ken
MLG Anaheim 2006 June 23rd-24th, 2006 4th 1st Ken
MLG Chicago 2006 July 21st-22nd, 2006 8th 2nd Ken
Zero Challenge 2 August 15th-17th, 2006 1st Captain Jack
MLG Orlando 2006 August 26th-27th, 2006 4th 1st Ken
MLG New York Playoffs 2006 October 13th-14th, 2006 6th 3rd Ken
SMASHTALITY 2 October 21st, 2006 25th 5th Wes
NorCal Tournament October 28th, 2006 9th 1st Ken
MLG Las Vegas 2006 November 18th-19th, 2006 6th 1st Ken
Cataclysm 3 March 3rd-4th, 2007 13th 1st Mew2King
Prodigy's Tourney 3/17 March 17th, 2007 1st SilentSpectre
UCLA Monthlies II March 24th, 2007 81st 1st Bob$
NorCal BiWeekly 4/07 April 7th, 2007 1st Tang
Super Smash Royale III April 28th, 2007 2nd 1st Ken
MLG Long Island 2007 May 5th-6th, 2007 7th 1st Mew2King
NorCal BiWeekly 6/30 June 30th, 2007 2nd ?
MELEE-FC Diamond July 12th-14th, 2007 41st 5th Mew2King
Zero Challenge 3 July 20th-22nd, 2007 25th 1st The King
NorCal BiWeekly 9/22: Prep 4 SCC September 22nd, 2007 2nd Bob$
Super Champ Combo September 29th-30th, 2007 33rd 7th Ken
CGC @ SFSU 15 February 6th, 2010 17th 5th Scar
Tourney Play 4 February 12th-14th, 2010 7th
CGC @ SFSU 16 March 6th, 2010 25th
GENESIS 2 July 15th-17th, 2011 13th S2J
Apex 2012 January 6th-8th, 2012 97th Vans


  • The only four players to have beaten Isai's Pikachu in tournament sets are wangera, Mariguas, Alvin, and Nax.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Isai is the oldest player to win a major (as well as supermajor) Smash tournament, winning Smash 64 singles at Super Smash Con 2023 at the age of 38 years, 4 months, 26 days.

External links[edit]