- Not to be confused with the Colombian player Isa.
|Isai "malva" "MevseC"|
|Melee main||Captain Falcon|
|Sheik, Fox, Marth|
|SSB64 mains||Pikachu, Fox|
|Jigglypuff, Link, Mario, Samus, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Yoshi, Captain Falcon, Ness|
|Former crews||MC, CLASH Tournaments|
|Skill|| Top professional |
Top professional (retired)
|Ranking|| 2019-2020 Smash 64 Power Rankings: 12th |
|Winnings|| ~$3,993.96 |
|Real name||Joel Isai Alvarado|
|Location||San Jose, California|
Joel Isai Alvarado, known as Isai (often pronounced "Isaiah"), is a legendary American Super Smash Bros. 64 player widely regarded as 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 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, Luigi, Fox, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, and Jigglypuff.
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.
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, Gerson and Alvin (one of the best Japanese and Peruvian players, respectively), who have taken multiple matches against Isai in dittos, as well as wangera and Mariguas, who are the only two people to have defeated Isai's Pikachu in a tournament set. Isai is currently ranked 3rd on the 2018 64 League 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.
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.
CT Live stream
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
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
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||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 2016||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||March 28th-29th, 2020||3rd||—||—|
|RAINN Charity Tournament West||July 11th, 2020||1st||—||—|
|Keystoned V||March 20th, 2022||1st||1st||Josh Brody|
|Super Smash Con 2022||August 13, 2022||3rd||1st||tacos|
|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|
- Isai holds a positive record against every smasher he has played in tournament (in Smash 64), with the exception of SuPeRbOoMfAn (3-8), Kikoushi (1-2), and Wangera (2-2).
- 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.
- 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's Smash 64 video place on YouTube
- Isai's Online Smash 64 Channel on Livestream
- Isai vs. SuPeRbOoMfAn at Apex 2012
- Isai vs. Kikoushi at Apex 2013
- Isai vs. Moyashi at Apex 2014
- Episode 3 of The Smash Brothers, a competitive Melee documentary, which focuses primarily on Isai
- Twitter (dead link)
- Old Twitter