The doubles or 2v2 category in Super Smash Bros. has unfortunately lived in the shadow of singles events, despite teams play being a very popular spectator event. Most outsiders might only know Smash doubles because of the Wombo Combo.
It’s worth noting, however, that every Smash title has decorated doubles teams, with epic storylines and historic matches.
Perhaps the most legendary doubles team is that of Ken and Isaid, who won every Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament they entered for almost three consecutive years.
Ken and Isai
Ken and Isai first met at Tournament Go 4 in early 2003, where they became sparring partners in Melee. They started as a doubles team at Tournament Go 5 in August 2003, which they won in dominant fashion.
While there weren’t as many doubles tournaments in the early era of competitive Melee, that didn’t stop Ken and Isai (or “El Chocolate Diablo,” their team name) from winning every single doubles event they entered from August 2003 until July 2006. In fact, they never even dropped a set until early 2006, where they lost to Taj and Forward before coming back and winning the whole tournament.
They won every grassroots major in that timeframe, as well as almost completely sweeping MLG tournaments for those three years. As a result, they won a considerable amount of prize money and were generally held as the undisputed best doubles team in Melee history, with only recent doubles teams such as PewPewU and SFAT, Mew2King and Armada, and Mew2King and Plup contending with that title.
Their first tournament loss came at MLG Chicago in 2006, where they came 2nd to Azen and Chillin. They would bounce back to win the MLG championship in Las Vegas, but the loss marked the beginning of the end of Ken and Isai’s dominance.
The End Of El Chocolate Diablo
Ken and Isai would still win most events they would enter but they suffered a couple more losses after the MLG Chicago defeat: they came 3rd at MLG New York Playoffs and they would finish 7th at Super Smash Combo in September 2007. This would end up being the last time they teamed together.
2007 in general would see them team together less often, with Isai teaming with players such as Mew2king and The King. By the end of the year, both Ken and Isai would announce their retirement from competitive Melee.
Why Were Ken And Isai So Good?
Ken and Isai had the perfect combination for a historic doubles team: they were top players, they used good characters, and they worked incredibly well together.
Ken was the undisputed best Melee player in the world during this time and Isai, on top of being the best Super Smash Bros. for N64 player, is considered one of the best doubles players ever. Their team combination of either Marth/Falcon or Marth/Sheik was effective for just about any situation.
Part of it could be that they were just ahead of their time; doubles wasn’t taken as seriously and their team just figured out the meta before anyone else. Even still, has the meta progressed more and more, Ken and Isai held on to their title for years. Ken and Isai won 25 out of the 28 doubles tournaments they entered throughout their run; an 89% win rate.
The story behind the doubles team, as well as Ken and Isai as individual players respectively, is explored in more detail in The Smash Brothers documentary.