Super Smash Bros. Melee community mourns passing of icon The Lake cover image

Super Smash Bros. Melee community mourns passing of icon The Lake

Melee legend The Lake has passed away, leaving the Smash community mourning the loss of a wholesome, talented player.

A prominent Super Smash Bros. Melee player has reportedly passed away.

Aaron "The Lake" B. was a well-known Zelda player from the Philadelphia scene that was known for his incredible skills with the underdog character as well as his friendly personality at competitions. The news was first shared on Reddit on October 30, leading to an outpouring of sadness over The Lake as well as fond memories of encounters with the talented player.

According to the Reddit post, The Lake passed away from COVID. The Melee player already had pre-existing health conditions that caused the symptoms to become lethal.

After learning of his passing, the Smash community started to share some of their favorite things about The Lake. Some players had watched The Lake's matches and compilations to learn how to play Zelda at a high level.

The Lake wasn't only fun to watch but listen to. His commentary while watching a set or playing in matches was often seen as insightful. He often saw the "see art in the most obscure of things," according to one close Smash friend, which led to his interesting observations.

"When I was like 11 I was like 'man, I wanna learn how to sing.' So I started shoutin'... And then I realized I sounded awful. You know, I never had lessons or anything, I was like 'fuuuck.' But the reason why I sounded so bad was cause my throat was hurting. I was like 'why is my throat hurting? Oh, because I'm trying too hard. I'm trying to go for notes I don't know how to go for.' And then... I didn't do that, and just decided to have my own sound, you know what I mean?

Fox is the same way. That's why I recommend everyone play Fox cause he's so rhythmic. He obeys the rhythm of the game. As long as you don't try to push yourself and try to do things you can't do, and just kind of play within your own personal rhythm, that's how you can do well with him. That's why the character is so open — like everyone's style actually comes out when they play Fox. It's so personal. But the idea is you have to be comfortable and not push yourself, you know what I mean? You can't try to do things just because other people do them, you just gotta obey your own rhythm. That's how you live. Just play your own rhythm."

While The Lake never reached the top of the Melee Power Rankings due to his love for Zelda, a character that often can't compete against top-tier Fox and Marth, he never gave up. The Lake never switched to Shiek. Still, he placed 6th in the Pittsburgh Melee Power Rankings at one point during his career.

"RIP Aaron. He was a great dude and will be missed. I had the pleasure of playing local weeklies with him in college. I was new to the scene and intimidated by better players but he was always so nice and fun to play with. He would propose silly matchups or stages so that I'd relax and have fun. Super humble for being the best in the world at what he did," said on Redditor.

"Rest in peace Aaron, I had so much fun learning to play Zelda with you and from you. Doubles against NPie and Nakamaru at Zappdos' house was one of the most memorable nights of my Melee career. I'm going to continue to play Zelda as a secondary. I'll miss you, The Lake," said another.

Other Melee players added that they enjoyed playing doubles with him or competing against him, with The Lake always being friendly, helpful, and offering compliments on their gameplay.