Joel Isai Alvarado (born March 17, 1985), known as Isai (pronounced "Isaiah"), is an American Super Smash Bros. 64 player widely regarded as the greatest of all time. He is credited with developing the modern metagame and is formerly among the ten highest ranked Super Smash Bros. Melee players in the United States until retiring in 2007. In the competitive gaming community, he is known simply as "Isai" or by his gamer tag "malva00." He is regarded as a team specialist in Super Smash Bros. Melee and garnered an almost three-year winning streak with his teammate, Ken Hoang. The team won the Major League Gaming Las Vegas 2006 Melee doubles championship. His primary character in Melee was formerly Captain Falcon and used multiple secondary characters such as Sheik, Fox, and Marth.
After his retirement from competitive Melee in 2007, Isai played at GENESIS 2 where he teamed with Johnny "S2J" Kim and he lost an exhibition match at Apex 2012 against Ryota "Captain Jack" Yoshida after the crowd cheered for him to get on the stage.
Isai was formerly sponsored by CLASH Tournaments, and occasionally streamed on the CLASH Tournaments channel.
Isai is predominantly a Super Smash Bros. 64 player. He became acquainted with the community surrounding its sequel, Super Smash Bros. Melee, entering his first tournament, Tournament Go 4 (TG4), on January 19, 2003. He teamed up with top-ranked player, Ken Hoang, in Tournament Go's fifth incarnation, TG5, for doubles events and continued to team with Ken in later tournaments beginning an undefeated streak that lasted from 2003 to 2006.
Isai is known for not taking Melee singles events seriously. He retired from playing the game competitively in 2007, and later shifted his focus back to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64.
He is the Super Smash Bros. 64 champion of Apex 2014, defeating Moyashi in the grand finals using Jigglypuff, a character considered to be worse than some of the higher-tiered characters such as Pikachu and Kirby.
Isai is of Mexican descent and is from San Jose, California. He was born on March 17, 1985. Alvarado is a graduate of San José State University and was the president of the school's chapter of Beta Alpha Psi.