With Summit Champions League taking the weekend off, Frenzy put the rest of Europe on notice at Regen Online. The U.K Falco won the multi-day European major on Sunday, defeating Solobattle, Levingy, MINT and Ice.
Frenzy’s first place finish was his fourth tournament victory of 2021 and it placed him atop the entire S.A.M.E. continent circuit in points. The circuit leader after Fete Online will be invited to Smash Summit 11.
- Smash World Tour Deep Dives: South America
There’s a running gag in Melee Stats: that on Evo weekend, all of Melee Stats will tune into a South American tournament before any of us watch its grand finals. From Ambi ranting about how “Perfect Dark” will never be topped to Fairfax telling us ahead of time that Bobseco would totally be Top 100 if he tried to me watching “AriqueNuubs” on repeat to now – our love for this region goes way back.
If you follow rollback Melee in 2021, you’ll note that South America has actually been one of the most active regions. Between the Super Smash Bong series, Experienca Bongazo, Melee Con Huesillo and so many other tournaments, you’re missing out big time if you aren’t following South America.
Consider this list a mix of evaluating activity, looking at results in 2021, considering legacy, and “predicting” how players will perform moving forward. This is an entirely subjective process in which I am going, mostly, off of my gut feel.
Please feel free to take this with a grain of salt – if you aren’t mentioned, it’s because you’re inactive or I don’t see you as likely to stay active (Gino, Vercetty, Karu, MuteCitizen, Pumm, etc).
The Best of The Best
- Chape (Chile)
- Blassy (Chile)
- Raikin (Chile)
- HP (Chile)
- Aisengobay (Brazil)
Chape won the last five tournaments he’s entered and most notably won Ebong 2021. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and claim that he would be cleanly Top 100 – somewhere around Pappi’s level – if he were in the United States for an extended period of time.
Blassy’s resume is stellar in what little he’s entered. He beat Chape in their sole set at Anonichamps 22 and is a combined 7-4 against this tier of players. However, since his sudden exit from Smash Blunt at 13th place, Blassy hasn’t entered anything. Still; I would be stunned if he wasn’t invited to the regional finals. After all, this is the guy who also beat Spark when LAN was still around.
Raikin caught my attention when he won the first Smash Bong Summit of 2021. Being one of the few people to consistently challenge Chape (4-5) also stood out. For an American comparison, I would say Raikin is probably similar to Jflex.
Between playing Yoshi, Doc, Luigi, Falco, and Fox, HP is all over the place when it comes to picking a consistent main. Regardless; he consistently beats everyone in the continent who isn’t Chape.
Remember Aisengobay vs. Fiction? I have fond memories of watching this set live. Seven years later, the Fox and Marth dual main has returned to the top of Brazil. He lately won a Super Smash Bong tournament over Raikin.
- Dark (Chile)
- caioicy (Brazil)
- Mave (Chile)
- Rocket (Chile)
If there’s a big event, you’ll see probably see Dark in winner’s side of top eight, quadruple shining someone’s shield instead of just grabbing them. Dark is 2-1 vs. Raikin, 1-1 vs. caioicy and fresh off a third place at Ebong. He’s still really good.
caioicy is like mini-HP: someone who plays a bunch of random characters, including Doc, and is insanely consistent against the field. But perhaps no character mains hate him more than the Marth players. He’s a combined 5-0 on kodo and Mave.
Last night in Melee:
1. Zain won Four Loko Fight Night, beating Wizzrobe, moky, Kalamazhu & S2J twice from loser’s bracket!
2. Mave won a wild Smash Blunt – perhaps the most stacked South American tournament ever, beating Roche & Chape!
— Melee Stats (@MeleeStatsPod) March 8, 2021
If Melee had only Fox and Marth, I swear Mave would be Top 50 in the world. He is the one player in South America who can consistently beat Chape (5-1). Moreover, he is up in the head-to-head over kodo (2-1), beat HP in their only set and he outright won Smash Blunt. This is a tournament which was, at the time, billed as the most stacked South American tournament ever. So, what’s stopping Mave from being No. 1? 24 other characters.
Rocket will very likely be back in Chile by the time of the South America regional finals. Along with a win over Aisengobay, he’s split sets with Blassy (1-1), is up on kodo (2-1) and beats NDJ solidly (6-1). Moreover, he won an entire event over caioicy and has wins over Eddy Mexico and Umarth when he was in Arizona.
- Pipo (Chile)
- NyxTheShield (Chile)
- meHunk3 (Chile)
- Roche (Chile)
- kodo (Brazil)
- NDJ (Chile)
I feel like Pipo flies under the radar. He usually finishes just outside the top eight at big South American events but cleanly beats people ranked beneath him. Nothing in particular stood out about his resume; Pipo mostly just lost to people in the first two tiers. For his consistency, I think he deserves to be near the top of this tier.
The first thing I noticed about NyxTheShield was that split sets with HP this year (1-1). The Chilean Captain Falcon also had an excellent performance at Phantom Hit in February, when he beat Guasausky, Rocket and Roche on the way to fourth place.
As of late, meHunk3 caught my attention when he won the latest Melee Con Huesillo over kodo and BIRA. Overall, he’s 5-2 against this tier and seems to be trending upward.
Since becoming a doctor, Roche hasn’t had as much time to take Melee seriously. In the first four events he entered in 2021, the former Chilean No. 1 failed to make top eight. Then Roche had his grand return at Smash Blunt, where he sent Blassy and Dark to loser’s en route to third place. I don’t know what to expect from him moving forward, but if I were to guess, he’ll make the finals.
kodo has individual wins on everyone (though Raikin played secondaries) in the top tier of this list except for Blassy, who he hasn’t played yet. For the most part, he obliterates anyone who isn’t Aisengobay or caioicy in Brazil.
NDJ is the best Pikachu main on the continent and someone with a shockingly good resume – pun unintended. He has positive records against caioicy (2-0) and kodo (4-3) in 2021, as well as a great rivalry with Aisengobay (4-5). Just keep Rocket out of his bracket and NDJ will probably make top eight.
Contenders for the Last Spot
- Linchou (Chile)
- Zera (Chile)
- Guasausky (Chile)
- BIRA (Brazil)
- IzzI127 (Brazil)
- Miguel (Chile)
If you want a good hipster South American breakout pick (how’s that for a phrase?), Linchou is a strong choice. Earlier this year he won Vapor Shine 6 over Aisengobay and IzzI127. His records are great all around; the only reason he isn’t in a higher tier is because he’s DQ’d or flamed out of all the most stacked regionals of the year. It seems like just a matter of time until he will be considered on the same level as Mave, let alone kodo.
Zera surprised me at Smash Bong Summit Online when he beat Roche. He then did nothing for a few months before beating Guasausky and NDJ en route to a seemingly out of nowhere seventh place at Ebong. I figured that he was good enough to include here.
In reference to his gameplay, my friend Ambisinister once called Guasausky “the Duck of Mewtwo mains” in one of the most strangely accurate analogies I’ve ever heard. As far as results go, Guasausky usually hovers just outside of top eight at the events he goes to, and he has a few immediately noticeable names on his resume: Mave, kodo and caioicy.
— Bong | Jo$ha (@JochaMelee) March 6, 2021
In the last two months, BIRA has attended 12 tournaments. He’s one of the most active competitors in the South American scene and has a lot of great individual wins, between HP, Mave and even the inactive former ranked Chilean player Vercetty. Out of dedicated and active Falco mains on the continent, he’s among the better ones.
IzzI127’s three fully attended tournaments this year were good enough for me to include him. He beat caioicy and NDJ at Experienca Bongazo 3 before following it up with defeating Mave and Aisengobay at Vapor Shine 4. His latest Vapor Shine was a third place in which he lost to Linchou and Aisengobay – all things considered, not a bad showing either.
I normally wouldn’t include someone who entered only two events in 2021. However, Miguel beat Aisengobay and BIRA at Ebong and Chape recommended I included him here. Running his inclusion by Chape, it seems like the longtime player is going to enter more tournaments for the rest of the year. Let’s see how he does.
- Leso (Brazil)
- CronoNes (Chile)
- Tewa (Chile)
- Hell (Peru)
- YUFU (Brazil)
Leso is the top Captain Falcon main from Brazil. I briefly looked through his resume and saw that he mostly beat the field, but one performance stood out in his many attended events: a seventh place at Phantom Hit, where he beat Roche and Mave.
Most recently, CronoNes beat Roche at Ebong. Before that, the Chilean Fox main had split sets with NDJ and was mostly someone to look out for in Top 16 at any big Netplay event.
In February, Tewa had a great showing at the first Experienca Bongazo, where he beat kodo and Blackayboard on the way to third place. He’s been quiet since.
The first non-Chilean and non-Brazilian on this list has an enigmatic background. Hell beat Mave at Ebong before instantly DQ’ing from the event. According to Chape, Peru has a few players who are around as good as Hell, but it’s hard to say how good any of them are.
There are other notable South American players who could be included in this spot, but the lore behind Yufu is too good. Apparently, just last weekend, he entered his first ever tournament and outright won it over BIRA. I can’t wait till I inevitably find out that this is a top player smurf. Until then, I’m including Yufu here.
SWT Deep Dives Series Post-Mortem
Well, that’s it. I have previewed every single region for the Smash World Tour. I’ve mentioned or written about 400 active players across the globe whom you should know. I could probably come up with another 100 names of active players to pay attention to. If I were to consider inactives? Probably 100 more.
I expected to be miserable throughout this whole project. At best, people would dismiss my project as one “informed” opinion. At worst, I was going to receive derision from notable players for either ranking them lower than they think they should be or not including them over someone else.
Regardless, I saw the purpose of this project as providing two benefits. First, it would be a good resource for truly dedicated followers of the scene to learn about other players or recognize their names in bracket. Furthermore, it would function as a way of “proving” to the public that Melee Stats – the team selected by the Smash World Tour to select players for their respective regional finals – was more than qualified for the role.
It’s tempting to focus on the negative feedback I received, often in absurdly bad faith. However, just looking objectively, the responses were overwhelmingly positive. Of note, I received the most encouraging response from Europe.
— SmashEurope (@SmashEurope) March 29, 2021
One player privately messaged me about the list for his region – and how he was so proud of making it that he sent it over to his mom. Others who I had known in passing were putting “top 100 on *insert region*” in their Twitter bio, in spite of my disclaimer that my list wasn’t an official ranking. In one of the funniest examples, someone used my brief mention of his name as proof that he should be placed in the Expert channel, not Advanced, for Melee Online.
The truth is that all the responses – even the negative ones – highlighted something truly human about our community. For better or worse, social affirmation is our only true currency. It is the most bitter; yet the most sweet part of meaningfully contributing to the scene; a feature that simultaneously burns people out and lights a fire underneath them.
I couldn’t have done this without the help and support of the Melee Stats team. I’d also like to thank six TOs: DarkGenex, Teroz, Yetis Don’t Exist, Cailan, JCAM and Chape for their contributions to this project. Each of these six helped me tier players, shored up my knowledge gaps for ones that I didn’t recognize and surprised me with how gracious and willing they were to talk to me.
For those of you who have read all seven regional previews, I hope you have enjoyed them. It’s been a treat. See you next week.
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