If you guys have been reading my column for a while, you already know that I have many thoughts about the Melee community. If you’ve been paying special attention, you’ll know that I’m actually part of a group of people who have many, many thoughts about the Melee community. As ESPN hilariously put it, they’re the best and brightest minds that Melee has to offer: Melee Stats.
Last night in Melee:
1. USA won The World Cup at Fête 2, beating England and Norway (UK)
2. Hungrybox won East Coast Fridays, beating Ginger and Sirmeris (Online)
3. Vincessant won the SU weekly, beating Divine Senator Kelly and Connect4Master (WA)
— Melee Stats (@MeleeStatsPod) July 30, 2022
Jokes aside, today’s column is a small tribute to the old 5-on-5 roundtable format that Melee It On Me used to do. Since Melee Stats is basically the new Melee It On Me (disclaimer: this is a joke and reference to something insane I said in the moment to Scar when riding an after-event high at Genesis 8, please nobody flame me), I thought it would be a great opportunity to bring some of the squad together to break down 10 of the hottest topics in Melee. Before we get to the prompts and answers, here’s a brief introduction to the members of the first Melee Stats Roundtable.
- Edwin – Monday Morning Marth writer and editor-in-chief of Melee Stats (me)
- Ambisinister – Creative Director of Melee Stats
- Chroma – commentator and Melee Stats staff member
- S-F – Last Night in Melee reporter, When’s Melee reporter, and Social Media Coordinator
- Melissa Blight – Former When’s Melee writer and All-Time Major Database manager
NOTE: Some of these answers were given before Fete 2.
Question 1: Favorite LAN tournament of 2022?
EDWIN: If there’s an objective answer to this question, it’s Genesis 8. The wild amount of upsets before top eight was incredible to witness in-person, and top eight itself featured a plethora of amazing storylines: the LAN showdown of lloD-Hungrybox, n0ne’s fourth place run, Jmook literally having the most out-of-nowhere breakout since Armada’s Genesis run, and Zain winning. Plus, Ambi and Seal made Top 64.
AMBI: Surely the best LAN tournament is Genesis, and I promise I’m not just saying that because I played well at Genesis for once. I feel like Genesis is always just the correct answer for this question, every year, regardless of the context. I really can’t think of a single time Genesis ran and wasn’t an easy pick for tournament of the year, barring maybe Genesis 6 which had to compete with The Big House 9. To me, it’s just Melee’s Super Bowl, it always felt like the most meaningful tournament to me even when Evo was around and technically “more prestigious” or whatever. Genesis is just the most important thing we have built ourselves in this community and I don’t think this year was any different.
CHROMA: The correct answer is Genesis 8, but the vibes answer for me is The Function 2. The sheer amount of out-of-region talent, bonkers sets, and pure crowd energy was a crowning achievement for Ryobeat and the rest of the NYC Melee squad. Absolutely no bias coming from the fact that our Melee Stats showcase player Pipsqueak went on an absolute tear, beating five top 50 candidates in losers: Dawson, Chem, Panda, Swift, and Krudo (who beat him and iBDW in winners)…before falling to moky, who was in the middle of a ten set long losers run! A rainy trip back from Brooklyn at 2 a.m. before work the next morning later, I regretted nothing.
S-F: Genesis 8 would be my immediate, easy answer before this past weekend, when I attended Fête 2, a four days of pure bacchanalian wonder. Whereas so many events I’ve gone to feel ever so serious and ever so short (your average tourney goer plays two or three sets and then is done), the freaking vibes of Fête, even next to the miseries of Stoke-on-Trent, blow any American major out of the water. For a competitor, there couldn’t be a better event to attend – a guaranteed 14 sets, over a hundred setups, and numerous side events, there’s always something to be doing. And perhaps it’s just the quaintness of being an American, but it never felt easier to sit at a setup with someone you’ve never seen before and play some damn good Melee. For the vibes and the unforgettable experience, it’s gotta be Fête.
MELISSA: Genesis 8 is just the only correct answer in my head. Jmook went off, two people I love made Top 64 with Ambi and Seal, and because of that we got the greatest Discord sticker of all time. But yeah, it’s gotta be Genesis.
Question 2: Which Top 50 player do you think is underrated?
EDWIN: I feel like Zamu is incorrectly seen as a “Top 50 up and comer.” He’s very clearly on the cusp of breaking through to consistently contending for major top eights. In addition to being one of the few people this year to not get sucked into the ChuDat vortex, Zamu had strong runs at tough regionals, often having to beat many players around that very range I described. All I’m saying is that if Zamu were friends with Mango, everyone would think he was Top 30.
AMBI: You know what, I’m gonna be the one that says it: the most underrated player period right now is Mango. I think there’s a funny thing that happens around the summer ranking period where people don’t consider records outside the ranking period for determining which players are relatively good, and Mango is by far the biggest example of this: he was the consensus best player in the world in December and now we’re supposed to pretend he’s not favored over people like KoDoRiN and n0ne (no shade to them of course) just because he had a few bad tournaments to start the year. In terms of players most likely to rise the greatest number of ranks without “dramatic improvement,” I think the answer is clearly Mango.
CHROMA: In terms of performances vs perception of skill and expectation of future results? A more active Polish was considered just about top 10 at the year’s end, and I think their summer ranking will leave a lot of room for ascendance. My hot take: a lot of the fast improvers who will make debuts on the top 50 this year are helped by some timely slumps by the old guard and the overall lower attendance, so I think somebody like Krudo could keep improving quickly, but have much tougher competition cracking the top 15 in the future. Out of the Cali mainstays, I think Lucky and S2J have clearly found their groove again, judging by recent performances, and SFAT might be next… important to note that I don’t feel the same about Mango from watching his tournament play just yet. That said, would you really bet that Mango’s 2022 winter rank won’t be much higher than his summer rank?
S-F: Anyone from the EU – I’m talking Pipsqueak, Frenzy, and Professor Pro, but even many others who could just as easily be ranked Top 50 if they only were able to attend NA events such as Solobattle, Ice, and Nicki. If Pipsqueak had been able to attend Summit, or if Frenzy and Prof got to be in NA for longer after their relatively tame performances at GOML and Double Down, then there’s no doubt they’d be much, much higher.
MELISSA: As an ex-Pikachu, I feel like I gotta go with both Axe and Swift. Even though Axe hasn’t been as impressive as he was before the quarantine, he’s still one of the greatest players of all-time; there’s no reason to doubt his ability to return to being one of the best eventually. Swift, I think though, is somebody everybody should be looking out for. He’s gone extremely close with many top players and even beaten some of them like Aklo, and I think he’s one good run away from establishing himself as one of the top players in the world, period.
Question 3: What is the biggest surprise run of 2022 that NOBODY is talking about?
EDWIN: I got made fun of for posting Mad Tyro’s 2022 resume in two offline events out of context for pure engagement bait. I don’t regret it. Mad Tyro winning Lift Off is honestly one of the most random breakouts. Somehow, everyone saw him beat Grab, Skerzo, essy, and Zamu twice, and moved on like nothing happened. It’s especially funny because at the very next online event Mad Tyro entered, a 70-person tournament, he went 1-2.
AMBI: Zamu’s losers run at Hold That L 7. I’m not even going to bother listing out specifics, just go look for it, it’s monstrous.
CHROMA: Would you call it a surprise when Billybopeep stormed through losers’ at this year’s Black Empowerment Melee Invitational after reportedly considering forfeiting before bracket? In Top 12, Mr. Bo Peep destroyed Question, Mvlvchi, Salt, TheRealThing, Shroomed, and Riptide’s breakout star Flash twice, losing a grand total of… three games. Nobody in the know doubts this guy’s strength as a player, but I don’t know how many people saw something quite like this coming. It’d be a treat to see him compete more, but whatever’s best for Billy is fine by me.
S-F: It is very clearly SSB_Seal’s seven set loser’s run to Top 64 at Genesis 8 and that’s on god. A close second – cliché making winners side Top 64 at Genesis, cleaning up Preeminent, Mot$, and Eggy in the process. Still unranked in SoCal even after this run, by the way.
MELISSA: I’ll go with Bbatts winning Creed out of absolute nowhere. At this pretty big Tri-state regional, just after Summit which Bbatts attended, he beat Jflex and then dominated 2Saint so bad they switched to Fox during it, in Peach/Puff! 2Saint’s been dominating East Coast locals and regionals too, this was a huge surprise to me. This run alone made me seriously consider Bbatts as a Top 50 player. Also, something something HE’S FROM JERSEY.
Question 4. Discounting major results themselves, what’s the biggest community storyline of Melee in 2022?
EDWIN: NOBODY WANTS TO WORK. No, I’m just being an asshole. In all seriousness, it’s the specter of COVID-19. The skyrocketing rates of positive cases across the United States has affected top player attendance at big tournaments, as well as made more people reasonably wary about what they want to attend. Don’t get me started on how Hungrybox actively endangered an entire venue and how our community just memed on him rather than make him face any real consequences.
AMBI: I think the most lowkey storyline happening right now is how much of a god damn scam controllers are for competitors at almost any level. I remember a year ago when everybody was complaining about how broken Goomwaves and phobs sounded like they were going to be on paper, and how anyone having issues was just a victim of new technology which will surely develop stability over time. Fast forward to today and we have controllers which don’t work on Gamecubes, controllers which change settings mid set, controllers which break on Tuesdays when Saturn is in the 8th house, etc. It just feels like before when the only people happy are people on box controllers! They can’t stop winning!!
CHROMA: On a happy note, Slippi successfully saved the scene and LAN events are back. The netplay stars and transcendent improvers during the covid time-skip showed up to LAN events and proved they can ball! So much good to say about the democratization of melee access, practice, competition, and exposure Anther’s Ladder and Fizzi’s team have brought to the game. On less-happy notes, a huge amount of our competitors, staff, and attendees have contracted BA.4 and BA.5, whether from these LAN events or otherwise, and it’s proving an existential threat to robust tournament attendance in a world where we’re already struggling to get top players to compete. We’re also long overdue for any sort of regulation on controllers. For a good chunk of the year, your realistic options were to:
– Get lucky with the goomwave waitlist, after which you’d get a controller that looked to be invincible (see: ibdw at summit) or borderline unfunctional after a week (see: almost everyone).
– Get lucky with a rectangle waitlist AND learn how to use that (while getting called a cheater).
– Have a great hookup on custom mods.
– Go with the OEM – no strats, just fight as hard as you can.
I’m optimistic in the case of open-source alternatives like phobs or the open frame1 project, with public flashes and documentation. I worry that by the time we openly agree that some builds “break the game”, the top players using those builds will either refuse to abide by any rules that could nerf their performance (Brawl Metaknight-cartel style) or we’ll have no practical way to regulate and detect “cheating”. I’m also not excited that, for big N-related reasons or otherwise, competitors don’t have a stable way of figuring out in advance whether an event is running vanilla 1.02, some sort of UCF, or hax’s newest controller fixing jamboree code – or what CRT/monitor specs they’ll have to handle!
S-F: Controllers controllers controllers. It can be about boxx’s and Frame 1’s and whatever other rectangular eldritch horrors lurk in the shadows that allow Peach to ledgedash and pull a stitch. It can be Goomwaves worth hundreds of dollars breaking and Phobs malfunctioning. It’s the weekly tweets from some top player about how dogwater their controller is, how broken pivot uptilts are, and, for quite a few players, how they’re just gonna stop playing because of it. Even for someone like me, who doesn’t need a particularly good controller (Marth player), the endless discourse about controllers and how it’ll never yield a solution is just draining on everything I want to enjoy about the game.
MELISSA: It’s gotta be COVID-19 still. The pandemic isn’t over, people! Having all these events so close together is practically a death sentence for the later ones. We’re seeing an unprecedented amount of dropouts this year because of the virus and it’s gotten so bad we even had a guy play in his tourney WITHOUT A MASK BECAUSE HE WAS SO SICK HE COULDN’T BREATHE WHILE WEARING IT. Yeah I’m still mad about that, fuck that. But yeah, COVID sucks, keep your masks on, get vaccinated, maybe don’t go to tournaments I don’t know. We have Slippi now so that’s good.
Question 5: Best set of 2022 so far?
EDWIN: When I saw Zain-iBDW live at Genesis 8, at the end of it, I turned to s-f and Ambi, telling both of them that it was literally the highest level of tourney gameplay I had ever seen in my life. It’s been about four months since that set and I still feel the same way.
AMBI: The best set of 2022 by far was Toph vs Ambisinister in round 2 pools at Genesis 8. Two absolute titans of the content creation game; two rhythm game enthusiast / technical green Foxes playing way above their seed on absolutely dogshit controllers. Was it a “good set”? No, not particularly. It was still the best set of 2022.
CHROMA: I will take this opportunity to plug our Melee Stats showcase player Chape in his battle vs the legendary 100 Grand at 4M in Losers’ Quarters. Both of these players are so much better than anybody realizes and the set had some of the most ferocious momentum swings you may ever see. Other personal favorites for assorted reasons: Moky vs iBDW at the Function 2 (Losers 12ths), Ryobeat vs Nintendude (The Retired TO Championship Match) at The Nightclub S3E6 (Losers Finals), Null vs Hungrybox (Battle of BC), KJH vs Hungrybox (CEO), Joshman vs KoDoRiN at The New Mang (Losers Finals), MaNg0 vs Jmook (Smash Summit 13, Pools), Cliche vs PHDeeznuts (Socal Arcadian, Winners Top 32 Round 1).
S-F: It certainly wasn’t the best Melee set of the year, and you really kinda just had to be there for the fullness of it, but Asashi vs. Joshman in Grand Finals of Lawless #9 takes the cake. A jam-packed SoCal local, with Asashi coming off an insanely tight Game 5 win over Zeo in Losers Finals to face the titan of Joshman. More than at most any other local I’ve been to, the friendlies setups were empty, and all eyes were on the set. And just the way the players engaged with how rowdy everyone was only added to the spectacle, as Joshman pointing at the screen when he got a shine spike and declaring “how talented” he is. It’s one of the sets that really makes you appreciate how good it feels to finally be back in person at events.
MELISSA: Just pick any big-time Jmook set this year honestly. Jmook vs. Plup, Jmook vs. lloD, Jmook vs. n0ne and Jmook vs. iBDW at Genesis were all astounding to watch, especially the latter for me. At Summit, we got Jmook/Mango, Jmook/Leffen, Jmook/iBDW II, Jmook/Zain where he actually wins AND Jmook/Plup II, all great sets. Jmook/Joshman at both Summit and GOML were good, as well as both Jmook/Zain sets at the latter tourney in Canada. I dunno man I just love Jmook.
Question 6: What tournament are you most excited to watch by the end of 2022?
EDWIN: The Big House 10. It’s been three years since the only other tournament that I’d consider on the level of prestige of Genesis or Smash Summit. In spite of a very stacked December of new events, October is the month I’m most looking forward to with an annual classic we’ve lately missed out on.
AMBI: I secretly hope Big House turns out boring so I can just spend the whole time on the jubeat machine they always have there. I think for this question I am going to pick Shine 2022, since we are sending a bunch of players there via the Free Agent Showcase and it’s always nice to see my old New England buddies again; hoping we can all share a good spectator experience there.
CHROMA: This is always so bracket-dependent for me and way too much is up in the air to say for sure. I’ll go a bit off the beaten path and say in the very near term I’m really excited for Fete and Wavedash! With the sheer amount of up-and-comers these days, we are way overdue for a pan-European clash ft. special guests from the States. I’m sad I won’t be in attendance, but I couldn’t miss Wavedash – San Diego with a major again? Jmook vs the West Coast? I can’t wait to see what the new generation of socal TOs and players can show off.
S-F: I am just gonna let my SoCal bias show completely on this and say Wavedash and Mainstage 2022. In spite of how lackluster SoCal’s deep roster of talent can perform at majors, it’s still an absolute blast to see players that nobody has heard of make upsets and deep runs. And I get to watch it all in person! Watching Suf literally pop-off all the way out of the venue after making top 64 and null upset Logan at Mainstage 2021 are just some of the highlights of what was then my first major ever, and I very much expect some similar vibes for this next go around of Mainstage.
MELISSA: I’m excited for Shine 2022 cuz we’re sending players there and I’ll also be there on Saturday with my wife in my first public appearance since transitioning. Oh it’ll also be a dope tourney for sure, last time I went to Shine it banged.
Question 7: Which player OUTSIDE of the Top 50 do you think has the best chance at breaking out in the last quarter of the year?
EDWIN: I once sent Ambi a list of Grab’s results from last fall to early spring and he guessed it was Goosekhan. God, I’m still mad at Ambi for that. Anyway, yeah – I’m going to go with my fellow Marth player and Melee Stats’ very own Grab here. Around that time, he had accrued multiple wins on Aklo, Zuppy, Krudo, Jflex, and Logan, among others. He straight up looked like a Top 50 player or so before becoming more inactive. Grab recently won a regional over essy and Drephen, which is a good indicator that he’s about to take some more names.
AMBI: Goosekhan’s good, asshole, sorry I never pick the right good netplay grinder whenever you send me an out of context list of 200 records, god, fuck off. Anyways, my pick for this question is Abbe, the marth player from Sweden. You might ask “do they have any notable lan results?” And I would tell you no, not really, since they basically live in the North Pole. But I have heard the legends of Abbe whooping everybody’s ass on netplay for the last few months, and about how everybody keeps wanting to play him (suggesting his connection to the rest of Europe is probably better than the average Canadian netplayer in TMT). I have a feeling he’s good, someone should really figure out a way to get him over to North America.
CHROMA: I think it’s going to be somebody “retired”; i.e. has not entered tournaments but plays often, studies the game seriously with high level players, and remains focused on improvement without visibly competing. The difficult thing to call: what would make them start entering? I’d guess it’d be related to some sort of circuit qualification situation where a player enters on a whim and then finds themselves qualified for some sort of tour finals or bigger event. Faceroll is an obvious example here; he entered the C9 Mango Nation Tour’s west coast tourney this weekend for the free $75 in crypto for signing up, and promptly won the event and a flight to The Big House. Outside of this class of players, I think Wally barely missed eligibility with a combination of brutal bracket luck and an untimely slump, and now may suffer the indignity of watching several of his tristate contemporaries become official top 50 players (theSWOOPER, Bbatts, Jflex, 2saint, Mot$, Chem, and Dawson were on the ballot). With his usual activity and results, he could make huge strides in the second half of the year. Grab is already top 50 imo but you’ll all see soon enough.
S-F: It’s really just a matter of who is able to attend which big events and has the best chance of picking up the wins to get them there. Faceroll, Palpa, and Albert were all possible candidates for the summer rank had they been more active. Trif is almost guaranteed to make the Top 50 if he is able to attend. Most anyone that Melee Stats picks in the Free Player Showcase is also a pretty solid bet (Chape, Abbe, Sharp, Grab, and more to come). If he’s able to attend just a few things though, I think 100 Grand is an insanely locked pick to make Top 50. If he’s able to attend something like a Big House, there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll put his name in contention as one of the current best Marths, let alone in the Top 50.
MELISSA: I think Faceroll is the clearest pick since Griff is amazing and he only missed this one on inactivity. However, for actual up and comers I’ll say Grab is legit as hell and will go off in the 2nd half of the year. Is this a shill? Yeah, so? Also Sharp who we’re also flying out is soooo good, hugely underrated Peach.
Question 8: This year, Zain, iBDW, Leffen, and Hungrybox are the only players to win majors. How many other players will join them by the end of the year, and who are they?
EDWIN: Hot take: no one else. Jmook is really close, but we haven’t seen his consistency before top eight challenged by someone outside the Top 10 who could beat him, like SluG, Aklo, moky, or SFAT. I also have questions about Plup’s attendance and if he’ll have enough opportunities to win majors. Furthermore, although aMSa’s close, I can’t really say he’s “favored” against any of the top players he’d need to beat, which makes the prospect of winning a tournament with many of them very minimal. Everyone else has zero chance or it’s low enough to where I’m not betting on it to happen.
AMBI: I hate this question, it always ends up being a whole THING about what counts as a major. I think Plup will win something relatively large in the next few months, but some spreadsheet nerd is probably gonna get on my ass about how Riptide only had 11.5 top 30 players so it’s only a turbo-regional-plus. Whatever. I pick Plup (one).
CHROMA: I can’t tell what a major is anymore, but counting those of the Mickey Mouse Variety I’m going to say five especially if iBDW starts playing a bit worse than lately. With dropouts and the new exciting potential for anyone in the field to get slumped by top 20 talent, I’m betting on the field! The Plup Showdown was essentially a major win for Plup, Jmook could have his Genesis bracket again or something similar and be nearly favored to win the event, I will never sleep on the Mangus to figure out how to win again, aMSa has demonstrated the ability to beat the best players in the world, and I add up everyone in the llod/goatlish/godorin/moky/zfat/s2j/n0ne area code’s chance to shock the world and I get another win out of that… but if Wizzrobe heals up this year he’s getting me to five without that sort of tail event necessary.
I also will need to win many arguments with Melissa on what counts as a major or not – I am not favored there based on historical h2h. Call my over/under 2.5 in that case.
S-F: This question is just impossible to answer with how volatile the field is. Fiction was literally three set wins away from winning Double Down, which is absurd! You don’t have to beat Zain, you don’t have to beat iBDW, you don’t have to beat Hbox, you don’t have any must beat players to win a major. Everyone has a demon that can knock them out! Add on top of that how regular last minute drop outs from top players are such that the bracket can’t be reseeded, that whole bracket paths open up for players that just weren’t possible before. I’ll conservatively say three: Wizzrobe, because like…it’s Wizzrobe! It wouldn’t shock me in the slightest if he won his first major back at say a Mainstage or Smash Con. The last precedent we had for Wizzrobe returning from an extended break was in 2019 where he had a stellar showing at GOML into winning Smash ‘N’ Splash 5. aMSa, has demonstrated the ability to beat anyone he can encounter in a top 8. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. And Mango, because I don’t particularly see why not.
MELISSA: I have been called out on this question for my rigorous 7+ years long work on the most in-depth spreadsheet in Melee’s history and I don’t like it. Whatever, Jmook will do it this year, mark my words. And it’ll be a major, you can count on that.
Question 9: In Question 4, you gave an answer for the biggest community storyline of 2022 so far. How do you see this getting resolved throughout the rest of the year?
EDWIN: It’s important to note that right now, it seems like the American government’s response is, “fuck it, let it rip.” The sense I get from TOs I’ve talked to is that they either quietly agree or think it’s not worth enforcing anti-spread measures because they are so blackpilled on their ability to contain COVID. This is a problem that goes way beyond our pay grade.
Let me put it this way: TOs are a bunch of volunteers who, along with their ‘friends’ and customers, are totally at the mercy of how our psychotic, for-profit driven political, cultural, and economic institutions handle COVID. These people aren’t equipped with the resources to meaningfully manage the pandemic any more than having mask requirements, vaccine mandates, and on-site testing. In fact, I don’t even think all the TOs agree on the pandemic’s current severity.
For all it was worse at managing, a past Melee community may have been able to resolve the conflicts of interests between different tournament organizers, let alone their different worldviews on sensitive topics. Nowadays, because of the formalized sectarianism present in the scene, with multiple professional entities and circuits vying for control, the short-term chance of that happening is basically zero. So for my answer, my prediction is that most TOs are going to concur with the broader societal “fuck it, let it rip” approach.
CHROMA: All of these issues require coordination, standardization, and agreement among our scene’s biggest tournament organizers and most knowledgeable community members. We could get there, but we probably will need an actual MIOM-redux to get there or some functional shadow version. In summation: lmao my phob go crazy I’m adding more notches and jump buttons and I’m expecting to get covid at least one more time this year
S-F: I don’t. I’ve heard a few people talk about how the boxx is gonna self-nerf, which seems hard to believe when it doesn’t particularly work in their financial interests. Considering how there’s something like the Panda controller lurking in the background for the goomwaves and phobs to compete with, I don’t really expect that side of the market to get better either. The issue requires some sort of centralized authority to do something but there’s nothing in my mind that could get broad appeal – someone is gonna end up unhappy.
MELISSA: It won’t. COVID sucks. We’re all doomed.
Question 10: Who will end 2022 as the No. 1 player in the world?
EDWIN: Zain. I refuse to believe that he’s going to lose six more sets in a row vs. top-level Sheiks or that he is going to start getting farmed by iBDW. Eventually, he will bring the former around toward being competitive, and historically, he’s had iBDW’s number. Moreover, in spite of the SluG loss, Zain is still far more consistent vs. non-Top 10 players than any of his peers. In an era like today, I think it’s his best asset relative to the field.
AMBI: Reasonable answer: iBDW. I think he’s the clear favorite, he doesn’t really have huge player holes, it doesn’t even really feel like he has roadblocks like every other player. Burden of proof is really on everyone else to beat cody. Unreasonable answer: jmook with good bracket luck. I think jmook has absolutely disgusting head to head records and I think it would be insanely funny if he was clearly dominant records-wise over every other player without an actual major win, and still manage to land rank 1 because there are so many major winners now. He would have to dodge hbox, though, which probably won’t happen.
CHROMA: Sorted in my order of “most to least likely if you asked me at the year’s start”:
- iBDW has lost to Joshman at a major
- iBDW is currently regarded by many as the best player in the world, at least instantaneously
- MaNg0 is “bustering” to a level that would justifiably put him outside of the top 10
- iBDW has lost his last major set to Hungrybox and despite this is currently regarded as the best player in the world
- An Ice Climbers has beaten Zain with wobbling illegal in a best of five at a major
- iBDW has farmed Zain in their recent head to heads (playing Fox vs Marth)
- Somebody outside of the world top 25 has immediately started contending for the title of the best player in the world
The world is chaos. The throne is open. Honestly, if Plup enters more and plays well I think he’s somehow got this, despite seemingly wanting it three orders of magnitude less than Zain or Cody. Maybe that’s his secret weapon.
S-F: Fuck it, no one will. There’s gonna be some three way tie in the ranking because iBDW has the most abysmal losses in the world; Zain can’t beat a Sheik; and Leffen didn’t attend enough. The top level feels more volatile than ever so it would only be right if some ridiculous shenanigans happened at the end of the year.
MELISSA: I really want it to be Zain because I feel bad his peak has been eaten by quarantine, but my heart also wants Jmook. Realistically, though, I think iBDW is gonna take this one, he’s on a roll. Who knows though, 2022 is full of surprises.