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Published August 15, 2022

With the Summer PGR out of the way, we have Melee’s first real Top 50 (and five honorable mentions) since the pandemic. Though we’ve seen a month’s worth of tournament results following the ranking period, our general impressions for the players on the list have not significantly changed. All of them have had tournaments worthy of acclaim.

So what about the players who didn’t make the list? In the most competitive era of Melee there’s ever been, there’s more than 55 people with notable accomplishments. For today’s column, I’m breaking down 45 other players you should be looking out for in the second half of 2022. Remember: this is not an official “56 to 100” ranking for the Summer PGR season. Think of this, more or less, as my best “guess” for which non-Top 55 players are going to finish in the final Top 100 of 2022, split into general (but, importantly, not necessarily in order) tiers.

Also, this is just my opinion – not an official Melee Stats list. Last time, Ambisinister and Wheat yelled at me for doing something like this and having people assume it’s a Melee Stats list. It’s not.

Basically Only Held Back By Activity

  • Wizzrobe
  • Medz
  • Kalamazhu
  • Swedish Delight
  • Rishi
  • Albert
  • 100 Grand
  • Palpa
  • Solobattle
  • Akir
  • TheRealThing

It’s Wizzrobe. He just won a big tournament over multiple Top 50 players.

After basically doing nothing for the first half of the year, Medz earned wins over Wizzrobe, S2J, bobby big ballz, Lucky, Eddy Mexico, and Chape in two events. He went heavily positive over most Top 50 players – hell, he was consistently contending with Top 20 players. If he doesn’t qualify for the list because of activity requirements, I’d be heartbroken. Medz might be in his prime.

Kalamazhu arguably had the best showing of his career at Genesis 8, the only tourney he attended in 2022. It would be unfortunate if he didn’t show up again. There’s zero doubt in my mind that another big tournament would cement him as Top 25.

I can’t believe Swedish Delight is still so good at the game. As it stands, he has a big top eight at WaveDash that came with wins over Lucky and, for what it’s worth, Santiago, who’s historically been a Top 50 player in his sleep. Other than Jflex, I’m pretty sure Swedish would cream every New Jersey player. Considering the weekend Jersey just had at Smash Con, that speaks volumes.

After one Nightclub in which he finished in second place, the next tournament Rishi entered was Super Smash Con 2022. He casually beat Zuppy, Magi, Mot$, Voo, and Khryke (and anyone else) here to make top eight. Rishi, someone who we’ve seen consistently in Top 32s of majors for the latter half of the 2010s, is probably making the list unless he curiously decides to not attend anything else.

I once asked Toph why he thought Albert was underrated. He was convinced it was the tag itself. As in “Albert.” Regardless, the only time we saw Albert this year was when he beat Faceroll and Fiction at Smash Camp. What does this tell us about him? It tells us that he’s “good” – the same story that every Albert tournament has told us for the last two years.

After a bit of rust in his brief return to locals, 100 Grand wowed the world by splitting sets with Zuppy, going 3-0 vs. Chape, and defeating Slowking, also winning Invincible. Do I have faith in 100 Grand to go to anything else big this year? No, I don’t. Do I feel an obligation to put him here anyway? Yes, I do.

Whatever you do, don’t say the word “Palpa” around Etossed. He’ll go on a rant about how Palpa would be Top 50, free, if he went to events outside Texas. In what few large events he’s gone to this year, he’s taken stray sets from Magi, bobby big ballz, SDJ, and JSalt.

I know I sound insane for having Solobattle this high. He’s attended as many notable tournaments as Queen Elizabeth this year (zero). But I’m that much of a believer in him. From what we’ve seen of him online, he’s still clearly worth following. Most impressively, he won a rollback event over Pipsqueak, beating him twice without dropping a set.

Akir’s been an online menace. Whether it’s his trademark Marth, his Donkey Kong, or even his Sheik, he’s been taking sets over people like bobby big ballz, Ben, and Dawson. To show it was legit, he eliminated Krudo from CEO 2022, offline, and made a big run to top eight there.

TheRealThing has only entered two offline events. There’s one where he split sets with Top 30 player Smashdaddy, and another where he got fifth, only losing to FatGoku and Flash, one of the biggest wild cards in the game. My gut tells me that TheRealThing gets Top 32 at The Big House 10 by beating Lucky or someone else like that, cementing him in the final list. I can’t explain why. Wait; yes I can. It literally happened.

Safe Top 100 Picks

  • Wally
  • Faceroll
  • ChuDat
  • Khryke
  • Drephen
  • Chape
  • Umarth
  • Zealot
  • Kalvar
  • Dawson
  • Slowking
  • essy
  • Kurv
  • JJM

Before last weekend, Wally had it rough at big events. You could excuse losing to Jmook and moky for 65th at Genesis, but his 49th at GOML was particularly brutal. With that in mind, he literally just beat the Summer PGR No. 1, as well as won fifty bucks in a bet I had with him on if he’d beat Skerzo or not. In terms of a “memorable” resume, his ninth place at Smash Con is honestly ahead of a bunch of Top 50 players. What a turnaround.

Faceroll should have been considered active for the ballot. If we’re talking ‘activity’ with the baseline of ‘just being Top 100,’ I feel like Faceroll’s cleanly qualified. He’s beaten Logan, Bbatts, and Zamu this year. In fact, when you take into account that he just won a free flight to The Big House, thanks to winning his region’s respective Mango Nation tour qualifier, Faceroll’s probably a lock.

ChuDat is awe-inspiring and terror-inducing. He’s taken sets over Wally, SluG, Ben, Chem, and Jflex. Somehow, Zamu’s beaten him all three times they’ve played this year. I guess he’s the resident “your time is done, old man” person we need to send to every event ChuDat attends. That, or bobby big ballz and Magi.

I remember back in 2019 when I thought I was hot shit for predicting that Khryke would eventually become Top 100. Nowadays, if you don’t know who Khryke is, you’re living under a rock. Even before he beat moky at Super Smash Con 2022, Khryke had a ridiculous resume of wins. Jflex, Bbatts, Wally, and apparently the Falcos. Bones, 404Cray, Slowking, Warmmer, Elliot – Khryke’s slain all of them.

Before shocking n0ne at Super Smash Con, Drephen won a Summer Smash Bash over essy and took a set from mekk at Hold That L 7. With consistent performances at Genesis, Pound, and Smash Con, Drephen’s as safe of a pick for Top 100 as you can find. In other breaking news, water is wet.

In one month, Chape put up results that make him a contender for Top 50, let alone someone whose name will appear on the annual ballot. His Marth weaknesses aside, he’s basically gone competitive with the Summer PGR players, while mostly losing to ‘better’ players. His results are like Mot$ from an alternate universe, which is hilarious because they don’t play alike at all.

Umarth was on the ballot for the Summer PGR and just missed the cut. His notable wins this year include Nickemwit a locals, Bimbo at Genesis, and Skerzo at Double Down. His Wavedash was a step back, but two good major showings are two more than most people.

I’ll admit that Zealot’s 2022 isn’t too amazing. It’s not his fault though. Losses to aMSa, moky, S2J, Joshman, Zamu, and Suf aren’t “bad” as much as they are indicative of how strong those players are. My guess: give Zealot a top Sheik or two, and he’ll be in a major Top 16.

Following a tough last two years, Kalvar has come back, more or less, to being Top 100 level in 2022. Though he’s not always the most consistent player, he does have two standout wins over Lucky and bobby big ballz, with the former coming in a Top 32 performance at Genesis. Historically, Kalvar tends to travel to a ton of East Coast tournaments, so I expect him to build upon his previous accomplishments.

Dawson’s built a nice little spot for himself atop the Philadelphia power rankings. While running into Zain for 49th place might have reasonably ruined Dawson’s weekend at Smash Con, his Genesis was strong enough to stand out, as he beat Lucky there.

Slowking, the last player on our list of people to make the Summer PGR ballot, has had a strange year. His “big event” showings have lagged a bit behind what we’ve seen from him in smaller events. Pretty much anything you could make from his results in a vacuum – like when he beat Panda and Mot$ at a pre-Function Nightclub – shows him to be a solidly Top 100-caliber player. It’s just a matter of time before he shows it at a major.

She’s back! This year, essy’s continued to be the overlord of Cincinnati. Along with beating KJH and Drephen at Super Smash Con, she also won a regional over Grab, has a positive record over Mad Tyro, beat Reeve and spoiled Flash’s return at SUPERRAD!.

After not being active for most of the year, Kurv had a huge return to form at Wavedash, where he took sets off Steech and, most notably, SFAT. He seems to be attending tournaments now, so this is about as good of a start to being active as you could realistically get. We’ll probably see the Luigi completely gone at some point as his Fox continues to get notable results.

The JJM story used to be that he’d always do great in Tristate and not always perform as well at nationals. JJM’s done exactly the latter part in 2022. Last weekend, he took sets from Ben and null, and even before that, he had split sets with SluG, as well as beaten Mad Tyro and Eggy.

One More Major

  • Grab
  • JCAM
  • DrLobster
  • Fizzwiggle
  • Eggy
  • Far!
  • Elliot
  • Mad Tyro
  • JoJo
  • Warmmer
  • Morsecode762
  • Ralph
  • Voo
  • Wevans
  • Younger
  • Shabo
  • Alex
  • Abbe
  • Sharp
  • Steech

Surprise – another Melee Stats sponsored player! We haven’t actually seen Grab travel all that much this year, which makes his upcoming attendance of Shine that much more exciting. He also plans on going to The Big House. For good signs that he’s on the verge of a breakout, he’s 2-0 vs. Reeve, 1-0 vs. Drephen, and recently won Threevo over essy. That last accomplishment looks better in the wake of essy finishing in ninth place at a major.

JCAM, the dominant No. 1 of Central America, had his first real standout win at Smash Factor, where he beat Medz right before Medz ripped everyone else apart in loser’s bracket. It’s worth adding that before that tournament, JCAM had won the pre-event local over Chape. Frankly, I think he’s better than a lot of people ahead of him by the eye test.

It may be weird to put DrLobster near the top of “locked” players, but it’s remarkable how he’s consistently remained atop a region that includes strong players like Kalvar and Warmmer. His floor is so damn high and if beating Skerzo at Mass Madness 33 was any sign, he would be able to take down even more names with additional chances.

Before Genesis, I joked with my dear friend s-f about what potential “upsets” were simultaneously the “most fucked” and strangely plausible. My pick was Fizzwiggle over Mango. It’s worth noting that Fizzwiggle beat Asashi the round before as well. Just keep KJH out of his bracket path and I’m confident another Top 48 showing at a major will be enough. Speaking of which…

Wanna know s-f’s pick? It was Eggy over moky. Go figure, right? In addition to beating moky, Eggy has a win over JoJo, a win at a local over Zamu, and, surprisingly, a nice little Combo Breaker tourney victory over Zeo. The consistent top eight placer at Chicago seems to have a knack for doing well on the big stage.

Far! was good in Mexico forever before eventually becoming one of the pandemic’s more notable rising rollback stars (how’s that for an adjective-laden phrase?). We didn’t see that much of him until he beat John Wick – the Joshman slayer – at Double Down, and he then beat PanterA and Bimbo at Smash Factor. Given what we know of Far!, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get a bigger resume as the year continues.

Elliot entered a lot of people’s radar when he beat Hungrybox online, but as of right now he doesn’t really leave British Columbia. Actually, that’s not fair of me – he traveled all the way to Australia for Phantom. Anyway, he has wins over Ka-Master and null from Battle of BC, and he seems more than capable of taking sets vs. top players in a variety of matchups.

I’m going to drop this now-outdated tweet about Mad Tyro here and say nothing else.

In a region as stacked as NYC, being a consistent presence in top eights makes you a contender for Top 100, so this is where JoJo is. Though we haven’t seen “Nightclub” JoJo come out at a major yet, we did see him beat Warmmer at The Function 2, as well as grab local sets over the likes of Jflex, Bbatts, and 2saint in recent times. The Nightclub before Function, he beat Panda and Dawson.

Within New England, Warmmer’s cemented her spot within the top three. She’s especially done great at regionals, where she’s double eliminated Kalvar, as well as taken a set from Bbatts. One or two more good majors would make her a strong contender for the final list.

After TheSWOOPER, Morsecode762 is my pick for the next best Samus player. His online results seem to indicate that he’s still Top 100 level in skill, and he performed about as well as I expected at Invincible. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get Top 32 at The Big House 10, taking a few names on the way.

Three things in life are guaranteed: death, taxes, and Ralph making the Top 100. Aided now by a randomly disgusting Pikachu that’s terrorized the NorCal Marth players, Ralph’s Fox also has a set over Spark all the way back at The Town Throwdown: Episode 1. History always shows that this guy is gonna creep his way into having a Top 100 resume, so he’s here.

2022 has secretly been the year of Voo, the best player of South Florida. He’s attended a good amount too, between Low Tide City, CEO, Tipped Off: Reunion, and Super Smash Con. So far, he’s taken sets from two Top 50 players, Chem and Magi.

On the topic of underrated Florida players, Wevans has a couple set wins over Top 30 player Smashdaddy. Complementing these are wins over Voo, Komodo and SDJ, alongside a top eight performance at CEO 2022. I wouldn’t ever call someone like Wevans “hidden” – after all, he was on the 2019 MPGR ballot – but I feel like he should be in conversations for top Samus players a lot more than he seems to be.

Younger’s been on the cusp of a national breakout for a while. A top Massachusetts player of the post-Crush era, as well as a regularly ranked player from San Diego, he had a great showing at GOML where he nabbed sets over Wally and Frenzy.

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me to convince Ambisinister and Wheat to make a Melee Stats video on shabo, I’d buy us a yacht. Winning a Midlane over Skerzo, having a win over Free Palestine, and remaining among the top of Illinois – is shabo the new Zamu? Or is he just the old shabo?

I literally had no idea who Alex was before he suddenly got 17th place at Double Down. He’s a Jigglypuff player who switched from Fox, kind of like Jerry. In addition to beating Nickemwit and Casper, he’s recently won a state regional in Missouri over Travioli, as well as taken sets from Zamu and Slowking. The word on the street is that he’s the “Jmook of Jigglypuff.” With this kind of reputation, I’m calling it – he’s making the list.

Obligatory sponsorship shill for Abbe (as well as the fact that he has online sets over Frenzy and Solobattle).

Second obligatory sponsorship shill – this time for Sharp (as well as the fact that they have a set over Melee Stats’ formerly own Pipsqueak, which basically makes them the greatest player of all-time).

Steech won the SoCal Arcadian. There’s Top 100 players who have a high chance of getting 33rd at this tournament.

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