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Published December 16, 2019

Last week marked the reveal of the 2019 MPGR nominees. The 120 selected players marks an increase in nominees from last year’s 118 and reflects a mix of parity across the competitive field, as well as inconsistent activity among nominees. Notably, Duck and Mew2King have requested to not be ranked, although they are still on the current ballot.

As for tournaments over the weekend, SluG affirmed his place as the top Philadelphia player, beating Stango and Bones to win No Jawns, a Philadelphia regional. Meanwhile in Michigan, Ginger took first at Wolvarena 2, and Grab outdueled Reeve to finish in first place at Kentucky’s Reevo 2.

2020 Breakout Picks

I know how thin the line is between players who qualify for the initial nomination process and the ones who don’t. Therefore, in today’s column, I’d like to give a special shout out to players who didn’t make the ballot this year, but are trending highly for 2020. I’ll be focusing on representatives per character, with honorable mentions as well.

Fox: Pipsqueak

As the No. 1 locally active competitor in Stockholm, Pipsqueak established himself as a threat overseas. Alongside his win over Joyboy, Pipsqueak also has a victory over Ice and won Vivaldi over Norway No. 1 Pricent.

Though he won’t be attending Genesis 7 and isn’t as proven in the United States as his contemporaries, Pipsqueak is coming to North America in 2020 because he finished atop the now-defunct Don’t Park On The Grass EU circuit. I can’t wait to see him receive more chances at padding his resume, as well as continue taking names in the Fox ditto and gaining experience in other matchups.

HM: Dacky, SFOP, Espi

, E-Tie

Marth: Pisces

Pisces is the uncontested ruler of Rochester, New York. He’s in a similar position to where Stango used to be a couple of years ago as the dominant player within his scene, and one who has shown glimpses of brilliance at out-of-region events.

Wins over Kevin Maples and Kurv weren’t enough to get him on the ballot, but Pisces is due for a breakout in 2020. Like Pipsqueak, he could shine with more opportunities.

HM: Prof, Grab, Lego, Dimension



Falco: Voo

It’s tough to take anything away from Voo’s results at majors relative to his peers. Besides beating HugS, and maybe also Panda, Voo’s wins are quietly impressive, but not “Top 100” standout. They’ve come against players who are likely in his perceived rank tier (90s to just outside 120ish), against people like Wevans, Krudo, Reeve, and Fizz.

In terms of a “Top 100 resume,” you have to consider how it stacks against other borderline cases, like Leighton or Qerb. This doesn’t mean Voo is definitively “worse” than those two, but they have a greater range of results to pick from and higher visible peaks. Yet I’m inclined to think this is just a byproduct of bracket factors outside Voo’s control. He’s a safe pick for 2020.

HM: Slowking, Yort, Warmmer, Bones

Jigglypuff: Solobattle

When I first heard of Solobattle, I only knew that he played an especially defensive and passive Jigglypuff. After seeing him dominantly 3-0 Trif, Overtriforce, and Amsah earlier this year, I’m convinced that Solobattle is the Finnish Michael.

It’s tempting to discount these three victories in particular because of matchup advantages Jigglypuff has against Peach and Sheik, but defeating Top 100 representatives of those two characters is still a valuable bracket skill to have. If Solobattle goes to more events and is as much as a pest in those matchups as he showed earlier this year, Solobattle should easily make the cut.

HM: SDJ, HiFi, Komodo, Dawson



Peach: Wally

Wally isn’t anywhere near Top 100 this year, but he’s trending high for 2020. Within the Northeast, his attendance and consistency have been more than remarkable. He’s already a consistent mid-Wave 2 presence at nationals and pretty much embodies the mid-level “grind” needed to show Top 100 potential in the future.

If there’s an event going on in New Hampshire, New Jersey, or New York, you can guarantee Wally will be there and finish 25th at bare minimum. Here’s an anecdote: last week, Wally wrote in the Melee Stats Podcast Discord that he felt like traveling to Xanadu on a whim, despite the event being a few hours away from him. He proceeded to drive three hours to the event and lose, only to claw his way through loser’s bracket, beating bobby big ballz in the runback of their Shine set and finishing in second place. By next year, I would not be surprised to see Wally within the very top tier of New Jersey, which will likely place him in the range of nominees for the 2020 MPGR.

HM: Shippu, Jamrun, CAUP, Oaty

For next week, I will cover the top non-ballot representatives that I think will break out in 2020 for Sheik, Captain Falcon, Ice Climbers, Samus and Dr. Mario.

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