A long time ago, a UK player by the name of Kingu became a Patron of Melee Stats. I gave him my word that in exchange for his support of Melee Stats I would write up some kind of “deep dive” on the United Kingdom. With Fete 2022 coming up soon, I figured it was more timely than ever to fulfill my end of the bargain.
In today’s column, I’m going to break down 15 players from the United Kingdom you should be watching either at Fete or for the future. This is not going to be your typical official scouting report as much as just a stream of consciousness on what I know about each player.
Note: I have not mentioned inactives within this column and I’ve tried to focus on players who have been present at LAN events. As a result, players like Setchi, MINT, maXy, Jamie, Isdsar, Branspeed, Aiken, etc. are not covered. I merely used the most recent UK PR’s Top 15 as a frame of reference.
Story time: I once played Silas and Branspeed in doubles. My teammate and I made a very stupid comeback to win Game 1 and I popped off, with both my teammate and I laughing about it, as we did not care about teams. Silas, a strong Peach player, was very upset about it. Yet in spite of him and his partner winning the set anyway, it was clear that he continued to be annoyed.
Not the tournament tho, it kinda sucked
— Silas (@Silas_SSB) November 21, 2019
I’ll be honest. I did not like it one bit. I offered to money match in singles and he declined. In hindsight, it’s definitely clear that not only was I the owned one by the end of the set, I was totally being aggressive for no reason. But this is what makes Silas’ reaction so baffling. How did he leave the set feeling anything less than victorious? I’m sorry, Silas. Next time you’re in America, or I’m in the UK, let’s get a drink together.
- Tony Bomboni
A long time ago, my dear friend SaveAsUntitled confused Tony Bomboni with Bambi. I thought this was hilarious, since one of them was a Captain Falcon player from the UK and other one was a Young Link player from New Jersey. Save, come on! Anyway, this guy’s pretty solid, but he’s also in the middle of right fucking nowhere in Bournemouth. From what I can tell, it’s kind of like the Mystic, Connecticut of the United Kingdom.
In recent times he hasn’t been too active, but I’d consider him around the top of the UK’s mid-level. A couple years ago, he took an online set from Amsah, which was pretty impressive for the time given that Amsah was basically the gatekeeper for entering the top tier of Europe for the longest time. I also remember a set where Bomboni made a three-stock comeback vs. Fat Tino after the commentators said they’d buy him a Jisu controller if he won the game.
Ah, now here’s a name I recognize, not just for current relevance but all the way back from the Mesozoic Era. He’s kind of like England’s version of Juicebox: a perpetually good player that’s always been around and been quite strong at the game.
Don’t mistake R23’s spot outside of the Top 10 as a reason to not follow his results in modern times. Lately, he low-key spanked the rest of the south coast of the UK, winning Birth over the likes of Laurster and Thai, both of whom I think would be power ranked in many good subregions of America. Side note: it’s really annoying that there’s a player called “R23” and another one named “23.” Come on people; surely you could plan this a little better.
You know, at first, I initially thought there was nothing more deliciously evil than the Jigglypuff/Ice Climbers dual-main idea. Then, I learned about GG, who combines their Jigglypuff with fucking Zelda of all characters.
It’s as if their goal in Melee is to make their opponent never want to play the game again. They do have a great solo stream though. Furthermore, GG recently eliminated Kalvar from GOML 2022 to make Top 64, so they’re also quite good at the game. Here: I have an idea for the most cursed invitational round robin event ever: GG, Kingu, Solobattle, Jamie, Poppmaister6000, and special guest Lunar Dusk.
We finally reach our first Irish member of the UK PR. I’ve known Luan’s name for a while, but I have to admit that the first thing I thought of was how he beat Leffen’s Sheik on unranked, and I initially thought he was from Portugal. He recently won an event over Jamie, who I view extremely favorably for taking a set off Pipsqueak earlier this year, so clearly Luan is very good.
For those not in the know, Ireland actually has a decent amount of hidden bosses and inactives like MINT and maXy, so Luan’s got large shoes to fill. Nonetheless, he seems to be following in their path in terms of being a relatively obscure, strong, and not necessarily the most active player. Most people I’ve talked to from the UK think that Luan is currently a bit better in “skill” than his most recent rank, so I’m thrilled to see how his results change over the course of the year.
I searched the Melee Stats Discord for mentions of Mordo and he came up more than 273 times. Can you believe that shit? Unfortunately, he had a tough bracket at GOML where he ran into Zain and prof, which is basically like running into a buzzsaw headfirst as a rising regional Falco player. As a result, we didn’t really learn anything “new” about him against a bigger field.
Alright – time to tell you a story that has nothing to do with Melee. There was once a time when max and Mordo were playing slots together. They were losing a shitton of money and it was looking hopeless. Eventually, as they’re running out of money, they successfully win about 1500 euros.
I’ll be honest – I was not initially a fan of Okameed. He was one of the many people from the UK who started hating on Melee Stats because our friendly neighborhood Fox player got a fact about PAL wrong, called HEIR a regional, and compared MINT to Bob-omb (the last two I will defend to the death as being appropriate at the time). But nowadays, Okameed’s become one of my favorite people in the scene.
Okameed does it all. He TOs, he’s got a great Pikachu that recently beat Heartstrings, he went to Japan and did well – what more could you want from him? Lowkey if you made a list of “most important British smashers,” Okameed’s in the top tier. Plus, he’s a Patron, so, I’m obliged to speak his praises. What a character arc.
I first learned about Squeachu, as I have about most UK players, by seeing Kingu rant about them. Like most Kingu posts, I couldn’t quite tell what his point was, but as far as Squeachu stands, they’re the best Game & Watch player in Europe. I watched a few videos and I’m convinced.
Squeachu seems like the kind of player that could come to America and randomly farm a bunch of Marth players. Basically, what I’m saying is that Squeachu is kind of like the UK’s glock in my toyota. Wait – they beat King Funk at MYTH 2? That’s so fucked.
From what I can tell, 23’s a Fox player from London. Late last year he had a pretty wild winner’s bracket run at MYTH where he defeated people like Skips, GG, Thai, Kidder, and even Max. He doesn’t really go as much as some of the other people around him, but I’d be willing to say he’s still probably in the Top 10 in the UK right now.
Sidenote: it was quite frustrating to find out info about 23. Usually when it comes to things like this, I look through smashdata.gg and the Melee Stats Podcast server to see mentions of players. As far as the latter is concerned, good luck trying to to do that with players whose tags are literal numbers. That’s it, I’m beefing with the UK again. Pick better tags.
After years of being in the UK’s mid-level, Stranger has come to prominence as a relatively new rising star. I looked through his results and noticed that he was fairly positive vs. the field and very difficult to upset, but the thing that stood out most to me was how he recently defeated Meady – someone I would have considered the best Marth in Europe – at MYTH 2.
Before that, he took a set from max two months prior. I wish he came to GOML; Stranger could have done quite a bit of damage and right now would be a good pick for a 2023 breakout star.
- Fat Tino
Remember my previous beef with Okameed and the rest of the UK Melee scene? I’m now going to share a story. Shortly after I entered the UK Melee Discord and flamed everybody for thinking they knew more about results than Melee Stats, I was cold-called on the spot about Fat Tino’s results in London. I forget my specific words, but I believe I said something along the lines of him being in the second level of London, beating everyone who wasn’t Professor Pro. Some people were shocked that I knew him, others tried to twist my answer incorrectly – point is, they all got owned and none of you should ever question my or Melee Stats’ cred ever.
— PGstats.com (@pgstats) February 15, 2022
Thinking about it now, what a ridiculous thing that was. Imagine entering a Discord like Dirty fucking Harry just to yell at a bunch of British nerds because they took offense at my friend comparing MINT, a relatively hidden boss of their region, to Bob-omb, another relatively hidden boss of another region at that time. Anyway, I think Fat Tino’s pretty legit – he’s kind of like a gatekeeper to the top level of play in the UK.
Fun fact: Kingu’s the reason for this column, as he became a Patron for it. He’s one of the rising stars of Europe, let alone the UK, and someone who with enough results in North America, would probably end up on a Top 100 ballot. I think both his Jigglypuff and Fox are pretty legitimate, as they’ve beaten both Professor Pro and Frenzy – a rarity for UK players.
But they’re not as powerful as the infuriating aura of Kingu’s social media posts. You’d think it’s just a Twitter thing, right? Nope. Kingu’s god-tier shitposting and tendency to flame people in Discords is unparalleled. So yeah; he’s great at the game. Shame he won’t be at Fete this weekend, since Kingu is also a literal child.
Max somehow surpassed maXy as the best player in the UK to have the word “max” in their name. Hold on, does that count for someone who’s whole name is max? Whatever. They’re pretty great – a contender for best European Sheik – and legend has it that after Frenzy beat Jmook at Smash World Tour, he said “max is better.” I’m going to go out on a limb and say that max is not better than a Top 5 player, but they’re damn good.
Recently, they eliminated Frenzy from The Vault not too long after Frenzy came back from Summit having defeated Salt and Mekk, two Top 50 players. Is adding a 0 after the 5 a proper place for max’s rank? Not yet this year, as their GOML and Double Down performances were ho-hum, but they’re someone to watch for the rest of the year and the future.
In a field of so many strong Falco players, Frenzy’s one I frequently enjoy watching. He shoots lasers like his life depends on it, but they’re not thoughtless. Of all the Falcos around his level, he’s the one who wins the cleanest openings. I wouldn’t describe him as “slow” either – Frenzy’s technical knowledge and ability to move in bursts of speed when he has frame advantage are both remarkable.
As it stands, he’s basically the only player in the UK who can consistently put up a fight against Professor Pro, who everyone outside of Frenzy either keels over and dies against or can only take, like, one in ten sets. Also, did you know he’s tall as shit? Of all the active top Melee players, Frenzy may be worthy of an actual basketball scouting report. Yes, I know playing goes way beyond height – it’s just a cheap joke.
- Professor Pro
You know, when we think of the most dominant local reigns of all-time, Professor Pro’s name has to be up on the list. But it goes beyond that. Had anyone else in their career taken sets off Leffen and Hungrybox, we’d hear nonstop talk about it. For Professor Pro, it’s another day in the office. The fact that he remains a dominant force to be reckoned with in the UK is both a testament to his ability to remain a Top 50 player for what feels like forever, as well as a great sign of his character.
On a serious note, I really appreciate this aspect of Professor Pro. Unlike so many other top players who complain about how locals never help them or how they have everything to lose by going to their events, Professor Pro’s been a model case. He truly loves ruthlessly farming the shit out of his region. It’s no easy feat; the United Kingdom has had very strong players for half his life. Many other players would have gotten bored and disappeared.
So, here he is, an unambiguous giant of his scene, a legend of the game, and someone so aware of where it all began. Not only is the world lucky for Professor Pro’s contributions, but his national community is better for it. I’m not too surprised that they’ve followed in his steed as being one of the most fun, lore-packed, and lively regions on the planet.