Over six months ago, the Melee Stats team was proud to launch our first collaborative editorial project together, our Winter 2017 to Spring 2018 power rankings, which we created as a seasonal addition to the yearly SSBMRank series. We’re happy to announce that we’re releasing yet another edition of the “MSPR,” our top 25 Super Smash Bros. Melee players of the summer (June 1 to September 9).
Here’s a quick FAQ.
What’s Melee Stats?
Melee Stats is a think tank of data compilers, writers, seeders and smash community leaders who contribute to the professional Super Smash Bros. Melee scene. Outlets like ESPN have recognized our work, along with many tournament organizers.
How did you make this PR?
Volunteers from the Melee Stats team were given a list of the MPGR Summer Top 50, in which each volunteer rated players on a scale of 1-10. This was based on predicting an average player’s expected performance at a major. The scores were then normalized by PracticalTAS to ensure consistency across the board in measuring each player. We then cumulatively averaged the scores for each player
Think of this as a results-based report card and how we perceive each player moving forward. For players with low standing within the ranking period, we had to factor in considerations and past performances.
What notable tournaments were within the official ranking period?
- Smash ‘N’ Splash 4
- OpTic Arena
- DreamHack Austin 2018
- CEO 2018
- Low Tier City 6
- Evo 2018
- Super Smash Con 2018
- Heir 5
- Shine 2018
- DreamHack Montreal 2018
Many locals and smaller regionals were also tracked for data purposes, but heavily put into context. For example, if a player was clearly sandbagging, we did not value it as notably as we would for a “serious” set. We also valued nationals far higher than locals.
Examples of tournaments just outside of the official ranking period:
- Smash Summit 6
- Get On My Level 2018
- The Roast of Hugo Gonzalez
The above is not fully comprehensive, but gives an idea for which tournaments didn’t make the cut. However, we made strong considerations for players with a relative lack of attendance. Therefore, each player’s “legacy” – how they performed heading into our time frame – played a noticeable role in evaluation.
Who Voted on the PR?:
- EdwinBudding: Author of “The Book of Melee” and “Monday Morning Marth” columnist
- SaveAsUntitled: YouTube video maker, Melee Stats Podcast streamer.
- Wheat: Top 50 SSBMRank data compiler and backbone of Tafostats.
- Ambisinister: Green Fox, data nerd, author of “Making Sense of Melee.”
- Fairfax: Brazilian T.O, viewership data keeper.
- Pikachu942: Weekly GameFAQS player rankings maker, Melee historian, writer.
- Pikapal: Former Associate Editor of Smashboards
These are not all of the members of Melee Stats. They are just the ones who contributed to these power rankings.
*insert player* is too high/low! This list sucks!
That could be true. Consider that the following list is made by people with varying beliefs. It does not necessarily reflect each individual’s thoughts on a player.
This segment is dedicated to the players that Melee Stats would like to point out are five of the fastest rising players in Melee. This is not necessarily a substitute for honorable mentions just outside the top 25; think of it as the competitors mostly likely to upset your favorite player in bracket.
- Captain Faceroll
Captain Faceroll’s summer resume is worth mentioning, with sets on HugS, La Luna, Syrox and Duck in just three bigger events. Champaign’s No. 1 showed his potential at Smashville 7, where he beat Redd, Michael and Drephen. Darktooth finished within the Top 32 of every major he attended, gaining victories against Redd, 2Saint, KJH, Amsah, ChuDat and Zamu. DrunkSloth’s back to back Super Smash Con and Shine included wins on Slox, AbsentPage, iBDW and ARMY.
Fiction won Show Me Your Moves 19 and sports impressive records against his SoCal contemporaries, despite finishing only No. 11 for its regional power rankings. To conclude our list for our rising stars, we’d like to give special mention to Gahtzu, who following a quiet first half, took sets over S2J, Ice, Cactuar, Kalamazhu, Michael, Darktooth, Captain Faceroll, 2Saint, ARMY and SFAT in just three months.
25. Rishi (6.972)
24. Colbol (7.075)
23. KJH (7.223)
22. Shroomed (7.284)
21. HugS (7.452)
A win on Mew2King at Evo and additional sets over La Luna, Bladewise and Westballz cements Rishi, the New York City No. 1, within our Top 25. Though Colbol didn’t attend much, his aMSa and Axe victories amid a 13th place at Evo, as well as a win on Wizzrobe shortly before the official ranking period at MomoCon, stood out.
KJH and Shroomed continued to be a near-lock for Top 32 at each event they entered (save for a 33rd from KJH at Smash ‘N’ Splash). Meanwhile, HugS’ play didn’t come with the same highs as within the first quarter of the year, but his consistency kept him within the Top 25.
20. Westballz (7.562)
19. Duck (7.741)
18. n0ne (7.836)
17. Lucky (7.882)
16. lloD (7.939)
As time goes on, it’s hard to tell which Westballz is for real: the one who took Leffen to the brink and sports positive records on all of SoCal’s top tier of talent, or the buster who has seven notable losses to players ranked beneath the Top 25 in just three months. Duck beat Zain, aMSa and Westballz while additionally overcoming two personal demons, Nintendude and Captain Falcon (n0ne) in a strong summer.
Speaking of whom, the Nicaraguan performed admirably all summer at larger majors. He finished consecutive ninths at Shine and Evo, the latter involving an impressive loser’s run. Lucky oscillated between ninth and 13th at majors from June to August, finishing a bitter 17th at Shine, but maintaining consistency against the field. As for lloD, his victory at The Even Bigger Balc and impressive CEO will look better as the year continues; had he entered more throughout the summer, he could have finished higher.
15. PewPewU (8.074)
14. ARMY (8.152)
13. Swedish Delight (8.255)
12. SFAT (8.300)
11. Axe (8.541)
PewPewU recovered his trademark consistency against the field and has shown excellence again players around his skill level, with victories versus ARMY and SFAT. ARMY won Esports Arizona: Talking Stick Resort 4, notably sweeping Axe in winners’ semifinals – and then followed up this performance with wins over Mango and Zain. Swedish Delight’s status as The Streakbreaker and victory at Aurora Blitz showed remarkable growth.
SFAT boasted heavily positive records against the field and within his skill tier all summer to keep his high ranking, despite an uncharacteristic 33rd at Super Smash Con. Axe’s inclusion in this tier came from noticeable decay, as the small set of his tournament performances within our official ranking period were subpar, though his status entering it was high enough to warrant finishing No. 11.
10. S2J (8.593)
9. aMSa (8.755)
8. Wizzrobe (8.952)
7. Zain (9.076)
S2J has quietly been the rising demigod of the summer. His tremendous consistency against players within his skill tier, the field and those ranked slightly above him particularly stood out; and it doesn’t even take into account his first place finish at The Roast of Hugo. aMSa, similar to Axe suffered from slight decay, but had an impressive enough Super Smash Con to stay in the top ten.
Time to address the elephant in the room: how can two people who won big events over Hungrybox place below someone who finished an atrocious 65th at Super Smash Con?
6. Mango (9.183)
5. Mew2King (9.317)
4. Plup (9.586)
While both Zain and Wizzrobe closed the gap substantially on Mango, it wasn’t enough to make either the clear favorite. For as much flak as Mango received for losing to ARMY, Zain has an ARMY loss of his own at Super Smash Con. In Wizzrobe’s case, two losses to Mew2King, three dropped sets in the Captain Falcon ditto (two to S2J and one to n0ne) and a disadvantageous head to head against Mango put him solidly at No. 8.
Zain’s argument over Mango lies in his superior records against the top six in this ranking period, Mango’s outrageous loss to Flipsy and a dominant head-to-head lead on Mango. But although it’s impressive enough to warrant higher seeding than Mango at the moment, it’s not quite enough to push Zain over Mango for our panelists. Zain also still has yet to defeat Wizzrobe or S2J this year, each of whom have never beaten Mango before, though the Roast of Hugo was not counted within the official ranking period.
Mew2King hasn’t replicated his Smash Summit 6 victory, but with sets over Armada, Hungrybox, Mango and Wizzrobe, he is just as capable as ever of defeating the top tier of competitors. Though he won’t be attending The Big House 8, we fully expect Mew2King to maintain his excellent baseline of performance and remain a major contender.
Similarly, Plup hasn’t reached the same highs of his Genesis 5 win, but he’s impervious against the field, making him an easy pick for No. 4. There’s not much to mention with him other than that he clearly remains a contender for supermajors, but will need to be more consistent against the top three.
3. Hungrybox (9.804)
2. Leffen (9.942)
1. Armada (9.960)
These three were difficult to differentiate from each other for our power rankings, let alone for the whole year. Throughout 2018, they’ve been embroiled in an RPS-like situation, where Armada beats Hungrybox, but loses to Leffen, who then has a weakness against Hungrybox. Nonetheless, with our own subjective methods of evaluating the three, as well as our general criteria, we came to the following conclusions.
Hungrybox, by the otherworldly standards set from the last MSPR, had a poor summer. His only major victory was LTC6, and he failed to meet his lofty Evo expectations. He followed up with a brutal third place showing at Super Smash Con and then subsequently handed Zain his first ever major victory. He will absolutely remain a name in discussion for world’s best player, but as for this summer, he has no case.
This left behind the two Swedes. Picking between the two is dependent on your criteria; Leffen is a reasonable pick for current No. 1 due to his Evo victory and near-impenetrable record against the field, including a 6-2 record on Armada. His one weakness all year, his heavily negative record against Hungrybox, is trending upward, as he’s split their last four sets. Two of our seven panelists had Leffen at No. 1.
However, Armada’s two supermajor victories at Smash ‘N’ Splash and Super Smash Con were the most out of anyone in the summer. And despite the final “end” of The Streak, Armada had a losers’ run for the record books at Evo, in which he conquered Mew2King, Zain, S2J, Mango, Hungrybox and Plup. Before coming out on top against a red-hot Mew2King, Armada beat the MPGR No. 1 Hungrybox through a wall at Super Smash Con.
As we enter the post-Armada age of Melee singles, we found it fitting to crown the GOAT one final time before he rides off into the sunset.
Thanks for reading, everyone. If you’d like to support this website and our podcast, feel free to check out our Patreon. Special thank you to the following people for making projects like these possible:
- Brett Rankin
See you guys next time.