In today’s edition of Smash History’s Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time, Pikachu942 has written a guest article detailing his honorable mentions for Melee’s Top 100 players of all-time. Keep ind mind that this article reflects his personal opinions – not necessarily mine. If you like it, be sure to check him out on Twitter as well.
Hey all, Pikachu942 here with a very special article! As you all know, we recently released our 51-60 spots for the Top 100 Melee players of All-Time, so as a breather before the coveted Top 50, I decided to make a list of people who just missed the cut. Either for a lack of data, their peaks being before the established starting point or just overall barely missing the bottom of the list, here are ten players that I wanted to give the recognition they deserve. Here are my Honorable Mentions for the Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time.
Rori “CauthonLuck” Bryant-Raible
For people in the know of other esports communities, it might be a surprise to see CauthonLuck, a proficient Starcraft II and Heroes of the Storm player today, appearing on this list. However, make no mistake, in 2003 and 2004, Rori was a top Melee player. Being the first notable Pikachu main, Rori was a dominant force in the Pacific Northwest, regularly winning their tournaments even as players like Sastopher were present.
While he rarely traveled, he showed promising results when he did, placing 9th at Tournament Go 5, 5th at MLG San Francisco 2004 and 3rd at Zero Challenge 1, as well as winning MLG Seattle 2004 in his home area. His results are scarce and his career in Melee limited, but one can not underestimate just how strong CauthonLuck was in his prime.
The original best in the South and the eventual #102 on my list, Zulu was a strong contender who sadly rarely traveled outside of his home region of Texas. Originally starting as mainly just a Puff main, he posted strong results in his region and even won the original MOAST in early 2003 over Recipherus, marking the first time a player traveled out of region and, more importantly, the first time a player successfully defended their home turf.
He remained relatively inactive as his career went on, but he had a sudden surge in 2005, placing a solid 4th at MLG Houston and 9th at MLG Chicago with his new trusty main, Falco. His career might’ve been under the radar, but rest assured the founder of the Southern Melee scene posted more than enough results and accomplishments to be a worthy mention.
Doug “The Doug” Williams
Before Armada, Amsah, or even Ek, Europe had one notable man: The Doug. Originally hailing from the UK, Doug was the first truly great player to come out of the eastern continent, clearly establishing himself as the best in tournaments across both his home region and the Netherlands. Eventually, he moved to California, more specifically the NorCal region, and began to post solid results there as well, including Top 8 performances at both Tournament Go 5 and Snexus 2, even nearly defeating Ken at the former, a feat considered impossible beforehand.
After his venture in the USA, he traveled back to Europe, where he placed a very impressive 3rd at Renaissance of Smash 2, which was also the birth of Armada’s career. Staying strong for the rest of his initial career, The Doug retired in 2007, but later came back in 2012, where he still remains a decent player; in fact, he was ranked #1 in the state of Idaho not too long ago. While it doesn’t seem Melee is still one of Doug’s priorities, the original European champion should not be forgotten.
Hendrick “DJ Nintendo” Pilar
Known as the voice of the East Coast during Melee’s dark years, DJ Nintendo has been a consistent long-standing of the community, providing both solid tournament results and other important contributions to the game. His commentary is one of the major points of his career, with some of his phrases such as “No DI” becoming widespread and infamous in the scene.
A man of many faces, DJ has been known to use characters like Bowser, considered by many to be the worst in the game, to great success. His long tenure and impact on the community more than awards DJ Nintendo a deserving mention.
Matt “Matt Deezie” Dahlgren
Tournament organizers are often forgotten in the grand scheme of things, despite how important they are and have been to the community. Without these specific people running tournaments at a loss for so many years just for the love of the game, we wouldn’t be where we are today. That love started back with Matt Deezie, the grandfather of TOs. The organizer of the famous Tournament Go series, Deezie can be attributed the honor of being the first person to ever host a notable Melee tournament in the USA with Tournament Go 1. His actions as a TO cannot be understated, as it wasn’t just like he made a venue and hosted a poorly ran tournament, either.
Matt Deezie would fly people out himself with his own money, pick them up from the airport, and drive them back to his house to stay for the tournament; that’s right, the tournaments were hosted in his house! As many as over 100 people could have been inside his home at once, just chilling out and partying. And that’s the beauty of Deezie’s tournaments as well: the casual atmosphere of it all, and just how grassroots it really was. People weren’t playing for money or fame, they were playing because they loved Melee. Due to his accomplishments as the host of the first national and international tournaments in Melee’s history, as well as his not too shabby tournament record, it can clearly be seen why Matt Deezie was so important to our game; and why he held a high-paying job at Capcom for nearly a decade.
Sam “Sultan of Samitude” Cantrell
A trash talker on the West Coast, Sam was a strong Falco main from Melee’s beginnings in 2002 all the way up to his retirement in 2005. His first notable performance came at Meleepalooza near the end of the former year, where he defeated both Justin Junio, a top Falco main at the time, and Recipherus to win the tournament. He then went on to make Winner’s Finals at Ken’s breakout tournament, Tournament Go 4, before succumbing to the King of Smash in an infamous match that resulted in a 4 stock on Mute City.
Even after the formal “start” of the Melee competitive scene, Sam still posted solid results, getting Top 8 at Game Over and an impressive 9th place at Tournament Go 6. Considered one of the best in the world at his peak, his retirement ended the career of a truly great competitor…and if you want to hear more about how he retired, just ask HugS.
Eduardo “Eduardo” Howells
Before Ken, it seemed nobody was able to truly use Marth to any notable success. That is, except for one man, who dominated Chicago during 2002 and most of 2003. Eduardo was a force to be reckoned, rarely dropping sets or tournaments in his region to anybody he would face off with during his prime.
While he never actually traveled, he posted amazing results in his area, including winning Snexus 1 over the Midwest’s best. He continued to post good results heading into 2003, placing 4th at Snexus 2 and 2nd at Flames of Bowser, just behind his younger brother and top national competitors. The first truly great Marth, the original Midwest great should never be dismissed.
Rehman “Remen” Shafi
Quite frankly, Remen would be on the Top 100 if we had more data to judge him by. His long, illustrious career spanning from as early as 2002 to the modern era, his longevity rivals that of players like ChuDat and Mew2King. Being the clear best in the Netherlands during the years before Amsah’s rise, Remen never really traveled until Pound 4, where he placed a respectable 17th, losing to fellow countryman Amsah in loser’s.
He wouldn’t be deterred however, as he later placed a very impressive 9th at the sequel, Pound V, notably defeating ChuDat, who took down Hungrybox at that same tournament in pools. Remen continued to show prowess heading even into the modern times of Melee, qualifying for MLG Anaheim 2014’s championship pools and even taking a game off of PPMD in Falco dittos. When he appears, expect great things from Remen, as even today he is still capable of taking sets off of Europe’s greatest. It’s just a shame he never showed himself more, or else he would be on the list, and likely quite high up too.
Jeremy “Recipherus” Fremlin
When one talks about people who were arguably the best in the world, Recipherus is a worthy name to be considered. In 2002, Recipherus had consistent Top 3 placings at any tournament he attended, including successfully winning Tournament Go 3, arguably cementing him as the best in the nation at the time. When Ken debuted at Tournament Go 4, Recipherus was the only person to be able to take a game off the King. Recipherus was the first top player to ever travel out of region, heading to MOAST 1 and later Snexus 2 to face off against both the South and Midwest’s greatest players, and holding his own or outright winning the tournament.
Heck, he even wore gloves when going into sets to protect his hands, showing he was one of the first people to take care of his body while playing Melee. Recipherus was one of the greatest, even as Melee’s formal competitive scene began to form, likely being the 2nd best in the USA behind only Ken in 2003. So, why was Recipherus not on the list? A simple reason: he retired in 2004. Just as Melee’s scene began to blossom, Recipherus stepped into the shadows, and with a lack of practice disappointed at Tournament Go 6 before retiring for good from Melee. Recipherus was an amazing figure and one of the best when he was active, but sadly, with no notable results from after the starting point we determined, we found it unable to properly put Recipherus on the list.
Theodore “Bladewise” Seybold
When creating this list, Bladewise turned out to be both of our #101. We were sure Bladewise would be a lock, due to his long-standing tenure as a consistent Top 40 player, but after looking further into his results, it’s understandable to why he’d barely miss the cut. The Northwest Peach has consistently been the second best in his region behind Silent Wolf, and has never cracked Top 16 at a supermajor.
While he has always seemed one step behind true greatness, it’s not like he hasn’t had his own moments of glory. The context around it is strange, but one cannot take away Bladewise’s win on Mango at Rule 6 Regional, nor can they take away some of the advancements to Peach’s meta he has contributed. Bladewise is generally considered to be the best Peach at the Falcon matchup today, notably being the person to figure out how to consistently escape the previously devastating downthrow-knee combo from the character that would end Peach at low percents. It’s important to recognize just what Bladewise has done for the community, and he is a more than welcome addition to the honorable mentions.”
Alright, and that is the 10 people that I wanted to give special mention that didn’t quite make the list! Join us next time, as we begin the Top 50 with our 41-50 on the Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time!