All-Time Melee Top 100: One Year Later

     On March 16th, 2018, the final article of the Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time was released. By all accounts, it meant a lot to see overwhelmingly positive feedback and legitimacy to a project I had considered pursuing for years. For the most part, I’m still okay with how the list turned out. However, time rolls on, and Melee keeps going.

     In just a year, more majors continue to happen, and legacies have shifted for several players, with many of them having a greater impact on the game than before. I thought it’d be nice to catch up on the last year of Melee and see how it’s affected the all-time structure of the game. Without further ado, I am Pikachu942, and let’s get to it!

In total, 13 majors have happened in the intervening time, with 6 being supermajors. These tournaments, in order, were:

  • EGLX 2018
  • Full Bloom 4
  • Smash Summit 6
  • Get On My Level 2018
  • Smash ‘n’ Splash 4
  • CEO 2018
  • Low Tier City 6
  • EVO 2018
  • Super Smash Con 2018
  • Shine 2018
  • The Big House 8
  • Smash Summit 7
  • GENESIS 6.

     These tourneys were the most important of the year by the metrics set for the original All-Time Top 100, which included having at least three Top 5 level players in attendance, six Top 10 level players in attendance (with at least one Top 5 level player in attendance), or being otherwise extremely historically significant while nearly meeting this criteria. Supermajors are very similar, though with more strict criteria, needing the player considered the best in the world along with at least four other contenders for the Top 5, or nearly meeting this while being historically significant or with a certain level of prestige.

     Other notable tournaments include Noods Noods Noods: Oakland Edition, Flatiron 3, GT-X 2018, The Mango: Homecoming and Don’t Park on the Grass 2018. There were also a plethora of notable regional tournaments that occurred, but they are far too numerous and not as significant or impactful on an all-time standing, so I will not be covering them here. The most notable of them would be Heir 5, the largest European tournament of the year, though it doesn’t quite meet the metrics with only one “god” level player in attendance.

     Of these tournaments, several players have achieved a boost in their all-time standing with strong Top 8 performances. These players were:

  • Hungrybox: 13 Top 8’s, 13 Top 4’s, 10 Grand Finals, 8 Major wins and 3 Supermajor wins
  • Armada: 6 Top 8’s, 6 Top 4’s, 4 Grand Finals, 2 Major wins and 1 Supermajor win
  • Plup: 8 Top 8’s, 7 Top 4’s, 5 Grand Finals, 1 Major win and 1 Supermajor win
  • Leffen: 8 Top 8’s, 6 Top 4’s, 3 Grand Finals, 1 Major win and 1 Supermajor win
  • Mew2King: 6 Top 8’s, 5 Top 4’s, 2 Grand Finals, 1 Major win and 1 Supermajor win
  • Zain: 7 Top 8’s, 3 Top 4’s, 1 Grand Finals and 1 Major win
  • Mango: 10 Top 8’s, 4 Top 4’s and 1 Grand Finals
  • Axe: 5 Top 8’s, 2 Top 4’s and 1 Grand Finals
  • Wizzrobe: 5 Top 8’s and 4 Top 4’s
  • aMSa: 7 Top 8’s and 2 Top 4’s
  • PewPewU: 3 Top 8’s and 1 Top 4
  • ARMY: 2 Top 8’s and 1 Top 4
  • S2J: 5 Top 8’s
  • SFAT: 5 Top 8’s
  • n0ne: 3 Top 8’s
  • Lucky: 3 Top 8’s
  • Swedish Delight: 2 Top 8’s
  • AbsentPage: 2 Top 8’s
  • Rishi: 2 Top 8’s
  • Crush: 1 Top 8
  • Bananas: 1 Top 8
  • lloD: 1 Top 8
  • HugS: 1 Top 8
  • Gahtzu: 1 Top 8
  • Shroomed: 1 Top 8
  • Ryan Ford: 1 Top 8
  • Ginger: 1 Top 8

     A total of 27 Players achieved at least one major Top 8, with 12 achieving a Top 4 standing, making it to Grand Finals and 6 different players winning at a major tournament. Notably, this is the most amount of players to win a major since 2007. Interestingly, this was also the first year since 2007 that Mango did not win a major, and the first year since 2007 that Mew2King has won a supermajor.

     As you can see, this data favors Hungrybox, who has now surpassed Mango and Armada for most ever major wins at 27, four more than 2nd place, Mango, who stays at 23, with Armada just behind at 21. With GENESIS 6, Hungrybox also ties Mango’s supermajor wins at 9 a piece, though Armada remains ahead with a monstrous 11 supermajor victories.

     In terms of Top 8 appearances, Hungrybox is now 2nd all-time in this regard with 80, just behind Mew2King, who boasts 86 different Top 8 placings. M2K has also attended a staggering 98 different majors in his career, so look forward to the rest of the year, when he will likely be the first to cross the triple digit barrier in major attendance.

     However, sheer quantity isn’t the whole story. Some people, such as Armada, attended less events than Hungrybox, who went to every single major of the year. If you look at the win percent at majors, how many times the person has outright won a major when they attended, Hungrybox with this past year reached a strong 33.33%, or 1/3, throughout his entire career.

     This has allowed him to pass the likes of Mango, who faltered this year to a 28.05% win rate, barely above PPMD’s flat 28%, and Ken’s 32.61% win rate to reach 2nd place, barely nudging out the latter. However, he is still far away from Armada’s dominant 39.62% win percentage, a feat that is likely to take a long time to reach, if ever.

     Now that we’ve dealt with tournament placings on the year, let’s look at another significant metric: their end of year standing and longevity. I like to go down to Top 25 for these as a good direct comparison to other years, where there was less data to fully know who was where so far down in the ranking, so here’s the MPGR 2018 Top 25!

1.Hungrybox

2.Armada

3.Leffen

4.Plup

5.Mango

6.Mew2King

7.Zain

8.Wizzrobe

9.aMSa

10.Axe

11.S2J

12.SFAT

13.Swedish Delight

14.Duck

15.PewPewU

16.n0ne

17.Crush

18.Lucky

19.Bananas

20.ARMY

21.lloD

22.Westballz

23.HugS

24.AbsentPage

25.KJH

     Some new faces have appeared in the Top 25 for this year, those being KJH, AbsentPage, lloD, ARMY and Bananas. The first 3 can put down their first years ranked within the Top 25, while the two Ice Climber mains can mark down their first Top 20 year in the game.

     At the top of the pack, this is Mew2King’s 13th year in the Top 10, let alone Top 25, a truly unprecedented feat that nobody has matched. However, an often underrated representative for longevity in the scene is Mango. With 2018, he notched his 11th year within the Top 5, tying Mew2King for the most in this regard, with 12 total years in the Top 10.

     Hungrybox has garnered his 3rd year at #1, though his 2010 is rather dubious due to Mango’s frequent sandbagging at the time, meaning you could reasonably look at it more as 2.5 years or so. This pushes his peak above the likes of Mew2King and puts him squarely in the conversation of players like Ken and Mango, though still solidly behind Armada. It also marks a decade for Hungrybox in the Top 5, tying him with Armada, who also reached this milestone for 3rd most years in this regard.

     For non-gods, Axe reached his 5th year within the Top 10, as well as his 9th year in the Top 15, making him quite easily the longest tenured player to not have reached a Top 5 peak. However, Lucky is not too far behind, with a nearly as impressive 9 years in the Top 20. This surpassed the often vaunted longevity of Shroomed, who faltered this year just outside the Top 25. Other notables include SFAT & S2J, who have reached 8 years in the Top 20, and Westballz, HugS and PPU, who each have notched 7 years in the Top 25. Plup celebrates his 5th year in this Top 25, while Leffen has reached 5 years within just the Top 10, surpassing the likes of PC Chris and now closer to players like Azen and PPMD.

     Now, of course, it’s time to address the elephants in the room. Well, more like the…green dinosaur and handsome blue-haired swordsman in the room? That’s right, the year of 2018 was huge for two players in particular: Zain and aMSa.

     Zain achieved a monumental feat in winning Shine 2018 and becoming the 15th player to win a major in the history of our game. That, plus a 2nd year in the Top 25 and his first within the Top 10, gives Zain a massive standing boost, one that brings him up from the likes of #96 on the original rank, to easily within the Top 25 or even Top 20 of all-time. His legacy is now comparable to players like fellow MDVA legend Chillin, NorCal turned SoCal stronghold SFAT, and Tristate’s forgotten rascal Jman as some of the stronger “non-gods” of all-time.

     Meanwhile, aMSa had his best year yet, with several more Top 8s, 2 Top 4 placements, and a Top 10 end of year ranking. Once thought to be a total gimmick, aMSa has revolutionized Yoshi and proven his staying power in the metagame. His all-time records look similar to that of players like Drephen or DA Wes at this point, solidly within the Top 35 to 45 range on the standing. If his performance at GENESIS 6 is any indicator, though, things only seem to be looking up.

     Other notable players who improved their standing are ones like lloD, who now has his first Top 8 performance ever, and a really strong case for the lower end of the Top 100. Similarly, players like HugS, Wizzrobe, Lucky and S2J are now unquestionably Top 30. PewPewU continues his strong consistent status within the same range as aMSa, while Duck inches closer to the Top 50, though another Top 8 performance could guarantee it for the future.

     Swedish Delight’s historic win on Armada definitely pushes him into the Top 60 range, putting him squarely in competition with Duck for current players. Fiction’s return could see him rise more on the list, perhaps into the Top 70 or further with his impressive Fox. Crush’s departure from the scene is saddening, but his mark on New England Melee should still move himself further through the lower-end of the list, while Canadian’s best of today in n0ne and Ryan Ford continue to strive upwards towards the Top 60. Finally, a personal favorite of mine, Gahtzu, proved himself with an impressive run to 5th at Shine 2018. His consistent performances through the year in addition to his long time within the Top 40 could land him within the lower-end of Top 100 at this point in time.

     In conclusion, I will end this article with my current all-time Top 50. Now, keep in mind this is not official and purely my opinion. As you might be able to tell, it is a bit different than the official list, even in some unchanging spots. Though I do think I’m probably one of the most qualified to make a list like this, that doesn’t mean this is the “correct” Top 50 of all-time. Without further ado, here it is!

  1. Armada
  2. Mango
  3. Hungrybox
  4. Ken
  5. Mew2King
  6. PPMD
  7. Leffen
  8. Azen
  9. ChuDat
  10. PC Chris
  11. Plup
  12. Isai
  13. KoreanDJ
  14. CaptainJack
  15. Axe
  16. Wobbles
  17. Shroomed
  18. Jman
  19. SFAT
  20. Chillin
  21. Zain
  22. Westballz
  23. Hax$
  24. Wizzrobe
  25. KirbyKaze
  26. Fly Amanita
  27. S2J
  28. Lucky
  29. HugS
  30. Amsah
  31. Sastopher
  32. Zhu
  33. Cort
  34. PewPewU
  35. DaShizWiz
  36. Darkrain
  37. Vidjogamer
  38. aMSa
  39. Drephen
  40. DA Wes
  41. Taj
  42. Silent Wolf
  43. NEO
  44. Kage
  45. Lovage
  46. SilentSpectre
  47. Javi
  48. Masashi
  49. Bombsoldier
  50. Duck

     I know this article was a bit long, but I hope you all enjoy what I had to say on the structure of Melee’s all-time standing. Hope you all enjoyed it; who knows what next year will bring?

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