The Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time: #51-60

Hello, everyone! Pikachu942 and I are happy to present the next part of our Top 100 Melee players of all-time. In our last post, we uncovered the the players ranked 61-70. Today, we’ll be going over the players ranked 51-60. Here’s a brief FAQ on our project:

What is the Smash History Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time project?

It’s a ranking of the top 100 Melee singles players of all-time, determined by both members of the Smash History research and editorial series team: Edwin Budding (myself) and Pikachu942. The project is also an expansion of what I wrote in 2016, but with even more research, having taken us half a year to prepare on its own.

How did you guys determine the Top 100?

In order to rank players, we collected a list of every player ranked within the Top 25 of SSBMRank, mentioned within RetroSSBMRank and every player who placed in the top eight of a supermajor since Game Over in 2004, what we consider the start of competitive Melee as we know it today.

After creating this initial list, we added more notable names that we felt were “outlier” players whose results and rankings may not accurately reflect their playing impact on the Melee scene, such as international players.

What did you take into account when ranking players?

The four key factors we looked at and tried our best to stay consistent to were the following:

  • How well did a player perform at the biggest majors of their era?
  • How consistent was this player during their active years of competing?
  • How long did their playing career last?
  • If this player never existed, how much does their absence impact the metagame, large major results or the greater scene in Melee history?

I’ve never heard of you or Pikachu! What makes you guys think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best players above anyone else?

Because until someone else helps write over 300 pages of Melee history on a personal website for free, we feel like we’re about as qualified as anyone can reasonably be.

60. Ryan “La Luna” Coker-Welch

4th at The Fall Classic
5th at WTFox 2
7th at EVO 2017
7th at Royal Flush
7th at CEO 2015

La Luna is one of the breakout stars of the post-Evo 2013 era. Once known as “The Moon” – and before that, “SilverLight,” – he is one of Melee’s premier solo Marth mains over the last few years, holding wins on nearly every relevant Fox and impressively winning Super Famicon 2017 over SFAT, Westballz and dizzkidboogie.

The most recognizable aspect of La Luna’s gameplay is his consistent kill setups. With a character that many think struggles with closing out stocks, he has a great understanding of Marth’s modern combo trees across different weight classes and percents. He combines this with tricky movement to confuse his opponents and manipulate their positioning, in a Taj-esque manner. A disciple of old-school NYC, who still comes up with new ways to convert off hits, La Luna remains a player to watch in the present and future of competitive Melee.

– Edwin Budding

59. Kei “Kei” Nakaima

2nd at MLG Seattle 2005
7th at Zero Challenge 2
13th at MELEE-FC3

One of the most important figures in both Washington and Japanese Melee, Kei, also sometimes known as Takagi back in the day, was a consistent force in the early years of the game. His 2nd place at MLG Seattle, defeating both Sastopher and ChuDat, might be his best performance by the numbers, but make no mistake, he had plenty more under his belt. Defeating ChuDat on pretty much every occasion they fought, Kei was a master at the Peach-ICs matchup, and his wide array of character choices that often overlapped with Chu’s helped him snuff out the oddities of some of his counterpicks.

Kei’s peak year was clearly 2005, where he was arguably the best in the Pacific Northwest above Sastopher locally, and later traveled back to Japan where he competed with the top players in the country during a time where they were some of the best in the world. Kei was also pivotal in connections between the international scenes, due to his heavy ties with both the USA and Japan. Kei still plays sometimes today, but is much less active overall. Despite his prime being past, Kei is one of the most important figures to ever grace our game.

– Pikachu942

58. Roberto “Rob$” Aldape

5th at Tournament Go 6
5th at MLG New York 2005
5th at MELEE-FC6
5th at MOAST 3
9th at MLG New York Playoffs 2006

As one of the early members of the Crystal City smash crew, Rob$ often slips under the radar. His gameplay is especially reminiscent of Melee’s pre-Bombsoldier metagame, with a focus on overshot dash attacks, a heavy use of shield and full hops to defensively play keep-away from opponents. It was often frustrating to deal with and it led to strong results for the Texas legend.

With wins over Azen and KoreanDJ, it’s clear that Rob$ could hang with the elite of his time, even as the metagame progressed from its infancy. Though many argue just how portable his playstyle is to the modern era of Melee, results make it clear that you just can’t ignore Rob$.

– Edwin Budding

57. Andreas “Ek” Ek

N/A

Now, I know what you might be thinking, “Why is Ek so high on the list, or even on it at all?! He never even went to any notable majors!” Why yes, astute viewer, you are correct on that front. Ek never did attend any event that we would award as a “title”. However, despite that, Ek was one of the most dominant and influential European players of all time.

A Marth main from Sweden, Ek won practically every tournament he entered from 2004 to 2006 against his European comrades, and easily solidified himself as the best on the continent. When Captain Jack, one of the world’s finest, came to challenge him at RoofSM, he barely scraped by with a victory, claiming the Euro Marth was as good as the King of Smash himself, Ken. Ek’s play inspired many other of Europe’s greats, such as Amsah and Armada, even at one point resulting in Armada using Marth as his main for a brief time. Despite his lack of exposure to the rest of the world, Ek is more than important enough to not just European Smash, but the entire scene as a whole, to warrant a spot on the list.

– Pikachu942

56. Dustin “Darc” Hayes

5th at Revival of Melee 2
7th at Viva La Smashtaclysm
7th at Revival of Melee 3
9th at Cataclysm 3
9th at Revival of Melee 7

Darc is a longtime staple for both New England and Jigglypuff players. Older veterans can attest to Darc’s skill, as he was among the few in-region players to seriously challenge KoreanDJ during the MLG and post-MLG era. Who can forget the Genesis East vs. West crew battle, when Darc made a two-stock comeback on Brinstar to defeat Zhu, resting him twice to close their match?

He’s sometimes overlooked in comparison to players like Mang0 and Hungrybox, but Darc is unarguably the third most successful Jigglypuff ever in terms of results. From his ninth to Cataclysm 3 to his 13th at SKTAR 3 seven years later, he had a long stretch of being among the scene’s most consistent competitors. Today, he plays more Project M and has retired from Melee singles.

– Edwin Budding

55. James “Duck” Ma

5th at DreamHack Winter 2015
5th at EGLX
5th at Super SWEET
5th at GOML 2014
7th at Smash Summit 3

Before he boasted three set victories over Leffen, Duck had a plethora of SWEET tourney victories, eventually becoming both Michigan and the Midwest’s best player. Just last year, Duck won Pat’s House 3, where he defeated HugS, SFAT, Crush, lloD and Zain to win the stacked tournament.

As arguably the best Samus solo main in the world, Duck has an analytic style that gives him an edge over his opponents – especially Fox, a character who Duck boasts a large resume of victories over. His both intuitive and well-researched knowledge of Melee is legendary for both making him a formidable competitor and a gadfly for commentators who get the smallest detail wrong in their analysis.

– Edwin Budding

54. Michael “Nintendude” Brancato 

5th at The Big House 3
7th at GENESIS 3
7th at Royal Flush
7th at Paragon Los Angeles 2015
7th at DreamHack Austin 2016

Nintendude played without wobbling for years. In fact, his highest placing performance at a national tournament came at TBH3, where he defeated PewPewU, while wobbling remained banned. This was a surprise, particularly because outside of New York and MDVA, not many smashers knew about Nintendude.

He’s particularly good at reading his opponent’s movement, frequently chasing them down and proactively creating openings. Out of active Ice Climbers players, he is without a doubt the most aggressive. With wins on Mango and Mew2King – the latter whom he has beaten numerous times – Nintendude has been one of the best players in the modern generation of smashers. It’s time to give him his due credit.

– Edwin Budding

53. McCain “MacD” Lavelle

4th at EGLX
4th at FC SMASH 15XR: Return
5th at Canada Cup 2016
7th at Shine 2016
7th at DreamHack Winter 2015

Once having a “downsmash” heavy reputation, MacD eventually grew into a virtual lock for top 16 at any supermajor he attended. The SoCal Peach was among his region’s best players and peaked in 2015, with wins over Plup, Druggedfox and Mango. MacD also excels in doubles, having formerly been one half of the short-lived “MacLeffen” duo, which notably won Sandstorm over Armada and Mew2King.

He’s yet to make a consistent return to the top level of competition. Issues within his personal life, along with career uncertainty, led MacD to slowly disappear from the national spotlight. Nonetheless, he’s already accomplished quite a bit within his long time in Melee, having finished top eight at seven nationals. That’s the second most out any Peach main ever.

– Edwin Budding

52. Colin “Colbol” Green

5th at APEX 2014
5th at HTC Throwdown
7th at CEO 2014
7th at Pound 2016
9th at GENESIS 3

One of the most high octane players to ever grace our game, the Floridian Fox known as Colbol has been a long-standing member of the community. Attending tournaments from as early as 2006, Colbol broke into national spotlight with his 9th place at Viva La Smashtaclysm in late 2007, defeating players like Cactuar and Jiano. Since then, he has remained a fixture of the Melee scene, and one of the best players in Florida, notably holding a positive record over Hungrybox during his breakout year in 2009.

His career has seen multiple ups and downs over the years, mainly due to Colbol’s risky playstyle compared to most, but his highs are indubitably some of the best in the game, with wins on players like Mew2King coming to him at majors. While he is currently experiencing one of the valleys of his career, if there’s one thing we know about Colbol, it’s that with every strange loss comes another crazy, unprecedented win.

– Pikachu942

51. Alex “DieSuperFly” Fuentes

7th at MELEE-FC3
7th at Tournament Go 6
7th at EVO World 2007
9th at Zero Challenge 2

Back in the day, major upsets were rather uncommon. One could attribute this to the lack of tournaments compared to today’s day and age, but it was also mainly due to just how much better the top players were than those below them. This especially was the case with the then King of Smash, SephirothKen, who rarely dropped sets and even less so tournaments. Prior to Tournament Go 6, Ken had only dropped one set in his career, and never got less than 1st.

However, that would all change at this tournament, where a fast-improving Sheik would change history. DieSuperFly, also known as DSF, became the first player to eliminate Ken from a tournament and shocked the world with one of the biggest upsets the game has ever seen. It’s not like this was his only highlight, however, as DSF proceeded to attain multiple more top eights, even at one of Melee’s most stacked events ever in MELEE-FC3. He was also a dominant force in the SoCal region pre-Brawl- and held positive records over HugS and Mango in 2007, the same year both showcased impressive major results.

– Pikachu942

Thank you for reading, everybody. We’ll be back with a new article – Pikachu942’s honorable mentions for the Top 100 – before we head into our Top 50, coming soon!

The Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time: #61-70

Hello, everyone! Pikachu942 and I are happy to present the next part of our Top 100 Melee players of all-time. In our last post, we uncovered the the players ranked 71-80. Today, we’ll be going over the players ranked 61-70. Here’s a brief FAQ on our project:

What is the Smash History Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time project?

It’s a ranking of the top 100 Melee singles players of all-time, determined by both members of the Smash History research and editorial series team: Edwin Budding (myself) and Pikachu942. The project is also an expansion of what I wrote in 2016, but with even more research, having taken us half a year to prepare on its own.

How did you guys determine the Top 100?

In order to rank players, we collected a list of every player ranked within the Top 25 of SSBMRank, mentioned within RetroSSBMRank and every player who placed in the top eight of a supermajor since Game Over in 2004, what we consider the start of competitive Melee as we know it today.

After creating this initial list, we added more notable names that we felt were “outlier” players whose results and rankings may not accurately reflect their playing impact on the Melee scene, such as international players.

What did you take into account when ranking players?

The four key factors we looked at and tried our best to stay consistent to were the following:

  • How well did a player perform at the biggest majors of their era?
  • How consistent was this player during their active years of competing?
  • How long did their playing career last?
  • If this player never existed, how much does their absence impact the metagame, large major results or the greater scene in Melee history?

I’ve never heard of you or Pikachu! What makes you guys think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best players above anyone else?

Because until someone else helps write over 300 pages of Melee history on a personal website for free, we feel like we’re about as qualified as anyone can reasonably be.

70. Alex “Lambchops” Ucles

9th at GENESIS
9th at MELEE-FC Diamond
9th at CEO 2014
13th at Revival of Melee 3
17th at APEX 2010

If you ask who has the greatest lasers in all of Melee, the only right answer is Lambchops. His style inspired DaShizWiz and PPMD during their rises to prominence. In the modern age, Porkchops, King Momo and KPAN all come from the same tree of Falcos. Even Westballz has called Lambchops one of his favorite players.

Today known as Beerman, he actively plays with and mentors newer players within New York City, continuing his legacy as one of the game’s wisest teachers. He doesn’t take competing as seriously as he used to, but to this day, only he can truly claim the title of laser guru.

– Edwin Budding

69. Robert “Scar” Scarnewman

5th at GENESIS
9th at The Big House 3
13th at Viva La Smashtaclysm
13th at Winter Gamefest VI
13th at Super SWEET

Is there anyone more worthy of being the No. 69 Melee player of all-time? We think not. Although many remember him for his unforgettable sixth place showing at the first Genesis, three years afterward, the “I Killed Mufasa” star had one of the most underrated bracket runs in Melee history. In NorCal’s The Deep, Scar defeated PewPewU, Shroomed, Lovage and S2J to win a stacked West Coast regional of the post-Brawl era.

This was arguably even more impressive than when he defeated Azen and PPMD earlier in his career, as those wins came outside of their relative primes. Today, the “Lean Melee” innovator currently focuses on being a community leader and commentator, but we can speak for all smashers when we say that the Melee It On Me creator and member of “The Reads” is still the most electrifying man in Melee.

– Edwin Budding

68. Dave “DA Dave” Campodonico

4th at Game Over
7th at MELEE-FC3
7th at EVO East 2007
9th at MELEE-FC
9th at MLG DC 2005

Imagine Falco. Chances are that you envision him performing a short hop laser. Thanks to DA Dave, this technique is now commonplace and a quick way for Falco players to control space, rather than just shoot grounded, laggy, punishable projectiles.

Dave’s impact on Melee went beyond being a Falco forefather. During the MLG era, he remained among the borderline top ten of the United States, also defeating Azen at FC3. Today, he still plays on Netplay under the tag “PapaDav3,” though he plays Fox, Marth and Ice Climbers in addition to his trend-setting Falco.

– Edwin Budding

67. Ryan “Ryan Ford” Ford 

7th at IMPULSE 2012
7th at DreamHack Atlanta 2017
9th at APEX 2012
9th at Canada Cup 2016
9th at Canada Cup 2017

Ryan Ford, formerly known as Unknown522, sports a Fox that is among the scene’s most calculated and deliberate, being especially proficient in the Fox ditto. The Canadian Fox once defeated Mew2King in a set that remains one of the scene’s most notorious for its controversy surrounding its final match, which had to be replayed.

For the early part of his career, he also struggled with anger issues and violent outbursts within the community. This led to a temporary local ban in late 2013, in which he eventually returned over a year and a half later. Now entering tournaments under his real name, he’s gained acceptance at tourneys across the greater public scene, made amends with many he previously hurt and avoided any other issues since.

– Edwin Budding

66. James “Dope” Hafner

7th at MLG Anaheim 2006
7th at MLG Dallas 2006
7th at MELEE-FC
9th at MELEE-FC3

Dope frequently gets forgotten in comparison to other old-school Falcos, but veterans of the scene can testify to his skills. A member of the Midwest Big Five, he dominated Michigan as its best player and had a slew of strong nationals over the course of his three-year prime.

Along with beating Mew2King and Isai, Dope also won Show Me Your Moves 6, placing above his fellow Big Five rivals in Drephen, Tink, Darkrain and Vidjogamer. It’s clear that his name belongs in the top 10 or 15 players of the MLG era, as he also finished 2006 as the No. 9 player, per the Smash Panel Power Rankings. To start early 2007, he held an impressive standing within the entire Midwest: No. 1.

– Edwin Budding

65. Edgard “n0ne” Sheleby

4th at Canada Cup 2017
5th at UGC Smash Open
7th at GOML 2016
9th at DreamHack Austin 2017
9th at EGLX

Playing Captain Falcon against Mew2King was considered impossible for almost a decade – until n0ne defeated him at GOML 2016. The current Ontario No. 1 started off as a community fan favorite, with jaw-dropping punishes reminiscent of Scar. There’s not many people in Melee who delete stocks in as few seconds as n0ne.

Quite a bit of n0ne’s style came from playing within Nicaragua, where he claimed that it’s a common cultural practice to avoid shielding. Perhaps this inspired n0ne’s Lord-esque ability to convert off crouch cancels and trick his opponents into throwing out unsafe moves, while still having access to all his offensive tools.

– Edwin Budding

64. Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto

5th at APEX 2015
5th at Kings of Cali 4
9th at GENESIS 5
9th at APEX 2014
9th at GT-X 2017

For over a decade, Yoshi’s potential remained capped by the heavy amount of execution needed to succeed with him. That changed with aMSa, who over the last five years has revolutionized the character.

His egg-stalls, punish game, lightning fast parries and impressive platform movement led to an upset over Mew2King at Kings of Cali 4, a year after taking a game off of him at at Evo 2013. Still a top player today, the current Japanese No. 1 has proven himself, not just as a flavor-of-the-month low-tier hero, but as a sustainable member of Melee’s top echelon of play.

– Edwin Budding

63. Daniel “The King” Hutchinson

5th at MLG Dallas 2006
5th at Zero Challenge 3
9th at MLG Anaheim 2006
9th at Zero Challenge 2
13th at MLG Chicago 2006

When you think of top tier Jigglypuff players in the history of smash, The King should be one of the first names that pops into your head. With a truly creative and groundbreaking style, King burst onto the scene in 2006, showcasing aggression with the pink puffball that was rarely seen and continues to be a scarce sight in today’s day and age. His usage of all of Jigglypuff’s toolkit was a sight to behold, as The King basically created the standard to be even a decent Puff today. If you’ve ever heard of “the King” combo (nair to rest), you now know who invented it.

His talent wasn’t restricted to character advancement or DBR combo videos either. King’s results more than backed up his skill, as he made multiple major top eights and top sixteens in his career. Not to mention, King’s performances inspired a young up and coming player who also played the Balloon Pokemon. You might know him – his name is, uh…Mango?

– Pikachu942

62. Sean “Forward” Benner sheik

5th at Cataclysm 3
5th at EVO East 2007
7th at Super Champ Combo
7th at MOAST 3
9th at Pound 3

One of the defining players of his character, Forward is often credited as one of, if not the first player to truly push Falco into the place he stands in the modern era. Showing prowess in the game as early as 2005, the long-time theorycrafter fought against the best players of his era with fair success, showing off technical ability rarely seen from anybody else at the time. Forward notably invented the aerial Falco shine into platform wavelanding to begin a combo, a staple of any Falco with a half-decent punish game in this day and age.

He also honed and mastered pretty much every other aspect of the character, and what Forward showed with the blue bird can still be seen in any Falco, be it from the Golden Age of Melee or the modern times. With a deadly Sheik to complement his Falco, the Arizona great himself is a worthy addition to our list.

– Pikachu942

61. James “Swedish Delight” Liu

4th at Pound 2016
5th at Shine 2016
7th at UGC Smash Open
7th at Smash Rivalries
9th at The Big House 7

Originally hailing from Rutgers University, Swedish Delight actually started off as a Samus main before in 2008. Eventually switching Fox, and later Falco, he finally decided on Sheik after being convinced by Eggm. Swedish began taking sets from some of Tristate’s best players, including Hax, and finished an impressive ninth at Zenith 2013 in a little over a year.

Defeating Plup at Apex 2015, he continued improving and earned community favor, being voted into the first ever Smash Summit. A tech chase-heavy player with edgeguards worthy of comparisons to Mew2King, Swedish was arguably robbed of a Top 10 rank in 2016, in which he seemingly finished ninth place at every tournament. With wins over Mew2King and last-game sets on Mang0 and Hungrybox, Swedish has shown that he’s capable of competing with some of the game’s greatest players as well.

– Edwin Budding

Thank you for reading, everybody. We’ll be back with 51-60, coming soon!

The Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time: #71-80

Hello, everyone! Pikachu942 and I are happy to present the next part of our Top 100 Melee players of all-time. In our last post, we uncovered the the players ranked 81-90. Today, we’ll be going over the players ranked 71-80. Here’s a brief FAQ on our project:

What is the Smash History Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time project?

It’s a ranking of the top 100 Melee singles players of all-time, determined by both members of the Smash History research and editorial series team: Edwin Budding (myself) and Pikachu942. The project is also an expansion of what I wrote in 2016, but with even more research, having taken us half a year to prepare on its own.

How did you guys determine the Top 100?

In order to rank players, we collected a list of every player ranked within the Top 25 of SSBMRank, mentioned within RetroSSBMRank and every player who placed in the top eight of a supermajor since Game Over in 2004, what we consider the start of competitive Melee as we know it today.

After creating this initial list, we added more notable names that we felt were “outlier” players whose results and rankings may not accurately reflect their playing impact on the Melee scene, such as international players.

What did you take into account when ranking players?

The four key factors we looked at and tried our best to stay consistent to were the following:

  • How well did a player perform at the biggest majors of their era?
  • How consistent was this player during their active years of competing?
  • How long did their playing career last?
  • If this player never existed, how much does their absence impact the metagame, large major results or the greater scene in Melee history?

I’ve never heard of you or Pikachu! What makes you guys think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best players above anyone else?

Because until someone else helps write over 300 pages of Melee history on a personal website for free, we feel like we’re about as qualified as anyone can reasonably be.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As an update to the previous note on Japanese players whose names I don’t have, I learned from Captain Jack that gamertags for many old-school Japanese smashers are secretive about their time in smash. He declined to tell me Thunders’ full name – therefore, for the rest of the series, you’ll notice that for a few players, I do not have their real names, due to what he said were different cultural expectations in Japan surrounding tags. Also, in today’s edition, I have written all the blurbs.

80. Kevin “Husband” Dassing

5th at MLG New York 2004
5th at Cataclysm 3
5th at MLG Atlanta 2005
9th at Gettin’ Schooled 2
9th at MLG Long Island 2007

The Marth main half of the Newlyweds, Husband was the best non-Azen Marth on the East Coast. Due to his heavy practice against Wife, Husband notoriously gained a reputation as  the Peach-slayer.

Husband also consistently attended several MLG tournaments. He used to travel several hours to attend regional tourneys in places like Orlando, Nashville, Philadelphia and more within the span of months. In an era where fewer players regularly traveled, Husband stood out as one of the scene’s most dedicated pros.

79. Savath “KrazyJones” San

5th at MELEE-FC3
7th at MLG New York 2005
7th at Gettin’ Schooled 2
13th at MLG DC 2005
17th at Cataclysm 3

KrazyJones is a trailblazer for the New England scene. Hailing from the Fall River crew from Massachussetts alongside players like UnknownForce and Hayato, the old-school Peach main often showed up at nationals in surprisingly dominating fashion.

His placing at FC3 doesn’t come close to reflecting the legacy of his run in the tournament’s final bracket. He had last game sets with Chillin, Ken, Oro, KM, Undisput3d, DieSuperFly and ChuDat, only losing to Ken and ChuDat. When discussing all-time greats from New England, KrazyJones certainly earned his place among his region’s Mount Olympus.

78. Adrian “Caveman” Sanchez docsheikyounglinkheadssbm

3rd at MOAST 3
5th at MELEE-FC3
9th at MLG New York Opener 2006
9th at MLG Dallas 2006
9th at MLG New York 2005

Before the rise of Dr. Mario players like Bob$ and Shroomed, Caveman represented the character on a national level like no one else. Among the best smashers within Texas, he was one of the few people to actually stay competitive against Ken and Isai at MOAST 3. He even beat Azen at FC3, the most stacked American tournament of the year.

Caveman’s legacy partially comes from doubles, in which he teamed with his fellow Crystal City smasher Rob$ to place at top eights across several majors of the MLG era. Most notably was their second place at Gettin’ Schooled 2, which featured finishing higher than teams like Chillin/NEO, KrazyJones/Hayato and even Azen/Wes.

77. Matthew “Tope” Jewell

7th at ChuDatz Final Biweekly
9th at Pound 4
13th at GENESIS
13th at APEX 2012
13th at Zenith 2013

The post-Brawl era saw Sheik with multiple top-level representatives across a variety of regions. Alongside names like Mew2King, KirbyKaze, Amsah and Lucien came Tope, known for his deadly tech chasing ability and status as one of MDVA’s best players. This was during a time when most of its previous greats had quit competing in Melee tournaments.

Tope is also rumored to be the last Sheik to have ever defeated ChuDat across a full set in tournament, though no one remembers the exact date or tourney. When combined with his victory over PPMD in Genesis 2 pools, it’s clear that Tope could hang with the best players of his time.

76. Shepard “Fiction” Lima

7th at APEX 2014
7th at CEO 2014
7th at Kings of Cali 4
13th at EVO 2014
13th at MLG Anaheim 2014

The long-time Brawl aficionado broke out in early 2014, now playing Melee. Fiction rose up the ranks in SoCal, the world’s best region, and even defeated Mew2King multiple times. A year later, after persistent hand problems began to affect his ability to compete with Fox, Fiction took a set with Marth over Mango at a local tournament.

His fundamental-heavy, patient and zoning style has garnered him much success across his smash career. Over the last year, he’s slowly returned to being far more active at local tournaments, playing Fox again and even holding wins over Crush and Westballz. It might be a surprise for many to see him claw his way back into the national spotlight, but you know what people say – the truth is often stranger than fiction.

75. Timothy “Eggm” Cody falcoheadssbm

9th at APEX 2010
9th at Revival of Melee 2
9th at Zenith 2012
9th at Revival of Melee 3
13th at Pound 3

Eggm’s contributions to the Fox and Falco metagame often get overlooked, but they’re as important as the other top spacie players of the post-Brawl era. He practically invented modern defense for spacie mains, implementing movement and shines out-of-shield in ways that none of his contemporaries did. His YouTube channel is still a valuable educational resource for both Fox and Falco players.

As part of a region that included players like Mew2King, Hax, Jman and Scar, Eggm consistently proved himself at nationals and local tournaments alike, building a brand as one of New Jersey’s best players. His longevity and dedication to playing is remarkable, particularly because the New Jersey spacie main innovated and competed during an era where Melee’s survival wasn’t guaranteed.

74. Eddie “Eddie” Howells  ganondorfheadssbmfox

5th at MLG Los Angeles 2005
5th at EVO World 2007
13th at MLG Anaheim 2006
13th at MLG Dallas 2006
13th at MLG Chicago 2006

A longtime giant of Midwest Melee, Eddie is arguably the region’s first great player in the post-items age of Melee. The Chicago Ganondorf main (and Fox secondary) made national waves even before the start of competitive Melee as we know it today, defeating Ken in a money match held before Tournament Go 5.

Eventually taking the reins of Chicago from his Marth main brother Eduardo, Eddie became his city’s greatest smasher and a Midwest legend of his own, winning several events within the region. He also won MLG Orlando 2005, a smaller major that still featured talent like Oro, Husband and the Dutch Fox MrSilver in attendance. Eddie is still occasionally active today in his local scene, but his decade-plus resume and status as a sage of the Midwest remains as impressive as ever.

73. Wayne “Tink” Gralewski 

4th at MLG New York Opener 2006
7th at MELEE-FC6
9th at MLG Anaheim 2006
9th at MLG Chicago 2006
11th at MLG New York Playoffs 2006

Tink was a member of the “Midwest Five,” a group of players that dominated the Midwest from 2005 to the end of the MLG Era. The Indiana-based Marth/Fox player also left a legacy that transcended his impact on his local scene.

During his prime, Tink defeated players like Azen and Isai, while also boasting victories over people like Eddie and Rob$. With a couple of supermajor performances and top-level wins on his resume, Tink is among the greatest Midwest players ever.

72. “Mikael”

5th at Jack Garden Tournament
33rd at Super Champ Combo

Before the age of Armada, another international Peach dominated his competition. Cited by Armada as one of the Swede’s biggest influences as a player, Mikael is also one of Japan’s greatest players of all-time, having additionally been called a “god” of his national scene by Captain Jack. He frequently won local tournaments in East Japan and became its best player shortly before Brawl came out.

Mikael moved faster than other Peach players, extended punishes in creative ways and he also infamously bragged before the Jack Garden Tournament that he was going to defeat Ken. His lack of notable results in the United States somewhat dampens his legacy, but he nonetheless remains one of the greatest international players of all-time.

71. Michael “Mike G” Gray

5th at MOAST 3
7th at MLG Atlanta 2005
9th at Game Over
25th at Tournament Go 6
25th at MLG Orlando 2006

Often referred to as the godfather of Peach, Mike G represented Deadly Alliance in the early MLG era. Notably, Mike G finished second at mid-2004’s Smash 4 Cash, among a field that also included players like Isai, Wes, Mild, Chillin, NEO, Dave, KrazyJones and Matt Deezie.

A little over a month later, Mike G finished second at MLG Atlanta 2004, just under Azen. As the United States’ first notable Peach player, Mike G was an easy choice to make Melee’s Top 100.

Thank you for reading, everybody. We’ll be back with 61-70, coming soon!

The Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time: #81-90

Hello, everyone! Pikachu942 and I are happy to present the next part of our Top 100 Melee players of all-time. In our last post, we uncovered the the players ranked 91-100. Today, we’ll be going over the players ranked 81-90. Here’s a brief FAQ on our project:

What is the Smash History Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time project?

It’s a ranking of the top 100 Melee singles players of all-time, determined by both members of the Smash History research and editorial series team: Edwin Budding (myself) and Pikachu942. The project is also an expansion of what I wrote in 2016, but with even more research, having taken us half a year to prepare on its own.

How did you guys determine the Top 100?

In order to rank players, we collected a list of every player ranked within the Top 25 of SSBMRank, mentioned within RetroSSBMRank and every player who placed in the top eight of a supermajor since Game Over in 2004, what we consider the start of competitive Melee as we know it today.

After creating this initial list, we added more notable names that we felt were “outlier” players whose results and rankings may not accurately reflect their playing impact on the Melee scene, such as international players.

What did you take into account when ranking players?

The four key factors we looked at and tried our best to stay consistent to were the following:

  • How well did a player perform at the biggest majors of their era?
  • How consistent was this player during their active years of competing?
  • How long did their playing career last?
  • If this player never existed, how much does their absence impact the metagame, large major results or the greater scene in Melee history?

I’ve never heard of you or Pikachu! What makes you guys think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best players above anyone else?

Because until someone else helps write over 300 pages of Melee history on a personal website for free, we feel like we’re about as qualified as anyone can reasonably be.

90. Jack “Crush” Hoyt

9th at The Big House 7
9th at GENESIS 5
9th at Smash Summit 5
9th at Royal Flush
9th at DreamHack Austin 2017

After years of being considered among his region’s best players, the young Boston Fox finally broke through in 2016, winning the New England Invitational. Crush is unquestionably New England’s best player since KoreanDJ and has become a household name over the last two years.

With a tournament win in the Holiday Bash Invitational, alongside a slew of performances just outside the top 8, it feels only like a matter of time before Crush starts to break into Melee’s top ten. It might be too early to say, but once Crush makes a top eight, the sky’s the limit for him.

– Edwin Budding

89. “Thunders”

9th at Jack Garden Tournament

In Melee’s competitive infancy, Japan was considered the far superior region for competitors than the United States. Among its best players was Thunders, a Fox who gained a reputation for being heavily technical.

For example, Thunders is the namesake of the “Thunders combo.” The Japanese Fox also was one of the first players to consistently multishine, at one point being rumored to shine over a hundred times in a row. Although his rival Masashi is more well-known, Thunders’ impact on the Fox metagame is among the all-time greats.

– Edwin Budding

88. Jaden “VaNz” Carr

7th at Pound V
7th at Revival of Melee 3
9th at APEX 2010
13th at APEX 2012
13th at Revival of Melee

One of the more under-the-radar players in history, VaNz was a player that was well-respected, but never truly showcased a breakout performance like some of his contemporaries. He also didn’t travel often, but when majors showed up near him, he would give it his all, clearly evident by his top 8 performance at stacked national Pound V.

Outside of his one peak performance, though, VaNz still showcased consistent solid Top 16 placings across multiple years, even as he was making his way out of the game. Heck, he was even the only person to take a game off Hungrybox at Apex 2010. These accomplishments across a majority of the Post-Brawl Era more than grant the elusive Peach main a spot on the list.

– Pikachu942

87. Stephen “Abate” Abate

7th at The Big House 5
7th at Zenith 2013
9th at Revival of Melee 7
13th at CEO 2015
17th at The Big House 4

Abate turned heads with his victory over Hax at Zenith 2013. Two years later, he shocked the world again at The Big House 5, when he defeated players like Axe, Duck and S2J en route to another top eight performance.

Pittsburgh’s best player of all-time, Abate also is among Luigi’s greatest players. In fact, the two performances above were the only top eight supermajor showings by a Luigi main in the game’s history. This cements Abate’s place in Melee history not just for his own character, but for all mid-tiers.

– Edwin Budding

86. Roberto “Overtriforce” Iglesias

9th at APEX 2013
9th at DreamHack Winter 2016
17th at Pound 4
17th at DreamHack Winter 2015
25th at Revival of Melee 4

Overtriforce was already the best player in Spain and the closest threat to Amsah for being Europe’s top Sheik of the post-Brawl era. He backed up his reputation by three-stocking Mew2King’s Marth at Pound 4, though he came up just short against the latter’s Fox.

Years later, the Spanish Sheik has a slew of notable names on his career resume, including all-time greats like a young Leffen, Scar, Axe and Ice. His longevity as Spain’s greatest smasher and his contributions to the Sheik metagame make him an easy choice for Melee’s Top 100 of all-time.

– Edwin Budding

85. Miguel “Zgetto” Rodriguez

7th at BEAST 5
13th at DreamHack Winter 2015
17th at Pound 4
33rd at Pound 2016
49th at GENESIS 4

Zgetto is often forgotten by newer players, but he’s been around for years. He attended and won some of the Netherlands’ earliest and biggest tournaments around the post-MLG era.

The Dutch Fox is also part of the few smashers to have ever defeated Armada across a full set in tournament. Although it came before the latter’s rise to godhood, it remains a fascinating detail to remember when evaluating Zgetto’s noteworthy career.

– Edwin Budding

84. Daniel “Jiano” Hart

3rd at Pound 2
13th at Viva La Smashtaclysm
13th at FC SMASH 15XR: Return
17th at Super SWEET
25th at MLG Chicago 2006

Jiano is mostly known for his speedrunning, but did you know that he was also a pretty good Captain Falcon player? The Kentucky smasher was one of the Midwest’s most promising players of the MLG era. He’s most known for defeating Cort, Chillin and taking ChuDat to the limit at Pound 2, ending up in a surprising third place at one of the year’s biggest major tournaments.

Even though he’s sometimes overshadowed by his regional contemporary Darkrain, Jiano still carved his own place in Melee history. His performance at Pound 2 was the best non-Isai run by a Captain Falcon at any national for nearly a decade.

– Edwin Budding

83. Ammon “Ka-Master” Styles 

9th at MELEE-FC Diamond
17th at Pound 4
25th at EVO 2017
33rd at The Big House 7
49th at GENESIS 3

A Luigi pioneer, Ka-Master is probably who most old school smashers imagine when they think of the slippery green plumber. Originally from Washington, the Luigi connoisseur was the most dominant force in the region after the likes of the SKYPAL crew faded from the scene, regularly winning whatever locals he attended.

He rarely traveled out of region, but Ka-Master’s ninth at MELEE-FC Diamond is a true staple of Luigi’s character history and the first glimpse of true potential that otherwise laid dormant within the character. His second at UCLA V, originally intended to be the last big west coast Melee tournament, was another star showing, as Ka-Master defeated players like DEHF, Zhu and HugS, ending just one game short from winning the tournament. The Luigi legend still plays today, though he took a long national hiatus, briefly playing in Hawaii’s smash scene. Only time will tell if Ka-Master can return to his lofty heights.

– Pikachu942

82. Chris “KillaOR” McKenzie

3rd at MLG Los Angeles 2005
9th at MLG DC 2005
13th at MLG New York 2005
13th at Gettin’ Schooled 2
17th at MLG Anaheim 2006

Prior to the rise of Mango and Hungrybox, there were not that many top Jigglypuff players in the scene. Most people will remember the revolutionary King, but even before him, Deadly Alliance had a puffball of their own. KillaOR was not only a solid contender in the Tristate region during 2005, but he was the first Puff player to show off results truly worth talking about.

His third at MLG Los Angeles 2005, an event featuring all of the best players in the country, is immortalized in the MTV documentary “True Life: I’m a Professional Gamer”, where he defeated Chillin, Eddie and ChuDat to reach Losers Finals, before finally falling to Isai. Coupled with having one of the most iconic rests of all time, as seen above, it supplies KillaOR with more than enough performances and moments to deserve a spot on the list.

– Pikachu942

81. Christopher “Wife” Fabiszak

7th at MLG Atlanta 2005
9th at MLG Chicago 2006
9th at MLG Dallas 2006
9th at Cataclysm 3
10th at MLG New York Playoffs 2006

MDVA was the land of H2YL, but Team Ben was its greatest rival crew in-region. Within Team Ben was the duo of Husband and Wife: the Newlyweds. Wife in particular was known for fearing no one in bracket – at MLG Atlanta 2005, he took Ken to his last stock and even forced a switch to Fox mid-set.

Wife’s reputation today comes from his time as a commentator, doubles specialist and interviewee in the 2013 documentary “The Smash Brothers.” Anyone who played him back in the MLG era can attest to his skill and place as one of Peach’s earliest top representatives.

– Edwin Budding

Thank you for reading, everybody. We’ll be back with 71-80, coming soon!

The Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time: #91-100

Hello, everyone! Pikachu942 and I are finally back, with the first part of our Top 100 Melee players of all-time list. But before we start, we’d like to mention a few updates to our project.

In our last post, we attempted to reach out to more community members for joining our panel. We’d like to thank everyone who applied, but sadly, we were saddened by the relative lack of interest. Our initial goal in running this project was to create a top 100 that we thought would be reflective of what many of Melee’s leaders would consider to be an appropriate Top 100.

As people that gathered the data ourselves, we realized that the amount of effort we were putting into compiling every major top eight, determining an appropriate candidate pool and research were going to fall on deaf ears. Simply put, the task of creating a top 100 players list was a lengthy process that many notable community figures were understandably skeptical about.

In the end, Pikachu and I have decided to just use our ballots, due to our own countless hours of research and studying of Melee history (and our own egos).

We apologize to the small group of people that applied, but we’re still grateful for your interest and are confident that our rankings will nonetheless turn out fine. At the end of our Top 100 rankings, we’ll release the amount of data that we used to come up with our decision.

Here’s a brief FAQ:

What is the Smash History Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time project?

It’s a ranking of the top 100 Melee singles players of all-time, determined by both members of the Smash History research and editorial series team: Edwin Budding (myself) and Pikachu942. The project is also an expansion of what I wrote in 2016, but with even more research, having taken us half a year to prepare on its own.

How did you guys determine the Top 100?

In order to rank players, we collected a list of every player ranked within the Top 25 of SSBMRank, mentioned within RetroSSBMRank and every player who placed in the top eight of a supermajor since Game Over in 2004, what we consider the start of competitive Melee as we know it today.

After creating this initial list, we added more notable names that we felt were “outlier” players whose results and rankings may not accurately reflect their playing impact on the Melee scene, such as international players.

What did you take into account when ranking players?

The four key factors we looked at and tried our best to stay consistent to were  the following:

  • How well did a player perform at the biggest majors of their era?
  • How consistent was this player during their active years of competing?
  • How long did their playing career last?
  • If this player never existed, how much does their absence impact the metagame, large major results or the greater scene in Melee history?

I’ve never heard of you or Pikachu! What makes you guys think you’re qualified to determine Melee’s best players above anyone else?

Because until someone else helps write over 300 pages of Melee history on a personal website for free, we feel like we’re about as qualified as anyone can reasonably be.

For now though, we like our chances. So without anything else to say, we’d like to start off our Top 100 list!

100. Robert “Zelgadis” Scherer

17th at MLG Dallas 2006
17th at Super Champ Combo
25th at Zero Challenge 3
25th at Zero Challenge 2
49th at Tournament Go 6

Zelgadis is the reason many smashers play Melee. His legendary combo video “Shined Blind” paved the way for modern Fox tech skill, showcasing Fox’s toolkit in ways that people didn’t think was possible, particularly with his use of Fox’s reflector as an offensive weapon and combo move. The DBR legend was also a respectable player for his time, defeating Isai at MLG San Francisco 2005.

It’s unfortunate that Zelgadis’ reputation later took a dark turn, because his impact on the scene is among the game’s greatest. Yet it also remains a cautionary tale for mythologizing your personal heroes: even they are capable of ruining their own legacies.

– Edwin Budding

99. Paul “Pink Shinobi” Vang

9th at GENESIS

Known for shamelessly defensive and zoning heavy play, the NorCal Peach and former in-region No. 1 dominated his local scene in 2009, also taking a game off Mango at the first Genesis. Though most people remember him for infamously timing out RockCrock on the stage Kongo Jungle 64, make no mistake: Pink Shinobi was a force to be reckoned with in bracket.

Had he stayed in the Melee community, perhaps his legacy would be more well-known. Either way, Pink Shinobi was a staple of post-Brawl NorCal.

– Edwin Budding

98. Jonah “KM” Terrill

9th at MELEE-FC6
9th at Gettin’ Schooled 2
9th at Pound 2
9th at MLG DC 2005
13th at MELEE-FC3

When talking about hidden bosses in the old school scene of Melee, one of the first names that should come to mind is MDVA’s KM. Not often traveling out of the region, KM was considered a fearsome threat to any that fought him, from as early as 2005. Many thought of him on the level of players like NEO or Chillin.

With wins on the two aforementioned players locally, KM even had some set wins over players as skilled as Azen, and nationally had players such as the Midwest’s Drephen on his resume. At one point ranked as high as 11th on the Smash Panel Power Rankings in 2006, KM had an excellent prime worthy of recognition.

– Pikachu942

97. Daniel “KishCubed” Kish

5th at MELEE-FC

Considered the strongest player of the legendary Kish Brothers, KishCubed was a founding father of Sheik play, posting up solid results at the top of the Midwest as early as 2003. He competed with the likes of Eddie for best in his region and Cubed boasted an impressive performance at MELEE-FC.

Sadly, his career was cut tragically short due to complications following heart surgery, and he passed away on January 15, 2005. His final tournament was the high profile regional Flames of Bowser 3 in the previous November, where he dominated. Here, he defeated players like DieSuperFly, Eddie and Drephen without dropping a game. Nevertheless, KishCubed is still fondly remembered as one of the original greats of the Midwest and an important figure in Melee history.

– Pikachu942

96. Zain “Zain” Naghmi

5th at Super Smash Con 2017
7th at DreamHack Denver 2017
13th at GENESIS 5
13th at Smash n Splash 3
17th at The Big House 6″

Zain is the personification of every Fox player’s worst fear: a Marth main that will pivot and crouch grab everything. But Zain’s first big win wasn’t even a Fox – it was a Sheik. At The Big House 6, Zain turned heads with a stunning 2-0 victory over Plup, months before his shocking defeat of Leffen at Smash N Splash 3.

If Mew2King wrote the textbook on how to kill opponents as quickly and efficiently as possible, then Zain took what Mew2King wrote and added modern swagger to it. Edge canceling his aerials, pivoting at will and making seemingly endless highlight reels on his opponents, Zain is a marvel to watch and a terrifying force to play. Now having a bigger target on his back than ever in his career, it’ll be a treat to see how Zain transitions from being the new kid on the block to joining Melee’s Marth dynasty.

– Edwin Budding

95. Kelly “Kels” Smith

7th at The Big House 4
13th at Pound V
13th at The Big House 3
17th at Smash N Splash 3
17th at UGC Smash Open

For years, Darkrain dominated the Midwest during the post-Brawl era. But as Darkrain fell out of the limelight, Kels eventually took the reins as his region’s top representative. Hailing from Chicago, the Fox/Sheik frequently won his locals with ease earlier this decade. A veteran of the scene for over ten years, Kels’ trademark safe, low-risk and smart approach to playing gained him a reputation as the guy no one rooted for at local tournaments, despite his well-liked reputation in the Midwest.

It’s ironically beautiful that his greatest performance came at The Big House 4, where Kels defeated Axe, Wizzrobe, Bladewise and Nintendude, finishing an impressive seventh place to wild cheers among the Midwest home crowd. This tournament catapulted Kels from being a Midwest darling into someone with a national legacy of his own. Today, he’s known as the man, the myth, Kelly Smith.

– Edwin Budding

94. Wesley”FASTLIKETREE” Hunt

5th at MLG Dallas 2006
13th at MLG Anaheim 2006
17th at MELEE-FC6

FASTLIKETREE was a rare sight at nationals, but he made his present felt at his first. At MLG Dallas, he defeated Isai’s Sheik, who some considered to be superior to his Falcon, in his very first set, eventually finishing fifth.

He’s often credited as the first notable player to truly implement pivoting with Marth. This was a technique later popularized by a more modern Texas Marth known as Arc, followed by PewPewU in his win over Hungrybox at Apex 2015 and nearly every relevant Marth player today. His contributions to the Marth metagame are still felt to this day.

– Pikachu942

93. Aaron “Professor Pro” Thomas

5th at UGC Smash Open
5th at DreamHack Winter 2016
5th at BEAST 5
9th at Paragon Los Angeles 2015
9th at Pound 2016

Outside of The Doug in the early years of Melee, the United Kingdom never had a top-level representative in competitive smash. Professor Pro changed that with a victory over Hungrybox at Paragon LA that brought him to the national spotlight. Months later, he then took a set from Leffen at Kickstart 7, joining an elite category of players in the modern era of Melee that have beaten two members of Melee’s Big Six.

As far as his in-game contributions go, Professor Pro has a world-class out-of-shield game, making him a pesky opponent to fight. With a few more improvements, he could not only bring the UK to a greater level of representation to the smash scene, but improve his quietly impressive all-time standing.

– Edwin Budding

92. Lucien “Lucien” Mitchell Mayo

13th at EVO 2013
17th at GENESIS 2
33rd at EVO 2014

Lucien (formerly ZodiakLucien) was ranked No. 1 in NorCal during a time when interest in Melee waned in favor of Brawl. While less well-known than other local heroes like Isai, SilentSpectre (and the rest of the DBR crew), and modern players like SFAT, Shroomed and PewPewU, Lucien was still a force to be reckoned with in 2010, continuing to be a well-regarded competitor for years after his peak.

Outside of his solid national and regional results, Lucien’s true legacy comes from not only his local performances, but his tutelage of both old and new smashers alike. His guides and tips to players who either struggled to improve in the game or whose interest faltered in declining scene helped push NorCal along in such trying times, keeping the player base alive. Lucien’s efforts were bright light that led the charge of the NorCal scene to a new era, one with players who are now household names.

– Pikachu942

91. Jonathan “Bum” Farley

4th at MLG Long Island 2007

Easily the greatest Donkey Kong main of all time, Bum was a New Yorker whose overall skills came from years of playing locally with Deadly Alliance and some of Tristate’s best players in the MLG and post-MLG era. However, when a major finally came to him in MLG Long Island, Bum proved his worth, defeating then top players Isai and ChuDat and taking Mew2King to his last stock in one of the greatest low-tier performances at a national in Melee history.

Bum rarely traveled, but he shocked those who played him for the first time. Legend has it that he used to beat up on lesser players while blindfolded or with his back turned to the screen. He also still defeated players like PC Chris, DA Wes, Cactuar and KoreanDJ at locals across the Tristate region. One of the more interesting and elusive players of all time, Bum truly proved what it meant to be the first member of the DK Crew.

– Pikachu942

Thank you for reading, everybody. We’ll be back with 81-90, coming soon!