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!

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