The Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time: #31-40

Hello, everyone! Pikachu942 and I are happy to present the next part of our Top 100 Melee players of all-time. In our last posts, we uncovered the players ranked 41-50. Today, we’ll be going over the players ranked 31-40. 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.

40. Drew “Drephen” Scoles

4th at MELEE-FC Diamond
5th at Viva La Smashtaclysm
5th at Zero Challenge 3
5th at Pound 2
9th at Pound 3

When Drephen defeated Mew2King at Viva La Smashtaclysm, rumor has it that the latter was so angry, he dismissed the loss as a total fluke and briefly complained about his opponent being carried by Sheik. Regardless, the Ohio legend holds a legacy as one of the best Midwest players ever, ruling the region along with Darkrain, Vidjogamer, Tink and Dope during the golden era of smash.

Years before Borp became a heralded fan favorite and before tech chasing became standardized, Drephen somehow combined both traits to become among the world’s best Sheiks. His smart, but extremely straightforward and frustrating style made him formidable, as he also has two sets over Azen for his career. He still plays today, having just finished an impressive fourth at The Gang Hosts A Melee Tournament, additionally winning the regional doubles tournament with Boyd.

– Edwin Budding

39. Roustane “Kage” Benzeguir

3rd at Revival of Melee 2
5th at Revival of Melee
5th at Canada Cup 2017
5th at Revival of Melee 4
7th at IMPULSE 2012

Most people remember Kage for the biggest upset in post-Brawl Melee history, when he double eliminated Mango at Revival of Melee 2. Just earlier in the year, he defeated Jman, Azen and KoreanDJ at Revival of Melee. A Ganondorf revolutionary whose strong fundamentals and discipline made him a warrior who feared no one in bracket, Kage has a knack of surprising people when they least expect it.

Years after his prime, he suddenly turned the clock back to beat SFAT and Westballz in Apex 2014. In 2015, he lead a stunning comeback at The Big House 5, in which he anchored Canada’s victory over NorCal in the regional crew battle bracket. Just last year, he beat ChuDat, KirbyKaze and HugS. It’s clear that Kage’s impact on the scene over the last decade is among the game’s greatest.

– Edwin Budding

38. Antoine “DA Wes” Lewis-Hall

4th at MELEE-FC
5th at Game Over
5th at Gettin’ Schooled 2
7th at Tournament Go 6
7th at MLG DC 2005

Even before old man Hugo burst onto the scene, there was one other notable Samus, known as DA Wes. Wes was known for his consistency, where it seemed almost every tourney he would only lose to the top players such as Ken and Azen. This was impressive at the time, due to the volatile and uncertain nature of many players in the old-school era – yet somehow, Wes would manage to stay at the solid lower end of top eight. He never had a breakout performance at any national, but his ability to be just below the top players at any given tournament was quite the feat.

Wes also pioneered several advanced techniques for Samus, then known when Wes used them as “illegal moves,” such as the extender grapple. He was the starter for the East Coast crew during the important FC3 Crew battle, defeating Variety Barrage and going 2-1 in stocks with HugS in the Samus ditto before being taken out. For his importance as the original Samus and consistency across the early era of the game, Wes more than deserves a mention.

– Pikachu942

37. Tony “Taj” Jackson

3rd at Genesis 2
5th at MELEE-FC Diamond
7th at Pound 2
13th at Evo 2013
13th at Super Champ Combo

The creator of the famous Shadowclaw combo video series, Taj is an important figure in both Arizona smash and the smash scene as a whole. Showing strong results as early as 2006, notably with a double elimination of Ken at a local late in the year, Taj really started proving himself in 2007 with his trusty Marth and Mewtwo combination, placing highly at majors. However, his best performance came at the legendary Genesis 2.

Here, despite being considered past his prime, Taj defeated Mango and PPMD to make winner’s finals, becoming the first non-god to defeat multiple gods in a single tournament and cementing himself as the best Marth against Falco, something even Mew2King credited Taj with at the time. While he is relatively inactive in the modern times, he still can prove to have solid results, such as his win on Colbol at The Big House 6. The greatest Mewtwo of all time and a Marth who showed the potential of gimps and edgeguards against the spacies, Taj is more than worthy of such a high spot on the list.

– Pikachu942

36. Otto “Silent Wolf” Bisno

3rd at HTC Throwdown
7th at Evo 2014
7th at Battle of the Five Gods
7th at Zero Challenge 3
9th at Evo 2013

The star of “Attack on Top Tier” is one of the most influential Fox players ever, with revolutionary tech skill, creative ideas and performances that transcended era. Following Ka-Master, Silent Wolf became Washington’s top representative, especially showing a streak of dominance in matchups against Sheik, Marth and Peach.

He holds numerous victories over Mew2King and a win on Leffen at Evo 2014. finishing as Melee’s No. 11 player of 2015 and taking a game off Armada. Earlier this year, Silent Wolf announced that he was retiring from Melee, after disappearing from national competition in 2017. Nonetheless, he remains among the scene’s all-time great players.

– Edwin Budding

35. Jesse “Vidjogamer” Werner

3rd at MELEE-FC6
5th at Pound 3
5th at MELEE-FC Diamond
5th at MELEE-FC
7th at Zero Challenge 3

Standing among the top Peach players and Midwest smashers of the MLG era, Vidjogamer has been in the scene since 2002. As a result of his success, the namesake behind “Vidjo-dropping” and “Vidjo-cancelling” enjoyed a status of influence shared by few others.

However, earlier this year, smasher and artist Jacqueline “Jisu” Choe wrote a lengthy account of abuses she endured while working under her former business manager. While legal risk prevents her from naming the person in question, it’s public knowledge that her former manager at JisuArt was Vidjogamer. Her public account reflects a changing social climate where problematic behavior is increasingly and rightfully being brought to attention. It’s critical to ensure that those in positions of power remain accountable for their potential actions, even within the smash community.

– Edwin Budding

34. Bronson “DaShizWiz” Layton

3rd at Revival of Melee
5th at Zenith 2013
7th at MELEE-FC Diamond
7th at Pound 2
9th at Genesis

Before the rise of PPMD, another southern player took the reins of Falco’s metagame, refining ideas from Bombsoldier and polishing their execution. DaShizWiz boasted Lambchops-esque lasers and an in-your-face, aggressive, mixup heavy playstyle that eventually made him one of the five best players in the world during the early post-Brawl era. In an age preceding Hungrybox’s rise to godhood, Shiz was Florida’s top representative, known for taking Mew2King to the limit at FAST1 and Revival of Melee.

Shiz struggled with out-of-smash issues for the middle part of his career, having run-ins with the law and even being arrested for assault. After completing his mandatory time in jail and sanctioned anger management courses, Shiz returned to the smash scene, though there remains controversy over his past. He currently streams and still competes at nationals.

– Edwin Budding

33. David “Darkrain” John

5th at MELEE-FC6
7th at MELEE-FC Diamond
7th at Pound 3
7th at Genesis
9th at MELEE-FC

A Midwest legend and real-life version of Captain Falcon, Darkrain is an iconic figure of old-school Melee, and one almost everybody knows. Showing solid results from as early as 2004, Darkrain slowly rose up the ranks of the world’s elite, getting better and better with each year, until peaking in 2008 and 2009. Defeating PC Chris at Pound 3, Darkrain later went on to win Tipped Off 4 over players like Colbol, PPMD and Hungrybox, and then went on to place an incredible 7th at the all-important Genesis.

He was the first amazing Falcon after Isai, and yet somehow he still has carried on into the modern era, showing respectable placings at multiple Evos and wins on players like Silent Wolf and Wizzrobe. His jaw-dropping combos he seemingly performed on the daily, known as “Darkrain Combos” are a fixture of Midwest lore, and moments his quintuple knee on SFAT at MELEE-FC10R are of legend. As cool in the game as he is in real life, Darkrain is a name to be remembered.

– Pikachu942

32. Paul “Cort” Rogoza

4th at Pound 3
4th at Super Champ Combo
4th at Evo East 2007
7th at Cataclysm 3
9th at Viva La Smashtaclysm

Only a handful of players of really broken into that top echelon of play in the years Melee has existed. While it was more uncertain back in the years of 04 and 05, by 2008 the hierarchy seemed to be fairly set in stone as Melee’s lifespan was coming to an end with the relase of Brawl. However, one man was able to break through into that Top 5 level that many don’t seem to remember. Cort was a New England Peach main who saw great success in 2007, notably placing 4th at Super Champ Combo.

However, his true success would come in 2008. Turning the corner on his regional rival PC Chris, he ended the year positive on one of the world’s greatest, who just the year before had rarely if ever lost to him. Cort placed 4th at Pound 3, notably defeating Azen, who just won Viva La Smashtaclysm and was arguably the favorite to win the tournament. He also defeated Mew2King multiple times in Falcon dittos at tournaments like FAST 1: something few people can say they had the skill to accomplish, even it was a secondary. Due to the lower amount of tourneys back during this time, Cort was never able to truly show off just how good he was on a larger scale, which is why he places low on the list. Rest assured, however, that one of the legends of the East Coast was a worldwide threat in his prime.

– Pikachu942

31. Christopher “Sastopher” Rollock

2nd at MELEE-FC3
4th at Tournament Go 6
4th at MLG Seattle 2005
13th at MLG Los Angeles 2005
13th at Zero Challenge 2

Most probably recognize Sastopher from the “Smash Brothers” documentary, due to rumors that he lost a friendly to Azen’s Pichu. However, this paints Sastopher in far more negative light than how strong he truly was in his prime. One of the best in the Northwest region, Sastopher traveled to Tournament Go 6 a relative unknown to the greater scene, but shocked the world by being only the second person to ever defeat Ken in winner’s bracket. This wasn’t Sastopher’s only highlight however, as he went on to have one of the greatest underdog runs in Melee history, garnering 2nd at MELEE-FC3, arguably the most stacked Melee tournament of all-time.

Defeating Eddie, Mike G, Dope, DieSuperFly, Caveman, Azen, ChuDat and Ken once more, Sastopher beat almost the entire top echelon of players. Boasting amazing results at practically every national tournament he attended in 2004 and 2005, Sastopher was the first to provide true top levels of Peach play, years before Armada burst onto the scene.

– Pikachu942

Thank you for reading! We’ll be back next week with our 21-30.

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