The Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time: #11-20

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 21-30. Today, we’ll be going over the players ranked 11-20. 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.

20. Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni

2nd at Shine 2016
3rd at CEO 2016
4th at GT-X 2017
4th at Smash Rivalries
4th at The Big House 3

SFAT is one of Melee’s smartest and most dedicated competitors, making a name for himself in the post-DBR era of NorCal. SFAT, Shroomed and PewPewU ruled their region together, but eventually SFAT became the clear No. 1 of the land. Now living in SoCal, SFAT has become the best local-attending player on the other side of California, along with a safe pick for top eights at any major he attends.

With wins over Mango, Mew2King, Hungrybox, Leffen and Plup in his career, SFAT has reached the point of being a modern demigod. His Shine 2016 performance stands out as one where he’s come exceptionally close to victory, but winning a national in the era of the “gods” is  a crossroads that only Leffen and Plup have ever crossed. Can SFAT also do it?

– Edwin Budding

19. Kashan “Chillin” Khan

2nd at C3 A Tournament in October
4th at Gettin Schooled 2
4th at Pound 2
5th at MLG Chicago 2006
5th at MLG New York 2005

Chillin’s legacy frequently flies under the radar because of his reputation as an entertaining streamer and personality. Back in the MLG era, he heavily influenced the Fox metagame as one of the character’s earliest representatives. Chillin also played a massive role in the Melee community’s growth. People remember his victory over Ken at Game Over, but do they even realize that he helped organized and run the same groundbreaking tournament, bringing the West Coast, East Coast and Midwest together under one roof? Probably not.

There’s not many players in Melee history who can say that they’ve beaten the best player in the world across three different eras. However, Chillin can. He has multiple wins over Ken, beat Mew2King twice during his well-revered prime and also took a set from Mango in 2014. Despite struggling to maintain consistency for some of his career, his peak performances certainly warrant notice and make him an obvious inclusion into Melee’s all-time top 20.

– Edwin Budding

18. Jesus “Jman” Fernandez

4th at Revival of Melee 3
4th at Revival of Melee 4
5th at Pound 4
5th at Revival of Melee 2
5th at Zenith 2012

Many newer players have probably never seen or heard of Jman, so they might be wondering why he is so high on the list. Well, the simple answer is, he was the closest person to usurp the gods until Leffen’s rise. Jman was a force to be reckoned from as early as 2008, where he shockingly took the only local set off Mew2King in the whole year. He rode this success into the following year, where he finished in the top three at APEX 2009. Jman also won a set over Mango’s Falco at a Mass Madness, a year later defeating PPMD, showing prowess in the matchup. In late 2010, Jman earned the biggest accomplishment of his career by finishing first at Don’ Go Down There Jeff: a NorCal major that featured Mango, Hungrybox and top talent from the entire West Coast.

You’ve seen a lot of comparisons to Leffen in this article, and it’s clearly an apt one. Between playing Fox and constantly knocking at the door of the gods, Jman and the Swede shared a few similarities. Jman would never be able to break that glass ceiling, due to publicly unknown personal problems that now prevent him from competing at tournaments. Despite this, Jman’s peak in 2009 to 2011 is something to be remembered, as he was effectively the No. 6 of the post-Brawl era.

– Pikachu942

17. Dajuan “Shroomed” McDaniel

4th at Smash N Splash 3
5th at Smash Summit 2
5th at GENESIS 2
5th at APEX 2013
5th at GT-X 2017

Shroomed, known as the greatest Dr. Mario player of all-time, was a consistent presence at national top eights, making 22 of them this decade. Continuing the tradition of NorCal Docs being prominent in the metagame, he turned out to be by far the character’s top representative, going above and beyond even what Bob$ and HomeMadeWaffles accomplished. At Genesis 2, Shroomed defeated Dr. PeePee, making his way to losers quarters at the biggest major of 2011. That marked just the beginning of his career.

Once players in his own region who began to figure out how to beat his character, Shroomed eventually switched to Sheik, also building a secondary Marth. In the modern era, he’s added Mew2King and Mango to his list of big wins, with last year holding Shroomed’s best supermajor performance ever. Though he’s somewhat declined in terms of relative skill, Shroomed remains a constant presence in major Top 32s. His heavy emphasis on fundamentals, controlling center stage and engaging with his opponents led him to stay relevant for top-level Melee over the last seven years. If he cleans up his combo game, Shroomed could finally break through his perceived ceiling.

– Edwin Budding

16. Robert “Wobbles” Wright

2nd at EVO 2013
4th at Battle of the Five Gods
5th at Super Champ Combo
5th at APEX 2010
9th at GENESIS 2

Wobbles is a legendary figure in the community for a wide variety of reasons. His innovations with the Ice Climbers are well-documented, notably popularizing the infamous wobble technique, with it actually being named after him, and inventing the unique hand-offs that many ICs use today. His tournament results are also well-defined, spanning multiple from 2006 to his retirement in 2017. Defeating practically everybody you know from both eras, Wobbles has done all he needed to and more to inspire and wow us, regardless of the time period. His mind outside of the game is well-respected too, with his blog “Compete Complete” being a collection of some of his thoughts and a great read for any competitor. His improvement not just as a player, but as a human being through the vehicle of Smash remains an inspiring story.

Consider his humble beginnings at NorCal Tournament 2 and being hated for the widespread use of wobbling, to Mango Juice and his infamous controller throw against SilentSpectre, all the way up to his crowning achievement: Evo 2013. At the latter event, the most important Melee tournament of all-time, Wobbles defeated Eggz, Fiction, Lord, Shroomed, Mango, PPMD and Hungrybox to reach winner’s side of Grand Finals, a monumental feat for an Ice Climber that hadn’t been seen since ChuDat’s run at Pound 2 in 2007. Defeating three gods in a single tournament, including two he had never defeated before, was something no other non-god could ever say they did at the time. Wobbles has since retired from competing and moved on to commentary, where he also excels, but his years as a competitor, an innovator, and a teacher to the whole community will never be forgotten.

– Pikachu942

15. Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson  

3rd at MVG Sandstorm
3rd at Press Start
3rd at DreamHack Denver 2017
4th at GENESIS 3
4th at Pound V

Axe’s sheer longevity of being at least top 15 with a mid-tier character is something nobody else has ever replicated. This is even more impressive considering Axe has continued to be one of the only Pikachus to crack the Top 100, let alone the Top 50, let alone the Top 10.

It just seems like he keeps getting better. His monumental success in the face of adversity is something to be admired, as he has consistently made top eights at even the biggest majors for his entire career. Starting with his breakout win over Jman at Genesis in 2009, Axe continued rising, and has now placed in 29 total major top eights, the sixth most of all-time, surpassing Ken, Azen, Leffen, Plup and PPMD, among others. With wins on Mango, Mew2King, PPMD and Hungrybox to his name throughout the years, as well as a longevity and peak few can dream of with top-tier characters, let alone a mid-tier like Pikachu, it’s easy to see why Axe is deserving of an impressive Top 15 spot.

– Pikachu942

14. Ryota “CaptainJack” Yoshida

1st at MLG San Franciso 2004
2nd at Tournament Go 6
3rd at MLG New York 2004
7th at Jack Garden Tournament
7th at Zero Challenge 2

CaptainJack’s skills were so legendary that he once defeated Ken’s Marth in friendlies with Donkey Kong and Bowser. In the days of Melee’s competitive infancy, as well as the early MLG era, he stood among the game’s deadliest competitors, if not its most feared, due to his well-regarded status as one of Japan’s best players – in an era where Japan was widely considered to have the best competitors. He’s also often credited as one of the first players to effectively take advantage of DI.

The Japanese Sheik boasted somewhat of a reputation for being an international mercenary, frequently traveling long distances to compete against the best of different scenes. In addition to his success in the United States, CaptainJack won @M in Australia, defeating the Australian legend Kupo. He also holds a victory at Dutch Tournament 10 over Remen and beat Ek to win RoofSM. Years later, he finished just under Amsah at the Renaissance of Smash 2, but some of you might recognize the name of the person he double eliminated: Armada.

– Edwin Budding

13. Daniel “KoreanDJ” Jung  

1st at MLG Long Island 2007
2nd at MLG Las Vegas 2006
2nd at Cataclysm 3
3rd at MLG Orlando 2006
3rd at Viva La Smashtaclysm

“Now, he will try.” These immortal words remain part of the New England great’s legacy, partially chronicled within the “Smash Brothers” documentary. Sporting a heavily aggressive, in-your-face, proactive and punish-game heavy style, KoreanDJ eventually grew a legend of his own, becoming New England’s greatest player of all-time. His Sheik is often attributed as being the first to go deep off stage for edgeguards, while his other characters were just as impressive.

At MLG Las Vegas 2006, KoreanDJ became the first player to ever defeat Ken three consecutive times. He’s also one of two players in 2007 to hold a winning record over Mew2King in the year. Many today viewing him as one of the great what-ifs in Melee history, due to his academic responsibilities keeping him from competing as much as many initially expected. KoreanDJ enjoyed a brief comeback period from 2012 to early 2015, where he stayed as a constant Top 50 level player and even garnered a Team Liquid sponsorship before eventually retiring for good, due to hand pains and a lack of competitive motivation. Occasionally, he plays Melee with his close friends and has attended both installments of the Shine series, finishing a respectable 33rd at Shine 2016.

– Edwin Budding

12. Justin “Plup” McGrath

1st at GENESIS 5
1st at DreamHack Atlanta 2017
2nd at The Big House 7
3rd at EVO 2016
3rd at Super Smash Con 2017

When Hungrybox deemed Plup the best Samus in the world all the way back in 2011, it felt like hyperbole. Yet Plup quickly rose up the ranks, being ranked in the Top 30 for 2013, Top 20 for 2014, Top 10 for 2015 and trending upward ever since. Between his blazing fast platform movement, punish game conversions, shield drops and a seemingly endless amount of character knowledge across different matchups, Plup has the entire package for being a top player. During his fifth place run at Paragon Orlando 2015, Plup gained the first big set win of his career when he defeated Leffen in winners quarters.

For years, many wondered if he could ever overcome perceived mental barriers, as smashers postulated on his habit of laughing mid-set. The reality was that this remained speculative nonsense. Having beaten everyone in his path and earned himself two supermajors over the last year, it’s clear that Plup has what it takes to not only possibly become the best player in the world, but also etch himself as one of Melee’s “new gods,” not that he particularly cares about such titles. At his current rate of improvement, Plup could not only become the best player in the world – he could just as easily leapfrog ahead of the names above him.

– Edwin Budding

11. Joel “Isai” Alvarado 

1st at MOAST 3
1st at MLG Los Angeles 2005
2nd at MLG New York 2004
2nd at MLG San Francisco 2004
2nd at MLG DC 2005

Widely known as the greatest Captain Falcon main of all time, Isai was a true star of the old school era of Melee. Starting as a 64 player back when the game first game out, he transitioned to Melee around 2003 under the tutelage of Ken. With Ken, they were known as the greatest doubles team of all-time, but without Ken, Isai was still a force to be reckoned with. His doubles legacy is one of the greatest, but his singles legacy is nearly as strong, being a Top 5 player for multiple years and winning several majors, like MOAST 3 and MLG Los Angeles 2005, both over Ken. He was the only one to pose a consistent challenge to the king of smash during his prime.

Legend has it that Isai would practice haxdashes and shield drops in basements of 2005 tournaments, years before Hax was even done with middle school. Isai cared less and less for singles as years passed, and by 2007 would often sandbag in multiple tourneys and prefer to focus on doubles where he continued to post solid results, including even as late as 2011, where he placed 13th in doubles with S2J at GENESIS 2. While the myth of Isai being the best in the world “if he tried” Isai remains somewhat exaggerated, the truth is people actually believed it during his prime. The skill he showed during MOAST 3 Grand Finals, an iconic set that pushed the entire metagame, showed many what he was capable of. A true pioneer for his character, Melee and Smash as a whole, Isai is one of the most legendary figures our community has ever known.

– Pikachu942

Next time, we’ll be back, but with a twist: we’ll be covering the players ranked 10-6, with slightly longer sections dedicated to them. Thanks for reading!

Monday Morning Marth: 3/12/2018

This is part of a new series that I’m trying to do, as a tribute to standard “Monday Morning Quarterback” columns in traditional sports. In this series, I discuss my quick takeaways from the last week of the smash community. I’m not sure how often I’ll be doing these, or whether these will necessarily be as well-received as my history pieces, but I figured I’d give something a shot. Let me know if you like these! Picture credit: MeleeEveryday. Will take down, if requested!

1. Sparse Thoughts on Smash 5’s Impact on Melee

Nine years after Mango won the Revival of Melee, Nintendo announced the incoming release of the newest sequel to Super Smash Bros on March 8. It doesn’t have an official name yet, but it’s planned to come out for the Nintendo Switch later this year. Many aren’t sure whether it’s just a port of Smash 4 or an entirely new game.

It’s interesting to note that Nintendo has a history of not always living up to its word with release dates. If you want an example of this, look no further than nearly ten years ago, when Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out in Japan on January 31, 2008 and March 9, 2008 for North America, after being initially planned for the 2007 holiday season. Imagine how European and Australian smashers felt when the game released in their regions for late June.

It’s natural for many smashers to not just to contemplate on the future of Smash 4, but also wonder what the effects will be on Melee’s community. What if Smash 5 is so popular that its success completely dwarfs Melee and leads to the game even stealing a spot at a future Evo?

These are unlikely scenarios that would also have no effect on current Melee players. Moreover, it’s improbable that Nintendo would make a game remotely similar to Melee or what its players would specifically be looking for. Given the loyalty of Melee’s current player base, if anything, a new Smash installment could bring even more potential players, just as Smash 4 did.

Having already survived an initial sequel in Brawl, Melee has both proved timeless and turned turned an initial negative that most competitive games have (outlasting a sequel) into a positive. It’s usually attributed to the “Smash Brothers” documentary and Evo 2013, but by sheer exposure, the biggest event to feature professional smashers in any kind of public capacity is still the E3 Smash 4 Invitational from four years ago, which today has been seen by millions of viewers. Can you imagine how big a Smash 5 Invitational would be for the scene?

I think we’ll be just fine, barring Jigglypuff dittos becoming the only viable way to succeed in the metagame. Speaking of which…

2. The Revival of Puff

Many smashers malign Jigglypuff as a character. Her innately slow ground speed, zoning-heavy traits and floatiness stand in contrast to what most smashers find exciting about Melee. If you don’t believe me, just ask Armada.

Last weekend proved to be a nightmare for these players, but not just because Hungrybox won the first post-Genesis 5 major of 2018. Shortly afterward, Michael, the current No. 2 of Chicago Melee and notable Netplay grinder won the first ever National Melee Arcadian in dominant fashion.

Though no Jigglypuff is anywhere near close to Hungrybox’s level of success at the top-level, her mid-level representatives have given the character quite a bit to look for in the future. Alongside Michael’s performance at the National Arcadian came the following from fellow Jigglypuff players at the same event:

  • Third from Ohio’s Fizzle_Boy
  • Ninth from New England’s dudutsai
  • 17th from South Carolina’s SmashBob SquarePants and Tristate’s 42nd
  • 25th from Tristate’s Big Kid

While the National Arcadian is still only one event – a mid-level one, at that – the consistent presence of Jigglypuff highlights a positive trend for the character. Soon we’ll see how high these players can reach with someone that still currently has only one top-level representative. In a worst case scenario, they can make a modest living out of warming up top players for Hungrybox.

3. The Budding Crush and aMSa Rivalry

That’s not just a bad pun in the title. Boston and Japan’s respective best players each have played three times over the last three years, with each of their sets going to game five. Their last one ended in relative disappointment because of a few technical flubs from Crush, but these two aren’t just fighting for a chance to advance in bracket. Both of them genuinely look like potential Top 10 players.

Who is better right now? It’s tough to say. Crush holds a more balanced matchup spread, having won the Holiday Bash Smash Invitational with wins on Rishi, The Moon, S2J, Westballz, SFAT and n0ne. He also has wins over HugS – something aMSa doesn’t have yet – Druggedfox and Plup’s Fox via his run at Too Hot To Handle.

Intuitively, Crush is a more safe pick. Unlike aMSa, who can struggle against players that know how to abuse Yoshi’s lack of an answer for strong defense, as seen through losses to Bladewise, HugS, S2J and MacD, Crush looks far less susceptible to losing to such players, though he isn’t immune to upsets.

Simultaneously, aMSa’s peak wins are currently higher than Crush. He boasts sets over Mew2King, Plup’s Sheik, Axe and Wizzrobe, while also holding a 2-1 lead in their head to head. Moreover, aMSa has been more present in the scene as a top player than Crush, since he’s been among the scene’s best players for about four years.

Since their first meeting at Battle of BC 2, they’ve taken turns outperforming each other. At the former tournament, aMSa outplaced Crush, then having a better Evo 2017 and GT-X 2017. Since then, Crush had his revenge against aMSa at The Big House 7, outplacing him there, and Smash Summit 5 before tying with his rival’s placing at Genesis 5 and ultimately dropping their last head-to-head, finishing lower at EGLX 2018.

If I had to choose between the two right now, I’d probably say aMSa has a slight advantage, but we could be seeing them face off quite a few more times before the end of the year. Either way, spectators should be in for a treat.

4. The Decline of Mew2King’s Sheik

It’s a question that’s plagued even casual Melee viewers for years: why does Mew2King play Sheik instead of Marth and/or Fox? His defenders will say that his Sheik gives him an advantage in matchups where those two characters don’t, while detractors claim it’s Mew2King being lazy and not wanting to learn certain matchups with Marth.

Though Mew2King’s Sheik still gives him an advantage over far worse players, it’s clearly lost its edge against the 7-10 group of ranked players. He now goes primarily Marth against SFAT  and has lost his last four sets against Axe with Sheik. Out of that tier, only Wizzrobe and S2J stand out as opponents that Mew2King’s Sheik holds a significant career head-to-head lead over, but both of the two Falcons have each split their last sets against him. That’s not even going into a much lower ranked n0ne taking three sets from Mew2King over the last two years (though their last two sets have finished solidly in the latter’s favor).

There is one point in favor of Mew2King’s Sheik. Within the lower end of Melee’s Top 25, Mew2King Sheik has seen success against fellow Sheiks and Samus players, as he has mostly remained strong in those matchups. As many say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

After years of successfully playing Sheik in matchups like the ditto, against Captain Falcon and versus mid/low-tier characters, it might also be too late for Mew2King to suddenly drop a character that in a vacuum still brings him a high rate of success against worse players. You could argue that some of his recent losses aren’t indicative of a problem with his Sheik as much as they show the lower end of Mew2King’s skill curve, which has still remained in Melee’s top echelon for about a decade now.

However, Mew2King’s Marth and Fox have seen such a low amount of meaningful data against them that it’s impossible to draw accurate conclusions about how much of a dropoff he’d see were he to learn those matchups with either of them. What frame of reference do we have to be confident that Mew2King’s other characters would straight up lose to Shroomed or Duck across a set in bracket? It’s not as if Marth or Fox can’t win those matchups.

Furthermore, with aMSa taking another set off him, Axe in the middle of a new streak of head-to-head dominance and top level Captain Falcons taking sets, it’s clear that  Mew2King isn’t as untouchable against lower tier characters as many initially thought. HugS has said on stream before that he thinks that beating Mew2King is still doable for him. How much longer can Mew2King’s 50/50s of downsmash/grab and holding shield with his back to the ledge carry his Sheik to victories over tougher competition?

Against most of his Big Six contemporaries, Sheik gives him little to no benefit. He typically plays Fox against Hungrybox, rarely brings her out against Mango and has no reason to switch from Marth against Leffen and Armada. Among the Big Six, only Plup stands out as an opponent that Mew2King’s Sheik might offer him a meaningful advantage against. Even then, Mew2King’s 5-3 record since the start of 2017 is misleading.

One of those victories came in a set where Plup played Luigi and even beat Mew2King’s Sheik. Another came from, you guessed it, Mew2King Fox and Marth defeating Plup at Smash Summit Spring 2017 after the former lost two Sheik ditto games. When viewed through this lens, suddenly the two look a lot more even. Account for recency and Plup might actually hold the edge, being 3-1 against Mew2King in their last four sets (though the two tried Fox dittos to start EGLX winners semifinals) and quite frankly looking like the superior player in the first quarter of 2018.

It can be difficult to keep multiple characters ready through bracket. Though Mew2King used both his Sheik and Marth to success at Canada Cup 2017, it remains unlikely that he can play both characters effectively enough in a field where Mew2King also needs his Fox warmed up for Hungrybox: a consistent enough force within supermajors to where Mew2King will almost assuredly have to play him in bracket if he wants to win.

If Mew2King wants to secure his status within Melee’s Big Six, he’ll either have to increase his level of play with Sheik, find a way to stay warm with all of his characters or drop one of them. Right now out of the three characters, it’s looking pretty clear as to which of them is lagging behind.

The Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time: #21-30

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 31-40. Today, we’ll be going over the players ranked 21-30. 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.

30. Johnny “S2J” Kim

3rd at Shine 2017
4th at DreamHack Denver 2017
5th at EVO 2016
7th at GENESIS 2
7th at The Big House 7

S2J earned himself a spot on SSBMRank’s most recent Top 10. However, his legacy started many years before. He rose to prominence in 2011 and finished in the top eight at Genesis 2. Since then, he’s always been among SoCal’s five best players per ranking period.

His staying power within the Captain Falcon metagame illustrates his seemingly timeless consistency across a variety of matchups. S2J somehow combines the strengths of old-school fundamentals and a revamped, modern punish game based around both reads and reactions. Though his edgeguarding ability used to come under question, quite frankly, it’s an overplayed weakness that he’s worked on over the years. Now at the height of his playing skills, S2J has to show us if he can consistently stay in the “demigod” tier of play.

– Edwin Budding

29. Jose “Lucky” Aldama

4th at GOML 2016
4th at Kings of Cali 4
5th at The Big House 4
5th at EVO 2017
5th at GENESIS 5

Prior to his exceptional run at TBH4, Lucky was known for being Mango’s best friend and doubles partner. It’s said that the two once entered a SoCal doubles tournament late, only to be told by the tournament organizer that they could just take the first prize money, due to nobody wanting to play them.

When it comes to singles though, Lucky still isn’t a slouch. He boasts a Fox that has a bit of Norwalk swagger, but also a lot more grounded of a style, often holding position stronger than other Fox players, but still being close enough to opponents to pressure them. At Genesis 5, Lucky finally vanquished a career-long demon in Mew2King. Moving forward, can the longtime Norwalk legend increase his all-time standing even more?

– Edwin Budding

28. Julian “Zhu” Zhu

4th at GENESIS
4th at Winter Gamefest VI
5th at Canada Cup 2016
7th at Pound 4
7th at APEX 2010

The creator of the “Happy Feet” combo series was one of Melee’s most feared players in his active days. A longtime West Coast legend, Zhu stood among the best of both NorCal and SoCal, even beating Mew2King at Genesis and in on the East Coast before. Of note, Zhu grew a reputation for being a “Falcon slayer,” as he frequently beat the character’s best players quite a bit in bracket, particularly Hax.

Years after many thought his prime was over, Zhu made an epic run to ninth place at Evo 2016, where he beat Darkrain, ChuDat, Lucky and Laudandus. Though he doesn’t compete as much as he did in the past, his status as one of Melee’s top 10-15 players of the post-Brawl era makes him an easy selection for the game’s top 30 of all-time.

– Edwin Budding

27. Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett

2nd at Smash Rivalries
4th at WTFox 2
4th at DreamHack Austin 2016
5th at DreamHack Austin 2017
5th at CEO 2014

A prodigy across numerous smash games, Wizzrobe already holds an impressive resume. For example, his second place showing at Smash Rivalries is the best performance by Captain Falcon at a major since Isai won MLG Los Angeles 2005. Having defeated Hungrybox, Mew2King and Leffen in tournament, Wizzrobe is the antithesis to skepticism surrounding his character, ironically most brought up by Hax, a player many previously thought had pushed Captain Falcon to his limits (though Hax has lately shown more optimism regarding his former main).

Barring a character switch, if the 20GX wizkid can put it all together for one great dark horse supermajor run, then not only will he have proven Hax wrong, but he’ll have shown himself worthy to take Isai’s throne of being Melee’s greatest Captain Falcon ever. Wizzrobe currently stands as one of the ten best players in the world. His next task: prove that he can win a national and succeed where almost every Captain Falcon before him couldn’t.

– Edwin Budding

26. Hugo “HugS” Gonzalez

2nd at EVO World 2007
5th at EVO West 2007
5th at Winter Gamefest VI
7th at MLG Orlando 2006
7th at GENESIS 5

HugS is the ultimate blue collar smasher. He’s played Samus for longer than any other mid-tier main in history, yet he’s still force to be reckoned with.  A constant presence in MLG era top eights and just a stock away from winning Evo World 2007, HugS just finished an amazing seventh place at Genesis 5, more than a decade later. Today, he’s also one of Melee’s most entertaining and successful stream personalities.

One of HugS’ greatest accomplishments didn’t even come at a national. At UCLA V, he carried SoCal on his back, defeating the invading Ka-Master to win the tournament after going down early in their long, grueling, but epic grand finals set. Make no mistake: HugS’ stubborn resistance to career fatigue embodies what he is to the very core: a tireless competitor.

– Edwin Budding

25. Amsah “Amsah” Augustuszoon

3rd at Pound 4
5th at BEAST 5
9th at Pound V
17th at DreamHack Winter 2015
33rd at EVO 2017

While Ken dominated the United States and most of the world throughout the golden era, there remained one player he didn’t face in bracket: Amsah, the legendary Dutch Sheik. Initially breaking out in Europe as a result of his four-stock comeback on Ek at the Renaissance of Smash 3, Amsah became the continent’s best player, dominating tournaments from the middle of 2006 to the start of 2009, considered to mark the rise of Armada. During this stretch, he notably defeated CaptainJack multiple times.

Years after his prime, Amsah impressed many at Pound 4, as he beat Armada, Jman, Zhu and Tope to finish third at what was then Melee’s biggest tournament ever. He’s continued to be a notable player in the modern era, standing as the current Dutch No. 1, as well as one of Europe’s finest players. Had Amsah played within the United States during his prime, maybe he’d be higher on this list.

– Edwin Budding

24. Jeremy “Fly Amanita” Westfahl

2nd at Press Start
3rd at Winter Gamefest VI
5th at Kings of Cali 4
7th at EVO 2014
9th at I’m Not Yelling!

Fly Amanita is, in my book, the most underrated player of all time. A SoCal Ice Climbers known for a lack of wobbling in his play, Fly did not travel in his early ventures, staying close to home and only attending big tournaments like GENESIS. He never really had to chance to show his stuff nationally, though a win on Mango’s Falcon in early 2009 proved he was the real deal. When competition finally did come, Fly did not disappoint, defeating Hungrybox in winner’s bracket at Don’t Go Down There Jeff.

Later defeating Mew2King at Winter Gamefest VI and then PPMD at GENESIS 2, Fly has defeated every god except for Armada, and was a definite member of the Top 10 in his peak, arguably being only just outside the Gods at the time in 2011. His career continued, however, and in 2013 to as late as 2015 Fly showed impressive major results, including a top eight Placing at EVO 2014 and an astounding 2nd place at Press Start, outplacing Leffen, Mew2King and Hungrybox. His innovations of handoffs as well provided Ice Climbers with an insight into a meta of the character that didn’t rely so much on the infinite, breathing new life into the once one-dimensional character. While he is retired, Fly’s amazing resume is more than enough to grant him a Top 25 position.

– Pikachu942

23. David “KirbyKaze” McDonald

3rd at Revival of Melee 3
4th at GOML 2014
4th at Canada Cup 2016
5th at APEX 2012
5th at IMPULSE 2012

The Toronto Sheik is one of Melee’s most knowledgeable players. Along with Druggedfox, Cactuar and many other players, KirbyKaze was known for being a Smashboards guru, frequently helping smashers improve and giving them tips on how to use their character. He also had an aggressive, read-heavy and flashy style, which contrasted what many assumed were Sheik’s inherently defensive characteristics.

KirbyKaze’s legacy is backed up by a long history of impressive supermajor results, including nine top eight showings. At Revival of Melee 3, he defeated Mango (Scorpion Master) and PPMD en route to a strong third place finish, as many wondered if he was destined for godhood. Years later at Apex 2012, KirbyKaze became the first Sheik in years to defeat Hungrybox in a significant set. This was a matchup that Mew2King once dismissed as a waste of time to learn; and it’s just one chapter of KirbyKaze’s hall-of-fame-worthy career.

– Edwin Budding

22. Aziz “Hax” Al-Yami

3rd at Pound 2016
5th at Pound V
5th at The Big House 4
5th at Zenith 2013
5th at SKTAR 3

Not even Shakespeare could have written Hax’s career. The New Yorker started as a community loved Captain Falcon main, but became a “traitor” to his character for switching to Fox. That’s just the start – Hax then gained a reputation as the beloved prophet of “20xx” before having his career temporarily halted by a plethora of hand issues that threatened his career, making him a tragic figure. His most recent development is arguably the most fascinating: he’s the face of a new, controversial movement surrounding alternative controllers, as well as in-game modifications to Melee itself. He is an enigma in every sense of the word.

A highly technical, perfectionist, noncommittal movement-heavy competitor, Hax boasts one of the scene’s most creative and ruthless combo games. He is also an innovator for how to effectively use the ledge: a necessity for top level competition today. As a forefather of two characters’ modern metagames, the longtime demigod already has a storied legacy, but he’s nowhere close to finished. The odds are against him to ever become the game’s best player, as many thought he looked destined to be earlier in his career, if there’s anything history has taught us, it’s that Hax never gives up.

– Edwin Budding

21. Weston “Westballz” Dennis

2nd at MVG Sandstorm
3rd at PAX Arena
4th at DreamHack Winter 2015
4th at Paragon Orlando 2015
4th at CEO 2015

Early in his career, Westballz became synonymous with “technical,” playing fastfallers at unbelievable speeds and demonstrating how devastating their combo potential could be in the right hands. After years of looking like one of SoCal’s best talents, even taking games off PPMD in the Falco ditto as early as Northwest Manifest, Westballz finally had his first big victory. At MLG Anaheim 2014, he swept Mango in pools, in a matchup many thought to be Mango’s best. Since then, Westballz has beaten Hungrybox, Leffen and PPMD in bracket, marking him as one of the scene’s demigods.

He’s struggled lately, due to improved defensive advancements within the metagame, but Westballz remains a threat to make national top eights. With a few adjustments to his game, Westballz could not only return to where he looked before, but perhaps break out on an even greater level.

– Edwin Budding

Thanks for reading, everybody! We’ll be back soon, with 11-20.

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.

The Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time: #41-50

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 Pikachu’s honorable mentions and players ranked 51-60. Today, we’ll be going over the players ranked 41-50. 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.

50. Mustafa “Ice” Akcakaya

3rd at The Big House 6
4th at BEAST 5
7th at EVO 2013
7th at GENESIS 3
7th at DreamHack Winter 2016

Germany’s greatest player ever once had a tagline accompany him: “The European Mew2King.” He initially played a heavily dash-dancing inspired Marth, switched to a clinically punish-game heavy Sheik and then settled on Fox, becoming Europe’s No. 3 player for around five years.

Ice’s Hax-esque movement is only matched by his swagger and ruthless crushing of worse opponents: especially in the Fox ditto, where he’s gained a reputation for being among the game’s deadliest players. He’s also one of a few who have taken Armada to the brink of defeat, even three-stocking him at The Big House 6. Although an injury halted him and led to a relatively underwhelming 2017, Ice still has potential for a comeback 2018. If he has a successful year, he could improve his standing in Melee’s history.

– Edwin Budding

49. Sami “Druggedfox” Muhanna

3rd at Smash Rivalries
4th at HTC Throwdown
4th at Royal Flush
5th at DreamHack Atlanta 2017
7th at GT-X 2017

Greatness isn’t always immediately noticeable. For the first half of his career, Druggedfox struggled with consistency at majors. In fact, he had a reputation for theorycrafting online, frequently arguing with fellow smashers about Fox and Sheik’s potential, but not always backing up his knowledge of the game in his performances. At Evo 2015, he demonstrated a brilliant tech chase and punish game with his Sheik and his Marth, finishing an impressive ninth. After the tournament came a catchphrase many of his supporters began ironically saying, due to his relatively unknown status within the team at the time: “who the fuck is Druggedfox?”

Today, everybody knows him, as he holds wins over Mango and Leffen, as well as many top eight supermajor showings. Now back to his original main Fox (after a brief switch to Falco), he’s brought his trademark combo game and excellent fundamentals to yet another character, one who’s developed in ways that Druggedfox already envisioned years ago. But as he finished last year as SSBM’s No. 12 player, Druggedfox disappeared from competition. Instead, he’s prioritized teaching other players and helping them improve their own games, similar to how he grew a reputation earlier in his career for his sharp insight into Melee. Time will tell how much the pride and joy of Georgia develops his legacy.

– Edwin Budding

48. Charles “Cactuar” Meighen

3rd at EVO East 2007
4th at ChuDatz Final Biweekly
7th at Pound V
7th at Cataclysm 3
7th at Revival of Melee 2

Cactuar is probably one of the most analytical brains our scene has ever had the pleasure of experiencing. His coaching and training skills are well-documented, helping train strong players like Mew2King, PPMD and more. However, regardless of his ability outside the game, his accomplishments inside the game solidify Cactuar as a member of the all-time Top 50. A multitude of Top 8 performances at some large tournaments like Pound V were truly impressive, and the man hasn’t slowed down with age in the slightest.

Bringing his Green Marth and Fox into the modern era, Cactuar was still able to net incredible placings such as a 9th at HTC Throwdown in late 2015, notably defeating both S2J and Wizzrobe with his Marth in what was considered quite a lopsided matchup at the time. Cactuar’s impression he’s left on the scene both with his gameplay and with his mind are achievements that stand the test of time, and there’s no doubt he will continue to bring something new to the table with every passing year.

– Pikachu942

47. “Bombsoldier”

2nd at Jack Garden Tournament
17th at Zero Challenge 3

Bombsoldier’s single showing at the Jack Garden Invitational transcends any metrics you could possibly use to evaluate his legacy. Sporting a Falco that looked like a terminator sent from the future to destroy every smasher, Bombsoldier finished second at one of the most prestigious tournaments of the MLG era. He practically invented “pillaring,” extending his punishes in creative and mind-blowing ways for the time.

DA Dave and Forward were early godfathers of the Falco metagame, but Bombsoldier showcased the character’s aggression in a way that no one had ever seen before. He illustrated the potential of not just Falco, but Melee’s entire combo game, years before Armada and Mew2King. Bombsoldier’s impact is so irreplaceable that placing the “Soldier of Fortune” any lower than top 50 felt wrong.

– Edwin Budding

46. “Masashi”

3rd at Jack Garden Tournament

Very few players have ever been in the conversation for best in the world. Most would attribute this to the Gods of today or the king of smash in the past, but one man from the eastern country of Japan also had potential to take the crown. A slower more methodical Fox to his fellow countryman’s Thunders’ fast and technical skill, Masashi was a true force to be reckoned with, being one of the Top 2 in Japan in 2004 and 2005.

Holding strong records even against players such as CaptainJack in his region, Jack himself stated Masashi was outright better than him when he traveled to the USA. While Masashi never did come to America, his skill is well-regarded by those around at the time, and he still is involved with smash today, being a solid top Japanese player in Smash 4.

– Pikachu942

45. Javier “Javi” Ruiz

4th at APEX 2012
13th at APEX 2013
17th at EVO 2016
17th at The Big House 5
17th at EVO 2015

While we were just talking about a foreign Fox who had potential to be the best in the world, I guess it’s time to repeat the sentiment. Javi was the best in Mexico from as far back as 2006, showing off insane technical skill at the time that was practically unmatched. As 2008 and 2009 rolled by, many wondered if he could give players like Ken, Azen, Mew2King or even Mango any trouble. Alas, it seemed we would never see this man’s true power, much like Masashi in the years before. At least, that’s what we thought.

A Mexican qualifier for Apex 2012 was announced, and naturally won by our friend Javi over here, defeating his brother Tuga, also known as Twin, in grand finals. He then attended the most stacked tournament of 2012 and shocked the world with his incredible run to 4th place, defeating players like KoreanDJ, Lovage, and even PPMD, who just a year prior was arguably the best in the world. Mexico was on the map, and Javi was their hero. While he has never reached the same heights as his insane career-validating performance at Apex, Javi has continued to remain a fixture in Top 32’s even as the modern day has drawn near. Who knows – maybe Javi and his strange grip on the controller can muster up one last run at greatness.

– Pikachu942

44. Jeff “SilentSpectre” Leung

9th at Pound 4
9th at MLG Anaheim 2006
13th at GENESIS 2
13th at Super Champ Combo
17th at Zero Challenge 3

Initially trained by Isai to become the next great NorCal Captain Falcon, SilentSpectre is one of his region’s most beloved players. The “Silence” superstar is also one of a few smashers to ever defeat Mango’s Jigglypuff in tournament in 2009, boasting a Captain Falcon that played somehow both strangely passive in the neutral game, but extremely aggressive off hits. In fact, SilentSpectre is frequently attributed as being one of the first players to moonwalk, along with becoming known for dropzone knee.

Even though SilentSpectre never made a top eight at a supermajor, his singles legacy is ultimately defined by one moment above all else: his earth-shattering defeat of Armada at Pound 4. The rest of his legacy comes from starring in some of the West Coast’s most memorable recorded moments, like his losers semifinals set against Wobbles at Mango Juice, becoming the namesake behind the “don’t go down there, Jeff” catchphrase and also four-stocking Taj’s Marth. Add doubles into the equation and you have a player whose overall legacy just so happens to also involve the most watched Melee clip of all-time. If you don’t believe me, then where are you at?

– Edwin Budding

43. Nathaniel “NEO” Eugene Owen

4th at MLG DC 2005
5th at MLG New York Opener 2006
7th at MLG New York 2005
9th at MLG Dallas 2006

Low tiers are considered low tiers for a reason: they are at the bottom of the game and they are not worth your time at a competitive level. This was even mostly true back in the day, with the top level being defined by top tiers, particularly Marth. However, notice how I said, mostly.

NEO started his journey in 2004, fighting against MDVA’s best, such as Chillin and Chu. He quickly cemented himself as the best Roy in the world, notably defeating Ken in Roy dittos at MLG DC 2005, and later taking Ken to Game 5 last stock at MLG Chicago 2005. NEO’s prowess with the character, especially in the face of a character like Marth, who is considered to be clearly superior in almost every way, was inspirational. Defeating players like ChuDat, Isai, Mew2King and more in his career is incredibly impressive, and more than worthy enough for a spot within our Top 50.

– Pikachu942

42. Oscar “Lovage” Nilsson

9th at APEX 2012
9th at Winter Gamefest VI
13th at GENESIS 2
17th at GT-X 2017
17th at Pound V

In an age where defensive play, Jigglypuffs and laser-heavy Falcos dominated the metagame, Lovage gave a glimmer of hope to rushdown players. He was among the scene’s best players in the post-Brawl era and starred in many tech skill videos, including “Berserker” and “Revolution.” Those who played him claimed that “peak Oscar” could even be a god-tier competitor. Just last year, he completed one of the biggest upsets in Melee history, defeating Leffen at GT-X 2017.

The SoCal Fox is among the greatest players to never make a major top eight, as he also holds a set over Hungrybox in Genesis 2 pools. In one of his most impressive showings at a regional, Lovage finished second at Northwest Manifest in one of the best regional losers runs of all-time. He placed under PPMD, but defeated Ciz, DaZe, SUNG475, Bladewise, Eggz, Tope, Axe, Westballz and SFAT.

– Edwin Budding

41. Kevin “PewPewU” Toy

4th at I’m Not Yelling!
7th at EVO 2016
7th at The Big House 6
7th at Super Smash Con 2017
7th at Super Smash Con 2016

“Best fucking Marth ever.” These comments were standard around mid-2012, when PewPewU quickly rose up the ranks in NorCal to become one of its top players. He’s been at a high echelon of play ever since, with a slippery, post-Brawl, unorthodox style that helped him defeat Mango, Mew2King and Hungrybox in his career. That’s not even going into his incredible doubles legacy, where his role in the legendary “PewFat” duo proves that he’s the greatest doubles Marth player since Ken.

The longtime NorCal Marth is currently at a crossroads. Now ready to enter the “real world,” he’ll have to choose between pursuing smash even more or remaining content with his all-time status. With La Luna, Zain and Rishi doing their best to catch up to PewPewU’s legacy in the current metagame, it’ll be interesting to see how he compares to a new generation of Marth players.

– Edwin Budding

Thank you for reading! We’ll be back next week with our 31-40.

The Top 100 Melee Players of All-Time: Pikachu942’s Honorable Mentions

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 pikachuheadssbm

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.

“Zulu” jigglypuffheadssbm

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 bowserheadssbmsamusheadssbmmarioheadssbm

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 marioheadssbm

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!

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!