Monday’s here, and so are 50-41!
50 – Saj
Saj was among the first wave of breakout Bayonetta players. Formerly a Peach main, Saj eventually sidelined the character to an immense payoff, where he unexpectedly defeated Nairo 2-1 at Pound 2016.
This was followed up on two months later by a respectable CEO performance, where Saj placed 9th after running a Florida gauntlet, finishing it by defeating ESAM. This makes him one of the few first wave Bayonettas to continue having significant successes even after the nerfs. Despite a bump in the road at EVO, this success continued into Smash Con where he defeated Pink Fresh in the ditto.
Later, he would also defeat Salem in the ditto at Smash Conference LXVIII.
49 – Glutonny
One of the last additions to the contenders list, Glutonny made a name for Europe as a Super-region in a way Mr. R never could. While Mr. R hadn’t dropped a tournament throughout most of the year and made Europe seem lower on the skill chain through his ZeRo-like dominance, Glutonny stepped up at Europe’s sole major so far of the post-patch era and upset both Kameme and ANTi, solidifying Europe as an international threat.
Not only did his run solidify Europe as a threat, it simultaneously established him as the most successful Wario main to date and reinvigorated a character most people had written off.
48 – iStudying
Europe’s premier Greninja made his most notable run at B.E.A.S.T. 6 – a Losers Run that included MVD, Sodrek, and ESAM. That wasn’t a tournament used on this list due to it being pre-patch, but it’s a platform that demonstrates his capacity as a player. His closest re-run of a high profile performance was likely UGC Smash Open, where he took 17th after defeating Ned and Ally.
Additional hits at Syndicate 2016 and a strong European record solidify that he’s still on the upper half of the Top 100 and still the best Greninja in the world.
47 – WaDi
Dormant for the better part of the year, WaDi, formerly WaDiRob, made the switch from R.O.B. to Mewtwo and went on to have one of the better success stories of the year. Starting with a 7th at Abadango Saga where he brought down Falln, Zenyou, and ANTi, he went on to defeat Ally and 8BitMan at TBH6, Dabuz and Marss at KTAR XIX, and solidify his place as MD/VA’s best player by ultimately being PR’d 1st after outperforming Pink Fresh locally for quite some time.
He has nowhere to go but up, and him parting ways with Smash Studios could potentially be a sign that sponsors have an eye on him and his potential to be a top player in 2017.
46 – ScAtt
One of the first breakout Mega Man players, ScAtt is one of Goergia’s best – but one of their most inconsistent. His peak 5th at Super Smash Con with a win over Dabuz gets him high marks, but comparative and honestly massive bombs at Momocon, KTAR XIX, UGC, and ZeRo Saga hold him back from being higher. Between those 4 tournaments, the only player in the contender list he took a set off was NAKAT.
Despite that, it’s hard to miss some of his better regional performances at events like Clutch City Clash, LVL UP EXPO, and WTFox 2, and it’s impossible to miss limited but still noteworthy performances at Pound 2016 and CEO, where he ran through several good players – SS, FOW, Dyr, and Craftis among them.
45 – RAIN
While notably inconsistent, RAIN’s performances at Umebura 23, the Umebura BenQ ZOWIE Cup, and his wins against Abadango and Kameme at DNG Kanto Round Robin edge him into the top 50 of this list in spite of international (and sometimes in-region) struggles.
While his 2016 was less successful than his 2015, possibly due to a legion of new talent in Japan, RAIN’s Cloud and Diddy play make him one of the regions sleeper players that could feasibly break out and do incredibly well at any give Umebura or Sumabato, and his win record strongly reflects this. He’s beaten most of the country’s best players, and there’s hope for him to continue growing in the future.
44 – 9B
9B is probably the epitome of “Japan consistency”, where his placements are insanely scattered and he could either go out 1-2 in bracket or take the whole thing. This was demonstrated early in the year where he won Sumabato 9 and Karisuma 6, beat Ranai at KSB 2016 but still only got 7th, bombed 129th at EVO, and eventually went on to defeat Komorikiri and finish 4th at Sumabayo 14.
Perhaps he’s so inconsistent in part because he had a main crisis after the Bayonetta nerfs, leading to a very unsuccessful stint with Mewtwo that led him to multiple wash-outs at Umeabura and Sumabato events. Regardless of his slump, he does seem to be on the come up late this year, with no real poor performances since September’s Sumabato 13.
43 – Dyr
Dyr could easily make a case for being one of the most underrated players of the year. He has two wins on Marss, has an excellent Cloud record having beaten Mew2King, RAIN, and Ned 3 times, and appears to be respectable threat in ditto matches with wins on Nietono and JJROCKETS (twice!)
Perhaps he’s only on the cusp on a breakout performance and is stuck in that pre-Top 8 slump – but he generally doesn’t go home empty, with his performance at ZeRo Saga arguably his only real dud. Needless to say, he has a good Florida record, and he’s been very close to defeating Ally before. This would seal him having a good record against the Midwest, since he otherwise seems to give them a ton of trouble.
Shine and EVO remain his most notable performances. He broke out in the latter and seemed to hold his own in the former, beating SuperGirlKels and taking Larry Lurr to game 5.
42 – Taiheita
The undisputed best Lucas player, Taiheita, has been a prominent threat throughout the year. While many know him as one of the Top 10 doubles players in the world alongside his teammate and top 100 contender Gomamugitya, he’s no slouch in singles.
While he’s among many mid-tier heroes with rumblings of success in Japan, he got to step out and prove his skill internationally at Super Smash Con. Despite regrettably running into Nairo and ZeRo in his bracket, he took home 17th, taking out Marss in winners bracket.
Besides that, he also had a good at Umebura S.A.T. – upsetting Abadango into losers bracket and only faltering to Nairo and Kameme, ending his run at 5th.
Beyond his two successes at majors, he also has the Japanese record that set him off as a known player to begin with. His wins over 9B and SH t Karisuma 6 proved his run at Sumabato 8 in the pre-patch era wasn’t a fluke, and he’s has a myriad of strong regional performances. Waseda Festival, Sumabato FOR THE BIG HOUSE, Karisuma 10, and Umebura 23 are all good examples of this.
41 – Wrath
As a region, Georgia has many heavy hitters. You’ve seen ScAtt in this article, Reflex as #100, LordMix in hidden bosses, and it goes without saying that Fatality is even higher on the list. However, people didn’t really grasp just how strong the region could be until we first saw LordMix and Wrath perform at a national level.
Wrath’s campy Sonic was met with much ire, where he defeated Ally through one timeout and one unexpected comeback. This forced Ally to use Cloud in their rematch in Losers Finals, and sent a wave of fear across the community that an optimal Sonic playstyle may have been found and that it would threaten the game in some capacity.
While this didn’t turn out to be true, Wrath’s highly defensive Sonic play was able to even time out ZeRo, himself a very defensive player when need be. While Wrath lost his set vs. ZeRo at CEO, he ended at 13th, having defeated Vinnie, K9, Rich Brown, and C3PO in the process. This was seen as an excellent follow-up to his run at Momocon.
With mid-year dominance over Georgia leading him to be PR’d 1st alongside respectable national performances, Wrath’s overall yearly record leaves him the honor of being ranked as Georgia’s second best player.