ORIONRANK TOP 100: #10-#1

10-1 is here! Tomorrow I’ll be doing a conclusion post with a few graphs courtesy of freeziebeats and a list of 101-175 on the contenders list, as well as the rest of the Hidden Bosses I didn’t show at the start of this series of articles.

Methodology: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p2mqzaOqlbnjou4_bGI8SMZFc0S9Szscn2qLJYDXJOQ/edit

10 – Dabuz

10dabuz

Dabuz’s game plan underwent a significant evolution this year, with him making the decision to regularly use Olimar as a secondary. It worked on multiple levels, as Olimar is an uncommon character outside of California, meaning he could very easily exploit a lack of match-up knowledge and integrate his patient style in with aggressive Pikmin damage tagging.

While Olimar failed to win him certain events like Super Smash Con 2016 or Umebura S.A.T., it gave him something to hold on at Aftershock 2016 and gave him a backup against several players he’s met in bracket during the year as an alternative in case he feels his opponent has “figured out” his Rosalina. We saw the switch work out for him against Captain Zack, Fatality, Kuro, Sigma, and other players during the year.

He got stuck between a rock and a hard place at ZeRo Saga, forced either to use Olimar against Tyrant in a state where Olimar is very common or contend with the Rosalina & Luma/Meta Knight matchup against one of the best Meta Knight players in the world.

He eventually got 9th, losing to MKLeo’s Cloud again like at Smash Factor 5, but this and KTAR XIX turned out to be his weakest placements since his 9th (infographic error) at Pound 2016. Those placements have denied him set wins that would but him higher, but he’s still one of the world’s most consistent players and extremely difficult to win against as an upset.

9 – VoiD

9void

The world’s most technical Sheik takes 9th, carrying a myriad of excellent placements across 2016. With an emphasis on set wins for the year, his high placements but notable lack of many 1st place finishes at big events do hold him back from being higher, but his last outing at ZeRo Saga was still his most impressive yet.

He overcame his Nairo demon and unexpectedly took a set off of Sheik-killer MKLeo and placed third overall, his highest supermajor placement after a year of having difficulty breaking past 4th.

Despite a lopsided record against certain top players, VoiD still managed to take spread out wins across the world. Ranai at EVO, MKLeo at ZeRo Saga, Ally at Pound, Mr. R at KTAR Saga, and plenty of top-level U.S.A. players, including a near-even set history with fellow SoCal legend Larry Lurr.

8 – Salem

8salem

Ranking remarkably high due to his absolutely insane third and fourth quarter 2016 runs, the Brawl legend exploded onto the scene at Collision XIV, double eliminating both ZeRo and Tweek and 3-0ing Nairo. This was his best accomplishment in Smash 4 up to the point and arguably the biggest accomplish for Bayonetta as a character.

The biggest issue here is the discrepancy between his major placements and his regional performances that result in a ranking that’s standout compared to other players on this particular list of 10. However…

Salem spent a lot of time travelling late in the year to various events and managed to be totally successful in every regional venture except Rebirth IX. The key thing to note is that while a lot of regional wins aren’t especially significant due to their lower skill pool, Salem bucked the standard by repeatedly double eliminating numerous top level players.

Over a short period of time, Salem managed to take sets off of ZeRo, Ally, MKLeo, Larry Lurr, Tweek, Zinoto, Mew2King, Abadango, Kameme, Mr. E, and plenty more, with him carrying multiple wins over many of these players, sometimes through double elimination.

As a result, Salem manages to slip into 8th ahead of more consistent players due to his especially high peak play during the late portion of the year.

 

7 – Mr. R

7mr-r

Europe’s titan, Mr. R, displayed near absolute dominance over Europe during 2016, only dropping Smashdown World to two non-European players (Komorikiri and Kameme) and still placing 5th at that. This factor helps push him forward quite a bit, but a defining characteristic of Mr. R is his consistency.

Despite two remarkably similar incidents at EVO and ZeRo Saga where he placed 17th, Mr. R has placed in top 8 at nearly every major he’s attended this year and has no poor regional results, generally either placing 1st or 2nd at non-major events.

One problem for Mr. R this year has been his two demons – Kameme and MKLeo – being a constant thorn in his side throughout the year, often denying him stateside wins. He has a 1-3 record against Kameme and an even worse 2-14 record against MKLeo, with Leo very often putting Mr. R into second at tournies.

Mr. R’s only wins against Leo include a quickly rebuked win at Poplar Creek Bowl Weekly 76 and his 3-2 victory over MKLeo at Smash Factor Prelude. Otherwise, his record is lopsided in MKLeo’s favor.

Despite often running into and losing versus both of these players, Mr. R’s national record remains very impressive with his apex being a solid 3rd at Super Smash Con 2016.

6 – Abadango

6abadango

While not PR’d particularly high in Japan due to his repeatedly lackluster placings there, Abadango’s international placements and his sheer consistency at major events make him an unquestionable top 10 player, only suffering from a major weakness to Diddy Kong players.

First legitimizing Mewtwo as a high tier by winning Pound 2016, Abadango went on to do well during the rest of the post-patch 2016 cycle by placing well at every major besides two disappointments at his own Saga and Umebura S.A.T.

Despite his often middling performances in his home region, Abadango still has a few accomplishments to his name. He won TUS Tournament 6 over KEN and Kameme and recently won the Hirosuma Tokaigi Qualifier, putting him first in line at NicoNico Tokaigi 2017 by defeating Kome.

Outside of his consistent national placements, he also has a myriad of regional and super-regional wins. He took Clutch City Clash and PPT Summer back-to-back over their region’s best. While only getting second, he also took out Australia’s best, Umeki, 9B, and reset the bracket vs. Mr. R to take 2nd at BAM 8.

With his last two U.S.A. exchanges ending in narrow losses to Komorikiri and ZeRo, Abadango is poised for some great performances in 2017 – with many believing he’s a hair away from finally taking a set off of ZeRo after UGC.

5 – Larry Lurr

5larrylurr

*Edit: Larry Lurr was sponsored by Misfits as I was writing this. We’ll get a graphic update later today!

While Larry is well known for his aggressive and sometimes foolhardy style of Fox play, one thing that isn’t brought up a lot is his consistency. While much of it is persistent 7ths, he’s still managed top 8 in every major he’s attended except the TBH6 after upset losses to Ri-ma and Tweek.

As a result of this and consistently good regional performances that include him taking Mexico Saga over ZeRo, Larry Lurr quite narrowly breaks into the top 5 of 2016. He’s won numerous exchanges with ZeRo, took Ally and Nairo out in an impressive losers run at Abadango Saga that started at the beginning of losers bracket top 48, 3-0’d MKLeo at the Rio de Janeiro eGames Showcase, and retains a fairly even record with VoiD.

One of his best runs of the year was the one to send things off for 2016. At ZeRo Saga, he beat Ryo, Fatality, Abadango, Ally, and VoiD to enter Grand Finals winners side before ultimately taking second after losing two sets to MKLeo. Despite not winning, he capped off a convincingly good year with an equally convincing finish, earning him the 5th spot with such a strong set history record.

 

4 – Nairo

4nairo

Rather appropriately, the top 4 of 2016 all finished 1st at a Supermajor. Nairo had a rough start to the post-patch cycle with a shocking 49th placement at Pound 2016, losing to Saj and Mr. II. While he retained good results by winning numerous super-regional events, his struggles against ZeRo and weak results at CEO and EVO hold his score back a bit.

Despite those missteps, Nairo is otherwise a remarkably consistent player, notably placing within the top 4-6 of most majors he’s attended. A successful supermajor run at Super Smash Con that had him beating Taiheita, 6WX, VoiD, Mr. R, and Dabuz earned him a huge lot of 249 points.

With that and a remarkably consistent record during mid-late 2016, the explosive fan-favorite Nairo earns his 4th place spot on the list.

3 – MKLeo

3mkleo

With a legacy that began in 2015 at Smash Factor 4 where he dominated Mr. R, MKLeo is one of the biggest success stories in Smash 4’s history. Hype and doubt surrounded his first out-of-country performance at Get On My Level 2016, where he sought to defeat both ZeRo and Ally.

He ended up impressing many people, defeating Nairo 3-1 and taking ZeRo to game 5 in losers quarters. This was his first opportunity to be in the presence of numerous good U.S. players, and he made the most of it despite losing to players he had hoped to beat.

Smash Factor 5 briefly reignited his international hype when he beat Dabuz and took the tournament through losers bracket by defeating Mr. R twice, making more wonder where exactly he placed in the upper echelon of players. There was little doubt he was good, but the question became HOW good.

Losses to Larry and Ally at the Rio de Janeiro eGames Showcase led many to believe he either had player specific problems or simply was one of many players in a top 20-ish blob that frequently exchanged sets with one another.

Despite his second loss to Ally, both he and Javi managed to prove themselves at Canada Cup 2016. Initially losing to Ally in winners final, Leo brought it back and put the two at 2-3 in sets, Ally’s favor. Leo had finally taken sets from Ally, leaving little doubt that he had the potential to be at the very top.

In late 2016, MKLeo obtained his visa – a key step to his high placement on this list. Following his visa obtainment, he got 3rd at KTAR XIX, dominated weeklies and regionals, managed to get a winning set record on Ally, and slowly prepared himself for a historic run at one of the most stacked Supermajors in the game’s history.

Despite suffering a slight misstep at UGC where he fell to Marss and reaffirmed a seeming weakness to Ryu by losing to DarkShad, he went on to make any doubters forget with his run at 2GGT: ZeRo Saga.

While Leo wasn’t a stranger to beating top talent at this point, carrying a stunning 14-2 record on Mr. R and finally overtaking Ally in sets, people awaited a much-anticipated face off between him and Komorikiri. Komo, generally considered to be the best Cloud, was handed a swift 3-0 loss while Leo moved on to fight VoiD.

With a massive amount of Sheik training through his cousin Javi, MKLeo’s record against Mr. R – and Sheik as a whole – made victory seem inevitable. Yet he lost 2-3, sending him into a shark pit of a loser’s bracket.

Despite the odds and despite the challenge it presented, MKLeo proceeded to go on what will likely be known as the single best losers run of 2016 – defeating Dabuz, ANTi, Ally, ZeRo, VoiD, and Larry Lurr twice in order to take the tournament.

This massive run solidified his position as the third best player of 2016.

 

2 – Ally

2ally

Canada’s absolute best player has enjoyed an incredibly successful year. Now sponsored by C9, Ally began his the post-patch cycle by double eliminating Mr. R at Midwest Mayhem and later taking second at Pound 2016.

His breakout victory for the year, however, ended up being his win at GOML after weeks of solid regional placements. He took the event over MKLeo, Larry Lurr, and ZeRo, starting what would become a dominant set record over ZeRo.

After his win at GOML, all eyes were on what his next move would be. Historically, he suffers a lot versus both Sonic and Nairo – two factors that brought him down at Momocon 2016 with losses to Wrath and Nairo. However, he still placed a strong 2nd, and followed it up two weeks later with two convincing set wins against ZeRo at Smash n’ Splash 2.

Ally was now considered a serious national threat and potential favorite to take whatever event he entered. Of course, as fate would have it, Ally would lose to Blue Beast and Zenyou to ultimately take 49th at CEO, a stunningly low placement for Canada’s best.

This didn’t seem to really deter him though, since he proceeded to win the biggest tournament of the year a month later in very convincing fashion, with his Top 32 Qualifer set against NAKAT being the closest he came to falling into losers bracket at the event.

With wins over Dyr, Dabuz, Abadango, and Kameme in Top 32, Ally had solidified himself as a potential candidate for #1.

He never seemed to match that success for the rest of the year, but never to the extent that you would say that he bombed out at an event like he did at CEO. The closest was TBH6, but he self DQ’d due to illness, meaning we’ll never know how a potential loser’s run from Ally might’ve gone at the event.

Despite some difficulty in taking sets off of the uppermost echelon of players and even finally losing to both MKLeo and ZeRo later in the year, Ally’s only significant misstep was his 9th at UGC. By ZeRo Saga, he reignited the belief that he was cream of the crop by defeating ZeRo 3-2 and going on to get 5th at the event.

With a myriad of strong major placements, a win at EVO, an excellent record on ZeRo, and dominance over the Midwest, Ally takes the title of 2016’s second best player.

 

1 – ZeRo

1zero

“Who’s the best?”

Despite going out of commission until GOML due to a finger injury, ZeRo retains the title of best in the world.

While his return featured his first tournament drop since MLG World Finals 2015, ZeRo still managed to impress people with a fantastic losers bracket run. Beating Mr. R, MKLeo, Nairo, and Larry Lurr, ZeRo went on to lose to Ally – a loss that would spark a rivalry between the two players.

ZeRo, having last went to game 5 with Larry Lurr at 2GGT: EE Saga, also proceeded to ultimately lose a 15 game exchange at 2GGT: Mexico Saga. Following this, he lost to ANTi twice at WNF, and then dropped Smash n’ Splash 2 to Ally.

While he later won Low Tier City 4, there was an increasing amount of wonder as to if the game even had a solid #1 anymore. ZeRo remained the most consistent, but the idea of a tournament having a clear favorite going in seemed to be on its way out.

This was no more apparent than CEO 2016, where upsets shook the brackets. ZeRo was among CEO’s many victims, losing 0-2 to Prince Ramen and later getting 9th after failing to defeat Larry Lurr.

After Mr. R and Dabuz managed to get their hard-earned first wins on ZeRo at WTFox 2, nobody really knew what would go down at EVO. It was mere weeks away, and ZeRo only had one tournament to his name since his return.

When the day finally came, ZeRo made it through most of pools before ultimately suffering another significant loss to Mr. E at the Top 32 Qualifier. After narrowly defeating Salem to make Top 32, ZeRo was left with the prospect of a terrifying losers bracket.

Despite ultimately losing to Kameme, ZeRo ran through losers bracket on Day 2 without dropping a single game until his fateful loss to Kameme. He beat Hyuga, Komorikiri, KEN, Larry Lurr, Abadango, and VoiD – all in the same bracket, all 2-0. This was likely his best losers bracket run of the year, surpassing his outing at GOML.

Despite dropping a second Supermajor, ZeRo’s losers bracket run still proved he was a threat to behold. The question of who the #1 was continued to rage on, though. Summer of Smash was going hot, and there was still time for ZeRo to put himself back on top or for Ally or another player to keep proving themselves.

Perhaps ZeRo’s career low at Smash Con lit some sort of spark. 13th was the lowest ZeRo had placed in over four years between Smash 4 and Brawl, and was at the hands of Ally – a player who had continued to give him trouble throughout 2016.

After this loss, ZeRo proceeded to turn things up to high gear at Endgame, managing to come back from a loss to Mew2King by defeating Ally and finishing the tournament with a rare and decisive JV3 against Mew2King.

After this and a seemingly effortless win at Shine 2016, ZeRo’s last misstep of the year until ZeRo Saga came in the form of a double elimination from Salem. After this, he took every tournament he entered for a period of nearly 3 months. By the time he 6-0’d ANTi at The Big House 6 after losing to him in winners final, ZeRo looked completely unstoppable.

He continued to have some breaks in his armor, being taken to game 5 by MKLeo again at KTAR XIX, and Abadango at UGC  – but he was clearly poised to break the 2GGT curse and take his own saga, fittingly one of the most skill-pool heavy tournaments of the year.

This perception came on even stronger when he dominated ZeRo Runback, only being taken to game 5 by Salem and Mr. E. He was set to face either Ally or Dabuz in winners quarters, and with Dabuz being sent to losers by Tyrant, the stage was set for the two rivals to face off one last time for 2016.

In an extremely close set that paralleled their first exchange of the year at GOML, Ally closed the set out 3-2 against ZeRo despite having a rough late 2016 in performances. This failed to break ZeRo’s confidence, as he ran right through Locus, Komorikiri, and Nairo – but the 2GGT’s curse was immortalized by a swift 3-0 by MKLeo in losers semis.

Despite going out 4th at the event and having a rough summer, ZeRo’s sheer dominance in most of late 2016 and his losers runs at GOML and EVO both ensured that his two truly big missteps at CEO and SSC weren’t enough to keep him from being 2016’s best player.

 

ORIONRANK TOP 100: #20-#11

We’re almost there! Here’s 20-11!

Methodology:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p2mqzaOqlbnjou4_bGI8SMZFc0S9Szscn2qLJYDXJOQ/edit

20 – Trela

20trela

“How did this happen.”

Trela is very high on this list, especially for somebody with a placement as low as his 385th at CEO. In the grading stage, Trela had the dubious honor of having one of the worst average placement numbers, sitting at 7th to last at 70. Despite that, he ranks incredibly high on this list despite an abrupt falloff and hiatus.

His 9th at EVO was certainly lucrative, earning him 245.5 points, but his run at FOW Saga was narrowly more valuable at 268.8 due to set wins over Tyrant and VoiD. Both are comparable and act as a bedrock for his high placement, with a series of dominating 1sts at various regionals supporting the bedrock until his point value reached 1045.8.

His downfall is remembered more than his brief dominance, but when he was good, he was insanely good. People had considered him a decent pick to win the eventual upset bloodbath that was CEO, but his run here, at Endgame, and SSC cut him short of reaching the highest highs.

Nonetheless, his brief dominance early in the post-patch era cycle was so significant that it puts him at 20th for the year overall.

19 – Mew2King

19mew2king

Known for being one of Brawl’s best players and mostly famous for his Melee play, Mew2King had a lot of trouble finding his place in the metagame throughout 2015, switching between various characters and seeing very mixed results.

However, this all changed with the release of Cloud. Finding a character he felt worked for him, Mew2King proceeded to slowly build himself up. Finally, at GOML, we saw a breakthrough, with Mew2King becoming the first person to 3-0 ZeRo in Smash 4 history.

His 5th at GOML and 5th at Shine would go on to be his best major placements during 2016, in part because Mew2King often pulled out of Smash 4 tournaments to focus on Melee. With Self DQs in effect, we can’t be completely sure what Mew2KIng’s heights would’ve been.

Despite beating Salem during Salem’s month of terror, Mew2King suffers in the Bayonetta matchup and seems to additionally have trouble in the Sheik matchup judging by his loss to Trevonte at Clutch City Clash.

Despite these bumps, it’s times like his run at Endgame that show he can be one of the best players in the world when his mind is set to the task.

18 – Tweek

18tweek

Outscoring Mew2king by a mere 0.2 points, the two Cloud mains are effectively tied. Outside of a disappointing outing at EVO, Tweek is a fairly consistent player, often reaching the top 16 of events, and he isn’t a stranger to taking big sets off of big players. He unexpectedly beat Nairo at Collision XIV, Larry Lurr at TBH6, and has had a back and forth with Salem since Collision.

The instrument of the Tristate player’s rise to fame was his decision to drop Bowser Jr. and Wario. As he was Jr.’s best user, the character suffered a notable dropoff in results after Tweek made the switch to Cloud. This decision helped propel Tweek to the upper echelon of players, enabling him to contend with the very best and not be held back by characters with inadequate tools.

While Tweek still uses his Jr. for counterpicking certain MUs, he’s now know as one of the best Cloud players in the world.

17 – Tyrant

17tyrant

SoCal’s premier Meta Knight and a persistently high-ranked member of the SoCal PR, Tyrant took wins off of all of SoCal’s most notable players this cycle through regionals and MSM, with major hits at EVO and ZeRo Saga for taking down Zinoto and Dabuz, respectively.

With those wins and hits other players like Samsora and Ito, Tyrant has proven himself as the best solo-Meta Knight main in the world and SoCal’s third best player for the post-patch 2016 cycle.

16 – ESAM

16esam

ESAM’s falloff from the top 10 occurred during this year after a series of middling or disappointing results, either due to getting upset in pools on a frequent basis or simply not matching up to the top talent he had to fight against deeper in bracket. This is odd, especially considering his near-flawless record in Florida, but it is what it is.

Thankfully for ESAM, his saving grace to place this high was a stellar and totally unanticipated run at UGC Smash Open that saw him upsetting Salem in pools, double eliminating VoiD, destroying Nairo, and taking Abadango to the brink during their winners semis set.

With his third at UGC and a lower-profile but still impressive run at Shine, ESAM manages to sneak a high rank. While his followup to UGC was a shocking 9th at Don’t Park on the Grass, one can only hope that he’s poised to return to his former glory in 2017.

15 – Marss

15)Marss (1).png

With CEO as his only disappointing outing this year, the New England Zero Suit Samus main became commonly known after a devastating bracket run at G3. Following into the post-patch era, Marss’ results continued to improve, and he ultimately became one of the most consistent players in the world.

His most illustrious run of the year, reflected by the infographic, was his run at KTAR Saga. He managed to run through both VoiD and Larry while taking a set off of the eventual tournament winner during Grand Finals.

While he only got 9th at UGC, he also made a lot of waves at the event by swiftly defeating MKLeo, a loss MKLeo would later rebuke at a midwestern weekly. Marss’ odd upset wins over out-of-country attendees like Kameme and MKLeo give Marss a sizable boost, putting him at 15th.

14 – Kameme

14kameme

Promising to win EVO after a breakout victory at Umebura 23, Kameme came dangerously close – placing second at the event and solidifying himself as the best Mega Man in the world with wins over VoiD and ZeRo to back him up.

His win vs. Mr. R was partly due to the latter player’s repeated errors and SDs throughout their set, but Kameme had several chances since to prove his win at EVO wasn’t a fluke, with a convincing 2-0 victory at Umebura S.A.T. and a solid 3-1 victory at Smashdown World.

He did lose in their last meeting of the year at UGC, which perhaps sets a trend for Kameme’s mediocre post-EVO U.S.A. record. While never bad, Kameme struggled to take sets off of top players in America for the rest of the year, even losing to Marss at TH6 in an unexpected 2-3 loss.

His run at ZeRo Saga showed signs in bucking this trend, defeating both Zinoto and Tyrant in a losers bracket run ending in him narrowly losing to ANTi 2-3. He’s still maintained a respectable Japan record since EVO as well, taking 1st at Umebura 25 over Abadango and KEN.

13 – Zinoto

13zinoto

Sporting a strong early-year record and an impressive run at CEO that included wins over Larry, Nairo, Hyuga, Abadango, Davuz, and a bracket reset on ANTi, Zinoto set himself up for a high placement.

In spite of his following major event performances being lackluster, Zinoto retained an exceptional regional record, taking multiple sets off of most top players that crossed him in the Midwest. With CEO in mind, he’s beaten players like Larry, VoiD, Abadango, and more on multiple occasions, not to mention his weekly win against MKLeo prior to Battle Royale or his rare victories over Ally.

12 – Komorikiri

12komorikiri

Komorikiri had trouble early-mid year with 17th placements at Supermajors like G3 and EVO, but he broke through his problems at Abadango Saga, outperforming the event’s namesake and taking 5th after a win on Ally that broke his 17th place curse. This was after three consecutive Sumabato victories at 11, FOR THE BIG HOUSE, and 12 – signalling that Komorikiri was ready for the international stage.

Quickly following Abadango Saga, Komorikiri took MSM 67 over VoiD 3-0 and handily beat Nairo in an exhibition set. The latter wasn’t counted due to the low-pressure environment, but it served as a bit of foreshadowing for Komo’s eventual revenge at TBH6, where he followed up his loss at Abadango Saga by sealing out Japan vs. East Coast crews by defeating Nairo and later beating him 3-2 in bracket.

Following his loss to ANTi, Komorikiri beat VoiD again in a much tighter 3-2 set, then went on to take a slow-paced set 3-1 against Mr. R that included a well-executed shift into a timeout strategy on Duck Hunt. He eventually dropped the run to ZeRo 1-3, but he left with a tournament run well on-par with Ranai’s at G3 and Kameme’s at EVO.

His evolution from a player that strictly did better in-region to a player that carried both in-region and international skill might be one of the better player narratives to come out of the year. His last roadblock is ZeRo, whom he’s 0-3 with in sets for the year. A difficult record to contend with, but something he’s attempting to improve on judging by his Bayonetta pick at ZeRo Saga.

11 – ANTi

11)ANTi (2).png

Our first Supermajor champion on this list, ANTi’s low attendance prior to 2016 was typically still successful in its nature, taking 13th at CEO 2015 and going down to the wire against ZeRo at TBH5. During 2016, his attendance increased at a regional scale, with him attending events around the country and typically doing well in the process.

The event that foreshadowed his eventual CEO victory was Wednesday Night Fights 2.5, where he defeated ZeRo twice to take the event. A little over 2 weeks later, he’d go on to take CEO 2016 in convincing fashion, defeating VoiD, False, Mr. R, Dabuz, and Zinoto in an unexpected finish to an event with numerous twists and turns. Despite the amount of good players in losers bracket, ANTi still took away a ton of good sets and finished high and mighty.

While suffering from consistency problems at certain majors, ANTi’s late year performance at TBH6 and two respectable if understated performances at UGC and ZeRo Saga sealed him as one of the best players of the year.

 

 

ORIONRANK TOP 100: #30-#21

We’re coming down to the wire! Here’s 30-21.

Methodology: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p2mqzaOqlbnjou4_bGI8SMZFc0S9Szscn2qLJYDXJOQ/edit

30 – Pink Fresh

30pinkfresh-1

Pound was a breakout tournament for Bayonetta. This was most prevalent through Pink Fresh’s stunning upset win vs. Mr. R. While upsets occur and are often rebuked quickly, their second set at the same event was down to the wire – Last stock, last hit, game 5.

While losing to Mr. R during their second exchange, he’d go on to beat him again at KTAR Saga and ultimately take the entire event, an unexpected peak for a player who sometimes has trouble at major events. Playing one of the most hyped up sets of the year vs. Marss, his 3-2 victory in winners finals gave him the ground he needed to rebuke Marss’ bracket reset.

29 – Samsora

29samsora-1

Despite hailing from a state that doesn’t host big events, Samsora came out of the woodwork at Clutch City Clash to defeat Ally. As with many upsets at tournaments, you often expect the following bracket progression to simply not work out, but Samsora is among the few that defied this expectation. His runback vs. Ally at the same event saw him winning 3-2 in a 3 stock format, making his win about as definitive as you can get.

Samsora, however, does have the unfortunate honor of often running into players with well-tuned Meta Knights. Meta Knight appears to be an atrocious matchup for Peach to the extent that one single whiff on the Peach player’s part can lead to a stock-ending punish. We saw this at CCC against Abadango and again at KTAR XIX, where he had to fight the best Meta Knight.

Despite that tendency to have brackets that did or would’ve eventually led into the Meta Knight matchup, Samsora has stepped it up against a number of top players, including a huge win against Dabuz at KTAR XIX, not long after narrowly losing at Aftershock 2016.

28 – Rich Brown

28rich-brown

Making unexpected leaps at EVO and SSC, Rich Brown’s consecutive 17ths at the Supermajor events were key in building his image as one of the best Mewtwo players in the world. Once a Brawl Olimar main, Rich’s rise to prominence in Smash 4 either began with him running through MVD, Tyroy, FOW, and SS at Evo, or, more likely, his win over Abadango at Super Smash Con 2016 in the ditto.

After that, his only significant roadblock appeared to be his 25th bomb at 2GG: Pay it Forward. He’s taken an additional set from Abadango at post-Aba Saga weekly MSM 67, defeated Kameme at Little Big House 2, and tore through Europe to get 2nd at Syndicate 2016.

27 – Captain Zack

27captainzack-1

A rise as unexpected as Samsora’s, the Louisiana Bayonetta main was likely noticed for his top 8 finish at Clutch City Clash and 4th at TGC8. However, his big break came when he upset Larry Lurr at Abadango Saga, followed a month later by him double eliminating Mew2King from TBH6 and even defeating ESAM.

At another big performance, Aftershock 2016 saw him shred his way past Dabuz and Cosmos to grand finals, where he then engaged Dabuz in a grueling 10 game set. While Dabuz’s perseverance and skill with Olimar won him the event, Zack seemed to be the equal of a player at the very top – a huge improvement from Zack’s early-year 97th at CEO.

26 – K9sbruce

26k9sbruce-1

Possibly SoCal’s most passionate player, K9 has enjoyed a successful set of regional performances backed by the highest attendance of any player on the contenders list. If he seems a bit highly placed, this may be the reason, but his in-region record is nothing to scoff at.

He’s defeated every relevant SoCal player on multiple occasions, including VoiD and Larry Lurr, and despite struggles at some major events and a tendency to be easily upset (no pun intended) by other players, he’s one of the region’s absolute strongest players.

25 – Mr. E

25mr-e

Arguably the first player to show what Marth was really capable of during 2016, Mr. E enjoyed an outstanding upset performance at EVO, defeating ZeRo, Salem, and Rich Brown.

He’s had trouble at major events before – most notably KTAR XIX, where he placed 65th – but his 9th at TBH6 that saw him defeating WaDi and 5th at UGC that saw him winning over Pugwest, DarkShad, and Marss all helped build a repertoire.

His 3-0 win over Dabuz at Invasion 8 was another often-forgotten peak of what he’s capable of – leaving hope for even more growth in 2017. He’s been a player of peaks and valleys, and 2016’s finish to Marth’s meta leaves the door open for Mr. E to grow with his character.

24 – Earth

24earth

“That 9th at EVO sure is worth a lot.” – Foreshadowing.

Earth’s performance at EVO and his wins at Sumabato 10 and the Umebura BenQ ZOWIE Cup are constant reminders that the Pit main (ft. Corrin/Fox) is one of Japan’s best players. He’d be even higher on the list, but he has a simple problem: Consistency issues. He may be the most easily upset top-player on this list, with a track record of several 33rd and 17th placings at Sumabato and Umebura events.

His neutral game is almost unparalleled, with Pit’s toolkit complimenting his play style perfectly, and he’s used his skill with the character to defeat most of Japan’s greats, with set wins on all of Japan’s best except Abadango during the post-patch 2016 cycle.

23 – Nietono

23nietono

One of the Japan’s often-forgotten players, Nietono sneaks his way into the top 30 by having a great year both in Japan and in the U.S.A. His Apex 2016 run isn’t discussed much, but he ran through Mr. E, Umeki, Tweek, Marss, and Mew2King in it and placed 3rd overall.

The key reason he ranks so high, however, came from an unexpectedly great performance at the DNG Invitational Round Robin, a Round Robin tournament where be won in 10/12 sets, beating Kirihara, KEN, Abadango, and Kameme among several others.

22 – KEN

22)KEN (1).png

Considered to be the world’s best Sonic player, KEN is is one the three best players in the Kanto region and retains a good consistency record in-region. His first international venture, EVO, is easy to interpret as a success – double eliminating TLTC, beating Tyrant, and beating Dyr, only losing to VoiD and falling victim to a losers bracket ZeRo.

KEN’s followup one month later proved to be something that nobody saw coming. It started with a 3-0 on Nairo, who hadn’t dropped a game at the event until that point, and was followed up by another swift 3-0 on Dabuz, then a 3-1 in Grand Finals to take the event. For top 8 at Umebura S.A.T., KEN went 9-1 in games.

It wasn’t based on campy play, either. KEN’s Sonic, while not a stranger to campy play, is best known for looking very aggressive. His bait & punish game is quick, he has outstanding reads, he maximizes punishes and pushes an advantage until it can’t be pushed anymore.

This mindset and play style even allowed him to make an incredible comeback in the last game of grand finals where he was at high % on his last stock while Dabuz still had 2 on-hand. Sonic doing comebacks from a full stock deficit are uncommon enough, but KEN made it look convincing.

21 – Ranai

21ranai

Even though Ranai had gone on a hiatus after two disappointing runs at Shots Fired 2 and KSB 2016, he came back at EVO full force. Running through Trela and Wrath, Ranai was brought to the brink by Nairo in winners side, ultimately clutching the set out 2-1, before going to lose to Abadango in winners quarters.

After beating Marss in losers bracket, Ranai defied expectations by also clutching it out against Dabuz in losers bracket, triumphing over what was assumed to be an extremely difficult matchup that Ranai notably struggled with at G3.

Despite a misfire at Umebura S.A.T., Ranai made a sudden return at Sumabato 14, taking the tournament over Komorikiri and Earth. His attendance seems to be on the upswing in 2017, with him slated for several events, so look out for the fan favorite Villager in the future.

ORIONRANK TOP 100: #40-#31

40-31 is here! Most infographic-related errors are in the process of being fixed. The image part is done, I simply need to modify the pages to fix things where necessary.

Methodology:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p2mqzaOqlbnjou4_bGI8SMZFc0S9Szscn2qLJYDXJOQ/edit

40 – Ryo

40ryo

Playing numerous Fire Emblem characters, the North Florida Ike/Corrin/Roy player has been known since the Brawl days. However, his run at Super Smash Con 2016 – which featured a narrow 2-3 loss vs. Abadango, in part using Roy – was quite impressive. Defeating Mr. E, ESAM, and Day to get to Top 12 Winners Side, Ryo also retains an impressive record in Florida, having defeated every top player in the state during 2016 except MVD.

39 – False

39false

One of many players foreshadowing Marth’s rise to the top, False made an explosive losers bracket run at Midwest Mayhem 3 that saw him taking the entire event, an unexpected feat from a player most see as inconsistent. This, alongside his run at CEO that included a win over Tweek, and his decent placements at KTAR XIX and KTAR Saga, proved lucrative enough to put him high on the list.

38 – Shuton

38shuton

As with many Japanese players on this list, his record at major events is scarce. He defeated Komorikiri at Umebura S.A.T., however, and retains a level of dominance over the the Kyushu region, rarely dropping events there. When he travels, he’s also remarkably consistent. Umebura S.A.T. and Sumabato 11 are the only events he’s placed outside of top 8 for this cycle, making him a rare example of a consistent in-region player.

He does all of this with Olimar, an unorthodox character written off by many early in the games’ life. While Dabuz’s Olimar is more commonly seen due to Dabuz’s concerns over match-ups, he and most players seem to recognize Shuton’s Olimar as the best in the world by a long stretch, with plenty of wins and placements to prove it.

37 – Dath

37dath

Sporting a bronze at a major, Dath’s mid-late 2016 blaze of glory saw him eliminate ANTi from EVO and later go on to defeat Marss in his own home turf at Shine, additionally adding SuperGirlKels, 6WX (twice), and Larry Lurr to his list of souls at the event. This marks what’s likely the best run from a character that’s often seen as lower-mid, or at least was at the time before Dath blew up onto the scene.

While he was eliminated by ESAM at the event 2-3, he’s beaten him before as well as most of the players in his home state. Add wins against JJROCKETS and Nietono to his portfolio and you’re left with the world’s best Robin main and one of Florida’s best, both locally and internationally.

36 – Elegant

36elegant

While the debate over whether the best Luigi in SoCal is Elegant or Mr. ConCon will likely rage on, Elegant’s international record firmly places him as the best Luigi main both in-region and worldwide. He had an abrupt breakout at 2GGT: Abadango Saga, defeating the event’s namesake in a decisive 3-1 victory.

While some may assume Abadango was simply having an off day, this didn’t deter Elegant from immediately 3-0ing VoiD afterwards, making sure that everybody would remember his name. He hasn’t replicated a run of that caliber since, but his record at MSM weeklies, multiple wins on Tyrant and K9, and quiet 13th at KTAR Saga should assure Luigi mains that the character’s meta is far from dead.

35 – Manny

35manny

A man of many tags, Manny, also known as “Static Manny”, “Static”, “Spark”, “All Might”, and “Oni Heero” remains Florida’s premier Sonic player and one of the world’s best Roy players.

Noted by his regional record, he carries a nigh-unmatched consistency record in his home state of Florida, almost always placing top 8 at state regionals and taking sets off of pretty much every relevant Florida player outside of ESAM without any recorded weekly attendance attendance outside of large Smash Conference events.

Despite not placing high at TBH6 due to an upset loss to Aarvark, he took out two players who rank a good bit higher than him – K9 and Zinoto, eliminating the latter from the event. An additional win vs. ANTi and 9th place finish at Shine 2016 leaves him in an excellent position as one of the most threatening Sonic players today.

34 – Falln

34falln

The second-highest ranked Rosalina & Luma main on this list, Falln earns that title through his consistency at SoCal events. While not doing particularly well at EVO, his prior Supermajor run at CEO and other runs at 2GGT: KTAR Saga and ZeRo Saga more than make up for it.

His run at CEO includes wins on Tweek and Mass, while his run at 2GGT: KTAR saga notably featured a win over Tyrant’s Meta Knight. His biggest win of the year, however, remains his unexpected upset victory over VoiD at 2GGT: FOW Saga. Having denied VoiD a set against Larry at the event, Falln would later go on to lose to Larry, placing 5th.

33 – 6WX

336wx

While Pennsylvania hasn’t been as big a state name to Smash 4 as it was to Brawl, 6WX has set out to keep the often-forgotten portion of Tristate relevant in the current meta game. He has a positive 2-1 record on Ally for the year with wins at Midwest Mayhem 4 and Super Smash Con 2016, the latter of which he placed 9th at after also defeating Tweek in winners bracket.

His most significant major run – perhaps offsetting his disappointing CEO run – was his 4th at Shine. At the event, he ran through New England and Mew2King, notably defeating Craftis 3-0 in the Sonic ditto. His run was eventually halted by Dath, but it wasn’t without a fight.

32 – Fatality

32fatality

Despite often coming short of taking big sets, the flashy Georgia Falcon main managed to make a few dents this year by taking a set off of Marss at Super Smash Con 2016 and eventually took out Kameme’s Sheik 3-2 at ZeRo Saga.

While a potential 30-21 rank player at his best, we have seen Fatality falter and struggle to defeat top level players. This is most apparent by the nature of his losers bracket runs, where he will often run through virtually any player in his path before being stopped cold in his tracks by somebody in the top 15-20 range.

In spite of this, he’s still Georgia’s best player, and his recent win on Kameme and continued high placements at majors signal that he could be bound for an eventual breakout that pushes him into the upper echelon of players.

His run through Renegade, Dan, Pugwest, Samsora, Cosmos, and Ri-ma at TBH6 may be regarded as his best losers bracket run, with his notable victory against FOW at ZeRo Saga being one of the most high profile sets of late 2016.

 

31 – Ito

31ito

Despite not being well traveled, the California Meta Knight is one of the state’s most consistent players. Dominating NorCal for several months, Ito also went on to take second at Hero to ZeRo – Offline Qualifiers, resetting the bracket against Larry Lurr in Grand Finals. With Larry and fellow California Meta Knight Tyrant as part of his win list,

Ito’s consistency at Southwestern, NorCal, and SoCal events is backed up by impressive set wins that establish him as one of the best Meta Knights players and one of California’s most dangerous players.

 

ORIONRANK TOP 100: #50-#41

Monday’s here, and so are 50-41!

50 – Saj

50saj

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

49glutonny

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

48istudying

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

47wadi

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

46scatt

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

45)RAIN.png

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

449b

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

43dyr

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

42taiheita

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

41wrath

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.