SSBMRank 2016: 31-40

Making Top 40 in 2016 is a huge accomplishment. Who made the cut?
SSBMRank 2016: Day 7 © Melee It On Me
By Daniel "Tafokints" Lee

SSBMRank 2016 winds down to the final 40. These players have potential to break out at any major if they run out.

As a quick reminder, the SSBMRank panelists are comprised of a large group of players, figureheads and community volunteers that rate the placers. Voters rated players based on the following criterion:

Given the quality and quantity of work in 2016 (From Genesis 3 to Eden), if everyone entered 100 tournaments, who on average would place the best?

Panelists voted on a 1-10 scale with the best player receiving a “10” and the worst player on the list receiving a "1." Ballots that were not scaled properly were rescaled using an algorithm to place the best player at a “10” and the worst player at a "1." With over 50 panelists this year, we also decided to remove the two lowest and two highest ratings before taking the average in order to reduce the variance.

Rank 40: Abate © Josh Lozar

Rating: 6.804
SSBMRank 2015: 33
Other placements:
4th: Kickstart 6, 9th: B.E.A.S.T 6, 7th: Fight Pitt VI, 4th: 200 BPM

After a breakout 2015, Stephen "Abate" Abate took on a lighter traveling schedule this year. When he did show up, at Genesis 3 and Super Smash Con 2016, he placed Top 32 while wowing the audience with his exciting Luigi play. With victories over the likes of Gahtzu and Eddy Mexico, it's clear that Abate hasn't lost his elite grasp of the game. He's still a constant fan favorite and one of the best to ever play his character.

Written by: Luke Romeo
Edited by: Nick Buckman and Aidan Lilienfeld

Rank 39: Bladewise © Thomas Tischio

Rating: 6.850
SSBMRank 2015: 39
Other placements:
3rd: Battle of BC, 4th: Emerald City IV, 7th: Dairly Beloved

Teddy "Bladewise" Seybold had plenty to celebrate in 2016, commemorating his recent marriage by hosting a Melee tournament, Dairly Beloved. Even with a busy wedding season, he has kept up performances at majors and even defended the Pacific Northwest region from outsiders with wins over Mike Haze and Zhu.

Written by: Daniel Lee
Edited by: Aidan Lilienfeld & Noam Radcliffe

Rank 38: HugS © Thomas Tischio

Rating: 6.874
SSBMRank 2015: 20
Other placements:
2nd: Smash Factor 5, 1st: Battlegrounds 3, 7th: Olympus, 2nd: Frostbite, 25th: CEO 2016, 9th: NorCal Loves Teams

While Hugo "HugS" Gonzalez wasn't able to match last year's Top 20 performance in 2016, the Pink Samus main remains a Melee icon, both for his career as a player and his burgeoning stream. He placed 17th and 13th at Genesis 3 and GOML 2016, respectively, with wins over SFAT, Westballz, Nintendude, n0ne and Colbol, showing that at his best he can still take names. He’ll be looking to rebound in 2017 and add to his already impeccable Melee resume.

Written by: Martin Gale
Edited by: Henry Fellner

Rank 37: Javi © Robert Paul/@tempusrob/rmpaul.com

Rating: 6.914
SSBMRank 2015: 26
Other placements:
3rd: Smash Factor 5, 9th: Low Tier City 4, 2nd: The Hazard

Longtime Mexican No. 1 and well known claw user Javier "Javi" Ruiz has had a relatively quiet year in terms of international competition. When he did show up he did so in force, with an Evo 2016 run that included wins over HomeMadeWaffles, Mafia, Ken and Wobbles to finish 17th. With very few losses other than to top players, Javi's consistency shows that his fast and flashy Fox is still a threat at any U.S. major he attends.

Written by: Caspar van der Sman
Edited by: Henry Fellner

Rank 36: Chillindude © Matt Seal/Juggleguy

Rating: 7.124
SSBMRank 2015: 54
Other placements:
17th: DreamHack Austin 2016, 25th: CEO 2016, 3rd: Endgame, 4th: SoCal Colosseum 2

Kashan "Chillindude" Khan’s lackluster 2015 must have fueled an inner fire, because the pioneering Fox main blazed through 2016 with a vengeance. He shaped up after a quiet 49th place finish at Genesis 3, placing 17th and 13th at Evo 2016 and The Big House 6, respectively, defeating Wizzrobe at the former and n0ne, Taj, Syrox and Nintendude at the latter. Chillindude’s domineering year showed why many still consider him the first great Fox.

Written by: Hector Arzola
Edited by: Henry Fellner

Rank 35: Gahtzu © Thomas Tischio

Rating: 7.164
SSBMRank 2015: 45
Other placements:
4th: Rewired 2016, 17th: PAX Arena, 13th: CEO 2016, 4th: Come To Papa 2

One of the founding fathers of the 20GX movement and a Captain Falcon ditto master, Jason "Gahtzu" Diehl had strong showings in his home state of Florida and across the United States this year. He finished 13th at both CEO 2016 and Pound 2016, and took wins over Leffen’s Falco and PewPewU during his run to 17th place at the Big House 6.

Written by: Henry Fellner
Edited by: Aidan Lilienfeld

Rank 34: KJH © Matt Seal/JuggleGuy

Rating: 7.363
SSBMRank2015: 46
Other placements:
1st: Frostbite, 3rd: Rubicon 12, 9th: Smash N' Splash, 9th: EGLX, 17th: CEO 2016, 9th: Canada Cup 2016

Though he's known for his tech skill, Kalindi "KJH" Henderson took every chance to elevate his overall game to new heights this year. His hard work rewarded him with a Top 16 finish at Super Smash Con 2016 and top 24 placings at GOML 2016 and CEO 2016. With set wins over SFAT, S2J, The Moon, MikeHaze and KirbyKaze, this Fox main proved that he's more than just a technical player or a Samus slayer.

Written by: Josh Fendrick
Edited by: Anokh Palakurthi

Rank 33: Laudandus © Thomas Tischio

Rating: 7.473
SSBMRank 2015: 59
Other placements:
13th: CEO 2016, 5th: NorCal Loves Teams,

NorCal’s self-proclaimed "Fastest Improving Player," Sam "Laudandus" Rohrer, shocked the world when he finished fifth at Pound 2016 with wins over n0ne, Gravy, Nintendude and S2J. Though that was the highpoint of his year, Laudandus achieved strong placings at every supermajor he attended, including a Top 32 finish at Evo 2016. Whether he'll validate his nickname in 2017 remains to be seen, but his meticulous practice schedule should put him on the right track.

Written by: Noam Radcliffe
Edited by: Nick Buckman & Andrew Nestico

Rank 32: Amsa © Thomas Tischio

Rating: 7.482
SSBMRank 2015: 24
Other placements:
1st: KSB 2016, 2nd: Battle Gateway 12, 1st: Battle Gateway 13

Japan's beloved Yoshi main would love more opportunities to compete in North America, but Masaya "aMSa" Chikamoto's busy professional life makes seeing him compete at majors a rarity. His sole appearances in the United States this year came at Pound 2016, where he finished 13th after defeating Prince Abu and SFAT and Super Smash Con 2016 where he finished ninth. Hopefully we'll have the oportunity to see more of aMSa's intricate movement and creative combos in 2017.

Written by: Daniel Lee
Edited by: Aidan Lilienfeld

Rank 31: Zhu © Robert Paul/@tempusrob/rmpaul.com

Rating: 7.650
SSBMRank 2015: 29
Other placements:
5th: Canada Cup 2016, 25th: CEO 2016, 2nd: DI Another Day 2. 5th: Emerald City III

Once a Top 10 player famous for taking a set off of Mew2King at Genesis, Julian “Zhu” Zhu is still making a name for himself more than seven years later. His star performance this year came at Evo 2016, where he made a losers bracket run through Far, Laudandus, ChuDat and Lucky before losing to Mango for ninth place. Zhu also has wins this year over Duck, Shroomed, and Axe, continuing to prove that he's a Falco pioneer.

Written by: Jack McDonald
Edited by: Henry Fellner

Credits

Head Editor: Andrew “PracticalTAS” Nestico
Graphics: Desiree “TinyKasama” Macasieb, Matthew “Icarus” Harmon, Nick “DarkDragoon” Konstantino

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