We dive into the final 10 players of SSBMRank 2016. Who appears in today’s column?
As a quick reminder, the SSBMRank panelists are comprised of a large group of players, figures 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 UGC Smash Open), 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.
Last year's rank: 10
1st: NorCal Loves Teams, 4th: Smash N' Splash 2, 5th: CEO 2016, 5th: Smash Summit 2, 7th: Smash Summit 3, 9th: PAX Arena
Dajuan "Shroomed" McDaniel has been the pinnacle of consistency in 2016. Aggressive players are usually known for their volatility, but the energetic Sheik main has maintained his in-your-face style while rarely losing to anybody outside of the top 20. His largest tournament win this year was at NorCal Loves Teams, where he proved his dominance over everyone in the tiers below him by dropping only one game the entire tournament. He also boasts outstanding placings when players of his caliber are in attendance, including fourth and fifth at Smash 'N’ Splash 2 and Smash Summit 2, respectively.
Many top-level players struggle with specific character matchups, but this NorCal native isn't one of them — Shroomed has already refined a slick Marth to handle Sheik’s weaker matchups, such as the Ice Climbers. This year, he's proven that he can go toe-to-toe with anyone, even the "gods." Shroomed has been called a demigod for a long time, but 2017 just might be the year that he drops the demi part.
Written by: Matthew Moore
Edited by: Noam Radcliffe & Matt Deslatte
Last year's rank: 9
1st: Rubicon 7, 4th: PAX Arena , 5th: CEO 2016, 5th: Smash Summit 3, 5th: EGLX, 7th: DreamHack Austin 2016
Another year has gone by, and Jeffrey "Axe" Williamson has proven for another year that Pikachu is capable of holding his own in the modern metagame. Axe started the year off strong at Genesis 3, where he knocked Mango into losers bracket and eliminated SFAT to finish fourth. He rode the momentum from that result for the entire year, landing Top 6 placings at EGLX 2016, CEO 2016, Super Smash Con 2016 and Smash Summit 3.
The top-ranked player in Arizona ended the year leading in sets against contemporaries such as Shroomed, SFAT and PewPewU, and held a clean 2-0 record against the elusive Leffen. Many Smashers are looking to leapfrog into the top echelon in 2017, but Axe is one of the few that have already shown the potential to achieve that goal.
Written by: Jack McDonald
Edited by: Noam Radcliffe
Last year's rank: 8
1st: Rewired 2016, 3rd: PAX Arena, 3rd: B.E.A.S.T 6, 3rd: SSS: Blood for Blood, 4th: Clutch City Clash, 4th: Super Nebulous 4, 5th: Battle of the 5 Gods, 5th: Smash N' Splash 2, 9th: Smash Summit 2, 9th: Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo, 9th: WTFox 2
Weston "Westballz" Dennis returns to the No. 8 spot on SSBMRank for the second straight year thanks to his signature Falco pressure and devastating punishes. The best performance of Westballz's year came at Evo 2016, where he eliminated SFAT, Axe, Nintendude and Swedish Delight to make Top 8 on Melee's largest stage. He had another phenomenal showing at the Battle of the Five Gods invitational, where he defeated PewPewU, Ice and Mango en route to fifth place.
SoCal's second-ranked player also made Top 3 at several other large tournaments, including B.E.A.S.T. 6, SSS: Blood for Blood and Don't Park on the Grass. Westballz is undoubtedly one of the best Falcos of 2016, and arguably the pinnacle of high-octane space animal play, with his stellar Fox emerging from time to time. If he can continue to tap into what has brought him to the top so often in the past, look forward to seeing him shine brighter in 2017 and beyond.
Written by: Matt Deslatte
Edited by: Henry Fellner
Last year’s rank: 13
1st: Emerald City 3, 1st: Dairly Beloved, 2nd: Clutch City Clash, 3rd: CEO 2016, 4th: Don’t Park on the Grass, 3rd: Eden, 4th: SSS: Blood for Blood, 5th: DreamHack Austin, 5th: Smash N' Splash 2, 7th: Smash Summit 2, 7th: PAX Arena, 11th: Battle of the Five Gods
This year, we saw Zac "SFAT" Cordoni stand toe-to-toe with gods. The Fox main started strong at Genesis 3, defeating Mew2King and Ice to place 5th at the January supernational, and followed that up by double eliminating Mango to finish 2nd at Clutch City Clash. Perhaps the most impressive result of SFAT's year was 2nd at Shine 2016, where he beat Duck and Plup before scoring upsets over both Hungrybox and Mango. He also 3-0’d Hungrybox at The Big House 6 for another 5th place finish.
The teams aficionado had a phenomenal year in doubles as well, winning GOML 2016, Evo 2016, The Big House 6, and UGC Smash Open with his teammate and best friend PewPewU. After a year of incredible highs, the number one player in NorCal looks to 2017 as his year to cement his place among the greats.
Written by: Nick Buckman
Edited by: Henry Fellner
Head Editor: Andrew "PracticalTAS" Nestico
Graphics: Desiree "TinyKasama" Macasieb, Matthew "Icarus" Harmon, Nick "DarkDragoon" Konstantino