#MPGR2019
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#MPGR2019: 10-1

As is tradition, we finish the list with Melee’s top 10. Congratulations to all the competitors!
By Andrew "PracticalTAS" Nestico
Published on
PGstats is proud to present the latest Melee ranking, #MPGR2019, in concert with Red Bull! The #MPGR2019 ranking season spans the end of 2018 (after Don’t Park on the Grass 2018) to Dec. 8, 2019 (Mang0’s Birthday Bash).
PGstats has asked 45 top players, community leaders, tournament organizers, and analysts to rate the quality of play for each qualifying player during the 2018 ranking season. They were prompted with the following statement:
“Based on quality and quantity of results in 2019, rate each player on a scale of 1 to 10. A tournament is held every weekend during the ranking period, and all players on the list are able to attend every event. Over the course of the season, who performs the best? You may give the benefit of the doubt to players who attended more events during the ranking period if you so choose.”
Each panelist gives each player a score from 1 to 10, and the ratings are compiled into one overall average after suppressing the effect of outliers. Finally, scores were rescaled to a 1-100 rating, which is displayed under each player’s graphic.
New this year: We’ve tried to interview every player in the Top 100! Players in the Top 50 will still have blurbs, but the focus on the first 50 will be their interviews.
#MPGR2019 No. 10: Mew2King
#MPGR2019 No. 10: Mew2King
Rating: 92 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 6
Despite a relatively quiet year regarding Melee singles, Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman maintains his seemingly untouchable streak of top 10 rankings with remarkable results even in the wake of inactivity. After a slow start at Genesis 6 with a 33rd place finish and subsequent extended absence from singles, Mew2King absolutely fragmented expectations at The Big House 9 by claiming 5th place in an insane performance -- starting with a clean sweep over MikeHaze, continuing with a nail-biter win against iBDW, and concluding with an impossible, suspense-filled victory over Hungrybox that had the crowd screaming and on their feet.
From there, Mew2King finished the year comfortably with silver medals at both EGLX 2019 and DreamHack Atlanta 2019, racking up wins over n0ne, Captain Faceroll, and another triumph over Hungrybox along the way. Even with almost a full year of -- essentially exclusive -— focus on Ultimate, doubles, and content creation, Mew2King has effortlessly found his footing once more in the singles scene and appears poised and ready to take 2020 in stride as well.
Written by: Bekah "Chime" Wong | Edited by: Darren "Krakhead" Lynch
MPGR: What are your priorities for 2020?
Mew2King: Finishing my book is by far my main priority. Then, growing youtube/twitch and being successful in other avenues in life besides just tournaments.
MPGR: At this stage in your Melee career, who would you consider your rival?
Mew2King: In 2017-18 it was Armada, and in the years before that it was Mango for a long time. It's constantly fluctuated in my life. Currently I don't have a particular person in mind though.
MPGR: If the tier list was flipped, which character would you play, and why?
Mew2King: I like too many chars to answer this accurately. Roy? Pichu? Mewtwo?
#MPGR2019 No. 9: iBDW
#MPGR2019 No. 9: iBDW
Rating: 92.9 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 34
When people think about netplay grinders transitioning into top players, few know that Cody “iBDW” Schwab is counted among their ranks. However, the Queens, New York native didn’t have much choice when attending college in the fairly isolated region of Rochester, New York. When he made it out to events he did fairly well, especially ramping it up towards the end of 2018, but iBDW wanted to do better -- he wanted to make 2019 *his* year.
iBDW started the year strong at Fight For SoCal 2, where he beat Shroomed, Westballz, Nut, ARMY, Fiction and even reset the bracket against SFAT before finishing 2nd. He never looked back from there. Despite suffering an unexpected early exit at Genesis at 25th place due to Mang0’s presence in losers, iBDW would pick up wins on players like KJH, Spud, Lucky, Hax, Swedish Delight, Bananas and PewPewU throughout the rest of the spring. This would all culminate in the tournament that truly put iBDW on the map: Smash Summit 8.
By his own standards, iBDW had a fairly disappointing pools stage at Smash Summit 8 - he went 0-3 in sets, losing to Spud, Zain, and Ginger. He was vocal about potentially dropping out of the event, but for his sake it’s a good thing he didn’t. Beginning his bracket run with a swift 3-0 over S2J, he’d go on to eliminate moky, Mang0, aMSa, and Hungrybox after losing to Trif, then finally fell to Wizzrobe for 4th place. This run would set the standard for the rest of iBDW’s year, with the Fox player scoring four national top 8’s after Smash Summit 8. Ultimately, iBDW proved something to the world -- 2019 *was* his year, and he was here to stay.
Written by: Sean "STOC$" O'Connor | Edited by: Jack "Kezzup" McDonald
MPGR: How do you feel about your 2019 in Melee, as a whole?
iBDW: Humbled me like crazy -- I had way higher highs than at any prior point, but also felt far more disappointment than at any previous point in my career.
MPGR: How do you feel Melee changed in 2019?
iBDW: People stopped being lazy and actually got good -- I think most people are finally understanding that you have to work if you want to see actual results, and that's also being reflected in people's play which is becoming far more focused on winning than crowd appeal on average.
MPGR: Who are the two best characters in Melee, and why?
iBDW: In theory, Fox and Falco, because of crazy high ceilings. In practice, Marth and Puff, just because of how skewed risk/reward can be in a punish-centric meta without absolute technical ability.
#MPGR2019 No. 8: Plup
#MPGR2019 No. 8: Plup
Rating: 93.5 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 4
2018 set the bar sky-high for Justin "Plup" McGrath; a supermajor win and multiple set wins over Hungrybox seemed like they could become a new standard for the fearsome Sheik main.
In 2019, however, Plup was one of many who gave Smash Ultimate a chunk of his attention, grew his stream, and took a much needed rest for his hands, thus leading to a slight decline in his overall attendance and placements. It's a sign of respect that this sounds a bit disappointed when Plup had a year that many of his contemporaries would be ecstatic about.
To start off at Genesis 6, Plup lost only to Hungrybox and Axe while also booming both Zain and aMSa 3-0 on his way to a monster 3rd place finish. Plup maintained an edge over Zain throughout the year, finishing 2019 up 3-1 over the Marth. He also went 1-1 with Wizzrobe and had numerous wins over other top level players such as Trif, n0ne, S2J and Ginger.
Unfortunately, Plup seems to have hit a roadblock in his journey to the top: his fellow Floridan Hungrybox. Plup had taken sets off Hungrybox every year for the past three years, but went 0-6 against him this year. With a new year, the Plup Club hopes to see their leader reclaim his spot as the unstoppable force we all know he’s capable of becoming.
Written by: Darren "Krakhead" Lynch | Edited by: Bekah "Chime" Wong
MPGR: Currently, what motivates you to compete in Melee?
Plup: Personally Melee is extremely fun to watch. It's a fantastic spectator sport and I just wanna show off some dope Melee for the fans.
MPGR: At this stage in your Melee career, who would you consider your rival?
Plup: MYSELF! Jk I just wanna beat Hbox.
MPGR: If the tier list was flipped, which character would you play, and why?
Plup: I'd be the coolest Bowser main.
#MPGR2019 No. 7: aMSa
#MPGR2019 No. 7: aMSa
Rating: 94.6 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 9
Not long ago, you could have been laughed out of the room for suggesting Yoshi could win a major. That time has long since passed.
One year after finishing 9th on the MPGR, Masaya "aMSa" Chikamoto clocks in at 7th after another strong stretch from everyone’s favorite dinosaur. 2019 saw aMSa earn a victory over Hungrybox for the second consecutive year, and turn the tables on a player who had previously been his bracket demon: Mang0. Japan’s top-ranked smasher took his first ever set over Mang0 at Genesis 6, then proved it wasn’t a fluke by repeating the feat two more times before the year was up. aMSa also scored winning records against Captain Falcon mains S2J and n0ne in a matchup he’s described as Yoshi’s worst.
But arguably even more notable than those individual victories, and aMSa’s continued innovation, is the fact that the door has been kicked in. After 2019 saw Wizzrobe and Axe win majors with Captain Falcon and Pikachu, respectively, suddenly the prospect of aMSa holding the trophy at a premier tournament doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
True, he’s yet to beat Leffen and went 0-2 against both of the world’s two best active Peach players (Trif and lloD) last year, but aMSa has proven time and time again there’s no wall he can’t climb and no obstacle he can’t overcome.
Written by: Matt "Bitts" Bittle | Edited by: Rui "Rui" Yang Xu
MPGR: Why do you main who you main?
aMSa: I love Yoshi, and I always chose Yoshi when I played Mario games like Mario Kart, Mario Party, and Mario Tennis. It was the same for Super Smash Bros., I only used Yoshi from 64 and that's continued til now.
MPGR: What's your favorite button on the GameCube controller, and why?
aMSa: That's one of the most difficult questions for me....I think R cuz of wavedashing.
MPGR: Currently, what motivates you to compete in Melee?
aMSa: I love playing Yoshi and finding new strategy.
#MPGR2019 No. 6: Zain
#MPGR2019 No. 6: Zain
Rating: 96.1 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 7
Virginia’s Marth prodigy has firmly established himself as a member of Melee’s elite. To earn his No. 6 spot on this year’s rankings, Zain “Zain” Naghmi put his nose to the grindstone, entering 25 tournaments of regional size or larger — more than any other member of the MPGR top 10.
But that’s only one of the mind-boggling statistics that defined Zain’s season. He was one of only three players to double-eliminate Hungrybox this year, accomplishing the feat at Come to Papa 3 in April. He made top 8 at 10 majors, winning one (Full Bloom 5) and fighting his way to 2nd at two more (The Big House 9 and Low Tier City 7). And, over the course of a few months, he achieved Melee’s biggest glow-up of 2019 by growing a truly magnificent beard.
Not everything went Zain’s way this year; he parted ways with Panda Global in November. But the edge-canceling expert has remained undeterred, scoring recent wins over seven of 2019’s year-end top 10 and releasing one of the greatest combo videos of all time. If Zain continues to dominate the field — and keeps that beard — then he is guaranteed to be Melee’s hottest free agent in 2020.
Written by: Alexander "Quality Steve" Lee | Edited by: Dylan "Dilly-Jo" Tate
#MPGR2019 No. 5: Wizzrobe
#MPGR2019 No. 5: Wizzrobe
Rating: 96.4 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 8
2019 was a year of defying expectations for Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett. After a six-month hiatus, he returned to Melee in dominant fashion in May, with placings like 4th at GOML and 2nd at both Smash Summit 8 and CEO. Most impressive of all, Wizzrobe won Smash’N’Splash 5, providing Captain Falcon with his first supermajor win in over a decade. Thanks in part to these results, Wizzrobe also landed a sponsorship, joining Team Envy in June.
After CEO, Wizzrobe went on another hiatus — though his return was much less explosive. He placed 13th at The Big House 9, suffering losses to Fiction and Lucky. His last result of the season was a 4th-place finish at EGLX, with losses to Hungrybox and n0ne, two players he held undefeated records against earlier in the year.
Though his peak performances were concentrated in a period of 2 months, Wizzrobe has still proven to be among the best in the world. He ends the year with winning records against Hungrybox, Leffen, Zain, aMSa, and iBDW, with additional wins over Axe and Plup. He has also maintained his status as a multi-Smash game extraordinaire, making top 8 in Ultimate at Smash’N’Splash and winning Smash 64 major Inka Fest. Given enough time, Wizzrobe might just reaction tech chase his way to the very top of Melee’s rankings.
Written by: Dylan "Dilly-Jo" Tate | Edited by: Alexander "Quality Steve" Lee
MPGR: What was your proudest achievement of 2019?
Wizzrobe: Winning Smash'N'Splash 5.
MPGR: How do you feel about your 2019 in Melee, as a whole?
Wizzrobe: My 2019 for Melee started great but it ended badly due to unfortunate IRL mishaps taking place during events making me play worse.
MPGR: Say something you want to share with your fans.
Wizzrobe: I have some of the MOST loyal fans in Smash. For that, I am extremely grateful, thank you to my fans for your support :)
#MPGR2019 No. 4: Axe
#MPGR2019 No. 4: Axe
Rating: 97 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 10
Jeffery “Axe” Williamson is an anomaly. Despite increasingly stiff competition and defying all calls to switch off of Pikachu, his technically demanding mid-tier character, Axe has managed to have the best year of his career in 2019.
The crown jewel of his impressive run was easily his victory at Smash Summit 8, where he defied the odds and took down Mang0, Leffen, Zain, S2J, moky, and Wizzrobe twice to take home the gold at one of the most stacked tournaments of the year. But that was far from his only highlight; at Genesis 6, Axe went on a long losers bracket run, defeating players like Plup, Zain, and aMSa to take 2nd place behind Hungrybox.
Axe managed to finish the year with positive overall records on Leffen, Zain, Plup, aMSa, Wizzrobe, and a litany of other high caliber Melee players. Combine his astounding supermajor highlights, his stellar set records against top players, and other great placings of 1st, 2nd, and 2nd at Battle of BC 3, Get On My Level 2019 and Mainstage respectively, and it’s really no surprise to see Axe this high up on the rankings.
Written by: Jack "Kezzup" McDonald | Edited by: Sean "STOC$" O'Connor
MPGR: What was your proudest achievement of 2019?
Axe: Winning Smash Summit 8 was so mind-blowing to me. It still hasn't sunk in. I have spent the last 13 years competing in tournaments, getting close so many times to winning majors but always falling short. I can't count how many times I have been told that I can't do it, Pikachu is the wrong choice, and I can't measure up to the best players. Winning my first major proves that the impossible in Melee is possible.
MPGR: What are your priorities for 2020?
Axe: In 2020, my main goal is to be the best Melee competitor that I can be. Whether that means I become #1 or not doesn't matter to me. As long as I feel I did my best, I will be happy. I do feel that my best is enough to become #1 currently, but I can't underestimate how strong other competitors are. I also want to focus much more on content creation, mainly on Twitch and YouTube.
MPGR: What's your favorite tournament series, and why?
Axe: I love Super Smash Con. It's more than just a tournament; it's a convention with so many other fun things to do besides just play in the tournament and watch matches. I love the scheduled performances and panels throughout the event, the live orchestra, the Smashies awards, the free-to-play variety games throughout the venue, just so many things. Not to mention, that's across 4 days of pure entertainment. In my opinion, all of that is important for the attendees looking for both competitive and casual fun. (Technically Summit is my favorite but I feel like that's cheating)
#MPGR2019 No. 3: Mang0
#MPGR2019 No. 3: Mang0
Rating: 98.3 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 5
2019 has been a fantastic year for Melee’s finest Falco, Joseph “Mang0” Marquez. Filled with thrilling victories, head-scratching losses and everything in between, this year encapsulated Melee’s most boisterous player. To start off the accolades, Mang0 boasts three tournament wins in 2019, something his resume missed in the year prior. Mang0’s commanding victory at GOML 2019 and nail-biting tournament run in the Losers Bracket at The Big House 9 showcased his dominance and adaptive play. Very few other Melee players have honed the art of improvisation to the degree Mang0 has, and his performance in 2019 confirmed his continued growth.
Despite his year containing losses to lower-ranked players such as Magi, ARMY and Spark, Mang0 boasts competitive records with all but one member of the top 10, the sole outlier being Japan’s premier player aMSa.
Regardless, Mang0 has quelled any doubters with his fantastic wins and exhilarating play throughout 2019. Ending the year with a final 1st place win over Hungrybox at his own tournament, Mango’s Birthday Bash, Mang0 has solidified himself at the pinnacle of Melee yet again.
Written by: Christopher "SomeonesPC" Matis | Edited by: Cagan "Cagan" Hawthorne
MPGR: Where do you think you'll be ranked? Do you think that'll be different from where you'd rank yourself?
Mang0: PracticalTAS, if I'm not rank 2, your list sucks. Our system is flawed.
#MPGR2019 No. 2: Leffen
#MPGR2019 No. 2: Leffen
Rating: 98.9 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 3
One word was on the mind of William "Leffen" Hjelte: third. Third at GOML, third at Smash‘n’Splash, third at Smash Summit 8. Three consecutive tournaments in a one-month span where he was stopped in Losers’ Finals. Leffen was remarkably consistent, especially considering his split focus between streaming and competing in several other titles, but he didn’t want consistency--he wanted gold.
In the end, Leffen didn’t have to wait long. At Super Smash Con in August, he found himself in a familiar position: a Winners’ Finals bout with Hungrybox. After three close and incredibly tense matches, the score read 3-0 in Leffen’s favour. The third-place curse was broken, and Leffen was off to Grand Finals. Hungrybox returned but was unable to avoid a repeat, and Leffen took down the world No. 1 6-0 for his biggest tournament win since Evo 2018.
Throughout the year, Leffen has demonstrated the demons of his past are no more. He ended the year with positive set counts against former “Leffen killers,” including a 4-1 record against Hungrybox. While negative records against the like of Axe and Wizzrobe dragged him down, his overall performance was still strong enough to land him at 2nd on the year. And with Smash Ultimate likely taking a backseat to Melee in the new year, perhaps he'll climb that one last spot.
Written by: Rui "Rui" Yang Xu | Edited by: Matt "Bitts" Bittle
#MPGR2019 No. 1: Hungrybox
#MPGR2019 No. 1: Hungrybox
Rating: 100 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 1
Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma is, for the third year in a row, Melee’s number one player. His journey towards this incredible accomplishment began with a victory at Genesis 6 and ended with a truly massive collection of trophies, including first at Pound 2019, Low Tier City 7, CEO 2019, Shine 2019, Mainstage and more.
It wasn’t all domination for the Jigglypuff main in 2019, however. His rival Leffen got the better of him more often than not, and Wizzrobe, Mang0, and a newly unretired Mew2King continued to pose significant threats. Hungrybox even suffered a dramatic upset at the hands of Albert’s Falco, his first unranked loss in years. As such, the competition for 2019’s number one rank has been the most hotly contested in recent memory.
Yet in the end, Hungrybox defended his title. He is the first person to be ranked number one for three different years on the modern rankings, and he has done it consecutively. For one once thought to be the least of the gods, doomed to forever be in the shadows of Mang0 and Armada, Hungrybox has carved out his own legacy of greatness that, for now, shows no sign of slowing down.
Written by: Cagan "Cagan" Hawthorne | Edited by: Christopher "SomeonesPC" Matis
MPGR: How do you feel about your 2019 in Melee, as a whole?
Hungrybox: 2019 was an interesting year. I saw a lot of changes in my personal life which more or less reflected in my play. But I also realized how deadly of a player I can be from Losers' Bracket. 2019 also taught me to embrace my anger or frustration (act of tilting) and harness it into something more productive - both during and between sets.
My goal is to be #1 ranked in Melee for as long as I possibly can be. 5 years in a row would be a pretty good record, maybe one that would never be beaten (unless Melee lives on for decades more). I take a lot of pride in my rank, and I only want that rank if I truly deserve it, with no arguments or mathematics in the way.
MPGR: At this stage in your Melee career, who would you consider your rival?
Hungrybox: Anyone who's taken a trophy from me this year.
MPGR: Say something you want to share with your fans.
Hungrybox: Don’t give up on what you wanna do. Even if it means being stubborn or taking risks. Even if it means going way out of your comfort zone. If some nerd like me can be the best at Melee then you guys are capable of much more amazing things. Never waste a single day wondering when you could be putting yourself into action and making things work.
Just f*cking send it.
Administrative Team:
Head Editor and Statistician: Andrew “PracticalTAS” Nestico
Graphics: Nick “DarkDragoon” Konstantino
Fact-Checking: Brendan “GimmeDatWheat” Malone
PGstats Director: Luis “suar” Suarez
For the full, up-to-date rankings list, check out our main page here.