#MPGR2019
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#MPGR2019: 20-11

A lot has changed in a year — only half of the players here are the same as 12 months ago.
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. 20: Lucky
#MPGR2019 No. 20: Lucky
Rating: 84.7 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 18
Jose "Lucky" Aldama had a busy year. The SoCal Fox attended dozens of events from weeklies to majors, and performed admirably no matter the event’s size.
Lucky eliminated 6 MPGR players in a phenomenal losers run to 4th place at The Kid, The Goat, and The Mang0, and picked up another four ranked wins in Losers’ at The Big House before ending in 7th. And yet, both of those runs were arguably outshone by a single set at Mainstage: Lucky’s Losers’ Top 16 match against Mang0, where he defeated his longtime friend for the first time in over a decade of matches against him.
While Lucky has often been stonewalled at 7th place in major tournaments, he has shown that he’s still a threat and capable of beating any player. With a new year of tournaments on the horizon, expect Lucky to continue defending his throne regionally and to maintain his great results at major tournaments.
Written by: Rui "Rui" Yang Xu | Edited by: Matt "Bitts" Bittle
#MPGR2019 No. 19: Hax$
#MPGR2019 No. 19: Hax$
Rating: 84.7 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 38
The pinnacle of Fox tech skill is rapidly approaching the 20XX singularity, and Aziz “Hax$” Al-Yami is blazing at the forefront. The precise and methodical gameplay we’ve longed to see on the big stage was finally unleashed near the end of the year, when Hax$ traded sets with Hungrybox to place 3rd at Mang0’s Birthday Bash. Additionally, he brought home the gold through Losers' at a stacked Paradigm Shift, eliminating Michael, Zamu, and Captain Faceroll before resetting the bracket on Ginger.
Throughout the year Hax$ also picked up quality wins over players such as SFAT, Swedish Delight, Lucky, and 2saint. He’s been busy outside the game as well - his new local has seen major success with a progressive ruleset. All things considered, is it any surprise that Hax$ is top 20?
Written by: Darren "Krakhead" Lynch | Edited by: Bekah "Chime" Wong
MPGR: What was your proudest achievement of 2019?
Hax$: Starting up Hax's Nightclub. Tristate and I are having the time of our lives every Wednesday night.
MPGR: At this stage in your Melee career, who would you consider your rival?
Hax$: Leffen. Him and I have unfinished business.
MPGR: Who are the two best characters in Melee, and why?
Hax$: Blue Fox and Default Fox.
#MPGR2019 No. 18: Swedish Delight
#MPGR2019 No. 18: Swedish Delight
Rating: 86.9 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 13
One of Melee’s most elite Sheik players, James “Swedish Delight” Liu demonstrated his skill through consistency in 2019. Aside from his outlier 49th at Genesis 6, Swedish Delight never place lower than 9th at any major throughout the year: 5th at Full Bloom 5, 9th at Pound 2019, GOML 2019 and Super Smash Con 2019, 7th at Shine, and one last 9th at The Big House 9.
In addition, this year the Sheik main boasts positive set records against mainstays of Melee’s upper echelon such as Plup, Axe, S2J, Lucky, and PewPewU. With a new crop of top 20 talent popping up in 2019, Swedish Delight has proven that he still deserves to hang with the top talent of the game.
Written by: Christopher "SomeonesPC" Matis | Edited by: Cagan "Cagan" Hawthorne
MPGR: How do you feel Melee changed in 2019?
Swedish Delight: Everyone got better. The gap between skill is not as large as before. Anyone can win at any time. Before top players could have a bad day in pools and still win, but good players exist everywhere now.
Also with no Armada for a year, feels way different as a top player. Have to somehow change focuses since being the best doesn't feel as important anymore without him here. For me, I focus a lot more on medical school now.
MPGR: What's your favorite tournament series, and why?
Swedish Delight: Shine. Even when it moved from Boston to Worcester, the tournament experience was still great and one of the most fun I've been to. Good environment for competitors, hype matches, and schedule was pretty on point.
MPGR: Why do you main who you main?
Swedish Delight: Eggm forced me to play Sheik at NEC 2012 cause I used her in teams. I ended up beating him in losers for the first time ever. Now I continue to use her since she is kind of a busted character with fast movement, amazing projectile, and insanely good frame data and moves.
#MPGR2019 No. 17: Captain Faceroll
#MPGR2019 No. 17: Captain Faceroll
Rating: 87.1 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 33
Griffin "Captain Faceroll" Williams continues to amaze with his remarkably consistent Sheik play. He boasts wins over top threats such as n0ne, S2J and Axe, as well as a positive record versus Mew2King, all while rarely losing to lower ranked players. He’s a distinct threat in any bracket, and a non-spacie-main’s worst nightmare.
Captain Faceroll nabbed an exceptional cross-country accomplishment one March weekend: the Sheik main took first place at House of Paign 20 in Illinois on March 2nd, then flew to Socal and won Ultimate Nimbus the very next day! He also ended his 2019 on a high note, defeating Kalvar, Spark, and n0ne before double-eliminating Mew2King to win Dreamhack Atlanta.
Written by: Cagan "Cagan" Hawthorne | Edited by: Christopher "SomeonesPC" Matis
MPGR: What was your proudest achievement of 2019?
Captain Faceroll: Winning Dreamhack Atlanta. I 6-0'd M2K and beat n0ne in 5 minutes lmao.
MPGR: Currently, what motivates you to compete in Melee?
Captain Faceroll: To become better than my previous self. And to beat the people who think they're good :P
MPGR: What's your favorite button on the GameCube controller, and why?
Captain Faceroll: Down on the control stick. Because it highlights my aggressive playstyle.
#MPGR2019 No. 16: Trif
#MPGR2019 No. 16: Trif
Rating: 87.4 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 35
Since taking on the mantle of best Peach in the world, a status previously held by the now-retired Armada, Álvaro "Trif" García Moral has consistently proven he’s a deserving heir. Trif has continued to dominate Europe, taking 1st place at multiple tournaments including SUPERBOU 3, Arcamelee #3 and Omega III. Over the course of said dominance, he was able to maintain winning records against most other top European players including Professor Pro and Ice, though rising UK star Setchi took 4 of their 5 sets. Add in his wins over top North American talent like Mew2King and iBDW, and it’s clear that Trif has managed to put together quite an impressive 2019 resume.
With a solid year behind him, eyes will be on Trif to continue to translate his wins at home into success internationally in 2020.
Written by: Rui "Rui" Yang Xu | Edited by: Matt "Bitts" Bittle
MPGR: What was your proudest achievement of 2019?
Trif: My 3-0 comeback against Zain, and taking 2 games off of Leffen at Summit
MPGR: How do you feel Melee changed in 2019?
Trif: Having NTSC in EU sucks so much for me, just makes my life harder
MPGR: Say something you want to share with your fans.
Trif: Please Leffen, NetPlay me
#MPGR2019 No. 15: n0ne
#MPGR2019 No. 15: n0ne
Rating: 88.1 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 16
From humble beginnings as the Summer’s 29th best player, Edgard “n0ne” Sheleby has had an unmatched hot streak throughout the last few tournaments of the year. This August at Super Smash Con 2019, n0ne began his top 32 in losers but clawed through Crunch, PewPewU, Ginger, Polish, and iBDW for a well-earned 5th. At EGLX, he repeated that placement with wins over Wizzrobe and Mang0, marking the latter’s first set loss to a Captain Falcon since 2009.
All of these accolades plus a rapidly growing stream to boot make n0ne one of the most tantalizing free agents in the game at the moment. It's only a matter of time before he smashes his way into the top 10, but for now the blisteringly fast Falcon lands at a respectable 15th for the year.
Written by: Darren "Krakhead" Lynch | Edited by: Bekah "Chime" Wong
MPGR: What are your priorities for 2020?
n0ne: work on my stream, get my personality out there more, hopefully get signed to a great org, and break into the top 10
MPGR: Currently, what motivates you to compete in Melee?
n0ne: tryna take names while doin it my own way and leavin a mark
MPGR: How do you feel Melee changed in 2019?
n0ne: it was a pretty weird year tbh, a lot of the top players put focus into ultimate (myself included) and the year overall had alot of weird upsets, but stuff is starting to normalize again
#MPGR2019 No. 14: moky
#MPGR2019 No. 14: moky
Rating: 89.2 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 52
Despite a slow start to the year, Kurtis “moky” Pratt proved his ability to compete with the world’s best in 2019. He began his season with an underwhelming 25th at Genesis 6 before taking a break from major competition until May. However, moky's return to competition resulted in some of the best performances of his career. He placed 7th at GOML, defeating Lucky and Plup, and finished 2nd at The Kid, The Goat, and the Mang0, defeating SFAT and Swedish Delight before falling to S2J.
This Canadian Fox main closed out the summer with another string of impressive results, including a 5th-place finish at Shine 2019, where he scored huge wins over Leffen and Fiction. In addition, moky placed 9th at The Big House 9, where he got his revenge over S2J. His consistency is impeccable — with no losing records outside of the top 50 last year, moky looks poised to make deep bracket runs wherever he goes in 2020.
Written by: Dylan "Dilly-Jo" Tate | Edited by: Alexander "Quality Steve" Lee
MPGR: What was your proudest achievement of 2019?
moky: My year in Melee in general. This was the hardest year that I've ever had in terms of everything else in my life. During my "retirement" I just kind of sat around for a month depressed so I'm happy that I was able to bounce back and have the best year that I've had yet in Melee.
MPGR: What's your least favorite matchup, and why?
moky: My least favourite matchup is easily Luigi. He makes you play really wack and you aren't allowed to have any fun if you want to beat him.
MPGR: Who are the two best characters in Melee, and why?
moky: The two best characters are Marth and Fox. Marth is stupid easy because he's not that slow and has a sword; it feels like his whole game plan is just to swing where the opponent is and it typically works out. I don't think he loses a matchup. Fox is really fast.
#MPGR2019 No. 13: SFAT
#MPGR2019 No. 13: SFAT
Rating: 90.3 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 12
As 2019 has come and gone, Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni can add another quietly good year to his resume. At Pound 2019, SFAT took a respectable 5th and defeated Swedish Delight and Axe. He then went on to repeat this placing at Get On My Level 2019, where he secured victories over aMSa and Plup.
SFAT was also active in his local scene — he attended five Fight For Socal installments, of which he won two, placed second twice, and finished third once. He also ended the season positive on iBDW, Fiction, and Captain Faceroll. While he does have a small collection of uncharacteristic losses acquired throughout the year to players such as Spud, Kevin Maples and Kürv, SFAT still finds himself up 2-0 on Plup for the year, something his nemesis Zain can’t even attest to. All things considered, SFAT doesn’t look to be leaving Melee’s top 15 anytime soon.
Written by: Darren "Krakhead" Lynch | Edited by: Bekah "Chime" Wong
#MPGR2019 No. 12: Fiction
#MPGR2019 No. 12: Fiction
Rating: 90.3 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 28
Welcome back, Shephard “Fiction” Lima. Fiction was ranked No. 17 in 2014, but took a hiatus recently due in part to hand pain. He became much more active in the second half of 2018, and this year he proved that he has clearly surpassed the highs he hit half a decade ago.
Fiction was one of the most active top players last year, and his run to 4th at The Big House 9 was one of the most impressive performances by anyone in 2019. The Fox main upset Wizzrobe (for the second year in a row) before being sent to losers by Mang0. He then proceeded to beat Plup, iBDW, and Mew2King, finally falling to eventual champion Mang0 in a 3-2 nailbiter.
Fiction’s definitely a player to look out for in 2020; few players have more potential this year.
Written by: Matt "Bitts" Bittle | Edited by: Rui "Rui" Yang Xu
MPGR: What are your priorities for 2020?
Fiction: Finishing my indie game (Breakneck: Emergence). I've been working on it for a long time and it means a lot to me. It's sort of my love letter to platformers after playing so much Melee.
MPGR: What about the year do you feel satisfied with?
Fiction: Glad I had a pretty healthy year! No wrist issues or other ailments really holding me back.
MPGR: How do you feel Melee changed in 2019?
Fiction: Many players got stuck in patterns rather than thinking through their moves. It's hard to maintain focus when everyone has such a strong punish game, so it makes sense.
#MPGR2019 No. 11: S2J
#MPGR2019 No. 11: S2J
Rating: 91.5 | #MPGR2018 Rank: 11
After a strong start to the year, Johnny “S2J” Kim has continued to rack up wins, take names, and add to his trophy collection. At Shine 2019, S2J tore through Winners' at a seemingly effortless pace -- he racked up wins against Hax, SFAT, Moky and iBDW before falling to Hungrybox for 2nd. At Mango’s Birthday Bash, he beat Rishi and Lucky for 7th, and at Genesis: Black, he shot through winners bracket without dropping a single set against players like Tai, Blassy, and Captain Faceroll before emerging victorious over Lucky in a reset Grand Finals to claim first place. Consistently placing in top 8’s, never dropping below 17th, and even taking home a couple more gold medals, S2J persists as one of the best Captain Falcons in the world and a threat to be reckoned with going into the new year.
Written by: Bekah "Chime" Wong | Edited by: Darren "Krakhead" Lynch
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.