esports

Spring 2019 #PGRU: 20-11

© PG Stats
By Luis “suar” Suarez
The upper echelon of the competition has its gatekeepers here.
The first season has concluded following an incredibly successful release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
PGStats has compiled numerous brackets into an algorithm that empirically measures the strength of each player relative to each other. The X-Factor also makes a return with the same conventions as before with a positive score indicating public opinion is in favor of the player, while a negative score shows the opposite. For more information on the process, visit the FAQ.
With set counts and placements indexed into the database, the algorithm makes sense of 84 events that occurred this season and produced the Top 50 presented before you.
Welcome to the PGRU!
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 20: Raito
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 20: Raito
Overall Score: 72.6
After several appearances on the PGR in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Kanto’s Ishiguro “Raito” Tetsuya claims his spot in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate history with his appearance in the Spring PGRU 2019. Extremely renowned as one of the most proficient character specialists in Smash Ultimate, Raito is the best Duck Hunt Dog player in the world. Combining Duck Hunt Dog’s strong projectile and trap game with his unparalleled cunning, Raito seemingly plays multiple steps ahead of his opponents with his elaborate setups.
While only attending four A-tier or higher events, Raito made the most of the limited opportunities he had this season. Raito’s season was highlighted by his performances at international S-tier tournament Umebura Japan Major, international A-tier tournament Albion 4 and continental B-tier tournament Come to Papa 3 where he finished 3rd, 3rd and 2nd, respectively. Inside of his home country of Japan, Raito has been fairly consistent in a format known for being tumultuous with his most notable regional performances coming from a 9th place finish at A-tier event Umebura SP 3 and a 4th place finish at B-tier event Sumabato SP4.
Utilizing a character that the West can’t seem to perform well with, Raito’s success with Duck Hunt Dog is stunning. Raito continues to be one of the major outliers to the meta-game and will be a consistent threat at any tournament he attends.
Written by: Adam "Mayday" Braham | Edited by: Luis “suar” Suarez
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 19: Kameme
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 19: Kameme
Overall Score: 73.6
Almost single handedly bringing Mega Man to relevancy in Smash Wii U following a second place finish at EVO 2016, Kameme is back in the spotlight with a 19th placing on the PGRU. Though the Japanese powerhouse’s lustre slightly fizzled out during the back-end of his Smash Wii U career, recent performances like championship runs at Umebura Japan Major and The Kid, The Goat, and The Mang0 indicate a return to form.
Known for his near-unmatched expertise with Mega Man’s projectile-focused kit, Kameme adds a unique spin on Wario to his pool this time around. This combination of two of the game’s quirkiest characters has made him one of the deadliest players to come out of the East, as well as a living Twitch Clip generator.
Should Kameme continue performing the same way he’s been doing as of late, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that he’ll be a PGRU mainstay for installments to come.
Written by: Justin "Popi" Banusing | Edited by: Luis “suar” Suarez
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 18: Rivers a.k.a. Shoyo James
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 18: Rivers a.k.a. Shoyo James
Overall Score: 75.3
The artist formerly known as Shoyo James and currently known as Rivers entered Smash Bros. Ultimate as the ambassador for the new era of Tristate smashers. It shouldn’t be a surprise to many at this point that he turned in a stellar Season 1 performance, which has earned him 18th on the PGRU, and the co-title of Best Chrom in the World, along with Mr. R. The biggest obstacle for James to climb this past season wasn’t even an opponent, instead it was himself- his hands to be exact. Tendinitis was threatening his Ultimate career before it even began, so a change to the Switch Pro Controller was much needed relief, allowing him to play at a high level and keeping the threat of injury low. Taking a look at how James played and placed at ranked events in the past six months, it seems as though said switch was exactly what the doctor ordered.
James’ season began officially at Frostbite 2019 in February, and immediately got off to an impressive start. He rebounded from an early loss in Phase 1 pools to place 9th, taking down ESAM, MuteAce, and VoiD before being eliminated by his New Jersey brethren Nairo. A small hitch in his season followed in the ensuing months, placing 33rd at Collision 2019 and Scarlet Classic V, but James returned to his winning ways by taking 1st at Midwest Arena over 8BitMan that May. He even broke into the Top 8 at a highly ranked event later that month at Get On My Level 2019, where he finished 7th after beating Larry Lurr, Myran, and Cosmos. The season concluded with strong showings at back-to-back S-Tiers: 9th at both MomoCon 2019 and Smash ‘N’ Splash 5, taking a set off Dabuz at the latter event. Things are looking extremely bright for James in the near future, judging by his resume thus far. Clawing at the upper echelon of talent, it feels like it won’t be too much longer before he finally breaks through.
Written by: Dominique "Dom" Moore | Edited by: Luis “suar” Suarez
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 17: MVD
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 17: MVD
Overall Score: 75.4
After competing at the highest level in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U for four long years, the release of new title Super Smash Bros. Ultimate would be a landmark occasion for long-time series veteran Jestise “MVD” Negron. Seeing the return of every playable character to ever appear in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, Ultimate would reunite MVD with the character he was most well renowned for in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and one of the few characters that was omitted from Smash for Wii U - Snake. The combination of Snake’s strong trap game and MVD’s extreme ingenuity and unparalleled creativity would lead to immediate success for MVD in Ultimate. MVD’s impressive performances early on would garner the attention of esports organization World Best Gaming who would later sign MVD as their flagship Smash player.
Reinvigorated by his reunion with Snake, MVD very well may be playing the best Smash he has ever played in his long and storied career. MVD’s Spring 2019 PGRU season was highlighted by a pair of 7th place finishes at S-tier event Frostbite 2019 and A-tier event Pound 2019 and a fantastic 5th place finish at A-tier event Albion 4. Rising above some slight volatility issues that have plagued him in the past, MVD has become one of the most consistent players throughout the entire PGRU with his worst tournament result of the season only being a single 17th place finish at CEO 2019.
MVD continues to be one of the shining stars in Ultimate shattering almost every set expectation and could be poised to have his big breakout season in the upcoming Fall 2019 PGRU.
Written by: Adam "Mayday" Braham | Edited by: Luis “suar” Suarez
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 16: ESAM
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 16: ESAM
Overall Score: 77.2
Transcending titles and platforms, vocal Pikachu advocate and highly accomplished Super Smash Bros. series veteran Eric “ESAM” Lew returns to the PGR in the Spring 2019 PGRU. While appearing on every PGR season for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U including ranked 17th overall in the PGR Top 100, ESAM is one of the very few select elite players that have also made a ranked appearance in both Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Melee. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, ESAM is well renowned for his very technical Pikachu and ability to seamlessly transition from offense to defense in neutral. ESAM is also one of the largest content creators to make the Spring 2019 PGRU hosting both a rapidly growing YouTube channel and Twitch stream. The combination of his superb play, vocal personality and consistent content have given him a very passionate audience and a long tenure with esports organization Panda Global.
ESAM’s Spring 2019 PGRU season has been fairly consistent outside of a 65th place finish at Frostbite 2019 - which would prove to be an outlier. Finishing top 8 at several different PGRU sanctioned events, ESAM’s apex performances would derive from a 7th place finish at the first S-tier tournament of the year, Genesis 6, and a spectacular 3rd place finish at A-tier tournament Get On My Level 2019. ESAM would also continue on to win his first PGRU event with a 1st place finish at B-tier tournament Battle of BC 3.
While there was little reason to doubt ESAM’s ability to transition to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate given his prior successes in multiple pre-existing Smash titles, it’s safe to say that he has not only met the expectations set for him in the new title, but also exceeded them in spectacular fashion.
Written by: Adam "Mayday" Braham | Edited by: Luis “suar” Suarez
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 15: Tea
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 15: Tea
Overall Score: 77.4
Doubters be dashed and naysayers be silenced, a Pac-Man specialist has made it onto the PGRU top 20 and his name is Tea. Boasting mastery over his character’s complex and trap-heavy toolkit, what he’s shown throughout the past few months positions him as not just arguably the best Pac-Main for the second game in a row but also one of the greatest talents Japan has to offer.
Tea has been nothing but a consistent force this season, never ranking below 13th at any tournament he’s entered -- that sole 13th place finish coming from the S-Tier event Frostbite of all places. His consistency -- combined with relatively high highs in the form of top 5 runs at Umebura Japan Major and Prime Saga -- has been a key trait in amassing wins over high level talents like Tweek, Shuton, Zackray, and ESAM.
What’s holding Tea back from ranking any higher was his lack of first place finishes at tournaments outside of the C-Tier Sumabato SP. To reach greater heights, he needs to break past his usual form and achieve greater peaks. Nonetheless, the future is bright for him; that’s a given. How bright it will be however, is all up to him.
Written by: Justin "Popi" Banusing | Edited by: Luis “suar” Suarez
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 14: Glutonny
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 14: Glutonny
Overall Score: 78.3
After spending a decade championing Wario in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Wii U, Glutonny's loyalty and hunger to be the best has paid off in spades with a 14th rank on the inaugural PGRU. While the French powerhouse was already a strong name domestically in previous years, it was only with Ultimate’s release that he started travelling more and gradually became an internationally-recognized threat. This is in one part thanks to his absolute dominance over the European scene -- finishing first at all tournaments in the continent he had competed in this season save for Stunfest 2019 -- and another due to strong showings at stateside majors, most notable being 5th at CEO Daytona.
Glutonny’s highly creative and flexible style, coupled with years of experience with Wario’s chaotic playmaking potential, makes him a force to be reckoned with regardless of who he’s facing. With all but five out-of-country tournament runs this season, he’s amassed wins on top-tier talents like Cosmos, Light, Zackray, and Marss. There’s no telling what he can accomplish in over the course of Ultimate’s lifespan but if there’s one thing we can take away from what he’s done so far, it’s to expect greatness.
Written by: Justin "Popi" Banusing | Edited by: Luis “suar” Suarez
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 13: Myran
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 13: Myran
Overall Score: 80.0
Myran of Armada Esports stands at 13th and one of the world’s premier Olimar mains at the end of Season 1. For a long stretch of time early on in Ultimate’s lifespan, he even looked like the standalone best Olimar main, and his displacement of that title is definitely more of the field catching up than it is him slowing down. With sets on the likes of Marss, Samsora, Light, Shuton, MVD, CaptainZack, NAKAT, Wishes, and a ton more, Myran’s dominance should not be questioned, as he has put it on display time and time again.
Myran wasted no time making his presence known in the new title, placing 9th at GENESIS 6 while taking out WaDi and Prodigy in Loser’s bracket. At Frostbite later that month we saw his absolute peak: 3rd place at an S-Tier losing only to MkLeo in both Winner’s and Loser’s, while defeating Light, Wishes, and Shuton twice in the Olimar ditto as icing on the cake. A rebound was in order after a comparatively rough 17th place at 2GG: Prime Saga, and he did just that at Pound 2019, placing 2nd after beating Samsora and Marss. Myran beat NAKAT and MuteAce at Get On My Level 2019 en route to 9th place at yet another high profile event to keep his resume in tip-top shape, then posted 13th a week later at MomoCon 2019, with wins on Fatality and Umeki. June was a little more harsh towards the Olimar main, as he placed uncharacteristically low at both Smash ‘N’ Splash 5 and CEO 2019- 33rd and 49th respectively. Even with these aberrations, Myran’s spot on the PGRu and reputation as a high level competitor remain intact, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be looking to put them behind him and piece together an even better Season 2.
Written by: Dominique "Dom" Moore | Edited by: Luis “suar” Suarez
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 12: Zackray
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 12: Zackray
Overall Score: 80.3
In a scene where the word “prodigy” is used to describe any talented up-and-comer, Zackray is the prodigy of prodigies. The seventeen-year-old from Tokyo started making waves in the tail-end of Smash Wii U with strong domestic runs, but it was only with the release of Smash Ultimate and subsequent his international debut that he truly became a household name. He makes his PGR debut in spectacular fashion at 12th, riding mainly off his top 8 runs at Genesis 6 and Umebura Japan Major.
Boasting the widest character pool in the top 50, Zackray’s flexible and oppressive playstyle makes him a player most tournament regulars would shudder at the thought of facing off against. Imagine him being a metaphorical hydra; even if you beat his patented Wolf, you’ll still have to deal with his equally-as-good secondaries in R.O.B, Pokemon Trainer, Lucina, and more. It’s this adaptability that makes him one of the most unpredictable top-level threats in the game, and has granted him wins over the likes of Nairo, Dabuz, Light, and Raito.
Reputation and accolades aside, Zackray failed to win a major this season -- stifling his overall ranking. The farthest he got to that milestone was finishing 2nd at Prime Saga, where Shuton took both grand finals sets away from him in dominant fashion. He also showed uncharacteristic shakiness at Frostbite, where he finished 33rd. Nonetheless, he remains one of the best players in the world -- albeit one with a lot of opportunities to grow and the time to do so.
Written by: Justin "Popi" Banusing | Edited by: Luis “suar” Suarez
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 11: Cosmos
Spring #PGRU2019 No. 11: Cosmos
Overall Score: 83.3
Despite being known for sticking to only one character through thick and thin, Panda Global’s Cosmos is a man of many hats. Along with being the best Inkling on the planet, he was also the most consistent player that Ultimate had to offer in Season 1, as evidenced by his unparalleled streak of consecutive Top 8 finishes at PGR-ranked events (Eight tournaments, spanning from GENESIS 6 to Get On My Level 2019). This point in particular helped boost Cosmos to 11th on the inaugural PGRU, and it isn’t too far fetched to think that he has plenty more room to grow.
A 7th place finish at the hands of Samsora and Dabuz at GENESIS 6 served as a precursor to a strong season for Cosmos, defeating Mr. E, Marss, Nairo, and Myran on his way to the first of many Top 8s. At Frostbite 2019 he one-upped himself qualifying for Top 8 through Winner’s bracket after taking out Abadango, MuteAce, and Lea, but had his run cut short at 5th place. His active traveling ways continued through the Spring months, entering Collision 2019 in New Jersey (7th), Full Bloom 5 in Indiana (2nd), Expand Gong 4 in Australia (1st), and Umebura SP 3 in Japan (7th). Before leaving Japan, Cosmos competed at Umebura Japan Major and once again flexed his unwavering consistency, finishing within the Top 8 of an international S-Tier, beating Tsu and Protobanham, placing 4th. At Get On My Level 2019 in Canada, he powered through an upset loss to Shoyo James and broke into Top 8 once again after beating MVD and finally toppling Dabuz, but would only manage 7th there after a loss to ESAM. However, his streak of consistency would come to a screeching halt at MomoCon 2019 and would carry over to Smash ‘N’ Splash 5 as he posted double 13ths, and then a 9th place at CEO 2019 to cap off Season 1. Regardless of narrowly missing Top 8 at those events, Cosmos remained within striking distance, accurately summing up his season as a whole: no matter what, he can be counted on to put together solid runs and place high at any event, against any competition. All that is left for him to achieve is winning the whole thing come Season 2.
Written by: Dominique "Dom" Moore | Edited by: Luis “suar” Suarez
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