Summer #MPGR2018: 20-11

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By Andrew “PracticalTAS” Nestico
With the Summer of Smash heating up, the Top 20 have their eyes on the prize.
PGStats and MIOM are proud to present the latest Melee ranking, Summer #MPGR2018, which spans the first half of the year. MPGR is the spiritual successor to SSBMRank, and an FAQ can be found here.
PGStats has asked 35 Top players, community leaders, tournament organizers, and analysts to rate the quality of play for each qualifying player during the first half of 2018. They were prompted with the following statement:
Based on quality and quantity of results in 2018, 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?"
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.
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 20: Duck.
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 20: Duck
Rating: 76.9 | SSBMRank2017: 14
If there's one word to describe James "Duck" Ma's 2018 so far, it's "consistent." Duck is a reliable pick for Top 16 at nationals, having made it that far at each one this year. At Smash'N'Splash 4, he finally overcame his dreaded bracket demon Captain Falcon, defeating n0ne in his first victory over a top Falcon in years. To further pad his resume, the Michigan great has also taken sets over lloD, Westballz and PewPewU.
Strangely enough, many of Duck's losses in the first half of the year were against Fox, a matchup he has historically dominated. For example, Duck lost his only meetings with AbsentPage, SFAT and Leffen, but none of these sets are anywhere close to red flags. It feels like it's only a matter of time until the purple Samus main wavedashes his way back to a major top eight again.
Written by: Anokh "EdwinBudding" Palakurthi | Edited by: Alex "Quality Steve" Lee
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 19: n0ne.
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 19: n0ne
Rating: 78.3 | SSBMRank2017: 20
It's true! Edgard "n0ne" Sheleby is on a mission to shock everyone he meets in bracket with the most electrifying combo game in all of Melee. Though he hasn't yet cracked any member of the Top 6 this year, n0ne's list of notable victories is nothing to scoff at: Swedish Delight, Westballz, Mike Haze, KJH and HugS have all fallen to the Nicaraguan-Canadian Falcon. n0ne has also shown off his prowess in the ditto this year, defeating Wizzrobe at Full Bloom 4 and scoring a reverse 3-0 against Gahtzu at CEO 2018.
With the summer comes a glut of Nintendo-sponsored vanilla-Melee supermajors, so expect n0ne to take advantage of the opportunity to compete on his favorite version of the game. Even so, one thing is certain: no universal controller fix can keep this explosive Falcon down.
Written by: Darren "Krakhead" Lynch | Edited by: Dylan "Dilly-Jo" Tate
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 18: Westballz.
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 18: Westballz
Rating: 78.4 | SSBMRank2017: 18
A longtime fixture in Melee's Top 20, Weston "Westballz" Dennis is infamous for his ability to beat — or lose to — anyone. In 2018, Westballz experienced many of the aforementioned low-ranked losses, but only a few top-level wins. In contrast, players such as Zain and Crush have seemingly eclipsed him in elite-level potential.
The highlight of Westballz's season was either Noods Noods Noods: Oakland Edition, where he double eliminated Wizzrobe, or SSS 64, which he won over a stacked SoCal crowd. But that's also a significant change in peak performance for the man who once went toe-to-toe with Mang0 and looked like a worthy rival for Leffen. Sure, Westballz may not have gotten worse, but it's up to him to show the world he can get better.
Written by: Alex "Quality Steve" Lee | Edited by: Anokh "EdwinBudding" Palakurthi
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 17: PewPewU.
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 17: PewPewU
Rating: 78.6 | SSBMRank2017: 21
Despite a lack of outrageous peaks throughout the year, Kevin "PewPewU" Toy's string of consistently solid performances has convincingly earned him his spot in the Top 20. The start of the year admittedly looked a bit shaky for PewPewU; his top 24 finish at Genesis 5, though solid, was largely unsurprising. At his next major event, EGLX 2018, losses to the unranked Puff Faust and KJH left him at 25th place, his worst placing since 2011.
However, these setbacks did not seem to deter him. Since EGLX, PewPewU hasn’t placed outside of the Top 16 at any tournament; his highlights include a Top 8 finish at Smash'N'Splash 4, and a Top 3 finish at Flatiron 3 where his Fox proved to be as strong as his Marth. Along the way, he has earned numerous impressive victories over opponents such as Zain, SFAT, Lucky, Crush and Swedish Delight.
Written by: Dylan "Dilly-Jo" Tate | Edited by: Darren "Krakhead" Lynch
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 16: Swedish Delight.
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 16: Swedish Delight
Rating: 79.6 | SSBMRank2017: 16
James "Swedish Delight" Liu had a relatively rough start to 2018, but after winning The Mango in mid-March, he's looked like a new man. Aided by Druggedfox's tutoring, Swedish Delight has racked up sets over Axe, Zain, lloD, Duck, n0ne, AbsentPage and Crush over the last four months. Notably, he's cleaned up his play against Fox, which used to be a weak matchup for him.
Two years ago, many argued that Swedish Delight was robbed of a deserved Top 10 spot when he finished No. 11 on SSBMRank. Clawing his way back there will be an uphill battle, if not an outright improbable one — but he's already on his way, with two wins over members of the Top 10 in 2018. A win on a Top 6 player could be just what the tristate Sheik needs to shake up Melee's hierarchy.
Written by: Anokh "EdwinBudding" Palakurthi | Edited by: Alex "Quality Steve" Lee
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 15: HugS.
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 15: HugS
Rating: 80.1 | SSBMRank2017: 23
Hugo "HugS" Gonzalez started his year strong, impressing his new team with an incredible seventh place finish at Genesis 5. Defeating Kels, Moky, Syrox, Duck and aMSa, HugS celebrated his 32nd birthday with what was easily his best tournament performance in a decade. Right afterward, he followed it up with a fourth place finish at Noods Noods Noods: Melee Edition, beating Bizzaro Flame, Westballz and Mike Haze in the process, and then took first at No Fun Allowed 2 over Bananas and La Luna.
While the rest of the season hasn't seen any similarly stellar runs, HugS still managed to accumulate additional wins against AbsentPage, Ginger, PewPewU, Colbol and the rising star Zain. While other players from the MLG era might struggle to keep up, HugS finds himself comfortably within Melee's Top 20.
Written by: Benji "Hufff" Spetter-Goldstein | Edited by: Darren "Krakhead" Lynch
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 14: Lucky.
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 14: Lucky
Rating: 83.3 | SSBMRank2017: 17
Joey "Lucky" Aldama has had a mixed bag of a year since signing with his new team in January. By far his strongest result was at Genesis 5, where he defeated Mew2King, Zain, and teammate HugS to secure a fifth-place supermajor finish. Lucky hasn't quite managed to match that stellar run since, putting up respectable performances but falling just short of Top 8 at Flatiron 3 and GOML 2018.
However, Genesis was far from his only good result this year; he's landed more recent wins over SFAT, S2J and Swedish Delight, too. As the summer heats up, expect to see more of Lucky's frenetic neutral and strong punishes onstream — we've all seen what the Fox main is capable of when he hits a hot streak, and it's only a matter of time until the next one.
Written by: Alex "Quality Steve" Lee | Edited by: Anokh "EdwinBudding" Palakurthi
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 13: S2J.
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 13: S2J
Rating: 83.7 | SSBMRank2017: 10
SSBMRank 2017 marked the first time that Melee veteran Johnny "S2J" Kim was able to find his way into the coveted Top 10, but unfortunately, his momentum hasn't quite carried over into 2018. Perhaps the most notable statistic of the SoCal Falcon main's year is his propensity for dropping sets to players many would describe as "up and coming," including AbsentPage, Bananas and Michael.
In spite of these negatives, S2J still continues to prove himself as a player that can make a run at any given tournament. The highlight of his year so far was Smash'N'Splash 4, where he defeated Wizzrobe, lloD and PewPewU on the way to a fifth place finish. We all know that S2J is more than capable of returning to, and perhaps even surpassing, his No. 10 peak. It's just up to him to make it happen.
Written by: Jack "Kezzup" McDonald | Edited by: Arjun "ExcitedMage" Deepak
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 12: Crush.
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 12: Crush
Rating: 84.0 | SSBMRank2017: 15
Jack "Crush" Hoyt's meteoric rise in 2017 was no fluke; this year, he continued his reign over New England with his signature technical Fox play. Aside from a third place showing at "The Gang Hosts a Melee Tournament," Crush maintained an unnerving dominance over the Northeast, taking first at every other tournament he attended in the region. He backed up these wins with strong placements at majors, taking ninth at Genesis 5, seventh at EGLX 2018 and ninth at GOML 2018, where he dominated SFAT and took Hungrybox to last stock. He’s also secured wins over Lucky, La Luna and Zain.
With the recent deletion of his Twitter account, as well as his absence from CEO 2018, we haven't seen much of Crush in the past few months. His fans are hoping for him to come back with a vengeance and earn an even higher rank at the end of the year.
Written by: Darren "Krakhead" Lynch | Edited by: Jonathan "Rococo" Miller
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 11: SFAT.
Summer #MPGR2018 No. 11: SFAT
Rating: 86.6 | SSBMRank2017: 9
Though he's been displaced from Melee's illustrious Top 10, Zac "SFAT" Cordoni has maintained his consistency as one of the game's finest at Fox. The grind truly never stops for SFAT, who has attended 16 tournaments this year alone. This is clearly a double-edged sword for the NorCal transplant; he has losses to Captain Smuckers, Syrox, Kalamazhu and most notably the unranked MegaXmas, yet boasts set leads over aMSa, Lucky, Hugs, Swedish Delight and S2J (the latter a massive 5-0 lead).
If SFAT wants to return to the top, he has something he needs to amend first: his 0-5 record so far this year against Zain, who appears to be his new Kryptonite. SFAT recently took back the set lead over aMSa's Yoshi after starting the year down 0-2; if he puts his mind to the Marth matchup in the same way, he just might see deeper runs during the Summer of Smash.
Written by: Darren "Krakhead" Lynch | Edited by: Arjun "ExcitedMage" Deepak
Administrative Team:
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