One of the major criticisms of prior Smash Bros. iterations is that on the professional level, variety and unique competition is basically nonexistent. This criticism stems primarily from the domination of Fox McCloud in Smash Bros. Melee and Zero’s 56 tournament win streak during the era of the Wii U. Upon Smash Bros. Ultimate’s release though, many believed that this would be the title that offered both high-level gameplay and entertaining matchups. Over a year after release, the top ten of the PGRU for Fall 2019 meets most of those expectations.
The newest list comprises input from the Panda Global stats team and prominent members of the smash community along with results from 81 major competitions between July and December 2019. These include events like Super Smash Con, Shine, 2GG: Kongo Saga, and EVO. Placing is determined by comparing player wins, losses, and outplacings of other PGR-eligible players which is all scaled based on the size of each event.
The second season of competitive Smash analysis offers insight into the future of Ultimate in 2020 and who to watch out for at tournaments like Frostbite, Smash N’ Splash, and MomoCon.
The 2019 Smash Bros. Ultimate EVO champion is at the head of the pack when it comes to professional competition for the second consecutive year. He has already won six of the 10 biggest smash tournaments in the newest game’s history. That includes EVO, the biggest Smash tournament ever, along with Super Smash Con 2019 and 2GG: Kongo Saga. The Joker main continues to dominate the highest level of competition; at the most recent S-tier tournament Genesis 7, he defeated Maister and Samsora, ranked sixth and second on the PGRU respectively, without dropping a set.
The Wario player from France put up one incredible showing in Europe and abroad throughout fall 2019, and his eighth place position reflects that. What is the most impressive is the rise in position Gluttony has experienced across both seasons of Smash Ultimate competition. He has jumped up six positions since being ranked 14th in Spring of 2019, thanks to his notable victories over other international competitors such as Japanese players Kameme and Raito. Additionally, he is one of only two European players in the top 50–36 positions above Mr. R from the Netherlands.
Another Hispanic player made it into the top 10, but it was their first time on the PGRU board. Not Maister’s first appearance in top Smash competition; he had a relatively meager showing in Smash Bros. for Wii U with a ranking of 44th. This time around, notable wins against ESAM and Light along with top five finishes at Big House 9 and Ultimate Summit 2 meant a sixth place position on the newest ranking was not unlikely. This pure Game and Watch main–the only one on the entire list–is also currently not signed to a team, so expect him to get picked up in the next few months.
Other notable players
Not all storylines that came out of this round of rankings were positive though. Both Panda Global Marss and Team Liquid Dabuz dropped two positions. The former is fortunately still in the top five even after an unexpected performance at EVO and no s-tier tournament wins. The latter also dropped two spots and did not have a single major win last season. He does have the best x-factor in the top 10, so other notable players still see him as a tough rival. However, Zachray became the youngest player to enter the upper echelon of Smash competition at only 17 years old. Impressive milestones for him included winning Big House 9 with a near perfect record and a top five finish in his home country at EVO Japan.
Sources: Red Bull, SSBWiki, Liquipedia, Liquipedia
Images: MKLeo, Gluttony, Maister