Analysis: How Well Did Top Professional Super Smash Bros Melee & Wii U Players Perform in 2017?

ZeRo vs. MKLeo at 2GGC
ZeRo vs. MKLeo at 2GGC Championship

2017 was yet another big year for the Super Smash Bros community. There were plenty of large major and “supermajor” tournaments for Melee and Smash 4. In Melee, the old order once again established their dominance while in Smash 4, newer players had some breakout performances. But how do they stack up against each other? Who are the top players for Melee and Smash 4?

I will be using the Hasse ranking method that I used in a previous post on how well Smash 4 players performed in 2016.

Super Smash Bros Melee

Hasse Diagram for First Half 2017, Melee
Hasse Diagram for First Half 2017, Melee. GENESIS 4 thru Smash 'N' Splash 3.

About halfway through 2017, it was clear that the battle for the title of best Super Smash Bros Melee player would come down between Armada and Hungrybox. Armada was the previous year’s #1 and won big tournaments such as GENESIS 4 and Smash Summit Spring 2017. However, Hungrybox also had his share of major tournament wins such as DreamHack Austin and Smash ‘N’ Splash 3.

Trailing behind the two are Leffen, Mango, and Mew2King. Mango had won Royal Flush and Mew2King had won CEO Dreamland, beating Hungrybox on his home turf. Back then, with EVO 2017 and Super Smash Con 2017 looming in the horizon, they still had a fair shot at usurping Armada and Hungrybox.

How did the first half Hasse diagram compare with the official rankings?

Player Summer 2017 SSBMRank Ranking
Hungrybox 2
Armada 1
Leffen 5
Mango 3
Mew2King 4
ChuDat 7
Wizzrobe 10
Duck 15
Ice 20
Druggedfox 11
Trif 43

The Summer 2017 SSBMRank rankings mostly mirrored this analysis. There, the “big five” were ranked in the top five. Notably missing from this analysis are Plup (6th) and Axe (9th), who had slow starts this year. And notably included is ChuDat, who had a breakout performance in the first half of 2017, beating Mango and Mew2King multiple times.

How did the rankings change at the end of 2017?

Hasse Diagram for 2017, Melee
Hasse Diagram for 2017, Melee. Includes tournaments from EVO 2017 onwards.
Tournament 1st 🥇 2nd 🥈 3rd 🥉
GENESIS 4 Armada Mango Mew2King
B.E.A.S.T. 7 Armada Leffen Ice
Smash Summit Spring 2017 Armada Hungrybox Leffen
Full Bloom 3 Hungrybox Duck SFAT
Smash Rivalries Hungrybox Wizzrobe Druggedfox
HFLAN 2017 Armada ChuDat Trif
CEO Dreamland Mew2King SFAT Hungrybox
DreamHack Austin 2017 Hungrybox ChuDat Mew2King
Royal Flush Mango Armada Hungrybox
Smash ‘N’ Splash 3 Hungrybox Leffen Armada
EVO 2017 Armada Mango Hungrybox
DreamHack Austin 2017 Plup Hungrybox Mew2King
Get On My Level 2017 Leffen Hungrybox The Moon
Super Smash Con 2017 Mango Mew2King Plup
Heir 4 Leffen S2J Trif
Shine 2017 Hungrybox Mango S2J
GameTyrant Expo 2017 Hungrybox Armada Mew2King
The Big House 7 Hungrybox Plup Leffen
DreamHack Denver 2017 Hungrybox Mango Axe
Canada Cup 2017 Mew2King Leffen Armada
Smash Summit 5 Hungrybox Armada Leffen

After the summer, Hungrybox went on a tear, winning four consecutive major tournaments from Shine 2017 in late-August to DreamHack Denver in late-October. He also won Smash Summit 5, ending Armada’s try for a Summit five-peat. Meanwhile, Armada had only won EVO 2017 in the second half of the year and didn’t attend as many big tournaments as Hungrybox did.

The official SSBMRank rankings haven’t been released yet, but I predict that Hungrybox will take first, Armada second, Leffen third, Mango fourth, Mew2King fifth, and Plup sixth. Beyond that, there is plenty of room for debate.

Super Smash Bros 4

Hasse Diagram for First Half 2017, Smash 4
Hasse Diagram for First Half 2017, Smash 4. 2GGC: Genesis Saga thru CEO 2017.

The Hasse diagram for top Smash 4 players is noticeably more complex than the Melee one because there has been more major Smash 4 tournaments than Melee tournaments, and the Smash 4 metagame is still young.

ZeRo started off his year incredibly strong, with victories at many 2GGC events and at Smash ‘N’ Splash 3 and CEO 2017. He would continue his strong performance throughout the rest of the year. In a distant second is MKLeo, with two victories at GENESIS 4 and Umebura.

How did the first half Hasse diagram compare with the official rankings?

Player PGR v3 Ranking
ZeRo 1
MKLeo 2
Ally 5
Nairo 3
Larry Lurr 6
Komorikiri 8
Fatality 15
Mr. R 9
Kirihara 19
Dabuz 4
Tweek 12
Tsu 26
KEN 16
Salem 11
VoiD 13
T 32
Choco 49

The Hasse analysis seemed to have weighted breakout performances, such as those from T and Choco, a bit too heavily. On the flip side, notable players like Captain Zack (7th) and Abadango (10th) aren’t represented, and they also won’t be in the year-end Hasse rankings.

How did the rankings change at the end of 2017?

Hasse Diagram for 2017, Smash 4
Hasse Diagram for 2017, Smash 4. Includes tournaments from 2GGC: ARMS Saga onwards.
Tournament 1st 🥇 2nd 🥈 3rd 🥉
2GGC: Genesis Saga ZeRo Komorikiri VoiD
2GGC: Midwest Mayhem Saga ZeRo Tweek Komorikiri
Frostbite 2017 ZeRo Tsu Nairo
Frame Perfect Series 2 Kirihara ZeRo MKLeo
2GGC: Civil War Dabuz Fatality T
CEO Dreamland ZeRo Mr. R Nairo
DreamHack Austin 2017 ZeRo MKLeo Ally
Umebura Japan Major MKLeo KEN Choco
Royal Flush ZeRo Mr. R Tweek
2GGC: Greninja Saga Ally Larry Lurr Komorikiri
MomoCon 2017 Nairo Fatality ZeRo
Smash N Splash 3 ZeRo Ally Larry Lurr
2GGC: Nairo Saga ZeRo Salem MKLeo
CEO 2017 ZeRo MKLeo Larry Lurr
2GGC: ARMS Saga Dabuz ZeRo KEN
EVO 2017 Salem ZeRo Larry Lurr
DreamHack Atlanta 2017 Salem VoiD Tweek
Super Smash Con 2017 Nairo ZeRo MKLeo
2GGC: SCR Saga ZeRo MKLeo Larry Lurr
Shine 2017 ZeRo Tweek Nairo
PAX 2017 ZeRo Nairo Salem
2GGC: West Side Saga ZeRo Tweek Shuton
GameTyrant Expo 2017 MKLeo Elegant ZeRo
The Big House 7 Dabuz Marss Cosmos
2GGC: Fire Emblem Saga Salem Nairo Komorikiri
2GGC: MKLeo Saga Tweek KEN MKLeo
IBP Masters Showdown MKLeo Larry Lurr KEN
2GG Championship MKLeo ZeRo Salem
Smash 4 Bootcamp Salem Nairo VoiD

The Hasse diagram at the end of the year looks similar to that for the beginning of the year. One notable addition is Salem, who beat ZeRo at EVO 2017 and Nairo at 2GGC: Fire Emblem Saga and Smash 4 Boot Camp. Based on this diagram, here are my predictions for the PGR v4 rankings, which will take into account tournaments from the second half of 2017.

  1. ZeRo
  2. MKLeo
  3. Salem
  4. Nairo
  5. Dabuz
  6. Tweek
  7. Ally
  8. Larry Lurr
  9. KEN
  10. Komorikiri
  11. VoiD
  12. Mr. R
  13. Kirihara
  14. Fatality
  15. Elegant
  16. Marss
  17. Tsu

Again, some notable players have had a bad year where they haven’t placed in top 3 of any major or supermajor tournament in 2017, and this analysis doesn’t take those into account. I think that the Hasse analysis is more suitable for Melee, where there are very few breakout performances from previously unknown players. In any case, this was a fun intellectual exercise and I look forward to seeing more exciting Smash Bros tournaments in 2018!

I’ve also open sourced the script I used to make the Hasse diagrams. It can be found here on GitHub.