May 23, 2017 by salucco
Written by Shane Foley
It’s May, and the arguments over top ten in Super Smash Bros Melee have already heated to a fever pitch. While some former top-ten players are dropping in rank, other names are getting more recognition, such as Wizzrobe and Chu Dat who have recently been placing well.
With so many tournaments, though, and not all players participating in all of them, how do you accurately rank some of these players? How big is Hungrybox’s Smash Rivalries victory without Armada or Leffen participating? Did Mango fall off for a bit or does he have an Ice Climbers problem? The community doesn’t really have a definitive tool for answering these questions until the Melee It On Me rankings come out at the year’s end, but they may want to look at what Smash 4 is doing to address this issue.
As opposed to a final ranking, this year Smash 4 is implementing a circuit of tournaments dubbed the 2GG Championship Series which will rank players based off of results. There are 12 tournaments in the series; one for each month of the year, culminating in the 2GG Championship Tournament in December. Up until then, players will earn points in the 11 previous tournaments based on placing. These points will affect their rank for the final tournament instead of a third party such as Melee It On Me deciding.
There are several areas that the Melee community can benefit from adopting a system like this. The first one is that it addresses the issue of comparing players that go to different tournaments. For foreign players like Armada and Leffen, it is impossible to attend every large American tournament, so they have to pick and choose. Usually, they make it to the big tourneys like Genesis and Evo, and a couple smaller but still large tournaments like Super Smash Con and the most recent Royal Flush. Imagine, though, if they were able to select from a series of qualifiers? Then, their rankings would only take into account the tournaments that they enter with other players from different regions.
This system would also, to an extent, annihilate region-bias. If a player’s ranking were only based on how they performed in the qualifying tournaments, then the local and regional tournaments they enter won’t factor in as much. We won’t have to deal with a situation where a player like Duck, who doesn’t play in as competitive a region gets a worse ranking because, “ohhh, he doesn’t play Westballz and Mango every tournament like the SoCal players do.”
One other possible benefit to this system is that it would put lesser known players on the map. Take a look at Fatality, for instance. Fatality is a Captain Falcon main from Georgia, and if you don’t watch a lot of the Georgia scene, you might not know that Fatality’s combo game is ridiculous. A third party might not rank him highly as other players. Fatality, though, ended up going to winner’s finals of Civil War, one of the three tournaments already played for the series. He now has more points than usual top ten players like Void and Komorikiri.
Melee might have some up and coming players that could be given more spotlight due to this system like Fatality has. take a look at Cyrox, for instance, who plays in Colorado, a region not known for Melee. He, however, went to Genesis 4 and performed well in crew battles, playing veterans like Silent Wolf and performing well. He might be ranked higher than some player in different regions if he performed well at qualifying tournaments. Cyrox is a Fox main with amazing technical skill who has gained notoriety for his stylistic play and his ability to take stocks quick with clean edge guards and a creative combo game. If he went to every major, he might make top 16 frequently.
Finally, this system would have the side effect of making these tournaments more hype. Right now, Melee definitely has it’s big tournaments with Genesis, Evo and Big House. Beyond that, how would a fan decide which tournaments to watch on weekends? How do you pick between a Dreamhack and a Royal Flush? Many of these tournaments get views because of the top players they feature, but imagine if some of these qualified for rankings at year’s end? It would give additional meaning to some of these tournaments like Shine and Super Smash Con that aren’t a super major.
So far, the qualifying tournaments for the 2GG Championship Circuit have gotten many views, especially for Civil War. Melee wouldn’t have to adopt this completely, but they might want to think of working in some type of playoff system like this. Until then, looks like a lot of arguing until December.