Hungrybox named the best Super Smash Bros. Melee player for the third year in a row

Congrats to the Puff God, but some of these numbers seem off.

Screengrab via Team Liquid

From the start of the year, Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma made it clear that he wasn’t going to give up his crown anytime soon. And at the end of the Super Smash Bros. Melee 2019 PGR rankings, the Jigglypuff main held the No. 1 spot for the third straight year. 

But while that’s an incredible accomplishment on its own, the rest of the top 10 looks a little strange when you take into account the entire year of Melee and not just the back end of the rankings. 

It isn’t that the remaining nine players on the list aren’t fit for the top 10, it’s that the ordering in which a few of the picks were made has caused some more backlash around the PGR ranking system that’s always being questioned by fans. Of course William “Leffen” Hjelte was going to weigh in on the subject since he always does, but Joseph “Mang0” Marquez was the first player to start pointing out flaws this time around, which doesn’t happen often. 

Here are the top 10 Melee players of 2019 based on the MPGR rankings. 

RankPlayer+/- from 2018
10Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman-4
9Cody “iBDW” Schwab+25
8Justin “Plup” McGrath-4
7Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto+2
6Zain Naghmi+1
5Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett+3
4Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson+6
3Joseph “Mang0” Marquez+2
2William “Leffen” Hjelte +1
1Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma0

The only new addition to the list is iBDW, who jumped all the way up from 34th to ninth since this was the first ranking without Adam “Armada” Lindgren, who retired from competitive Melee in 2018. That left a spot open in the top 10 that iBDW earned through some incredible improvement last year. 

None of the complaints touched Hbox, Axe, aMSa, Plup, or even iBDW. They all start with either Leffen being over Mang0, Wizzy outranking Zain, or M2K being on the list despite only attending four tournaments throughout the entire year. Mang0 took issue with all three of those points, though even he admits that he can see the vote for Leffen being second. 

“Don’t think I’ve ever cared about rankings enough to complain but Leffen over me and Wizzy over Zain is the funniest shit .. and m2k at 10,” Mang0 said. “Players got rewarded for dropping out and attending nothing. If I win Genesis (7) or Summit (9) I’m not attending shit for months.”

This is a common complaint made about both the Melee and Ultimate rankings where players who attend more events have a higher chance of placing poorly, which could be used against them in the rankings. Meanwhile, players like M2K, who only attend four Majors and place well at three of them, are judged only on those good results. 

“No shit players are gonna have bad losses when they attend literally four or five more events a year when people are actually good at melee now,” Mang0 said. “I can see Leffen over me even though I don’t agree with it at all. But wizzy over Zain? DA HECK? AND WHAT’S JASON DOING THERE!”

While M2K did well at the four tournaments he entered, that was his entire season for 2019. When compared to players like Johnny “S2J” Kim (11th), Shephard “Fiction” Lima (12th), and Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni, who all attended more than triple that number, it feels weighted, as Mang0 said. 

Leffen also briefly touched on the rankings, but Zain, while still making the top 10, was hurt by how many tournaments he attended, which was 18 compared to Wizzy’s six. Zain has already said that he’ll still be attending as many tournaments as he can because he loves playing Melee, but that shouldn’t count against him. 

Hbox more than deserved to retain his No. 1 title, but there’s a major part of the list that feels like it overvalues the quality of the wins over actually attending events, which isn’t good if the end goal is to promote the attendance of Melee events.