Panda Global Rankings return for 2022 Super Smash Bros. competitive season

Rankings are back, but will run based on regions to allow for leniency.

Image via Nintendo

Because Super Smash Bros. competitions were in a state of flux during the COVID-19 pandemic, Panda Global and its PGstats team decided to halt work on its PGR rankings for both Melee and Ultimate until things could stabilize. And now that offline Majors are starting to pick back up heading into 2022, that two-year hiatus is also coming to an end—with a few caveats. 

Yes, both the MPGR (Melee) and PGRU (Ulitmate) will begin compiling data again for the next set of rankings starting on Jan. 1, 2022. But the rankings will be split into three different regions to accommodate ongoing travel restrictions and the impact that will have on both attendance and performance. 

The three regions being used for the 2022 PGR will be North America, Europe, and Japan. Additionally, PGstats is loosening some of its rulings around minimum activity requirements so players “don’t feel pressured” to travel to a high number of events if they aren’t comfortable with doing so at the risk of potential rank penalties. 

“Thank you for your patience as we continue to look for the best solutions for a safe and fair return to the PGR,” PGstats said. “We are continuing to monitor international travel restrictions, and a return to a full global PGR may happen as soon as the end of 2022. We will have more information as the year progresses.”

This means the first Major on the schedule for the new PGR season will be Let’s Make Big Moves, which will run from Jan. 7 to 9 in New York City. 

Historically, the PGR is used to determine the top 50 players in their respective iteration of Smash based on a number of factors such as the strength of a player’s wins, overall performance, and more, as voted on by a PGstats and a panel of community figureheads. This change to a regional setting will impact some aspects of the rankings, but it is a start to a return to normal for the Smash scene.

As the PGstats team continues to work on more details surrounding the return of the PGR from this two-year hiatus, fans can look forward to the culmination of the team’s Melee All-Time Top 100 rankings, which posted spots 11 to 20 before the announcement.