Panda Global Rankings: 20-11
The Panda Global Rankings are finally live! #PGR represents the efforts of our #PGstats team, @PG_Zan @PG_Suar and @PG_Dom, to discover the top 50 Smash 4 players in the world. We discuss how this was done in the Methods and the FAQ sections. Each image was made by @PG_KTH and blurbs by aspiring writers from the community. If you have trouble reading this, we have a backup imgur album.
X-factor explained: A player’s #PGR is a purely based on tournament placings and set counts. Our team of 48 panelists from around the world (listed in methods) also ranked the players according to personal opinion creating a subjective list. The X-factor is the difference between the final spot on the #PGR and panelist ranking. A +3 X-factor means the panelists ranked a player 3 spots higher than they ended on the #PGR while a -2 means they were 2 spots lower on the panelist ranking. An X-factor of 0 means both the panelist ranking and the #PGR were the same!
Without Further Ado,
Sonic main Wesley “6WX” Alexander hails from Pennsylvania and trains with the other high level Tristate players. One of the best Sonic mains in the world, 6WX uses an aggressive playstyle to punish and overwhelm his opponents. His use of spring and back air to pressure opponents off-stage and establish stage control gives him a unique flair. Unlike many other players on the list, 6WX’s professional career began in Smash 4. Growing from every tournament he’s gone to since KTAR XI, which he placed 9th at, 6WX has taken first place at We Bear B-Airs 7, 11 and 29, and Winter Brawl X.
- Jarrod Dyer, @hadron85
Perhaps the most illustrious dark horses of yesteryear, Leonardo “Leo” Lopez Perez boldly claims a spot within the top 20 right at #19. A Mexican native and the youngest on the PGR at 15 years old, Leo possessed an impressive streak over his community with the once underestimated character Meta Knight only ever having lost to his cousins Serge and Javi. It wouldn't be until Smash Factor 4 that he would become an international phenomenon by double eliminating Mr. R with double two-stock matches to spare.True Combo followed shortly after where he also eliminated the fearsome Sheik, Vinnie. At that point, his dominance was better contextualized and his victories could not be dismissed as flukes. Leo is indeed a force to be reckoned with in the future.
- Luis “PG_Suar” Suarez, @PG_Suar
For Vincent “Vinnie” Canino, 2015 was one eventful year when it came to his Smash 4 career. Filled with highs and lows, Vinnie continued to impress people with his top level Sheik play by showing how creative and flashy he could get with his character. In the set of grand finals at PAX Prime 2015 Vinnie showed everyone what he could do by being one of the few players to take a set off of ZeRo’s Sheik and Diddy Kong. Vinnie continued to show everyone what he was capable of doing at tournaments all over the world by getting results like 5th at The Big House 5, 9th at Umebura F.A.T. a tournament held in Japan, and 2nd at True Combo a tournament held in Mexico. Although Vinnie had excellent placings throughout 2015 in the beginning of 2016 he announced his retirement from Smash 4 following TCG6 for personal reasons. But the retirement was short lived as the Sheik people had their eyes on decided to return to tournaments in the Summer of 2016.
- Miguel "Vump" Aparicio, @VumpWasTaken
Hailing from the far land of Japan, Yuya “9B” Araki is a fearsome player with a highly technical gameplay. Starting as a Ryu main, 9B (pronounced Kyuubi) continuously got Top 5 at Japanese events, but after coming to GENESIS 3, he placed 49th at his first international tournament. After the final DLC came out, 9B switched to Bayonetta and began showing that the Umbra Witch suited him best. He showed mastery over Witch Time and performing combos that, if not resulting in death, left the opponent at kill percent. At Shots Fired 2, he defeated Ally and fellow teammate Ranai to make it into top 8, finishing 5th. After this, 9B continued to perform well in his homeland, coupled with an impressive 3rd place finish at Battle Arena Melbourne 8.
- Alberto “RedNova” Vasquez, @_RedNova
Tom "Shaky" Salazar is now Northern California's strongest player. Known for his phenomenal Ness skills (though he also has an excellent Pikachu), Shaky has seen much success at the tournaments he has attended, especially at Paragon 2015 and Genesis 3, where he placed 5th and 9th, respectively. But being in a PhD program, the NorCal wonder cannot attend majors very often. Nonetheless, Shaky still competes at some local tournaments, so you’re likely to see him play at smaller events such as Come on and Ban. However, if we’re lucky enough to see Shaky at a national event then we’ll be sure to see top placings out of him.
From humble beginnings with Bowser Jr., Gavin "Tweek" Dempsey finds himself within striking distance of the elite 10 with a doubtless #15 ranking. Marveled for his innovation with the heir to the Koopa King throne, Tweek made waves early on with his success in Tristate.However, after finding himself frustrated with the limitations of Bowser Jr. and dissatisfied with his results, Tweek officially retired him to favoring Cloud Strife instead. Immediate, explosive success followed and with an impressive bounty of Nairo, Dabuz, Larry Lurr, Ranai, and ANTi, Tweek made himself instantly relevant at the international level. With a recent 5th place showing at Pound 2016, Tweek sets a tone for himself that he will have to bolster this summer. In his own words, "I want to win nationals, I want to be the best. It's as simple as that."
- Luis “PG_Suar” Suarez, @PG_Suar
The balder half of Panda Global’s Smash 4 duo, Eric “ESAM” Lew has long been known as the world’s best Pikachu player in both Brawl and Smash 4. Outspoken, opinionated, and all-around good guy ESAM electrifies the competition both in his pre-game banter and his incredibly agile style. His yellow rat is full of QACs that dazzle and hard reads that wow, making him one of the most entertaining players to watch in Smash 4 today. At his peak he was considered top 5 in the country and one of the contenders to take down ZeRo at his prime, but ESAM has since had troubles against the Mario mains in the top rankings as well as some of the newer blood. These roadblocks have landed ESAM in a solid 14th on the PGR with aspirations to climb much higher again when he overcomes them.
- Alan “SamuraiPanda” Bunnéy, @PandaGlobalPG
Tyler "Marss" Martins started in Smash 4 as a young, relatively unknown player, carrying over his Zero Suit Samus from Brawl into the newest edition of the series. After silently taking the #1 spot on New England's PR (and dominating the doubles scene with his brother Pugwest), he burst into prominence with a 2nd place finish at KTAR XV. Marss then took it a step further and Boost Kicked his way into Top 8 at Genesis 3, then eliminated any possible talks of a "fluke performance" by taking 3rd at Pound 2016. In his sudden rise to top player status, he has knocked off ESAM, Komorikiri, Tweek, and many others that were once thought to be out of his reach. With summer right around the corner, this half of Team Yazi definitely has his eyes set on much larger prizes, and seeing his progression in the current meta will be a treat for sure.
- Dominique “Dom” Moore, @PG_Dom
Many come to Vegas for the famous strip, but Smashers come to Vegas for the chance to play against Freddie “FOW” Williams. Currently a free agent, FOW is widely considered the best Ness in the world and typically is a shoe-in for top 8 at any tournament he attends. Although he has one of the most successful streams in Smash 4, FOW’s placings are held back by his inability to travel outside of Vegas. If he could attend more tournaments there would be a purple capped Ness breaking top 10 on this list.
- Bassem “PG Bear” Dahdouh, @BearUNLV
R. “Komorikiri” Furukawa is easily one of the best players from Japan, if not the best. He has taken sets of Abadango and Ranai, and never placing below 4th at almost every Japanese tournament. Even though he has made a recent switch to Cloud, Komorikiri’s Sonic truly moves at the speed of sound. Still being one of the best Sonic mains in the world, he blazes through the field without getting touched. In GENESIS 3 crew battle, Komorikiri swept through Mexico’s team, taking out Regi, Waymas and took Look IC to his last stock. While he hasn’t traveled to the US besides GENESIS 3, his domination of the Japanese scene earns him the 11th spot in the #PGR.
- Alberto “RedNova” Vasquez, @_RedNova