Wrapping Up the PGRU Fall ‘19 Season

It’s the end of the decade and the end of the second season of the Panda Global Rankings Ultimate (PGRU). A total of 81 PGRU-level tournaments took place over the past 6 months, gifting the Smash Ultimate community storylines, hype sets and lots of development. There’s no better time than now to be a fan or competitor.

Much has happened since last season’s close. Some players remain as strong as ever, while others have fallen off due to a combination of patches, hungry upstarts, and resurgent veterans.

That being said, let's take a look at just how much the field has shifted.

Tournament Distribution:

Tier

S2

S1

From the get-go, we can see that the amount of PGRU-eligible tournaments had a slight drop this time around.

Though the raw amount has dropped, tournament strength is up across the board. Only C-Tier events have taken a hit, with sizable increases in the quantity of A-Tier and B-Tier events worldwide. [a]

S-tier

6

5

A-tier

13

6

B-tier

21

9

C-tier

41

64

Total

81

84

 

The King Remains

What better way to start things off than talking about the PGRU’s current top dog in Mexican phenom Leonardo “MVG MkLeo” Perez. Despite an overall increase in the level of competition in the scene, MKLeo’ throne was near-contested throughout the season. He attended five of the six S-Tier tournaments - winning three of them, and nabbing silver at the other two.

MKLeo’s victories often came at the expense of his frequent rival, Gavin “TSM Tweek” Dempsey [PGRU #2]. As poetic as it sounds, the two found themselves facing off against each other in the grand finals of this season’s first and last S-Tiers -- EVO 2019 and 2GG: Kongo Saga respectively. Both bouts saw MkLeo start at a sizable deficit, only to come back and win from the brink of defeat.

Though rare, there were times we DID see MKLeo falter at S-Tiers. First was a loss at the hands of Ezra “EU Samsora” Morris [PGRU #4] at Shine 2019, quickly followed by another versus Nairoby “NRG Nairo” Quezada [PGRU #8] at Mainstage. These events not only marked the two veterans’ first supermajor victories in Ultimate, but also showed the world that MKLeo and his signature Joker could be beaten after all.

Zero To Hero

Though come ups and upsets were frequent throughout the season, the biggest shakeup undoubtedly came in the form of an unranked Mexican free agent in Enrique "Maister" Solís and his unorthodox character - Mr. Game & Watch. Maister failed to reach the PGRU last season, but an amped up attendance rate and solid performances as of late have made him into a top 10 threat this time around.

A good way to illustrate Maister’s grit and rise to the top was his journey to the Smash Ultimate Summit 2 invitational. After falling short of qualifying for the event following a 3rd place finish at The Big House 9, he went on a tear and won 2GG’s Nightmare on Smashville to secure the last possible invite slot. If that wasn’t enough, Maister then placed 4th at Summit -- cementing himself as a top tier talent in his own right.

Ever Changing

Characters are still being added to the game, and alongside them are consistent patches. While there remains only one character in the current Fighter Pack, there’s no telling what we’ll be getting from there on out.

With that uncertainty comes the possibility of meta shifts. The biggest changes in character trends from last season include the prominent decline of Olimar and Snake’s top 8 placings at majors; meanwhile, Palutena, Wario, Joker, and Mr. Game & Watch have all seen a rapid and ongoing increase in results.

While nothing is truly set in stone, the continued growth of the scene and its endemic organizations paints a bright future for Smash Ultimate. Dozens of majors are already in the pipeline for next season, and more brands are beginning to take notice of what the community can do. We at the PG Stats team thank you all for your support, and we’re looking forward to seeing how 2020 unfolds.

   Events that are taking place this weekend (December 20th-22nd) and beyond, will be counted towards Season 3. Season 2’s rankings will be revealed mid-January.

 

Stay Tuned,

pgstats

 

Alessandro Poehlman (@PGthwack)