Panda Global Rankings V2 (Smash Bros. Wii U) 1-10

 

Photo credit: @tischphotos

PGRv1: 4

Head-to-head Set Count: [Vs Top 10] 7-17....[Vs Top 5] 6-9

World warrior and veteran, Ramin “Mr. R” Delshad, returns to the top 10 for PGR v2. Known for his flashy Brawl Marth, Mr. R transitioned to Smash Wii U incredibly well. Carrying over that special flair to his Sheik, Mr. R became an early pioneer in the Sheik meta. Originally born in Mahabad, Iran, Mr. R moved to the Netherlands at very young age. Mr. R has since become one of the most dominant players in Europe. The European sensation is one of the most well-traveled Smash players having won Smash tournaments in over 8 countries and on multiple continents.

Mr. R features a very flashy and incredibly cunning play style. The European Sheik can easily overwhelm his opponent with his tricky movement and unorthodox neutral game. Mr. R’s devious movement compliments his incredibly fast paced and high powered offense. Mr. R is recognized and often credited for developing unique mix ups and kill setups. Later in the season, Mr. R started preparing utility characters including Bayonetta, Cloud and his old Brawl main, Marth, for certain match-ups. Mr. R was incredibly consistent throughout the PGR v2 season. His worst results came from Evo 2016 where he finished 17th, UGC Smash where he finished 9th and 2GGT: ZeRo Saga where he finished 17th. Consequently, those were the only tournaments where he finished outside top 8 this season and only the fifth time he has finished outside top 8 in his entire Smash Wii U career. His best results this year came from CEO 2016, SSC 2016 and TBH 6. Mr. R fought his way to the championship ring at CEO 2016 beating Mr. E, Dath and NAKAT before ultimately losing to ANTi in winner’s semifinals and Abadango in loser’s quarterfinals claiming a 5th place finish. Mr. R also put together a solid winner’s bracket run at Super Smash Con 2016 beating Frozen, Zinoto, Ryo, and ScAtt to make it to winner’s finals before losing an incredible close game 5 to Nairo. He would then move on to lose to Dabuz in loser’s finals for a 3rd place finish. Mr. R’s most impressive bracket run would come from The Big House 6. After losing early to Abadango in winner’s round 1, Mr. R went on an incredible loser’s bracket run beating some of Tri-State’s best in Tweek, Mr. E, Nairo and Dabuz. Mr. R would finish 4th at The Big House 6 after losing to Komorikiri in loser’s semifinals. Finishing the PGR v2 season off on a sour note with 2GGT: ZeRo Saga, Mr. R is looking to re-establish his dominance in 2017.

- Adam "Mayday" Braham (@PG_Mayday)

 

Photo credit: @tischphotos

PGRv1: 10

Head-to-head Set Count: [Vs Top 10] 6-11....[Vs Top 5] 2-9

New York’s own Jason “ANTi” Bates has always been a fan favorite. Whether it’s through his charismatic, controversial, and entertaining social media presence or his explosive play style, ANTi always draws a crowd. ANTi exploded onto the scene in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, finding success very early in his career with Meta Knight. Moving into the beginning year of Super Smash Bros for Wii U, ANTi lacked dedication to the game. While still finding early success in Smash Wii U, it was on little practice. He spent most of his energy and effort practicing other titles including Street Fighter. Around the end of the PGR v1 season, ANTi decided to refocus on Smash Wii U stating that it would be a waste of potential to not take it seriously. With his refound focus, ANTi was recruited by top esports organization Immortals. Known for his skill with multiple characters, ANTi prefers to stick with his mainstay Mario for most matchups. ANTi boasts incredible offense, survivability and high clutch factor often able to create comeback situations in the worst scenarios.

ANTi is one of the strongest counterpick players in Smash Wii U. He thrives at exploiting weaknesses in character matchups. At any moment ANTi can pull from a deep and varied pool of characters. Notable characters he has utilized in a tournament setting include Mario, Cloud, Zero Suit Samus, Sheik, Wii Fit Trainer, Luigi, Meta Knight, Diddy Kong, and Charizard. The ability to use multiple characters at a top level not only proves he has great technical prowess, but a deep understanding of the current meta-game.

ANTi’s tournament results for the PGR v2 season are mostly positive with strong placements at GOML, SSC, 2GGT: Abadango Saga, 2GGT: ZeRo Saga. In those four events he managed to take sets off several notable players, including Rich Brown, Falln, Kameme, Mr. R, Mr. E, Tyrant, and SlayerZ. He also became the 8th player to take a tournament set off ZeRo with his win at Wednesday Night Fights 2.5. ANTi suffered the worst placing of his career at EVO 2016 finishing 33rd. ANTi pieced together a fantastic winner’s bracket run at CEO 2016 taking 1st in spectacular fashion. Even though somewhat inconsistent, ANTi has proven he has the skill to win any premier event.

- Adam "Mayday" Braham (@PG_Mayday)

 

Photo credit: @JLEE702

PGRv1: 19

Head-to-head Set Count: [Vs Top 10] 14-6....[Vs Top 5] 10-5

Leonardo “MKLeo” Perez is the current hot topic in competitive Smash Wii U. Technical and aggressive, his pressure-heavy playstyle coupled with a tri-character pool of Cloud, Marth and Meta Knight makes him a force to be reckoned with in-bracket.

The 15-year old prodigy from Mexico is arguably 2016’s breakout star, though his meteoric rise to the top 10 could have been earlier, visa-related issues aside. In contrast to many of his rivals, Perez’ primary struggle throughout the year was getting to the United States. But when he was finally able to go global, he showed that the hype surrounding him was indeed well placed.

Making his international debut at Canada’s Get On My Level in May, MKLeo made a statement: he didn’t travel just to play; he travelled to win. In his run to eventually finish 5th, he showed strokes of brilliance by defeating then PGRank #2 Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada and was only taken down by a resurgent Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios in a last-hit, last-stock situation. He soon followed this up by winning multiple large scale events, namely Canada Cup, Showdown: Battle Royale and 2GG: ZeRo Saga among others. It was at those events that he added heavy-hitters such as Jason “Anti” Bates, Elliot “Ally” Carroza-Oyarce and Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby to the list of players he’s beaten. To put his efforts into perspective, he only lost 5 out of the 25 tournaments he attended during this PGRank season.

This is not to say he is unstoppable. A relatively low finish of 13th place at the UGC Smash Open --- losing to the then obscure Darkshad -- shows that the young upstart still has ways to go and matchups to learn before he becomes the undisputed crème de la crème.

- Justin "Popi" Banusing (@PopiSSB)

 

Photo credit: @MattDemers

PGRv1: 5

Head-to-head Set Count: [Vs Top 10] 9-11....[Vs Top 5] 3-9

While Yuta “Abadango” Kawamura was already a prominent force in 2015, it was in 2016 that he truly bloomed. Known for his mastery over a plethora of the cast, the Japanese star’s switch to Mewtwo during the first quarter of the year marked a shift in his career. Stellar post-Mewtwo results solidified his position as a top caliber player, independent of his prior reputation as a mid-tier hero.

Securing a 5th place ranking on the previous PGRank last May, he carried momentum well into the latter half of the year but faced some hiccups along the way. While a top 6 finish at EVO and a victory at Clutch City Clash did happen, he narrowly missed top 8 at The Big House and ZeRo Saga. This also reflects his match history, where wins over heavy-hitters like EVO champion Elliot “Ally” Carroza-Oyarce are accompanied by upsets at the hands lower ranked players like Elegant, which happened at Abadango’s own 2GGT Saga.

Abadango will be going into 2017 dead set on claiming the throne that he has long coveted. If anything he’s done in the past is to go by, it’s that he’ll take the losses he incurred in 2016 and turn them into stepping stones towards his success.

- Justin "Popi" Banusing (@PopiSSB)

 

Photo credit: @Delta52_

PGRv1: 8

Head-to-head Set Count: [Vs Top 10] 9-18....[Vs Top 5] 6-13

2016 was a year of growth and maturity for James "VoiD" Makekau-Tyson. His claim to fame from the very beginning has been his flashy yet fundamentally style of play, which often leads to some ridiculous, highlight reel worthy moments during his tournament sets. At any point in a match, VoiD can find an uncanny opening and generate massive amounts of percent or take a stock, making him one of the world’s most explosive players and one that spectators even outside of the Smash 4 scene have cited enjoying.

Akin to his home state of Hawaii, VoiD started to make waves this PGR season right from the jump with a silver medal finish at LVL UP EXPO 2016. Two weeks later, he finished within the Top 8 at MomoCon 2016, placing 7th. VoiD suffered a bit of a drop off at 2GGT: Mexico Saga, potentially due to a hand injury sustained at the event, having his run cut short at 17th place. A quick recovery lead into a short stint on the east coast, of which he started by getting 4th at KTAR XVIII. Following this performance there and leading into the heart of the Summer of Smash, it was announced that VoiD would be Counter Logic Gaming’s second professional Smash 4 player. Under his new organization, he attended a handful of events and saw some success, 2nd at Apex 2016, and 9th at CEO 2016. His success carried straight into the weekend of EVO 2016, where he was able to finish at 4th place, and kept going through 2GGT: KTAR Saga immediately following, seeing him to 3rd there. He finished off the Summer majors with yet another 4th place at Super Smash Con 2016, cementing the legacy of his “4th place curse”. Even in a trip to Japan to Umebura 25 this rang true, as VoiD finished 4th again amongst a stacked Japanese crowd.

The Fall and Winter months were relatively kind to VoiD as well; after a 9th at 2GGT: Abadango Saga, he placed 5th at The Big House 6 and UGC Smash Open: St. Louis. VoiD and his stellar year in singles is living proof of hard work paying off, and many people have had no choice but to start taking notice. This season alone he showcased some choice secondaries to back up his already solid Sheik, and has started to topple some of the higher up players being marked as his bracket demons. Only time will tell how he progresses moving into the current season.

- Dominique “Dom” Moore (@PG_Dom)

 

Photo credit: @JLEE702

PGRv1: 7

Head-to-head Set Count: [Vs Top 10] 16-17....[Vs Top 5] 8-9

Legendary Melee and Brawl veteran, Larry “Larry Lurr” Holland (also known as DEHF), is one of the most explosive players in Smash history. Known for his unorthodox Falco in Melee, his extremely technical Falco in Brawl, and now his high octane Fox in Smash Wii U, Larry Lurr is a veteran in every sense of the word. The long time Fox and Falco player is one of the only players to be featured in the CT Brawl Rankings, the MeleeItOnMe top 100 and the PGR in his career. Larry Lurr has transitioned from Melee and Brawl to Smash Wii U extremely well carrying over the best parts of each. Currently ranked 1st in Southern California and returning to the PGR top 10 for the second season in a row, Larry Lurr found himself recruited by the esports organization Misfits.

Larry Lurr is known for his incredibly overwhelming offensive prowess and lightning fast movement. Using Fox’s nearly unrivaled speed and impressive catalog of frame traps, he is able to continually apply pressure and maximize punishes. Larry Lurr’s explosive play style grants him the ability to take stocks at almost any given moment when playing at his peak. The Southern Californian also has a utility Donkey Kong and Mario that he can pull out at any given time depending on the matchup or a sudden lack of confidence in his Fox.

Larry Lurr has had an incredibly successful PGR v2 season. Some of Larry’s strongest results this season are a 3rd place finish at GOML 2016, a 1st place finish at 2GGT: Mexico Saga, a 2nd place finish at 2GGT: Abadango Saga and a trio of 7th place finishes at CEO 2016, Evo 2016 and UGC Smash Open. Larry would become the 7th player to take a tournament set off of ZeRo with his win at 2GGT: Mexico Saga. His worst placing this season comes from The Big House 6 with a 17th place finish. The Big House 6 would be the only premiere event this season where he would place outside of top 8. Larry would finally break his 7th place curse at premiere events late in the season with a 2nd place finish at 2GGT: ZeRo Saga. The Fox player put together a fantastic winner’s bracket run taking sets over Fatality, Abadango, Ally and long time rival VoiD. Larry has gardnered wins over several of the best players this season including ZeRo, Ally, Nairo, MKLeo, VoiD, Mr. R, ANTi, and Abadango. Larry is looking to continue his climb through the top 10 in 2017.

- Adam "Mayday" Braham (@PG_Mayday)

 

Photo credit: @Delta52_

PGRv1: 3

Head-to-head Set Count: [Vs Top 10] 11-10....[Vs Top 5] 2-5

Consistency has always been key for Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby. Hailing from New York, Dabuz continued his trend from the PGR v1 by adding more strong top 8 finishes to his résumé. With his continued success, he finally found himself recruited and signed by the esports organization Detroit Renegades. The PGR v2 season also brought a slight shift in the character selection screen for Dabuz. Even though primarily still a Rosalina and Luma main, the new season found him reinvigorating his old Brawl main, Olimar. Dabuz has landed multiple wins on top 10 players with both Rosalina and Olimar.

Dabuz sports a very opportunistic defensive playstyle. Using either Luma or Pikmin as a pseudo-”wall” he is able to create and apply safe pressure on his opponents. Dabuz has the ability to quickly transition from defense to offense maximizing damage from the opportunities his strong defensive prowess grant him. Dabuz is known to be a very studious player. He keeps numerous pages of notes on hand for both character and player matchups which he references often throughout the course of a tournament. Dabuz also livestreams game-by-game analyses of past tournaments to study players and matchups even further.

Dabuz brought in the PGR v2 season with a great performance at the first major of the year, CEO 2016. Dabuz tallied strong wins against Esam, Abadango and Zinoto before falling to ANTi in winner’s finals and Zinoto in loser’s finals placing 3rd. He then moved on to win the smaller WTFox2 becoming the 10th player to take a set off of ZeRo. Dabuz followed up with his best placing at a major this year finishing 2nd at SSC 2016. He boasted an impressive loser’s bracket run featuring wins over Ryuga, Mr. R, VoiD, ANTi, Scatt, and Fatality. Having to split his focus with school, Dabuz would have his worst placing at a major - 9th place at 2GGT: ZeRo Saga. Dabuz finished the season out only placing outside of top 8 twice. Even though top 8 is very familiar territory for Dabuz, he will enter 2017 still searching for that premier tournament win.

- Adam "Mayday" Braham (@PG_Mayday)

 

Photo credit: NRG

PGRv1: 2

Head-to-head Set Count: [Vs Top 10] 14-13....[Vs Top 5] 5-8

Fan favorite and top Zero Suit Samus main Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada continued to turn heads this season, fighting his way to a number of high placings and notable wins. Nairo’s patented rushdown style offense allow him to constantly pressure and overwhelm his opponents, providing a highlight reel performance from him nearly every time he plays. Out of all of Smash 4’s top players, he easily encapsulates the idea of “high risk, high reward” the best. This way of thinking even comes out in his choice of characters- in addition to his ace character, he also has broken out characters of his that aren’t as polished as his main or equal in terms of strength in the current meta, such as Ryu, Bowser, Lucina, and Dr. Mario.

Nairo got to work instantly with the dawn of a new season arriving, finishing 1st at LVL UP EXPO 2016. He then went to Canada for GOML 2016 and placed 4th alongside good company. His success continued as he went into May and June, placing 1st at MomoCon 2016 and KTAR XVIII, then taking home a silver medal at LTC 4. His consistency started to waver a fair amount when the Summer majors rolled around, suffering some shocking losses that were that resulted in him finishing outside of the Top 8 twice. It was around this time period that most spectators started to question Nairo’s legitimacy as a top level competitor, his work earlier on in the season being overshadowed by lackluster performances at the largest events of the Summer to that point. All previous doubts were erased, however, when he exploded for a 1st place finish at SSC 2016 in August.

Since his signing with NRG and run at Super Smash Con 2016, Nairo has returned to the forefront of Top 8 at Tier 1 and Tier 2 events. Despite some up-and-downs in his placings, Nairo still showed a semblance of consistency and has proven that he deserves a spot near the top for yet another season. His complete lack of fear and calculated risk-taking continue to lead him to success, and even with his losses, he has a number of valuable wins to back them up.

- Dominique “Dom” Moore (@PG_Dom)

 

Photo credit: @JLEE702

PGRv1: 6

Head-to-head Set Count: [Vs Top 10] 15-11... [Vs Top 5] 9-5

Elliot “Ally” Carroza-Oyarce is no stranger to being on top, being ranked within the top ten on both the SSBBRank during the Brawl era and the last PGRank. A fundamentally solid player through and through, the Canadian Mario specialist’s results this season earn him the #2 spot on this installment of the PGRank.

Canada’s top dog came into this ranking season guns blazing. A first place finish at GOML 2016 over the likes of Jason “Anti” Bates and his long-time bane Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios made him the man to beat going into this year’s ‘Summer of Smash’. And despite an underwhelming 49th place finish at CEO, where he was upset by Dustin “Zenyou” Rice, he carried said title until summer’s end with victories at Smash N’ Splash 2 and EVO 2016.

Come autumn, the tides began to turn. With the competition improving fast, Ally found himself unable to replicate his summertime showings. Since EVO 2016, he hasn’t won any notable events; the last tournament he won was the multi-country eGames Invitational, where he beat Leonardo “MKLeo” Perez and Larry “Larry Lurr” Holland to claim the gold for Canada. His slump, the low point of which was a 25th place finish at The Big House 6, has had his competitors take the spotlight away from him for the latter half of the year.

Despite the rough times however, Ally is still undoubtedly among the world’s best. His superb DI, knack for reads and mastery of the game at its core put him on a level above most competitors. Should he be able to level up further, his 2017 will be prove to be a better one.

- Justin "Popi" Banusing (@PopiSSB)

 

Photo credit: @TSMZeRo

PGRv1 rank: 1

Head-to-head Set Count: [Vs Top 10] 15-11... [Vs Top 5] 9-5

A wild season comes to a close with Team SoloMid’s Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios remaining as the undisputed #1. ZeRo’s long tournament hiatus was met shortly after by what can only be described as a “rocky road of a comeback”, having one of his mains nerfed again- this time Sheik, losing multiple tournaments at the hands of top players he had previously been beating consistently, and even losing sets to a much wider array of players than before. During this losing streak of his, many even questioned if he was still the best player in the world like he once was, and if he would ever be able to rise back to his former level of dominance. Long story short: he did.

What was considered to be a subpar resume for ZeRo would’ve been an otherwise impressive one for anyone else, further speaking to the level of play he has attainted. Even in the face of defeat, he was able to land high placings at Tier 1 and Tier 2 events over the Spring and Summer months, such as 2nd at Get On My Level 2016, 2nd at Smash N Splash 2, 2nd at 2GGT: Mexico Saga, and 1st at Low Tier City 4. He suffered a large dip in placing at CEO 2016 finishing at 9th and finishing outside of Top 8 for the first time in the history of the game, but bounced back to take 3rd at WTFox 2 and EVO 2016. One last dip came at Super Smash Con 2016, where he finished 13th, his lowest placing in Smash 4 to date, but he rounded out the summer on a positive note by getting 1st at Shine 2016 and Endgame, and 4th at Collision XIV.

Come Fall and Winter, ZeRo returned to form. He won 2GGT: Abadango Saga, then defended his title at The Big House 6, taking 1st there for the second year in a row. From there, he won KTAR XIX from Winner’s bracket, even with almost not entering singles at the event due to lack of confidence. He continued to ride his momentum into UGC Smash Open: St. Louis, getting 1st there as well in yet another uninterrupted Winner’s bracket run, then another 1st place at Smash City LA followed. However, he fell victim to the Saga Curse at 2GGT: ZeRo Saga, finishing at 4th place, showing that although he was indeed able to reach his greatness from earlier on the year, he is still vulnerable deep down. ZeRo’s run this season has been promising, shocking, miraculous- the whole nine. For the first time in the entirety of the game, he was just “another top player”, even if only for a short amount of time. Instead of being the all-powerful tyrant of the game as he ended last season, he is now but king with his crown under constant attack. While no guarantees can be made about the security of his throne, one can definitely be made about his ranking amongst the world’s finest players: the best.

- Dominique “Dom” Moore (@PG_Dom)