There are three major forms of bias that I have found in SSBM rank: recency bias, and two others that I like to call visibility bias and nice numbers bias. By the time that the year ends, many people forget certain players performances especially how they did at non-super majors. Visibility bias is simply that some players get a lot more coverage than others. I think the often talked about “West Coast Bias” doesn’t come from people who live on the west voting for there friends; it is just that the people on the west coast have much more popular regionals and the fact that the people who are already established as top players (who happen to be from the west coast) are just going to be payed more and more attention too. Numbers bias is when people simply look at somebody’s placement and say “X-player should be way higher. He has placed way better than Y-player.” when Y-player may have had bad bracket luck or X player may have had really good bracket luck. These numbers also usually don’t look at regionals or locals.
The goal of my “Where are they now?” series is to prevent these biases from occurring by talking about what the ssbm top 100 have done throughout the first half of the year. I will try to get as much information as possible on how these players have done though it is obviously difficult to find every tournament that every person has been to. If there is any information I am missing about a player please tell me and I will edit it. I’m hoping that analysts will use this when discussing rankings in the future, and it will help inform the general public. Thank you for reading! 🙂
DoH has been largely inactive throughout 2016. Although it was technically last year, since Forte 3 was after the last ranking period, I think it is important to talk about (especially since it was one of the few events he actually attended). DoH lost to Cloud, a Falco main from Brownsville Texas considered to be one of Texas’ true hidden bosses, 2-0. That being said, Cloud still isn’t someone that any SSBM ranked player should lose to especially as a Peach main who is considered to have an advantage against Falco at that level of play. In Losers, DoH beat Valdo, a solid Fox main from Mexico, 3-1 before losing 3-2 to MT, a Marth main from Austin, Texas who appears to understand the Peach-Marth matchup. Both Cloud and MT did well, placing 9th but neither are people that a SSBM ranked player should lose to. DoH placed 13th at Forte 3.
The only other major that DoH attended was Pound 2016. He defeated Sol, the Falco main from New York, 2-1 to make it out of Round 1 pools winners-side. DoH had to play Hax immediately in Round 2 pools who ended up getting 3rd that tournament, so a very understandable loss on DoH’s part. In losers, DoH beat esteemed T.O. Juggleguy 2-0 in winners but lost to Slox 2-1 afterwards. Slox is a Fox player who is currently ranked 69th on SSBM rank and also ended up doing well at Pound 2016, placing 17th. Another understandable loss on DoH’s part but the fact of the matter is as a SSBM ranked player you have to beat some players better than you so the fact that he didn’t beat anyone better than him in either major he attended is worry some for his future rank. DoH placed 49th at Pound 2016.
DoH is ranked 10th on the DMV March 2016 power rankings, placing below 5 SSBM ranked players (Redd, lloD, Milkman, Chillin and ChuDat) and 4 non-SSBM ranked players (Plank SmashG0D, HAT and Junebug). I think that if DoH continues to produce these kinds of results he should be unranked on next years SSBM rank. From what I understand, he is currently retired, though who knows how long that will last.
99: Captain Smuckers
Smuckers started off 2016 with KTAR XVI where he defeated Admiral the Ice Climbers player, Jflex the Sheik player currently ranked 7th on the New York City power rankings, and Swedish Delight, ranked 31st on SSBM rank 2015 to qualify for winners finals. He then lost to Slox the Fox player ranked 69th in the world and lost to Swedish Delight in losers finals to place a respectable 3rd.
At Genesis 3, he beat Mind Assassin a Falco main from SoCal to make it out of Round 1 pools winners side in a match-up that is widely considered Falco-favored (although Smuckers is of course the much better player). In Round 2 pools he beat DeCoste in the Shell, a Marth main from Oregon 2-0, and CDK, a strong Fox player who would go on to place 17th at the tournament, 2-1. He then lost got back-to-back 3 stocked by Plup’s Sheik. Plup got most of his conversions from catching Smuckers shielding or rolling; Smuckers also wasn’t converting off of his hits, which is essential in the Sheik match up for Falcon. Even though Plup is an amazing player, and Sheik-Falcon is considered to be a difficult match up for Falcon by some, Smuckers has done well in it in the past beating Swedish Delight, thus it is surprising for Smuckers to be beat in the fashion he was. Smuckers then beat T.O. and Falco extraordinaire MattDotZeb 2-1 to qualify for the top 64 bracket losers side. In the first round of losers Smuckers got 3-0’d by CDK who simply seemed to be hitting harder than Smuckers and was doing better at finishing Smuckers off. Smuckers placed 49th at this event.
At Super Nebulous 4, Captain Smuckers beat TriState Falco main Sol 2-0 in winners round 1. He then beat MattDotZeb, who just beat Kira the round before, 2-1 in winners round 2. This can be credited to Smuckers fantastic combo game, in which he incorporated a lot of tricky aerials to mix up Matt’s DI. Smuckers then played Westballz, and thanks in part to his fantastic combo game he was able to take a game off of Westballz’s Fox before losing to Westballz 2-1 (Westballz won one game with each spacy). Smuckers tended to reach with raptor boosts and stomps in neutral; he also had a hard time edge-guarding. Smuckers then played The Moon in Losers. In typical Smuckers’ fashion, he had a strong combo and recovery game but struggled edge-guarding and in neutral. In neutral Smuckers continued to overshoot aerials which The Moon would avoid and then gain stage position, trapping Smuckers. The Moon would also use dash attacks to catch Smuckers dashing away. Smuckers placed 9th at Super Nebulous 4.
At Pound 2016, Smuckers beat Squible, a power-ranked Fox from New England, 2-0 to qualify for round 2 pools. He then lost to Colbol (who would go on to get top 8 at the tournament) 2-0. He beat SG, a power-ranked MD/VA Fox 2-0. Captain Smuckers beat The Moon 2-0 in a mach-up that is looking more-and-more Falcon favored (or perhaps The Moon is just weak at the MU). Smuckers continued his losers run by defeating Zgetto (SSBM rank 73) 2-1. Smuckers hit very hard when facing Zgetto which led to his win and subsequent advancement from round 2 pools. In losers round 1, Smuckers lost to aMSa (SSBM rank 24). Smuckers placed 25th at Pound 2016.
Smuckers does well locally; he is ranked 6th on the NYC power rankings, below 4 ranked players (The Moon, VaNz, DJ Nintendo and dizzkidboogie) and 1 unranked player (G$ who I expect to be ranked this time next year). If Captain Smuckers continues to produce these kinds of results he should be increase in rank on next years SSBM rank.
98: Bizzarro Flame
Bizzarro Flame has competed more in his retirement than the two players beneath him have when they are active. At Genesis 3, Bizzarro beat Shamunt, a Sheik player from Florida, 2-0 to make it out of round 1 pools. He then beat Shinobi, another Sheik player from the midwest, 2-0 once again. This is impressive as Sheik is considered a very difficult match up for Ganondorf although these are two players definitely worse than Bizz. Bizzarro proceeded to lose to Ryan Ford 2-0. This isn’t a bad loss at all as Ryan Ford is a very strong Fox main (SSBM Rank 51) who has Ganon experience from playing Kage. That being said, Bizz seemed to be doing rather poor in the match; his was hitting his trademarked slick movement and was having a hard time edge guarding Ryan. In losers, Bizz beat fellow NorCal Fox Berble 2-1 before losing to Vortex, a Sheik main from New York. Bizzarro placed 97th at Genesis 3.
At Pound 2016, Bizzarro beat Ice Climbers player Admiral 2-0 to make it out of Round 1 pools. In Round 2 pools he upset Duck 2-0. Although Ganon is favored in the Samus match up, Duck is still a top 20 level player and a win against him is impressive. Bizz was doing very well defensively against Duck, throwing out safe defensive aerials as well as displaying superb surivial DI and choosing smart recovery options. He also was hitting most of his edge guards, a key in the Samus-Ganon match up. Bizzarro then had to play Swedish Delight, a top level Sheik main who 2-0’d Bizz. In losers, Bizzarro immediately played DJ Nintendo (SSBM rank 41) who is very good against lower tier characters thus it is no surprise that Bizzarro got 2-0’d again placing 33rd at the tournament.
Bizzarro is mostly inactive in NorCal. If Bizzarro Flame continues to produce these kinds of results he should be ranked around the same spot on next years SSBM rank if not unranked.
Although Toph continues to make strides in commentary, he has had an underwhelming 2016 in terms of game play. At Rubicon 6, he lost to KJH 2-0 in winners in the Fox ditto. Toph got hit by a lot of wake-up shines and should have been more reactionary when he had KJH cornered instead of just rushing in. Toph then lost to The Good Doctor, a Sheik main from the midwest, 2-0 in losers. Toph placed 9th at this event.
At Genesis 3, Toph beat Dayge, a Falco main from California, 2-0 in winners to make it into Round 2 pools. He then beat PsychoMidget, a power ranked SoCal Puff player, 2-0 and Darkatma (SSBM rank 56), the Sheik main, 2-0 as well. Toph narrowly lost to Fiction (SSBM rank 38) 2-1. Toph had very good defensive aerials throughout the set but wasn’t converting as much as Fiction was off of stray hits. Toph did have good edge guards though (as did Fiction). In losers, Toph lost to ARC (SSBM rank 87), the Marth main from Austin Texas, 2-1 and placed 65th at the event. This was a good tournament for somebody of Toph’s rank defeating one player ranked above him (Darkatma) and had close sets with the two players ranked above him (Fiction and ARC) who would both go on to place 25th at the tournament.
Toph had an abysmal Pound 2016 performance. He lost to Tesla, the robot made by the car company Tesla to reaction-tech chase perfectly, 2-1 in winners semis of round 1 pools. He did qualify for round 2 pools losers side but in the first round lost to Sharkz, an ICs player from North Carolina, 2-1. He placed 129th at the tournament.
Toph appears to do well in region though to be honest I don’t know much about the NorCal scene.
Crush has not attended many majors this year but has done well at the ones he has. At Super Nebulous 4, Crush beat Rih, a Sheik main from Tri State 2-0 in winners round 1. Crush then took down The Moon (SSBM Rank 29) 2-0 to advance to winners quarters. In quarters, Crush lost to Swedish Delight 2-1; Crush was ignoring the fact that Swedish had a spot-dodge and was getting punished consistently for it. Crush then beat CIZ, a top Marth from Tri-State, 2-1 to advance to top 8 losers side. There, he lost to Professor Pro 3-0. Against Prof, Crush struggled to capitalize off of stray hits and had difficulty around the ledge. Crush got 7th at Super Nebulous 4.
At Dreamhack Austin, he defeated Ken (SSBM rank 52) 2-1 in winners Round 1. He lost the first game but adapted well displaying a strong combo game though his defensive options, particularly his recovery left room for improvement. He then lost to Mew2King 2-0, a very understandable loss. In losers he defeated gaR, the power ranked Sheik from NorCal, 2-0 before losing 2-0 to S2J another top player very strong at the Fox match up. Crush placed 13th at Dreamhack Austin.
At Mega Mass Madness, Crush defeated Mafia 3-0 (SSBM rank 91) in winners quarters, but lost to Infinte Numbers, the up and coming ICs player 3-1 in winners semis.Crush demonstrated some match up knowledge and was good at avoiding the wobble, but because he was trying so hard to avoid the wobble he got hit by a lot of stray smash attacks and some dash attacks that led to wobbles. In losers quarters, he narrowly lost to Swiftbass (SSBM rank 86) 3-2. Crush once again displayed a very hard combo game, able to combo off of the smallest of hits, but, similar to the Infinite Numbers game, he threw out a lot of unsafe aerials in his attempt to get those combos. His combo and survival DI was also shaky throughout the set. Crush placed 5th at Mega Mass Madness.
Crush does well in region; he placed first at a mass madness. He is ranked 4th on the February 2016 New England power rankings below 3 SSBM ranked players (Slox, Zoso and Mafia) and above one (Swiftbass).
Okami is another players with a rather quiet year. At Genesis 3, Okami beat Tuesday, the ICs player from Texas to make it out of round 1 pools. He beat Juggleguy, a solid Captain Falcon player, 2-1 in round 2 pools winners, but losing a game to a falcon, a character who is considered to have a disadvantage at that level of play by many, who is not nearly SSBM rank caliber is concerning. OkamiBW then played Lord, another strong Captain Falcon main, and lost 2-1. It appears that Okami may have a falcon problem although neither set was recorded (and I couldn’t find any recent sets of him vs Falcon )so why that is is up in the air. In losers he beat Codi, a fox main ranked 7th on the new york p.r, 2-0 and Coffeeblack, an up-and coming Falcon main from Canada 2-0 as well. He then lost to Kira, a strong Fox from Southern California. OkamiBW placed 65th at Genesis 3.
At SSS 40, Okami beat J666 2-1 (although the one game Okami lost he played Fox) to qualify for top 32 bracket winners side. Okami had a solid combo and edge-guard game throughout the set. Okami then lost to two Falcons back-to-back. He lost to S2J 2-0 in winners and Jace 2-0 in losers. Okami wasn’t hitting Jace hard enough and Okami would also throw out bad dash attacks and fairs in hopes of finishing Jace off. Okami placed 17th at SSS 40.
Okami is currently ranked 22nd on the SoCal power rankings. He does seem to have a Falcon problem, losing to Lord, S2J and Jace and losing a game to Juggleguy. OkamiBW will more than likely not be ranked next year.
IB seems to be in semi-retirement in 2016. The only major he attended was GOML 2016 where he had to play Swedish Delight in round one pools, who IB lost to 2-0. In losers bracket he beat Tranimal, a solid Canadian Sheik player, and JP, another good Canadian Sheik, both 2-0 to make it to the top 32 bracket losers side. He lost to Professor Pro 3-0 in losers round 1. IB got 25th at this event
IB is no longer ranked on the Ontario Power Rankings. He will not be on SSBM 2016 unless something drastically changes.
At GENESIS 3, Porkchops beat Subtle, a Sheik main from New York, to make it into round 2 pools winners side. There, he lost to Cheezpuff, a Jigglypuff player from New York, 2-1 in the first round. In losers he had a California gauntlet, beating Sheigami, the Sheik from SoCal, 2-0 and EastCoastJeff, the Fox from SoCal, 2-1 before losing to Moose a strong NorCal PR’d Falco, 2-1. Porkchops placed 97th at this event.
At Frame One Series, Porkchops beat Lad, a Fox main from Central Florida, 2-1 in winners round 1. In this match, Porkchops displayed a strong laser game and was really good at playing the percent game but struggled in his combo game. Part of this is due to the fact that he wasn’t utilizing his full move-set. He mostly just shined, dair’d, grabbed and lasered in both his neutral game and combo game throwing out the occasional bair or f-smash to finish out a stock. In winners round 2, Porkchops lost to Duck 2-0. Against Duck, Porkchops showed some amazing defensive options from solid DI to well-placed defensive shines. Porkchops was making too many unsafe trades though and had some spacing issues (most of Ducks kills started from a downsmash). In losers, Porkchops lost to Tempo, a fellow Falco main. Porkchops placed 17th at Frame One.
Porkchops still seems to be doing well in South Florida, a relatively weak region. He is currently ranked number 1 on the South Florida Power Rankings above SSBM ranked player Blea Gelo. Porkchops will need a good nationals placing if he wants to maintain his spot on the list.
At SSS39, Phil beat Bizzarro Flame 2-0 to make out of pools. Phil had some technical issues, but was doing a good job edgeguarding Bizz as well as avoiding combos. He then lost to S2J 2-1 first round of bracket. Phil’s punish game was good, although he still was struggling technically. Also he just wasn’t throwing out enough hitboxes at times. This sent Phil to losers where, after beating yeti 2-0, Phil lost to CDK 2-0. His punish game was not strong in the match-up. Phil got 17th place at SSS 39.
At GENESIS 3, Phil faced fellow NorCal Fox Wooptywop in winners finals of round 1 pools. Phil had many tech flubs, which was especially brutal against a reactionary player like Wooptywop, and wasn’t hitting is edgeguards, but for the most part, Phil just better-playered Wooptywop to win the set 2-0. Phil beat SUNG475 2-0 in round 2 pools but lost to C9 Mang0 2-0 as well which sent him into losers. In losers, Phil lost to JFlex, a strong Sheik main ranked 7th on the New York City PR, 2-0. Phi placed 65th at GENESIS 3.
Once again, I don’t know much about the NorCal scene, and they don’t have an updated PR. From what I gather, Phil, ranked 20th on the summer 2015 PR, has been doing better since then, and should move up the NorCal rankings. If Phil continues at this pace, he should be around the same spot next year.
I feel like I’ve been mostly negative so I’m glad I can end on a high note. Mafia has had a very good 2016. At GENESIS 3, Mafia beat Kitsune91, a up-and-coming Falco from SoCal, to make it out of round 1 pools. There he beat Zeo, a new Falcon main from SoCal, 2-1, but he lost to Reno (SSBM rank 74) 2-0. In losers, he beat ycz6, a power-ranked NorCal Samus 2-0. Mafia utilized turnips in this match-up to pretty dominantly beat ycz6. Mafia then lost to Santiago (SSBM rank 42) 2-0. Mafia got 65th at GENESIS 3.
At Pound 2016, Mafia beat Boss, a well known PM and smash 4 player to make it out of round 1 pools. In Round 2 pools, Mafia beat The Moon (SSBM rank 29) 2-1 but lost to Colbol 2-1. Against Colbol, Mafia demonstrated an amazing punish game (he three-stocked Colbol on game 2 with basically 4 zero-to-deaths) but he was also getting hit very hard in return and was getting hit by a lot of falling up-airs in neutral. In Mafia’s defense, Colbol is known to be strong in this match-up, being the closest non-God/Leffen to take a set off of Armada. In losers Mafia lost to Chillindude 2-1 placing 33rd at the tournament.
At Fight Pitt VI, Mafia cruised to winners round of 16, where he had to face Midwest hero Borp who Mafia defeated 3-0. Mafia used strong shield pressure to slay the Midwest giant. Mafia then lost to Duck 3-1 in winners quarters. Mafia played very strong for the first one and a half games, using turnips to successfully wall Duck out and throwing out strong float-cancelled aerials. Mid-way through game 2, Duck adapted, catching Mafia in the air with full-hop nairs and missiles and Mafia never really adapted back. To his credit, Mafia did a good job at baiting out Duck’s grabs and Duck is also very good at the Samus-Peach match-up. Mafia then beat his doubles partner Stango, a strong Marth from Pennsylvania, to qualify for top 8 losers side. He then had to play Silent Swag, who beat Mafia 3-1. Mafia didn’t play as patiently as he needed to in neutral or when he was above Silent Swag. He also wasn’t hitting his edge-guards which is a necessity in the match up. Mafia placed 7th at Fight Pitt VI.
At Mega Mass Madness, Mafia lost to Crush (SSBM rank 96) 3-0. In losers he had a nice little run, defeating New England power-ranked Fox player Squibble (who Mafia apparently has a losing record to) 3-1 to qualify for top 8. He then beat the Moon 3-0 first round losers top 8. Mafia continued to seem like the better player in the match-up, knowing when to pull turnips and executing great punishes. Apparently Mafia has a large amount of wins versus the Moon. He then played ZoSo (SSBM rank 71) who played Sheik. Mafia seemed to have improved in the match-up hitting his edge-guards much more consistently. Mafia defeated ZoSo 3-0 to advance to losers semis. In semis, Mafia lost to Swiftbass 3-2.Mafia did very well against Swiftbass’ Marth (winning both games against it) but struggled against his Fox. Mafia over-extended in neutral too many times and payed the price for it. Mafia placed 4th at Mega Mass Madness.
Mafia is on the rise in 2016. He is ranked 3rd in New England behind Slox and ZoSo. He needs to overcome his Fox problem if he wants to become a top-50 level player. If he can though, I believe he will rise through the rankings by next year.
Short tangent: One interesting thing about these up-and-coming players (such as Mafia) is that the better they get, the better seeding they get, and the better seeding they get, the better chance they have of having a break-out tournament. So a lot of players who are up-and-coming at the beginning of the year may have what appears to be a breakout tournament placement-wise, but if you more closely examine there earlier performances in the year, they were just as good. It’s just that they had a more difficult bracket. It is important not to confuse this with recency bias.