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Welcome to the SSBM 2020 Q1 Rank, hosted by Daily Esports! With the coronavirus pandemic bringing esports competition to a halt, this ranking recognizes those who performed well in early 2020. This series will detail the results of the current top 25 Super Smash Bros. Melee players in the world.

Today’s rankings feature an interesting mix of players, with three from California and two from outside the United States. In addition, it includes the best active players in the world for two of Melee‘s high-tier characters.

#15 – Trif

Álvaro “Trif” García Moral started 2020 in an underwhelming fashion compared to his explosive start to 2019. He placed 4th at Valhalla III, defeating Frenzy while dropping two sets to Finnish Puff main Solobattle. Then, at Genesis 7, Trif finished in a mediocre 17th place. He earned impressive (though expected) wins over 42nd and Forrest, with respectable losses to Mang0 and Swedish Delight.

Interestingly, Trif may have benefited more than any other player from the inclusion of locals in this ranking’s data set. This is because the Spaniard’s biggest standout run of 2020 came at a SoCal local tournament. Trif placed 2nd at Nimbus #70, taking sets off of Ginger, Westballz, SFAT, and Captain Faceroll. Meanwhile, his only losses were to S2J.

Trif closed out the season with a solid 7th place finish at Saving Mr. Lombardi 2. Along the way, he defeated Blassy, Squid, Kalamazhu, Albert, and SFAT while losing to iBDW and ARMY. Ultimately, Trif’s performances throughout early 2020 were characterized by high-quality wins without any awful losses.

#14 – n0ne

Edgard “n0ne” Sheleby had phenomenal showings at both of the majors he attended this year. He placed 7th at Genesis, taking sets off of KoDoRiN, Darkatma, MikeHaze, Ginger, S2J, and aMSa. Following his impressive run at this high-profile tournament, n0ne joined UYU’s esports team in February. At Smash Summit 9, n0ne defeated iBDW, Spark, and Ryobeat en route to a 9th place finish. Between these two tournaments, n0ne only dropped sets to 2019 MPGR top 20 players.

However, n0ne’s subpar performances at regionals have prevented him from placing higher on the SSBM 2020 Q1 Rank. He placed 4th at Revenge of the 6ix: January 2020 Edition and 3rd at CEO Dreamland 2020. At these events, n0ne racked up losses to Soonsay, Cami, and Colbol without picking up any particularly notable wins. Still, even with these unfavorable losses, n0ne has proven to be one of Melee‘s most explosive players.

#13 – PewPewU

Kevin “PewPewU” Toy was the least active player to qualify for the SSBM 2020 Q1 Rank, attending only one tournament. But what an outstanding tournament it was. PewPewU placed 9th at Genesis 7, with wins over HugS, Plup, and iBDW and reasonable losses to Hax and Hungrybox.

PewPewU’s 67% win rate against the 2019 MPGR top 15 is tied with Plup for third-best in the world, only behind Hungrybox and Zain. Naturally, with only one tournament, it’s hard to justify ranking him in the top 10 alongside those players. Even so, PewPewU’s stellar Genesis run has secured him a spot in the top 15.

#12 – ARMY

Armand “ARMY” Del Duca finishes as the highest-placing (and only) Ice Climbers main on the SSBM 2020 Q1 Rank. At the beginning of the year, ARMY placed an underwhelming 3rd at Smash at SteelCraft: Final Genesis Handwarmers, losing to KoDoRiN and Captain Faceroll. However, he followed this up with a solid 17th place finish at Genesis 7. Along with close victories over Drephen and Aura, ARMY scored an unexpected upset against Plup. Ironically, ARMY was eliminated by Mew2King, a top player against whom he may have actually been the favorite to win.

ARMY had another impressive performance at Saving Mr. Lombardi 2, where he placed 5th. Most notably, he managed to take two sets off of Trif, the best Peach player in the world, in the Ice Climbers’ hardest matchup. ARMY also beat iBDW, Captain Faceroll, Albert, and Squid, while dropping sets to Kalamazhu, Professor Pro, and Fiction.

To close out the season, ARMY placed 4th at DreamHack Anaheim 2020, defeating Nut while losing to S2J and Westballz. Interestingly, ARMY did not attend any local tournaments in early 2020, sticking to majors and regionals. At the tournaments he did attend, he picked up incredible wins without suffering terrible losses.

#11 – Captain Faceroll

Even before Genesis, Griffin “Captain Faceroll” Williams was extremely active at tournaments in SoCal. He won regionals like 2GG: SoCal Chronicles 2020 and Smash at SteelCraft: Final Genesis Handwarmers. Between these two tournaments, Captain Faceroll beat Franz, KoDoRiN, and ARMY. In addition, he won three of the four locals he entered prior to Genesis.

This momentum carried over to Genesis, where Captain Faceroll placed an outstanding 9th. There, he defeated Bladewise, Swedish Delight, Wizzrobe, and iBDW, with hardly concerning losses to Hungrybox and Fiction. Captain Faceroll’s 9th place finish at Saving Mr. Lombardi 2 was comparatively underwhelming. He earned predictable victories over KoDoRiN, Nut, and Prince Abu, while dropping sets to ARMY, SFAT, Professor Pro, and MikeHaze.

As one of the SSBM 2020 Q1 Rank’s most active local competitors, Captain Faceroll naturally had some poor losses. His 1-1 record against null and his 1-2 record against Westballz, while not ideal, are still far from awful. Furthermore, Captain Faceroll beat SFAT and Spud at locals, and he boasted dominant records against Nut (4-0) and KoDoRiN (11-3). The high quality of Captain Faceroll’s wins at tournaments of all kinds outweighed his occasional less-than-stellar losses.

Make sure to check back tomorrow, as the rankings resume with the SSBM 2020 Q1 Rank: 10-6.