Smash MPGR Rankings – Zain Takes Top Spot, Mang0 missing entirely

The Melee Panda Global Rankings have just been unleashed on the Smash Bros community, after taking a three-year gap. We again have rankings players.

They’re based on their performance across tournaments, for a clearer idea of who sits at the top of Melee. Player rankings rarely have universal acceptance. Although, the Smash MPGR rankings released this week have managed to really irritate some Smash fans and even pros.

This is what the ranking said, who came out on top, the methodology used, and why they’ve been controversial.

Smash MPGR Rankings

Image Source: @pgstats

Smash MPGR Rankings

The Smash MPGR rankings give us a clear look at where Smash players stand. At least for one ranking system. The full listings go up to the top 50, but it’s cracking the top 10 that really makes players stand out. These rankings include most of the major players and they recognize the incredible run Zain has been on lately.

Notably, they break the long-time run of 1st place rankings that Hungrybox has had since 2017. Zain and iBDW’s slots seem pretty fair. Although, other players have had issues with the rest of the list and the methodology.

How Were the Smash MPGR Rankings Worked Out?

The Smash MPGR Rankings were worked out based on events between March 1 and July 11 2022. This is the first ranking since 2019. This limited period for results is likely going to skew things quite a bit.

Another issue with the major gap in rankings is that there are a lot of new players out there. Since Slippi Online and other tournaments have launched, there are more Smash players than ever that need to be considered for things like this. Jmook is on this list. He’s had an amazing year so this is probably fair. However, some have found issues with where he’s been ranked, with 3rd seeming too high given the limited number of tournaments he’s had great results in, showing a clear recency bias in this system.

The results and data from these tournaments were taken and then balanced by a panel. Only 59 players in total were assessed. Having a panel go over these rather than just judging the raw data on matches does seem to have generated a lot of controversies.

Mang0 Missing from the rankings is “odd”

One of the biggest complaints that fans have had with the rankings is the complete absence of Mang0 in the top 10. The player has had some rougher matches in the tournaments included in these rankings. However, a short batch of bad results doesn’t seem enough to push him fully out of the top 10. These rankings feel a bit harsh.

Mango himself has said he’s not mad about the ranking. However, he pointed out a bit of a problem with the overall system.

Basing it on so few events has been a problem along with rewarding those who don’t turn up. Mang0 ended his tweets on the topic by summing things up. “Grinders should be rewarded”. It’s definitely healthier in the long run for players to be encouraged to frequently defend their status at more events.

The Smash MPGR rankings clearly aren’t a perfect system with some major problems, not just Mang0’s placement. However, it is tricky to replace it. Others have pointed out that algorithm-based ranking has some major flaws too. It is hard to objectively rank every player. There are largely going to be problems with any methodology. The Smash MPGR ranking isn’t perfect, and even if the methodology changes, we’ll likely see more problems with the outcome next time too.