#54-45

 

 

As the rankings power ahead, MDVA brings forward some familiar faces.

 

 

Robert “Yobolight” Orr may be best known for the often bizarre polls he creates in the Smash 64 Community Facebook page, but he is also one of the most threatening Yoshi mains in North America. Yobolight was able to start 2017 off strong and held on throughout the year with respectable finishes in the second half to lock himself into the rankings. He scored his biggest win at Let’s Go! with a shocking upset over Shalaka that heavily influenced the unexpected results seen in that Division 1 bracket. Yobolight is truly both a wildcard in the community and in tournament.

-David Shears

Notable wins – Shears, Shalaka


Photo courtesy of Kevin Batista

 

 

Ryan “Clubbadubba” Clubb had a quiet year in 2017. As an old-school player and the founder of the Northern Virginia SSB64 scene, Clubba is a community elder. Though still competitive in spirit, he cares less about his tournament placements than he used to. While traditionally a Falcon/Pikachu main, Clubba opted to lock-in DK from the beginning of the year through Super Smash Con 2017. His Kong proved to be a potent Falcon-slayer with wins over supa, Dogs_Johnson, TANK, and KD3. Clubba rose to become one of the best DK solo-mains outside of Japan. His year reaffirmed the truism that player-skill matters far more than a character’s position on the tier list. Clubba ended his year at MVP vs MOMS by demonstrating that his Falcon and Pikachu have hardly skipped a beat either with a 5th place finish. Looking forward, rumor has it that Clubba has tired of the struggles of competing with low-tiers and will be locking into Kirby for 2018.

-Robert Orr

Notable wins – Dogs_Johnson, supa, KD3*


Photo courtesy of © Preston Kwan | @The64Story

 

 

Eric “Marbles” Brumley is one of the founders of his local scene and has long been known as one of the best players in Florida. 2017 was a busy year for him, with wins over notable players such Shears, Darkhorse, Horbie, and hipstur at national tournaments. Back in Florida, he also had several wins over sHEERmADNESS and an intense rivalry with Loto. With his extremely technical Pikachu and Ness, he continues to make strides as a player and as a community leader for Florida. Despite being in one of the most competitive scenes in the country, Marbles manages to stand out among the crowd and make a name for himself.

-Jonatan Frosth

Notable wins – Horbie, Darkhorse, hipstur


Photo courtesy of Jonatan Frosth

 

 

Completing his best year yet, Robert “Janitor” Miller was able to prove his consistency in his slate of tournaments all year and really make a name for himself. Janitor, most known for his skill in completing some of the most technically challenging combos, quickly became a community favorite to watch. Having developed the entire cast, Janitor has shown phenomenal growth over the last year by taking sets off of Marbles and Kort in bracket play. Look for Janitor to have an even better 2018, and possibly start to challenge even more top ranked talent, though some will certainly be more eagerly awaiting the next epic combo he posts to Twitter.

-Alex Jungsten

Notable wins – Marbles, Kort*


Photo courtesy of SSB64 League

 

 

Matt “NaCl” Hamzeh is a resilient force. Let me show you what I mean: his only losses at majors all year were to Dext3r, SSBMTL | TR3GTheZ, Mariguas, HAMMERHEART, Lowww, and Hydra, all ranked players. That is quite the résumé, and he earned it with a robust understanding of his character and a very threatening punish game. His Kirby sticks to platforms and has solid movement, truly a frightening thought considering getting touched means you are nearly always ending up far from stage. This puffball powerhouse has also been a strong force in the Dallas scene for years, making us happy to include him on this list.

-David Avila

Notable wins – Darkhorse


 

 

Steven “Loto” Rodriguez became interested in Smash 64 in 2008, but he played only sporadically until 2016, when he started attending Florida locals regularly. He quickly became known as one of Florida’s best players. 2017 was a massive breakout year for him, with an especially impressive performance at Boss Battle 3, where he defeated Hipstur, SKG, HAMMERHEART, and took a game off of TR3GTheZ using his taunt-heavy Captain Falcon. He also defeated sHEERmADNESS several times in various Florida tournaments and has been noted for his close sets versus CTG.

-Jonatan Frosth

Notable wins – SKG, HAMMERHEART, sHEERmADNESS


Photo courtesy of © Preston Kwan | @The64Story

 

 

In 2017, David “Shears” Shears completed his transition to a Yoshi/Luigi main, while incorporating a brand-new Fox secondary during several high-stakes matches. A few upsets, along with a huge growth in skill in players around his level led to an unfortunate drop in the rankings. Shears came very close to a few big upsets of his own in the second half of 2017, which could have catapulted him to a higher spot. His incredible adaptability has allowed him to be successful with any character he feels like playing, making him quite the unpredictable adversary. Shears is also the often controversial leader of the community, helping create some of the best events and projects in 64, but also speaking with a brashness rarely seen.

-Josh Brody

Notable wins – Loto, Madrush, KD3


Photo courtesy of © Preston Kwan | @The64Story

 

 

Sean “Yunque” Hennessy only attended two majors in 2017 but his results were consistent. His sparse attendance kept him under most people’s radars and allowed him to turn heads while creating upsets when he did appear. Shine 2017 was one such appearance where he created waves, upsetting Darkhorse and inter-region rival Fireblaster. Additional notable wins, including Shears at Let’s Go!, locked down a spot in the 2017 rankings. If Yunque has the opportunity to attend more high-profile tournaments in 2018 he will prove he deserves to be higher, if not, he may be destined to remain a “hidden boss” in the Northeast.

-Rafael Oceguera

Notable wins – Shears, Darkhorse, Fireblaster

Photo courtesy of Great Value Smash | twitch.tv/GreatValueSmash

 

 

Moving from New Jersey to California, Rob “Cobr” Stone was able to make his mark on the West Coast and continue building on his rock solid 2016. Although only competing in a few tournaments, Cobr was able to maintain steady results by finishing 17th at Genesis 4 while beating Madrush and Nintendude, and then finishing 13th at Snosa III with victories over Wookiee and D35. Originally a Samus main, expect Cobr to keep building his Falcon and Kirby and continue his consistent results at majors. If you are a frequenter of the Smash Bros. subreddit, keep an eye out for this ornery “tired” player, as he is keen on educating his fellow man with language that will make you blush.

-Alex Jungsten

Notable wins – Nintendude, Madrush


Photo courtesy of Tourney Locator | twitch.tv/TourneyLocator

 

 

Another year of ups and downs, 2017 provided several surprises for Baltimore’s resident content creator. While Jason “Darkhorse” Brody struggled close to home, falling short at Lets Go! and Super Smash Con, he reached new heights abroad at Get On My Level 2017 and Shine 2017. He notched wins against KD3, Fray, Preston, and Raychu en route to two Top 8 appearances in a one month span, and narrowly missed out at another shot while character-locking into Donkey Kong at Empire Smashes Back. Darkhorse’s well-noted inconsistency has held him back from a higher spot, but this past year was his best yet, truly worthy of his rise from last year’s rankings.

-Josh Brody

Notable wins – KD3, Fray, Shears


Photo courtesy of EMG

 

* denotes a win at a national or regional event that was NOT included in the 2017 ballot