Matt “Dr. Hunk” Koester
Melee geeks rejoice! The new CLM PR is here!
Looking at results from March through June of 2022, CLM’s PR Panel has presided over a profound period of in-person Melee. While some saw less attendance or weaker results, others rose to the occasion. In a tightly contested field, 15 players stood above the competition.
This season, panelists were encouraged to watch not only local and regional performances, but also Chicago players’ performances out of region.
“Quite a few of our players attended a lot of out of state and performed very well during that time so we decided to reward them,” CLM panelist and former Head TO Unsure said, explaining this move.
This year has been one of upset expectations in Melee, and for Chicago this came no less true. With the first quarter of the year impacted by the Omicron wave of COVID-19, CLM’s return to regular in-person events have seen many established narratives fall apart.
Michael and Skerzo, whose rivalry practically defined 2021 in CLM, have not played once this year! Eggy has beaten Moky! Mekk has become a star streamer, and Shabo returned from hibernation.
CLM’s new power rankings are releasing alongside an exciting new feature for our website. CLM Stats, created by Simkins with invaluable input from Unsure and MattPopa, allows you to track the performance of players at CLM’s weeklies and regionals both in placements and head to heads. It’s a great way to track your favorite players, yourself, or see how next season’s rankings are lining up.
Without further ado, here are this season’s top performers.
The PR Panel:
After debuting on the Chicago PR at #11 last summer, Killablue was absent in this past fall’s rankings. The Spring season saw Killablue return to prominence, if not dominance, at Chicago events.
The Falco main may lack winning records with most of CLM’s finest, but he’s even with Ober and with Arpy last season and holds a positive record on Tranimal. Like many players on his end of the PR, he does very well against the field at large, too. With strong recent performances at Midane, the skies look blue indeed for this born killer.
The blazing fast fox tore their own path this season, even if they struggled against Chicago’s best. Despite wins on Skerzo, Pleeba, Q?, Ober and Arpy, GIOGOAT held no winning records on any PR players this season. Still, the highlights were bright, and GIOGOAT’s record on the greater field in Chicago remains consistent. They provided CLM with some of its best clips in and out of game in the process.
Despite some strong in-region players, Arpy is the only Marth to make PR this season. With an even record against Skerzo, and positive records against Q? and Ober, Arpy’s highlights as a player are bright. That said, he still has trouble with players like Pleeba, Shabo and Dz.
There will definitely be some obstacles before Arpy can reach the upper end of the PR, but he remains CLM’s best Marth.
Tranimal’s Sheik has some high highs and some low lows on its scorecard. Against the region’s best players, he holds a positive record only on Mekk, Arpy and GIOGOAT. Anyone under those players’ levels he can beat pretty consistently. Still, these struggles against the region’s best keep him from breaking any further into the PR.
A familiar face in the top 5 of any Midlane, Tranimal’s stocks could soon rise if he is able to solve some more of CLM’s best.
Few Melee players will ever win a tournament, and fewer still will win tournaments with three different characters. Since winning Tech Zone this May, dz has now won at least one tournament with Falco, Sheik and Yoshi, his current main. Not only that, but the Tech Zone set was a win over Ferocitii in the notoriously unforgiving Peach matchup.
While he’s failed to make much of a mark on Mekk, Skerzo or Smashdaddy, dz has managed to hold positive records against Shabo, Ober, Arpy and Tranimal. Yoshi has become a much more common character in recent years, but dz’s performance is still pretty unprecedented for CLM, and it will be exciting to see what comes next from the dynamic dinosaur.
JustJoe’s spring season was somewhat abbreviated. The former Fudds Smash TO took a two month break in early 2022 following some competitive struggles. Turning to reading and meditation, Joe was not sure if he would ever return to Melee. Thankfully for us, he did.
Unfortunately for Joe, this inactivity left a gap in his spring season. Losses to Eggy and Ferocitii at Scrims while playing his old main Falco likely impacted his record, as did his losing records against Michael, Skerzo, Shabo and Ober.
With recent performances like his first place finish at Midlane Melee 42 in July, however, it looks like Joe’s biggest struggles are in the past. With the mind palace in place, who knows what next season could bring for Joe?
Doctor Mario isn’t supposed to be this good. Not in 2022. Not in a game like Melee, where most prominent Doctor Mario mains changed character or quit long ago. In the midst of a worldwide Doc flop era, Q? breaks the rules.
Considered by some to be the best active Doc player in the world, Q?’s exacting and devastating grab game has allowed him to make spacey mains question Melee’s tier list..
Despite his strength as a player, Q? did have some hard obstacles this past season. Skerzo refused to let him win a single set this season, and Pleeba and Smashdaddy both also gave him a hard time.
A true student of the game, Ober’s work ethic is nothing to scoff at. The analytical Falco main has only gotten better, but a strong competitive landscape has pushed him further back into Chicago’s rankings.
The highlights remain there for Ober. Despite a hard fought Midlane grand finals win over Skerzo, his record against the fox remains the same as it ever was, at 2-8.
Positive on Pleeba, JustJoe and Eggy, he struggled to take out CLM’s top 5 players, including new additions to this season’s PR like Smashdaddy and Mekk. He also failed to make a dent against Arpy’s Marth, and struggled against mid-tier mains Dz and Q?.
With some strong showings lately at Midlane, it’s clear that Ober’s journey in Chicago is far from over, and he will use whatever tactics he can to shoot for the stars.
After firmly becoming CLM’s top Peach, Eggy could have kept things there, putting up solid results and staying in his lane. Instead, he hit the road, out for blood.
Eggy pummeled Moky for a 2-1 win at Genesis 8 in one of Melee’s most famous upsets of the year. He followed it up with a win over NYC Falcon Jojo at Pound 2022 the next week. He’s won a slew of smaller tournaments as well, like the Melee bracket at Combo Breaker, over Zeo.
If Eggy could turn a leaf on some of his problem matchups in his own region, most notably Skerzo, Shabo, Ober and Pleeba, he could become a dominant force. He often already is at locals where those four aren’t present.
In a region of strong foxes like Chicago, Sheik has held steady in the hands of Pleeba. Pleeba’s records against Shabo and Skerzo were less than stellar this season, but he has become perhaps CLM’s sharpest gatekeeper. Players below Sheik in the tier list, beware. Pleeba held a 4-2 record over Q? in the spring season. He also looked untouchable in the Peach matchup, failing to drop sets to any of CLM’s Peach mains this season.
A regular in the finals of any Midlane he enters and among the region’s most active players, Pleeba remains one of CLM’s best.
Melee has no shortage of negativity among its players. Mekk entered 2022 with a different approach. In aggressively positive streams, the Captain Falcon started entering online brackets daily. With every loss came push ups and introspection. Good results soon followed.
Mekk has become one of Melee’s biggest wildcards. Unranked in fall 2021 due to lack of attendance, Mekk made a real effort this season to be seen in his region when he wasn’t streaming or traveling.
Against CLM’s top in-region talent, the Falcon main can’t quite reach the heights of Michael, who has beaten him in both sets they played, or Shabo, who maintains a 2-1 record over him. Still, in his five PR-eligible performances this season, Mekk managed to win a Midlane weekly and hold positive records over everyone but Tranimal, JustJoe, shabo, Michael and Mattchu.
His best performance this season likely came at Low Tide City 2022, where he took out not only his CLM rival Skerzo, but also BobbyBigBallz and Axe on a warpath to second place. With another breakout performance this past weekend at Fête 2022, here’s hoping Mekk keeps showing Chicago his moves.
After dropping to second place in Chicago for the first time in years this past fall, Michael’s tournament attendance took a nosedive. In 2022, the patient ‘Puff managed to work around this by winning nearly everything he entered. Michael maintained positive records on shabo, Mekk, Pleeba, JustJoe, Tranimal, GIOGOAT, Hyunnies, Pleasantries, Macdaddy and metroid in his abbreviated season.
He managed to do well versus out-of-region players as well. At Get to the Point #2, he fended off Indiana with a first place finish, and in a late May Tripoint appearance, he fended off Lowercase Hero and Danny Phantom for first place.
Last season, Michael made second on the PR by only losing to four players. This season, he held a losing record against only one. His demon this season was Smashdaddy, who he still managed to beat in two of their five sets this season. Michael clearly has still got it. Here’s hoping we see more from him next season.
For those newer to CLM, shabo may be a fresh face. Returning from inactivity in 2022, the fox main has quickly risen the ranks to become perhaps Chicagoland’s best in-region player. A regular in the Grand Finals of any Midlane weekly, Shabo spent this spring edging out a 4-3 record over Skerzo, last season’s #1 player. He also held positive records on Mekk, Ober, Pleeba and JustJoe.
Shabo finished seventh at Hold That L #7, outperforming every other Chicago player save for Skerzo as well.
His out of region performances have been pretty good too. At Genesis 8, he and CLM hidden boss Seal were Chicago’s highest performers, finishing in Top 64 of the bracket.
Shabo’s record isn’t spotless. His single set with Michael this season at the Midlane Invitational was a loss. He has a losing record against the spacey slayer Q? as well as against Dz’s Yoshi. Smashdaddy’s dominant stay in Chicago also left a negative mark on Shabo’s record, with the Socal fox winning every set the two played.
Skerzo’s 2022 has been most notable in his out-of-region performances. With the title of Chicago’s best on his shoulders, Skerzy has been making his mark at regionals, majors and locals this year, telling everyone who’ll listen that Chicago ain’t free. Skerzo could have used travel as an excuse to avoid in-region events, but he did not. He attended 21 PR-eligible events this season, second to only Eggy among this season’s PR.
Out of region, these wins have been numerous. Skerzo has turned a new leaf in his rivalry with Drephen. He finished in top 8 at The Function 2, undoubtedly the most stacked regional of 2022, taking out Zuppy in the process. He took out the UK’s finest In Professor Pro and Frenzy in a dominant showing at Moky’s Dojo X Pit Smash. He won a smattering of regionals, like BOPME and CT GamerCon.
In region, Skerzo’s position has evolved. While Michael and he were regulars in the grand finals of Midlane and Tripoint events last year, the two did not play once this past spring. Instead, the hooded fox shabo has become his rival. Shabo held a slim 3-2 lead on Skerzo this past season. On the other hand, Smashdaddy’s stay in Chicago was dominant over Skerzo, who failed to take a single set off of the Socal standard bearer.
The man, the myth, the daddy, Smashdaddy is not currently ranked in his home region of Socal because of the time he spent here, in Chicago, beating everybody. With that in mind, we here at CLM had no choice but to rank him first.
Attending four PR events this past season, the orange fox’s visit to Chicago coincided with a real level up for him as a player. The only CLM player to beat him this entire season was Michael. The notorious Puff still held a 2-3 losing record against the daddy of smash. At Hold That L #7, Smashdaddy finished fourth, placing above every CLM player in attendance.
Had he stayed in-region longer, perhaps Smashdaddy’s record would have looked less dominant. Regardless, it was impossible to ignore just how strong these performances were.
And that’s it for the Chicagoland Melee Spring 2022 Power Rankings. Follow @MeleeChicago on Twitter for updates and to let us know who you think got shafted this season.