Europe needs an online ladder


I like spicy food
Dec 24, 2008
The Netherlands, sometimes Japan
Hello, my name is Meru and I’m a player from the Netherlands. As some of you may know, I lived in Japan for a year. I played Smash 4 there since its release, until last year September. I still visit Japan from time to time and I have just come back from a

I’m going to get straight to the point. I’m writing this because upon my return to Europe, it was painfully obvious to me that compared to Japanese players, European players are much weaker. Not only is the average skill level significantly lower in Europe, there are also considerably fewer high and top level players, and even they aren’t on the level of high/top level players in Japan. Japan has a few things that Europe doesn’t, but the main thing that Japan has which Europe does not, is a good online scene. Many European players seem to hate wi-fi, they seem disgusted by the idea of playing online simply because “it lags a lot”, and thus they neglect it completely. They couldn’t be more wrong. There are TONS of benefits to online play that I have discovered during my stay in Japan, and I will go as far as saying that one of the main reasons Japan is so good is precisely because they have that fantastic online scene.

So what kind of good things does an online scene bring, you may ask?

Firstly, in Japan they have an extremely active as well as stacked online ladder. Almost all Japanese players, be it beginners, mid-level, high-level and top-level players use the ladder. More importantly, the players that were on it were predominantly very good: almost all Japanese top level players you can think of were on it. The ladder was very active, matches were found fast and best of all, you could find a match pretty much every time of the day. Waiting even 5 minutes to play a match was a rarity! You played a match, and then immediately jumped onto the next one. Even if you lead a busy life (which most of us do), you could come home from work or school and spend one hour of continuously playing matches against good players.

Secondly, you could play with people you usually can’t play with, especially because they live far away. Japan is pretty big, and many people live in different regions. Their tournaments are also pretty full, there’s no time to play friendlies with every single person. On the ladder, however, you could find all these people, regardless of where they lived.

In addition, you could play with lots of different characters and playstyles. This was extremely good for player experience and match-up experience. Instead of only playing the same people who have the same playstyle and play the same character over and over again, you played lots of different playstyles, all of them having different strengths and weaknesses, which you had to adapt to all the time. Furthermore, you got to play against lots of different characters, even the rarest ones, making the ladder an amazing place to get match-up experience, which is vital in a game with 58 characters.

Finally, they also had a ranking system, similar to the one AllIsBrawl used back in the Brawl times. You start out with 1500 points, gaining points as you win and losing points as you lose. In this way you could find people around your own skill level, so you wouldn’t have to play people who were much worse than yourself, or against people who are overwhelmingly stronger.

However, whenever I tell this to people in Europe, they often tell me that “Japan is small. On top of that, the internet in Japan is godlike. This ladder is possible in Japan, but not in Europe”. This is strictly false! First of all, when I stayed in Japan, I lived in Fukuoka, which is in the very south of Japan, yet I played with people from Tokyo or Osaka all the time, with almost no lag. Mind you, the distance between Fukuoka and Tokyo is 882 km! That’s much more than the distance between London and Paris (344 km) or Amsterdam and Berlin (570 km) or Barcelona and Bern (748 km). I have played enough wi-fi matches within Europe to say that it does not lag more than when I played lived in Japan and played with other players living in other Japanese regions.

In summary, the ladder gave you continual practice since it is accessible: you could play it without traveling anywhere, and you could play it for both a short while (just an hour) as well a long while (let’s grind the whole day). On top of that, the practice you have is extremely useful, since you play against a lot of strong and different people, playstyles and characters, all from different skill levels, but usually near you own skill level.

So what do I suggest?

What I suggest is that we all start to use (Anther’s Ladder). On Smashladder, you can easily find other people to play with. You can set your own location, so if you don’t want to play with people living far from you, you don’t have to. There are rankings (lowest is Bronze, then Silver, then Gold, then Platinum etc.) so if you want to, you can only play against people around your own skill level. If you don’t want to play ranked matches, there’s also the option to do endless matches. There's also a counterpicking system built in the ladder itself (the stagelist used on Smashladder is the same one as the stagelist used in most major European tournaments). The ladder is thus super easy to use. (Do bear in mind that you have to wait 24 hours after registering to play ranked matches! You can play friendly matches during that time though.)

Frankly, it doesn't have to be Anther's Ladder either. It could be any ladder, perhaps the best thing would be a ladder made specifically for European players. However, there doesn't seem to be any, and I don't know anyone who's willing to put work into creating and maintaining such a website, hence why I'm suggesting to play on a already existing ladder.

From my experiences in Japan I genuinely believe this will improve Europe a lot, so I really hope people are willing to participate!‪ #‎MakeEuropeGreatAgain‬


Smash Rookie
Feb 8, 2016
I play ladder 2 to 3 days a week for the past month and I'm seeing more things more options. Even in Mu's i thought impossible.
Improving and climbing closer to the Better players in my region (the Netherlands same as meru)
And connections are good even if I play vs the USA (like Florida)
And ye sometimes you miss a tech or a input but that isn't to commen
Also Lagg test before a game which ladder askes you to do. If it's bad you can agree to cancel the match and nothing is lost

So give it a try for a week or 2 and see what happens in your own plays
Let's make th EU a formidable scary place to play
Apr 11, 2010
Paris, France
The fact that you say that the internet quality for matches is the same in Europe and Japan convinced me. I'll trust you and hop on ladder one of these days.

#HBC | ZoZo

Shocodoro Blagshidect
Jan 12, 2009
Land of Nether
If people learn to treat wi-fi as a different training style than offline, even laggy matches can provide players with great improvement. +1, supporting this.
Jun 14, 2015
I don't know. I really tend to learn muuuch more from offline play than from online. Also, there are situations in wifi game where i feel that i have to change the way i play. For example, punishing jabs or other attacks with not much lag seems much more possible to me while playing offline. Online can steal you the few frames you'd needed, so you have to use defensive options instead of punishing things. Also, some characters and playstyles may gain much more from online play than others.

Sure, a really awesome player might compansate all of that so he still might be awesome in online play too. But in general, it makes things more imprecise. Players who'd play 50:50 in offline situation can easily get to a 55:45 situation wifi or worse. And thats where i see a problem in those ladders. They try to rank players on a base, which is not thouroughly competitive.

On the other hand and as you said, it is obv much more easier to learn more matchups because you don't need to travel. But i think it is overall understandable, that some people don't like to get ranked by wifi-performance.