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Michigan Melee Social Thread and Power Rankings


Smash Ace
Apr 12, 2012
Michigan Melee
Power Ranking

Panelists: Beach, Ginger, Heartstrings, JU4N, MB-Smash, and tm
Last updated: January 31st, 2016​

The Michigan Melee Power Ranking is a roster of the strongest and most competitive Melee players in the state. We hope that this power ranking can motivate up-and-coming Smashers to attend more tourneys and improve, and that the player directory can help organize the community as well as benefit everyone in Michigan overall.

Player rankings during this period are primarily based off of bracket wins and losses during this season, with a slight reward for higher tournament attendance to encourage activity. The previous season is a small factor, but round-robin pools, doubles, moneymatches, and friendlies are not weighted at all in the PR.

Power Ranking
1. Duck - West Bloomfield :samusmelee: +0
2. KJH - Detroit :foxmelee: +0
3. Prince Abu - West Bloomfield :jigglypuffmelee: *new*
4. Ginger - Holland :falcomelee: -1
5. Shaeden - Grand Rapids :marthmelee: *returning*
6. Beach - Howell :sheikmelee: +0
7. Anther - Ann Arbor :pikachumelee::falcomelee: *new*
8. Juggleguy - Ann Arbor :falconmelee: -4
9. tm - Toledo :ganondorfmelee: -4
10. Paper - Westland :sheikmelee: -3

Honorable Mentions (alphabetical order)
Criphood - Mt. Pleasant :jigglypuffmelee:
Hellsing - Utica :marthmelee:
MB-Smash - Toledo :sheikmelee:
Tran - Holland :foxmelee:
Yoyo - Ann Arbor :luigimelee:

These players perform well and have defeated some ranked players in tourney, but are just outside the top ten in our opinion.

Inactive Mentions (alphabetical order)
Bigy - South Haven :falconmelee::linkmelee:
Blake - Kalamazoo :foxmelee:
Shady - Lansing :marthmelee:
Vaccine - Bloomfield Hills :falcomelee::sheikmelee:

These players were strong contenders before becoming inactive, and would likely be ranked or honorably mentioned if still active today.


Ranking Criteria
1. Notable wins and losses vs mutual opponents
2. Performance vs out-of-state competition
3. Head-to-head records in brackets
4. Previous ranking influence
5. Our personal opinion

Things Not Considered
* Doubles performance
* Tournament placings
* Round-robin pools
* Friendlies
* Moneymatches

Ranking Eligibility
* Residency in Michigan for the majority of the regular calendar year (at least 6 months per year)
* Active status as a tournament entrant. Minimum of either 1 eligible tournament on average per month of the season's duration (3 in this case), or 1/3 of eligible MI tournaments.
* The Toledo, Ohio melee scene is considered a part of the Michigan scene and is therefore eligible for the PR as of April 27th, 2015

Tournament Eligibility
* At least 25 entrants
* At least 3 ranked or mentioned players
* Weekday tournaments not included


Smash Ace
Apr 12, 2012
Compilation of posts regarding the PR panel's decisions.



Let's talk about the criteria.

-The PR reflects number of wins against the previous PR.
First, you'll notice that PR wins are the most important criterion. The order of the PR mostly reflects the number of PR wins at eligible tournaments in a linear fashion. The only notable exceptions to this are (a) KJH and Duck, for whom order was influenced by performance at nationals and (b) Russell. Russell actually has more PR wins than Hellsing, but we put Russell at 10 on account of his more varied record of losses. In terms of eligible tournaments, Yoyo only had 1 PR win, fewer than every member of the current PR.

-Beating the reigning PR is the biggest challenge in our community.
I'll address two more things about the criteria. First, why do we consider "previous ranking influence" (fourth criterion) and why do we place the most value on wins against the previous official PR? You can think of PR updates as a measure of how the scene is changing--who are the new challengers? The PR helps to organize the community around a central premise: the greatest competitive challenge is to beat a PR player. If you like, you can think of the PR as a game, and the way to get points is to *beat the previous PR.* I like treating it this way because it gives new players a goal to focus on and gives the community a common understanding for appreciating the importance of a win. The PR is not a method for tracking skill as closely as possible; the PR is a method for recognizing players who succeed in making a particular cultural achievement---taking sets off the reigning PR.

"""Region X does their PR like this, and I like their process/results better. Why don't you do it like that? / Why do you think yours is better?"""
We agreed that our top priority would be objective ranking based on results and not on skill / our opinions. And in order to do this we need to compile all results from some set of tournaments which are to be included based on some sort of eligibility. We deem several properties of a tournament to make it worthwhile, or in contrast, not worth compiling or even bad for obtaining accurate results. Informal house tournaments, less than $5 buy-ins, and tournaments with no or very few ranked players came to mind as obvious choices for exclusion.
With regards to weeklies: it became obvious when UM [bi]weeklies became very popular (80+ entrants) that we would have to make a formal decision regarding whether or not to include the series, and why or why not. In the past, weeklies such as Froggy Fresh were not included, despite having 3 PR/HM level players regularly. In the end, we agreed that weekly tournaments would not be included due to reasons listed in the following section.

"""Why didn't player X get ranked? He's clearly better than players W, Y, and Z, and he has wins over players A and B!!!"""
PR Rank =/= Skill. In case anyone forgot ;)
Skill is subjective. The point of the PR is to document results at tournaments which are deemed significant as determined by the panel

"""Why is tournament placement not considered?"""
Because the placement someone gets doesn't accurately reflect their skill or their accomplishment. Someone could beat duck in round 1 but still get 25th. Alternatively someone could win a tournament despite getting no good wins. Seeding, DQ's, and collusion can all distort placement by number, which is why it's important to look at who each person beat and lost to.

"""Oh great, the PR ranked / didn't rank X player right before the Arcadian. Now it's a free win / they are stripped of the opportunity to win money."""
The PR's decisions are made without considering Arcadian eligibility. Some players will get lucky in this regard (Yoyo) and some will get unlucky (Paper/Quang/Russell). It happens, but that isn't our concern. Don't pretend that Arcadian eligibility is fair otherwise. Ex: MB-Smash was banned from the Arcadian prior to being ranked due to perceived skill.

"""What does HM actually mean in relation to PR?"""
HM basically indicates the potential to become PR'd and serves as encouragement. Most HMs only have 1 or 2 PR wins. It's usually the case that only #10's record is comparable to the HMs.

HMs were the next strongest after the 10 PR'd, but the convention has been to not order them (it is usually very debatable and unrewarding). So basically these are a tie for 11-15 spots.

Criteria closing note:
IF you agree with the criteria thus far, then there is nothing to debate. I PROMISE you that we do an extremely good job at evaluating the results based on the criteria. I'd say that about 80% of our conclusions are unanimous, with the other ~20% requiring deeper analysis and some subjective discussion between panelists.
If you do NOT agree with the criteria, that is because the values of the PR panelists (and very likely the values of other respectable players and members of the community) are different than yours. If the values of the community as a whole clash with the values of the PR panel, then the value of the PR as determined by the panel will be undermined and no longer respected [by those who do or used to respect it]. Anyone can make their own PR based on other criteria and receive criticism or acclaim for their work. If a preferred system is discovered, it will likely live on. So far, no one has come forth with such a system, and the panel agrees that the current system is our best solution.


Main reasons we didn't include Wednesday tournaments:

- Many people will not perform to their usual standard. Playing to improve, going 2ndaries, not trying as hard due to a smaller pot (top players only), and coming to AA at the end of a long work/school day are all very common situations for this. We generally agree that weekend tournaments most accurately represent player skill

- Many people don't have the opportunity to come to Ann Arbor every week on a Wednesday. Meanwhile, locals can farm attendance and wins at a series that happens extremely frequently and much more within their own comfort zone.

- If we included UMBs, they would consistute nearly HALF of the ENTIRE results for the PR season. We count set wins and losses, nothing in between. To institute some sort of arbitrary "half win" or "half loss" clause due to wanting to weight UMBs, but not weigh them as much as other tournaments, would derail our process and take three times as long to complete. It wouldn't even really improve the situation either because the amount of weight is still 100% subjective, and people would just complain about that.

- It would take much longer (about twice as long, if we gave Wednesday tournaments equal weight) to compile the PR, and in our opinion would not significantly improve the results. In this case [October 2015], yes, many people would argue that Yoyo got shafted, but the PR is not the end of the world, and if it was undisputable then it would have been apparent in the many tournaments that still were included (this season, even without Weekday tournaments, had more tournaments than any previous season).

As a panel we decided to value Saturday/Sunday $5+ tournaments a lot more than weekly tournaments. Weeklies are a place where everyone goes to improve, but not all players have the same incentive to perform their best when it's a weekly on a weekday and/or has a low entry. Weeklies, such as UMB, not being eligible for rankings allows players to still focus on improvement at these tournaments without worry of what the effect might be on the PR. More importantly, it removes the PR having to subjectively decide "oh yeah he tried this set, but not this one!" or "yeah, this alt is roughly worth as much as his main." more than we had to. Despite perceptions, what happens at UMB's is NOT necessarily indicative of what happens at other statewide events.

-Most of the PR data would have been weeklies if we let them in.
And the last issue about the criteria. Why did we exclude weeknight tournaments? Consider the following: if the UMBs were included, then they would have constituted half of the data, such that the PR would be heavily shaped by UMBs. Our critics would say that our decision led to the exclusion of much of the useful data. But we took the view that letting UMBs flood the pool of eligible tournaments would (a) be more likely to deteriorate the data overall and (b) undermine the special distinction we reserve for state-wide, big-stage, weekend events.

-The weekend events are more meaningful for two reasons: people are more prepared and there is a special competitive atmosphere that everybody can feel.
Point (a) speaks to the fact that people may treat weeklies as a place to focus on practice, innovation or simply having fun and also that player preparation and mindset at such events may not be at the highest level. Point (b) speaks to the fact that we are a community with a set of traditions and common understandings that allow us to deem certain events as worthy of more prestige than others. We want events, such as the summer circuit events, to be as serious and meaningful as possible. We want to create well-defined competitive events that are high-pressure, high-stakes and as motivating as possible for attendees. The weekend tournaments, which are all-day events with a greater diversity of attendees and a bigger public stage, fulfill the function I have been discussing. The weeklies less so. Think about the coming Arcadian. Would a random weeknight Arcadian be as exciting and interesting as one that everyone is focusing on and planning for far in advance?

-A major purpose of the PR is to make weekend events meaningful and exciting.
Personally, I like having some events that are more growth-oriented and others that are more centrally organized around the challenge and spectacle of competition. The PR reflects the fact that our weekend state-wide tournaments have been more meaningful for the community. The PR also functions to maintain that meaning.

The PR is about who MIs biggest state wide threats are not who can win a $1 bracket in someone's basement or some tourney Wednesday night after school/work.

honestly the only reason you need to disqualify weeklies for is the fact that they are straight. up. not. fair.
someone who woke up at 6 am and worked 8 hours does not have the same advantage as someone who woke up at noon and practiced tech all day.

"""You can't ever expect people to have an equal level of preparation for any tournament, so I wouldn't really say that holds any water."""
If you are to be a regionally respected melee competitor, there is no question that you must be prepared to play and compete strongly ON SATURDAYS. There is no exception to this. If there was a weekly god that only competed at weekday tournaments, there would be no real reason to rank him on a public statewide PR, which is designed to reflect results of tournaments which are relevant to the scene as a whole.

"""So just because a player or two might be sandbagging invalidates what happens in the entire tournament? At the biweeklies I went to this summer, everyone seemed to be doing their best to win, save for maybe Juggleguy."""
No, that's just one reason. This quote also implies that tournaments that aren't counted for PR don't matter at all.

"""PLEASE add weekly tournaments where there are a large number of entrants and many notable / PR'd players!"""
This does not satisfy the goals listed above. We want eligible tournaments where:
-Players play to their potential (most frequently)
-Eligibility criteria is fair (adding weeklies would inflate attendance criteria [how many tournaments are required in a season to be considered "active], or require a rework for attendance criteria. So far, none have been presented, and the panel does not believe that adding these stacked weekday tournaments will produce a better or more accurate PR. The burden is on the dissatisfied.
In addition, this would require double the work from the panel, and also inflate / devalue tournament set wins / losses. Some matchups would occur 10 times instead of three, and instead the PR would search for "the times that it mattered more". We consider this to be a waste of time when the more important sets can be determined automatically by selecting strict criteria for tournament eligibility.

"""Well you should still include weekday tournaments, but not value the sets as much."""
The panel values objectivity of results. Deciding on a different weight for otherwise same results is hugely subjective and also requires separate categorization of those results, as well as a huge increase in work for compiling and measuring those results.

If you think this is a cop-out answer, then you actually don't understand the process. It would take probably three times the amount of work if there were different weights for each set win. Every PR win is not weighted equally, and now they are separated into fractions, WHICH MUST ALSO BE CHOSEN ARBITRARILY BY THE PANEL, WHICH PEOPLE WILL DISAGREE WITH AND COMPLAIN ABOUT. On top of that, we're DOUBLING the sample size to include weekday tournaments. Now there is a boatload of data, some of which is useful, but a lot of which isn't. The results would probably be different, but as a whole, the panel does not believe that the result would be BETTER.

We fundamentally disagree about what should count for the Michigan PR. In the last PR post I am sure John and ourselves made it very clear why we are doing it the way we are. You can either reference that, or we can copy/paste responses here. Regardless, we disagree.

You both appear to believe that introducing more tournaments means we get a "better" and more "accurate" PR. This isn't the case at all. Introducing more tournaments and then assigning "weights" to them is the definition of subjectivity. Subjective isn't more accurate. We value accuracy in this panel, as well as the ability to perform when it counts. I would give CMPL weeklies a weight of 0 in comparison to SWEET's and other big tournaments. KJH has the head to head record over Duck 5-3. Yet, Duck is #1. This is because we value national performance very highly (like beating Leffen).

Weekday tournaments are locals.
If your goal is to get ranked worldwide, you must attend nationals. You can be #1 in your state (4%), and still be unranked.
If your goal is to be ranked in Michigan, you must attend Saturday & Sunday Michigan "majors" and prove your worth there.
Locals are for fun, practice, and experience but they will not count towards the Michigan PR.

If you're in a league, only the games within that league count for the rankings. If you're competing in a tournament, only games within that tournament count.

The Michigan PR is a ranking of Michigan Melee's results across out of state tournaments and Michigan "statewides." Statewides, by definition, are tournaments that the entire state has the opportunity (and often does) attend. You can think of it as a running tournament, as a league, as a season, it doesn't matter. The days of the week the season runs currently is Saturday/Sunday.

It seems fruitless for us to establish why it is the way it is, if you aren't going to give valid reasons as to why it should be different
I mean [adding weeklies would make the PR more accurate] based on what? If players only get results on Wednesdays, but get 0 at big tournaments that matter in mi, I don't feel they should be ranked, so including them would not make the pr more "accurate" in my eyes, because its inaccurate
At tournaments that matter, they choke

It sounds like what these people want is an ELO
If they want that, anyone is welcome to create a panel, input all tournies, and create one

But the way I see it, Michigan Melee already does exist as a "league," and the weekend tournaments function, implicitly, as circuit events. This is not a reality we are trying to force into existence. We are not insisting on the priority of weekend tournaments for obscure or technical reasons. Rather, we feel that their priority arises naturally from their cultural significance within the community. Their importance should not be a secret; in fact, the PR criteria are intended to reflect a common understanding of weekend tournaments as majors.

"Why is that?" Of course day of the week is arbitrary. But weekend tournaments are special because they create a high pressure environment in which the best competition from around the state is represented. Weekend tournaments are the place to test yourself against the state-wide field and prove that you can win with a lot on the line. We think most people in the community would agree with this. *If most people do not feel this way--if people do not experience the weekend tournaments as especially competitive--then the PR criteria would be wrong, in my view.* The idea of the PR, in my opinion, is that it reflects the performances that are most meaningful in the community. If weeklies come to be regarded as equally epic and prestigious, then that would be a good reason to include them (though the issue of fairness with regards to ease of attendance would remain). My main point here then is: why does the PR panel invest so much significance in weekend tournaments? The answer is because all of you--members of Michigan Melee--do.

Remember that the PR is not a skill ranking. It is a summary of results from Michigan's statewide tournaments--the events that are most meaningful because of how well organized they are, how much breadth of competition there is, and how much is on the line during a bracket match.

Personally, I think it's awesome that we have an implicit circuit. The fact that weekend tournaments count for so much adds to the competitive experience. It makes outcomes there meaningful. It generates HYPE, which is the lifeblood of melee.

In 1980, the Soviet Union Olympic hockey team crushed the USA in an exhibition match, 10-3. It didn't matter though because only two weeks later the U.S. would beat them in the medal round. It's one thing to win an exhibition. It's another to win the gold.


As strong believers in astrology, the panel came to the conclusion that only tournaments which fell on full moons would be counted. While you may think this leads to unrepresentative results, we consulted numerous experts who all told us the same thing: a player's true skill becomes apparent on the night of a full moon. For this reason, we also had to exclude some tournaments at which bracket began before nightfall.

We hope that everyone can adjust to this more scientific methodology of weighing tournament results. If you would like to be considered for the PR during the coming season, we recommend that you plan your tournament attendance around the lunar calendar.

Under the moonlight,
-- The PR Panel
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