Today marks the start of the most stacked tournament in Smash 4 history. We will be seeing more members of the PGR at a single tournament than ever before. As such, I wanted to create a short primer on the key talking points for each PGR member going into the weekend. The goal here is to familiarize casual fans with each PGR member, and provide you with some quick hits should you end up watching with someone who is not familiar with Smash 4. When they ask “who is that?” you can respond with these points to grab their attention. Also, many thanks to PGStats for letting me borrow their gorgeous player cards. For more history on these players, check out the wonderful write-ups from Panda Global.
Ned is one of the rising young stars of Smash 4. He was selected for Team Ally in the crew battle despite his low PGR ranking. He has played close sets with multiple top players, and recently won Midwest Mayhem 7. Having left the Unrivaled Tournaments team, he will be looking to prove himself at Civil War to hopefully get picked up by a bigger team in the coming months.
Many top players have acknowledged Kirihara’s talent. However, he had never taken a single tournament win in his career. That all changed last week at Frame Perfect Series 2. Not only did he win the event, but he defeated Zero twice to do so.
MVD has made great strides since the start of 2017. With notable bracket wins at Genesis over top players like ANTi, MVD cannot be ignored. Look for him to especially make waves in the doubles bracket with his static Panda Global teammate, ESAM.
As a dual main of Ike and Roy, Ryo represents hope for low tier mains everywhere. Both characters are considered to have untapped potential, so Ryo could surprise in bracket at any moment with unseen tech.
PGR version 2 introduced us to a couple rising Ryu players. Locus is considered by many in Canada to be a contender against any level of competition. With wins over Mr. R and Tweek, Locus should be one to watch if you’re a fan of surprise upsets.
The other surprise Ryu of last year, DarkShad is an exceptionally fun player to watch. The man will throw elbows for days and suddenly pull kills out of nowhere. With wins against top players, DarkShad’s early matches should be a great way to pull in casual viewers who want to see some action.
There exists in Smash 4 a small pool of high level Sonic players who are inching ever-closer to elite status. Wrath is one of the strongest contenders within that pool. With dominant performances in online qualifiers, Wrath is on the verge of exploding in the scene. Having recently come under some controversy involving a tournament on Nairo’s stream, Wrath will hope to get fans focused back on his play rather than his poor decision-making.
Arguably the best Ryu in the game, Trela was absent for the last several events of 2016. However, after joining Team Zero he has made a resurgence. He dominated MKLeo at Austin’s Really Feeling It, and looks to be returning to form, just when Zero needed him the most.
A top level player, and an elite content creator, False is a pillar of the Smash 4 community. despite dividing his time between content and competition, False is guaranteed to make waves at any event he attends. He represents exactly the sort of upset potential top players should fear.
There are many elite Bayonetta players in the Civil war bracket, and Saj is no exception. He is on the verge of a major breakout. Having defeated Nairo in bracket before, Saj has proven that he is one good Witch Time away from rocketing up the next PGR.
A character loyalist and doubles technician, Pugwest is a player who punishes the unprepared. Often overlooked compared to his brother, Marss, Pugwest recently stepped up with a solid singles showing at PAX Arena. The pair will certainly do damage in doubles, but don’t expect Pugwest to go down quietly in the singles bracket.
Day has constantly redefined the Smash 4 trash-talk metagame. Recently, however, Tsu’s success with Lucario seems to have humbled the Floridian loudmouth. Perhaps with this renewed motivation, we will see Day’s final form at Civil War.
When you play the same character as the best in the game, comparisons are easy to draw. However, Dyr has a style all his own, and plenty of notable wins under his belt. Having eliminated Tsu from competition last weekend, Dyr appears to be in peak form and ready to take names this weekend.
When discussing the greatest players in Japan, Nietono’s name often gets left off the list. However, the Diddy Kong main has regional results that easily rival the Komorikiris and Abadangos of the world. To those that have seen his play, it would be no surprise if the highest ranking Diddy of Civil War were Nietono instead of Zero.
Since his 9th place finish at EVO, Vinnie has struggled find similar success. However, his performance on the FGC’s biggest stage proves that this player can shine in the biggest moments. At Smash 4’s most important event, perhaps Vinnie will find that EVO magic once again.
Fans of ANTi’s Twitter are also big fans of Tyrant. Between his saltiness and bold proclamations, it is easy to become enamored with the SoCal native. However, he also happens to be one of the finest Meta Knight players in the world. As a character specialist, Tyrant will represent trouble for anyone with a bad matchup, or lack of familiarity with Smash 4’s version of the tiny evil swordsman.
The very definition of “slept on”, Falln is rarely discussed or featured in content about top players. However, making it to 33rd on the PGR cannot happen by accident. Falln’s wins and placings speak for themselves even if few other people will. Perhaps this weekend will be his chance to join the conversation and make his mark as a member of the elite.
Another unique character specialist, Dath is feared and respected at any event in Florida. With a 3rd place finish at Shine 2016, he has also proven that he can perform in the big moments. Robin is a very unique character to watch, and few outside of Florida will have experienced a Robin of Dath’s caliber. It should come as no surprise if he starts to take the names of high level players outside of his home region.
Since Kameme’s performance at EVO, Scatt has become known for two things. He is the PGR player who uses a Wii-mote and nunchuck, and he’s “the other Mega Man”. However, Scatt has proven time and again that his unique controller and character choices do not hold him back. Scatt tasted victory recently at Final Round, and will be out for blood this weekend.
If you are a fan of patient, defensive gameplay, 6WX is your player to watch this weekend. With KEN unable to attend, and Komo favoring Cloud, 6WX is the Sonic that will do the most damage this weekend. If he is playing at his peak, we could be in for a very long weekend of time-outs and spring rides.
Fans of Armada should look to rally behind the PGR’s Peach representative. Where many have traded in this princess for newer models like Rosalina, Samsora has proven that a pink dress can be a deadly weapon. Expect him to float past anyone not prepared to face the wrath of a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man.
Captain Falcon is really fun to watch. Fatality is very good at Captain Falcon. If Fatality is on stream playing Captain Falcon, you should be watching.
Armed with opinions, secondaries, and mugs to the camera, ESAM will be a joy to watch this weekend. The self-proclaimed “Bayonetta slayer” knows his matchup spread well, and will delight fans with some incredible off-stage play. It will be especially interesting to see if ESAM can overcome his recent Rosalina problem.
While a god of Melee, Mew2King has struggled to find the same success in Smash 4. However, this will be M2K’s first every Smash 4-only event. Perhaps with no other games to distract him, Smash 4 will see a god reborn.
Formerly a Pit specialist, Earth has recently been favoring Corrin. Both characters are rarely seen in high level competition, giving Earth a unique matchup advantage against any opponent. This will also be his first international major competing with his static doubles partner, and wife, Fuwa.
While a constant presence in the grand finals at Xanadu, Pink Fresh has struggled to see the same success at the international level. He competed well recently at PAX Arena and was a strong enough player to earn his own 2GG saga last year. It should be no surprise if Pink Fresh either leaves the event in pools, or winds up in the top 8.
One of the best Mewtwo’s in the world, Rich Brown is a threat at any event. With his recent signing to Panda Global, as well as his popular music livestreams, Rich is a star in the making. With a few upsets under his belt this weekend, Rich Brown’s stock could skyrocket for the remainder of the year.
Fans of Xanadu are intimately familiar with WaDi. A week in which the Mewtwo main is not in grand finals in his home region is a strange week indeed. While he did not travel to many majors last year, WaDi has kept his competitive edge razor sharp, and will look to do damage on the international stage this weekend.
Smash 4’s reigning villain, Captain Zack has no fear of the spotlight. With top 8 after top 8, Zack is regularly silencing all would-be detractors. Many fans will continue to attack the flamboyant Bayonetta main, but expect Zack to keep fan-dancing and taunting his way to the top.
One of the finest swordsmen in the game, Mr. E is a quiet, humble, stone-cold murderer. At any moment he can create havoc in a bracket. As a member of Team Ally, Mr. E will have to step up and reclaim his title as the best Marth player from his opponent, MKLeo.
There are several Cloud players competing in the Civil War crew battle. Unfortunately for both sides, none of them are Tweek. Having recently signed with League of Legends squad Phoenix 1, Tweek will be competing at Civil War to represent his team, and make both crews regret leaving him out of the selection process.
Zinoto was the first player to make fans really understand the weight of the Civil War. After calling out his Team Zero rival, ANTi, Zinoto set the Smash community aflame. Now, it will be up to him to back up all that chatter with his play in bracket.His placing have been lackluster of late at the highest level, but his narrow loss at CEO proves that Zinoto always has the potential to make a run against the game’s best.
There are technical players, there are flashy players, and then there’s Marss. No one styles on their opponents quite like Denial’s ZSS main. Whether it’s round one of pools or the qualifier for top 8, expect Marss to go for the risky, awesome-looking option every time.
Everyone loves watching Ranai play. His set with Zero at Genesis 3 remains one of the finest matches in Smash Bros. history. Unfortunately, fans did not get to see much of Ranai in the latter half of 2016. However, they have gotten to experience plenty of his greatness at major events this year, and Civil War is no exception.
After defeating ESAM at FPS2 last week, Salem is determined to prove himself the unquestionable best player in Florida. With recent wins over top players like Zero, many likely believe that debate has already been settled. However, a strong showing at the biggest event the game has ever seen will put any doubt to rest once and for all.
Over the last few months, Komo has become something of a people’s champion. You will be hard-pressed to find smash fans who dislike him. After a tragic, controversial loss at Genesis, Komo will have an opportunity at redemption and revenge this weekend.
After his performance at EVO, Kameme single-handedly put Mega Man on the map. He has yet to repeat that level of performance, but still remains a persistent threat at every event. Kameme is also a player unafraid to pull out unique secondaries when the situation demands, making every set a must-watch.
Mr. R represents easily the most anime storyline of Civil War. Team Ally sent one of it’s strongest fighters off to train in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber of Japan, and none have seen him compete in tournament in weeks. Will he arrive having become that which we feared? Is this the legendary Super Saiyan? Find out on the next episode of Dragonba–er…Civil War.
If you aren’t following ANTi on Twitter, you’re really struggling through life far more than you should. Immortals’ bombastic pro is a delight in game and out. With a pocket as deep as the game’s roster will allow, anything can happen in an ANTi set. Even if he fails to live up to expectations, you can expect the Twitter feed to remain interesting all weekend long.
Once upon a time, Mr. R declared that a young boy from Mexico was easily top 10 in the world. Many laughed, but now that boy has won Genesis. MKLeo is a murderer and he is coming for your bracket life. He will kill everyone this weekend, and spectators will struggle to look away from the carnage.
See all those numbers on Abadango’s player card? Notice how all of them are lower than 10? This guy is really good at Super Smash Brothers for Wii U. Recently he has developed a few secondaries that have proven effective against elite competitors like Zero. As one of the strongest members of Team Ally, much will rest on Abadango’s shoulders this weekend, and he has more than enough power to deliver.
“Shiek has to work too hard for kills.” “This game really requires that you have secondaries ready.” “Void will never crack top 4.” In 2016, Void proved every one of these statements to be a lie. He has struggled a bit thus far in 2017, but at any moment his consistency will return, and Void will demand a spot in every top 8 once again. All other competitors will just have to pray that time does not arrive at Civil War.
Fox may not be the most honest character, but Larry Lurr is honestly a phenomenal smasher. Many people have been wondering who will be the next top 10 player to claim a major win. Larry Lurr is an odds-on favorite to do so. Plus, there’s always the chance he pulls out the pocket Donkey Kong to the delight of fans everywhere.
The definition of a technical player, Dabuz is a fixture of any top 8. Recently, he has added a Bayonetta to his list of pocket picks when Rosalina runs into a bad matchup. We have yet to see that option live up to it’s full potential, but perhaps now is the time that Dabuz’s intellect and preparation give him all the tools needed to claim victory.
No team has embraced their star smasher quite like NRG have with Nairo. With a pockets full of secondaries like Lucina and Bowser, preparing for Nairo is virtually impossible. His sets will be exciting, his character selection will be hype, and Nairo will end the run of many a competitor this weekend.
At last we come to the reason for this whole event. As team captian, Ally has put in a lot of work preparing his Johns in advance. However, he has proven time and again that the very best in the game can fall to his Mario at any time. In both the crew battle and bracket, expect Ally to take on all comers, and up-smash them into oblivion. Unless, of course, there are any Kirby mains lurking about in pools.
There is no debate when declaring ZeRo the greatest player in Smash 4. However, the God-King has been made to bleed many times this year, particularly against Japanese competitors. While ZeRo is a safe bet in any fantasy bracket, he will have to fight through all of Japan’s greatest threats to claim victory this weekend. Will Team Ally rise to the occasion, or will ZeRo prove once again that he is incapable of losing twice in a row? The time has finally arrived, war has come to Smash, and nothing will ever be the same.