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Cloudhead Live Rank v5: Real-Time Smash 4 Rankings for 2018!

Cloudhead - January 24, 2018

Hey, everybody! Welcome to the Cloudhead Live Rank v5! Click this link to go to the full rankings sheet!

The Cloudhead Live Rank is a system designed to give us an idea of the Smash 4 rankings based on the raw data and stats, live-updated after every single tournament. Using the magic of Google Sheets, the CLR organizes every notable tournament of the season so far into an in-progress standings list. The top placers at every tournament of the PGRv5 season will get their points added as the events occur, so that we'll have a way to see the top performers of the season so far!

But while in my completely unbiased opinion, the Cloudhead Live Rank is the best thing since sliced Cloudbread, I understand that it's not exactly perfect. ...Okay, it's far from perfect. I can't point to how I got Zinoto's #31 spot totally correct and not mention that I mayyyy have accidentally under-ranked Konga by a measure of 34 entire places. What we can do, however, is tweak the CLR to fix the problems it has; so that this season and every one after it, it's a better and better reflection of the Smash 4 rankings in progress! And in a season where the #1 spot is completely up for grabs, it's going to be more important than ever to see which player comes out on top!

So what did get changed to make this project better? Read below to find out exactly what's in store for the new Cloudhead Live Rank! (And I promise I'll get Konga right this time... give or take thirty-three spots.)


Important Changes

  • For the first time, the Cloudhead Live Rank will only count each player's 6 best tournaments in calculating placement points. Last season was the first season in which the CLR handed out points to the top 64 at each S-tier tournament, so one glaring flaw in the rankings was that several players were ranked far higher than expected due to being able to go to those S-tiers more often. Even without making it far into bracket often or netting wins regularly, each 33rd-49th place at an S-tier is worth 500-700 points at minimum, so if you could at least make it there, those points stacked up a lot. This can't happen indefinitely on the CLRv5! When a player places in their seventh tournament, that result will simply replace the lowest one so far - or, if it doesn't make their personal top 6, it won't affect them at all. Please note that wins DO still add up indefinitely. This way, you can only add up points by attending a lot of tournaments if you take down notable names every time.
  • On that note, wins are now calculated differently. In previous rankings, beating the 1st place player on the PGR earned you 400 points, with each spot lower earning you 8 points lower. That worked prety well, but it's come to our attention that it's not really that simple. There's more to the rankings than an equal distance between every player on it - as always, things usually get tighter and closer together the further down you go. Just look at the Cloudhead Live Rank last year - the distance between 1st and 5th place was more than five times the distance between 31st and 50th. So now, the win formula reflects that better! Beating 1st place gives 600 points, 2nd place gives roughly 545, and 3rd place gives roughly 500. On the other end, 48th place gives you around 64 points, 49th gives you around 62, and beating #50 gives you 60. The gap in points gets bigger as the rankings get higher. Wins at the top will matter the most of all! (Note: Since ZeRo, our #1, is retired, I'll be adjusting so that Salem will be the one to give 600 points instead. So, like, you know, everything I just said is a little wrong, but that's how it would go in a normal season.)
    • Another effect of this new formula is that wins are now more valuable overall. Since we've "nerfed" placement points and "buffed" wins - the point range for a single win has gone from 8-400 to 60-600 - those wins are going to be the main thing that contributes to a player's rank. This matches up with similar official rankings. The Panda Global Rankings in particular only count your wins, along with the people you outplace, and don't include placement points at all. We personally have not found a reliable and efficient way to calculate that, so placement points will still stand as a sort of "baseline" analogue to "outplacement points." Make no mistake, the placement points are still very much there. But regardless, the wins a player gets over the PGRv4 are going to be the leading factor in determining who gets put where at the end of the day!
  • And finally, we'll be approximating our own tournament values. For those unfamiliar, the "tournament value" is a point value given to each tournament based on its overall entrants and PGR entrants, as calculated by PGStats' Tournament Tier System (or TTS). We use them as the base value from which all placement points are sliced up and distributed. However, the TTSv5 for the current season does not display the values themselves, instead giving only the tier. I'll admit; at first, I was sad about this, but now I've wiped away my tiers! We will be calculating the values ourselves, and editing our formulas as needed based on what we learn about each tournament's entrants, PGR attendees, and TTS-given tier. As with everything we create based on PGStats' amazing work, these values are not necessarily equal to the real ones, and are not given to us by PGStats at all. Don't make me give suar another spongebob photoset with his face photoshopped over Man-Ray.

One more thing you might notice is that I'm not saying "I" and "me" like I usually do, since you know I love myself and I'll talk about myself for as long as anyone will listen. But right now, it is, in fact, "we" - because now I've got a friendly team of very smart people helping me! Stuart98, GME, and Dexter have been offering up ideas, getting my own bounced off of them, and helping collect data for me all offseason! We're not an official team, so everyone is kind of just doing whatever they can, but they've been a huge help, so please go follow them for all the great work they do!

Now, I won't do any major run-down on the CLR yet, since there's still a lot to be decided - we've only got four tournaments in the books at the time of writing. There's still a lot to be decided, and there's more recency bias than ever. Unless these players keep doing exactly how they did over the past few weeks, which not all of them will, this list is going to change very very much. But just for fun, here's what the top 20 looks like after GENESIS!

2 EMG Mistake
3 MVG Salem
4 falln
5 NRG Nairo
7 Dabuz
9 eM Zenyou
10 Choco
12 bc Mr. R
12 LH K9sbruce
14 CL Legit
15 ERG Lima
16 DNG Nietono
17 SHFFL Maister
18 KJS Javi
19 C9 Ally
20 Alpharad WaDi
20 BSD Elegant



Got anything you're wondering about the Cloudhead Live Rank? Ask me anything by messaging me on my twitter, or see if your question is asked here!

  • Are you still trying to predict the PGR?
    • Overall, I'd have to say not exactly. At first, that's what I tried to market myself as, and I still appreciate that I'm able to come even a little bit close to doing so in places. When I say I'm not trying to predict it, I'm not saying that I'm completely unable to get a rough idea. But I'm also not completely able to predict it. The PGR works in many ways that are simply unable to represent in the Cloudhead Live Rank. In terms of these "fan-made" rankings, we can either be understandable, nice-looking, and live-updated, or we can try to be as accurate as possible - which I don't even know how to really do. So, instead of setting out to do something I can't really do, I won't be referring to the CLR as a "PGR predictor" anymore. Instead, it'll be us doing our very best at our own thing; and if we happen to predict things correctly? Hell yeah!
  • What differences are there between the CLR and the PGR?
    • Besides the fact that the people who make the PGR know what they're doing? Well, on the PGR, wins are weighted just like placements, so they're worth more if they're at a tournament that's got a higher tournament value. That's not the case on the CLR; I tell people it's because we personally believe in our own win system, but it's mostly because of the above: we can't calculate that on a 2D grid and keep it functional for viewers as well. Also, as I think I said above, they don't have placement points, and instead have another point value based on who you outplace. We don't do that for the same reason as above, unfortunately. And finally, the PGR's win system values your wins based on how good the person you beat does this season, not last season. Last season, wins on Mistake did nothing on the CLR, since he wasn't ranked the season before, but it mattered on the PGR, since he was ranked very high at the end of it all.
  • Is the Cloudhead Live Rank the same thing as the PGR?
    • No.
  • Do you really update live?
    • Sometimes! Usually, I'll update live as long as there's few enough people left that I can keep up with bracket. That's typically whenever the pools all merge into a single top 32/48/64 bracket, so I don't have to look at a whole bunch of pages. If it's not being updated at all, it's because I'm not there, in which case I will always update the CLR for the tournament that night at the latest!
  • Hey, that's cool, Maister is 17th on the PGR!
    • No he's not. This blog's title begins with "Cloudhead Live Rank."
  • Do you have one of these for Melee?
    • I don't, but the wonderful u/kenniky of Smashreddit does! If you like live ranks, and you're a Melee fan too, keep tabs on the Melee Almost Live Ranking as well!
  • Should I use the CLR as a reference when I'm talking to suar about what rank a player is?
    • Please no. He's been through so much already.
  • Does your CLR have anything to do with the CLR® Calcium, Lime, & Rust Remover?
    • Nah. Then it would actually be useful for something.
  • Tell us a joke.
    • Why does the TTS commit crimes now? Because it doesn't have any values.
  • Is the Cloudhead Live Rank now property of the Plup Club?
  • Is-
    • No, we're not the PGR.
  • Are-
    • Yes, I'm sure.


All That Said...

GENESIS only just happened, and even though it's looking to be a bit quieter of a season than last time's 11-S-tier-extravaganza, the stats will be flying around just as wild as usual. It's going to be a thrilling six months for sure - Frostbite, Get On My Level, CEO, Hyrule Saga, and more are on the horizon. Keep checking in on the Cloudhead Live Rank to see who rises up the ranks and breaks through, who starts slipping, and most importantly of all - who's going to take the number one spot this season!

All that said... Enjoy the show, and happy smashing!

Cloudhead :)


Special thanks to Sells (@SellsSSB) for reading over this and making sure there are no errrors, and for being a cool dude in general!

This blog post was written by a SSB World community member. Share your Smash 4 knowledge by creating your own blog post now.

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