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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate October 2020 Fighter Usage Stats!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring the debut of Steve, and the way overdue debut of Min Min.

The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open October 2020 formally concluded on Sunday. I participated in it (and did pretty well—check out the comments section in that article for details on my performance), as did thousands of other people. 4028 registrants across the entire North America (split into eight regions), with 2244 players actually showing up and playing at least one match (55.71%). That's a pretty average participation rate for these tournaments, though it's the second-lowest number of raw participants that have registered/played on record, only beating out the September 2019 Online Open and dramatically trailing (by double) the previous Online Open results that occurred right before Min Min's existence, despite better prizes.

Speaking of prizes, congratulations to the four people who are receiving gold trophies from Nintendo: 9superpie (Wii Fit Trainer from the Northeast United States), MarkTheSDKing (R.O.B. player from Montana), The Mighty Dialga (Bayonetta player from the Southeast United States... he also won the last tournament in his region, too), and Whisky (Robin player from Jalisco, Mexico). They performed quite well on Nintendo's stream. You can watch the videos on demand here. Quite frankly, the most exciting sets were Region 7 and 8's.

As for this article, I've taken the time to aggregate the fighter usage stats across every region of the tournament. You should consider it a snapshot of the state of the online metagame a few weeks after the release of Steve and the 9.0.0 version update. It's also the first of these tournaments that has happened after the 8.0.0 update as well. Both of these updates have brought a number of buffs to a number of characters, and big metagame shifts.

Here's a pie chart that answers the biggest question you may have (whom is the most used character of them all?) but below that is a text-list of all of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighters and where their usage in the October 2020 online metagame has changed versus June 2020. I believe using the official Nintendo-sponsored online tournament is a valid representation of the state of the overall online metagame, due to its inclusive nature.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online metagame fighter usage choice stats October 2020 Min Min Steve
Read the following list this way: Character name, sum of individual games played over all regions, the percent amount that the character was used, and how much their relative position on the list has changed versus the May/June 2020 time frame, which is the last available data. I've highlighted Steve / Alex and Min Min's placings.
  1. Joker    1979    4.53%    0
  2. Cloud    1705    3.91%    0
  3. Steve / Alex    1539    3.52%    N/A
  4. King K. Rool    1432    3.28%    0
  5. Ness    1342    3.07%    4
  6. Bowser    1266    2.90%    -3
  7. Mario    1202    2.75%    -2
  8. Link    1100    2.52%    -1
  9. Banjo & Kazooie    1052    2.41%    -3
  10. Hero    1049    2.40%    0
  11. Donkey Kong    1041    2.38%    2
  12. Terry    1002    2.30%    -4
  13. Kirby    993    2.27%    -1
  14. Little Mac    929    2.13%    2
  15. Ganondorf    877    2.01%    -4
  16. Yoshi    872    2.00%    -2
  17. Samus    829    1.90%    7
  18. Byleth    819    1.88%    -1
  19. Piranha Plant    803    1.84%    6
  20. Captain Falcon    796    1.82%    0
  21. King Dedede    767    1.76%    6
  22. Sonic    729    1.67%    -3
  23. Min Min    694    1.59%    N/A
  24. Lucas    651    1.49%    -1
  25. Zelda    648    1.48%    6
  26. Inkling    642    1.47%    -11
  27. Incineroar    632    1.45%    15
  28. Mr. Game & Watch    580    1.33%    0
  29. Young Link    570    1.31%    1
  30. Ridley    565    1.29%    5
  31. Roy    561    1.28%    1
  32. Palutena    524    1.20%    1
  33. Ike    507    1.16%    3
  34. Bayonetta    498    1.14%    20
  35. Lucina    495    1.13%    -9
  36. Corrin    477    1.09%    8
  37. Wolf    466    1.07%    -8
  38. Greninja    456    1.04%    1
  39. PAC-MAN    415    0.95%    1
  40. Chrom    381    0.87%    1
  41. Mewtwo    366    0.84%    15
  42. Luigi    364    0.83%    -21
  43. Jigglypuff    362    0.83%    -6
  44. Mega Man    360    0.82%    -1
  45. Bowser Jr.    356    0.82%    0
  46. Marth    355    0.81%    6
  47. Mii Brawler    346    0.79%    14
  48. Dark Pit    345    0.79%    -1
  49. Zero Suit Samus    343    0.79%    1
  50. Pikachu    342    0.78%    -32
  51. Robin    330    0.76%    15
  52. Falco    313    0.72%    -4
  53. Toon Link    312    0.71%    -19
  54. Pokémon Trainer    305    0.70%    -32
  55. Ken    299    0.68%    8
  56. Wii Fit Trainer    285    0.65%    1
  57. Mii Gunner    280    0.64%    5
  58. Snake    272    0.62%    -9
  59. Mii Swordfighter    271    0.62%    0
  60. Villager    263    0.60%    12
  61. R.O.B.    239    0.55%    -23
  62. Isabelle    236    0.54%    -9
  63. Simon    225    0.52%    11
  64. Pit    211    0.48%    -4
  65. Dr. Mario    202    0.46%    -10
  66. Dark Samus    196    0.45%    -15
  67. Richter    194    0.44%    3
  68. Lucario    191    0.44%    1
  69. Rosalina & Luma    183    0.42%    4
  70. Fox    160    0.37%    -12
  71. Shulk    156    0.36%    -25
  72. Wario    127    0.29%    -1
  73. Ryu    125    0.29%    2
  74. Pichu    123    0.28%    -10
  75. Meta Knight    117    0.27%    -7
  76. Ice Climbers    114    0.26%    0
  77. Diddy Kong    112    0.26%    -12
  78. Daisy    107    0.25%    -1
  79. Sheik    92    0.21%    0
  80. Duck Hunt    87    0.20%    -2
  81. Peach    71    0.16%    -14
  82. Olimar    38    0.09%    -2

The really interesting headlines are that Min Min is incredibly underwhelming (the least-used DLC character on the list, even below Piranha Plant)... and Steve (and Alex and Enderman and Zombie) somehow failed to overtake Joker for the most-used character, despite many predictions that this would happen due to the many Minecraft children that this tournament was advertised to (including the featured section of the in-console Nintendo Switch News). Not only did Steve fail to unseat Joker, but Steve has failed to be used in more games than CLOUD. Still, I'm not making it out like no one used Steve or Alex at all. Third-most is still more than the vast majority of characters, and Lord Bowser even got a drop. Steve / Alex probably would've gotten second place, but for some reason, Region 4 (Mexico) had them as the 27th-most used. (And they had Min Min as the fourth-most?!)

I wonder if people are buying the Second Fighters Pass. Obviously they still bought Steve in large numbers, but maybe that was individually? Regardless, Min Min's usage isn't a real mystery: ARMS isn't a popular game, and Min Min is pretty boring (which accurately reflects ARMS) to use. Meanwhile, while many people tried to use the Minecraft crew, their actual win rates were abysmal, so players may have either given up or switched to other characters. They're ironically a very technical character despite being marketed towards the youngest Super Smash Bros. Ultimate demographic.

Some characters that got big buffs in the updates, like Falco, Ike, Lucario, Captain Falcon, Diddy Kong, King K. Rool, Bowser Jr., and others, barely saw any placement changes. Others, like Bayonetta and Mewtwo, saw a lot of improvement. Meanwhile, both Pikachu and Pokémon Trainer dropped off the planet. I don't have an explanation as to why. Maybe people really are rebelling against the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield DLC. Or maybe there is a lot of crossover between Pokémon fans and Minecraft fans? I thought there'd be more crossover with Minecraft kids and Ness players (both like to be annoying as their primary personality trait), but Ness got a substantial usage bump, too, and at the cost of Lord Bowser!



Ludwig really enjoyed his time with the tournament (and he had tense matches, like this one), though he thinks it should've gotten a lot more participants (which would also make the data set more robust). As of publishing, no one seems to know what the physical trophies actually look like, and that was probably a missed marketing opportunity from Nintendo. If there was a photo of the trophy during sign-ups, it might have inspired more sign-ups and more players. Maybe the tournament disproportionately missed the Steve fanbase because of that.



Despite what Nintendo's rules say, the winners of this tournament (the four folks in the second paragraph and sixty others) have received no prize notification for winning, and have not been compensated as promised.

6 comments :

  1. Normally I would be upset that Pokémon Trainer dropped that low. But in preparation of a Potential Sora DLC, I stopped playing SSBU to not be too upset if and when that happens. I mostly lost interest in SSBU due to not touching for months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I most recently played SSBU and actually lost to an Enderman in a 1v1 (granted, with Bowser, whom is a horrible match-up) and then got wrecked by a Pokémon Trainer.

      Election stress probably tilted me but I dunno.

      Delete
  2. "The most exciting sets were region 7 and 8"
    You seem a little biased ludwig...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I may be biased, but it's the truth!

      Which other regions had better finals?

      Delete
  3. Meta Knight has fallen from his former glory, shame. Although I guess it's better than a permanent ban. Although piranha plant is somewhat of a joke character (It's a surprise, but a welcome one) addition, I'm really impressed with it's move set and proud that it was able to reach the #19 slot. Most Satisfactory indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Piranha Plant being 19th is actually its peak, tying with 19th from November 2019. (It's been slightly lower than that in all of the stats in-between.)

      But, yeah, no one uses Meta Knight. Which also means that if I do fight a Meta Knight player, I have no idea what to do. (The last time that happened was against Krüger's Meta Knight back in September.)

      Delete

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