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Monday, October 18, 2021

The Last Look at the Pre-Sora Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Online Fighter Usage Stats

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Everything changed tonight... So here's the last data point before then.

Every so often, KoopaTV will publish a look into the online metagame of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in the form of character usage statistics. It has been a long time since the last edition, being last year's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate October 2020 Fighter Usage Stats... because there hasn't been another Nintendo-sponsored tournament event to take data from. Until last weekend with the NintendoVS US Fall Open 2021 Event 1. Here were the finals of that, if you're interested:



Congratulations to Grand Prize winners Colmar (PAC-MAN of Region 7), Emolord (Samus of Region 6), Middy (PAC-MAN of Region 1), and Toonfink (Inkling of Region 2)!

There will be an Event 2 happening October 29 (click the hyperlink above to learn more about the tournament and how to register—maybe I'll be congratulating YOU in a couple of weeks, but only if you join). You may note that Event 2 is happening after the release of Sora, the very last DLC character added to the game as of tonight. That makes Event 1 basically the last Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online tournament with easy-to-access character usage stats before Sora's release, which means it'll be a historical baseline for how much Sora (and any other balance changes coming with version 13.0.0) will shake up the online metagame and players’ preferences.

Here are the aggregate results across the entire United States. I do believe the tournament was fairly representative of the average online player due to its Nintendo-sponsored push. Searchable text list follows, along with my discussion (and several caveats to the data):


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate NintendoVS US Fall Open 2021 Pre-Sora October Ladder Round Fighter Choice Stats


Read this list as the character's name, how many games they were used in the NintendoVS US Fall Open 2021 Event 1, the percentage of all games they were used in, and how their position on the list has shifted since the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate October 2020 Fighter Usage Stats (a year ago). The characters are obviously ordered from most-used to least-used. I've highlighted the new DLC characters that were added since last year, as well as a couple of other characters of interest.
  1. Pyra & Mythra    715    4.65%    N/A
  2. Kirby    545    3.54%    11
  3. King K. Rool    502    3.26%    1
  4. Bowser    465    3.02%    2
  5. Byleth    461    3.00%    13
  6. Cloud    447    2.91%    -4
  7. Joker    408    2.65%    -6
  8. Banjo & Kazooie    371    2.41%    1
  9. R.O.B.    361    2.35%    52
  10. Sephiroth    353    2.29%    N/A
  11. Mario    349    2.27%    -4
  12. Link    333    2.16%    -4
  13. Samus    332    2.16%    4
  14. Kazuya    329    2.14%    N/A
  15. Sonic    314    2.04%    7
  16. Hero    300    1.95%    -6
  17. Terry    298    1.94%    -5
  18. Little Mac    297    1.93%    -4
  19. Incineroar    292    1.90%    8
  20. Pokémon Trainer    259    1.68%    34
  21. Captain Falcon    255    1.66%    -1
  22. Pikachu    255    1.66%    28
  23. Donkey Kong    250    1.63%    -12
  24. Piranha Plant    240    1.56%    -5
  25. Min Min    229    1.49%    -2
  26. Yoshi    227    1.48%    -10
  27. Ness    227    1.48%    -22
  28. Ganondorf    226    1.47%    -13
  29. Lucas    204    1.33%    -5
  30. Dark Pit    196    1.27%    18
  31. Zelda    195    1.27%    -6
  32. Palutena    191    1.24%    0
  33. Steve / Alex    186    1.21%    -30
  34. Snake    174    1.13%    24
  35. Luigi    173    1.12%    -9
  36. Roy    172    1.12%    -5
  37. Ike    171    1.11%    -4
  38. Bayonetta    169    1.10%    -4
  39. Mii Brawler    168    1.09%    8
  40. King Dedede    163    1.06%    -19
  41. Inkling    157    1.02%    -15
  42. Corrin    145    0.94%    -6
  43. Isabelle    141    0.92%    19
  44. Toon Link    136    0.88%    9
  45. Lucina    124    0.81%    -10
  46. Mii Swordfighter    124    0.81%    13
  47. Ridley    121    0.79%    -17
  48. Ken    120    0.78%    7
  49. Greninja    117    0.76%    -11
  50. Fox    117    0.76%    20
  51. Young Link    115    0.75%    -22
  52. Falco    103    0.67%    0
  53. Mii Gunner    102    0.66%    4
  54. Ryu    101    0.66%    19
  55. Wolf    100    0.65%    -18
  56. Mr. Game & Watch    99    0.64%    -28
  57. Marth    95    0.62%    -11
  58. Mega Man    92    0.60%    -14
  59. Shulk    89    0.58%    12
  60. Mewtwo    88    0.57%    -19
  61. Dark Samus    86    0.56%    5
  62. Pit    84    0.55%    2
  63. Duck Hunt    83    0.54%    17
  64. Chrom    83    0.54%    -24
  65. Robin    78    0.51%    -14
  66. Rosalina & Luma    76    0.49%    3
  67. PAC-MAN    75    0.49%    -28
  68. Jigglypuff    75    0.49%    -25
  69. Wii Fit Trainer    62    0.40%    -13
  70. Peach    60    0.39%    11
  71. Zero Suit Samus    57    0.37%    -22
  72. Sheik    56    0.36%    7
  73. Pichu    51    0.33%    1
  74. Villager    51    0.33%    -14
  75. Meta Knight    48    0.31%    0
  76. Richter    45    0.29%    -9
  77. Simon    40    0.26%    -14
  78. Bowser Jr.    34    0.22%    -33
  79. Lucario    32    0.21%    -11
  80. Olimar    31    0.20%    2
  81. Dr. Mario    27    0.18%    -16
  82. Diddy Kong    24    0.16%    -5
  83. Ice Climbers    18    0.12%    -7
  84. Wario    15    0.10%    -12
  85. Daisy    5    0.03%    -8

First thing is first: Nintendo promoted this tournament a lot less than they did a year ago. It never got a Nintendo Switch News article, so more people know about generic anime swordsmen videogames (present company excluded) than this tournament. It did appear in the Nintendo Switch Online app also accessible from the HOME menu, but my experience in talking with other people, plus my own experience, is that no one pays attention to that. At least more people pay more attention to the News. As a result, substantially less people joined the tournament (almost three times less compared to October 2020, which itself was two to three times less than May 2020), which makes the total number of games played quite low. That could make the absence of a few dedicated character mains have a big impact on the relative placing of the character from tournament to tournament.

In addition, this tournament was only open to the United States of America. Canada and Mexico were unable to participate, making it go from a North American tournament to a United States of America tournament. This is perhaps a major reason why Joker finally lost his years-long spot as the #1 most used Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character online. Joker's most popular region was actually Mexico, and since the whole of North America wasn't allowed in, his usage collapsed. In his place, people are using Pyra & Mythra, which are very easy and powerful characters to use and have taken his spot of pay-to-win sword user. Sephiroth is up there too, though he's much tougher to use. And even lower, despite being the newest character on the roster, is Kazuya. Kazuya is quite complicated and unintuitive to use. Similarly, tough-to-use Steve / Alex dropped dramatically. Perhaps because their new-ness has worn off and their complications remain. Or perhaps because Minecraft kiddies disproportionately didn't join the tournament.

Lastly, R.O.B. has the desirable position of being the only character that had more raw games played in the October 2021 tournament than October 2020, resulting in his usage movement rocketing from 61st to 9th. That's an extremely impressive feat, and tracks congruently with other tournaments also having a flood of R.O.B. players as the robot's popularity has just been growing. I suppose my memorial article towards the R.O.B. race resulted in this outcome. That and his stupid combos and recovery. ...I guess that's much like the newest and last character on the roster.



How much will this new patch and character affect the usage stats come two weeks from now? Find out only on KoopaTV! ...And there'll be an article coming shortly on the new patch impressions as well. Ludwig encourages you to join the October 29 tournament if you're in America. Ludwig did pretty well in Event 1, getting 9th place in the Top 32 bracket.


Click here for the post-Sora fighter usage stats, which directly compares with the pre-Sora stats!

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