Here’s the complete list of free agents for Super Smash Bros Melee. The ranking is completely subjective (feel free to disagree with me), but every player on this list is available for teams to sign.
Top free agents
15. Prince Abu
16. DJ Nintendo
18. Alex 19
29. Fly Amanita
Sami “DruggedFox” Muhanna is obviously a top candidate to land the next big sponsorship deal. He’s fresh off his first major win of 2016 and has shown steady improvement throughout the better half of the year. Anyone who knows Sami will tell you just how hard working he is as a player. He’s also known as one of the most knowledgeable players in all of Smash.
The one aspect he needs to work on is his marketability. He’s not known for anything outside of tournaments. If he could add marketable skill to his already impressive playing ability, he’d be a home run for any team looking to sign him.
Dejuan “Shroomed” McDaniels is a well established player. He’s been around for a long time and has been a consistent performer through all those years. Shroomed has been apart of the big three in Northern California (PPU, SFAT, and Shroomed), and that’s built notoriety for him over the years. He’s arguably the third best Sheik behind Justin “Plup” McGrath and Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman.
He recently moved on from his former team, Winterfox, so he instantly became a top commodity for teams seeking out Melee players. He’s second on this list, but could easily be considered the top free agent with his resume. You know what you’re getting with Shroomed.
Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett is probably the most talented player on this list. A multi-game star and quickly rising up the Melee ranks. He not only took a giant step in 2016, but showed off that enormous potential moving forward. The most appealing aspect might be that he’s only 18 years old and hasn’t reached his prime yet. He won’t be a free agent for long.
Kyle “DizzKidBoogie” Athayde has gone from a solid top-80 player to a must-sign. His recent stretch, making back-to-back top 8’s (Eden and DPotG), shows he has the ability to go deep in bracket consistently. His overall game has improved, although he still gets the majority of his kills from wobbling. He has expanded his repertoire on the offensive side.
He does get somewhat overshadowed by the aforementioned “big three” in NorCal, but he’s earned a serious look from a team. He’s not extremely well known, but is starting to make more of an impression on the scene as a whole.
A-tier free agents
Mafia and SmashG0d
James “Mafia” Lauerman and Rishi “SmashG0d” Malhotra might be two of the most improved players in all of 2016. Both will make probably the biggest jump of any players on the Melee it on Me Rankings considering SmashG0d was unranked i. 2015), and have put themselves in a position to earn a sponsorship.
In terms of potential, these two have shown that they can compete with the best players in Smash. Mafia made waves at Smash Summit 3 (shout out to New England for voting him in), and SmashG0d almost pulled the ultimate upset at a Evo over Adam “Armada” Lindgren (lost on last stock, last game with a lead). More notoriety and these two are surely to pick up deals.
Daiki “Rudolph” Ideoka is the lone representative from Japan on this list, but he’s earned a look. He’s quickly risen to second in Japan and he’s now among the best Marth players in the world. Despite sub-par performances at American major tournaments; He showed growth and gained valuable experience.
Rudolph receiving an actual deal is unlikely considering the travel distance between events, but as Smash grows, a player with his skill ceiling will command some attention.
Alex “Alex19” Ruvalcaba is the first name on here who should get a deal based solely on his social media presence. He’s generated a following and his relationship to Joseph “Mango” Marquez is invaluable. The content and audience make him appealing to buyers.
On top of that, he’s a good player. He’s not going to finish in the top-8, but he’s capable of pulling huge upsets. He gets better practice than just about anyone with relation to the Norwalk crew (Mango, Johnny “S2J” Kim, and Joey “Lucky” Alden’s).
The rest of the list
I don’t want to give the wrong impression here. A full-time Azis “Hax” Al-Yami would be the most sought after name on this list, but he’s still “retired” and dealing with hand injuries. Steve “Abate” Abate is another name that would be higher, but due to inactivity, his future is uncertain.
Inactivity is a big issue among free agents. There are plenty of extremely talented players that simply don’t show up to tournaments (Santi, Kels, Dart!, Fly Amanita). The free agent market isn’t flushed with talent as of right now, but there are plenty of players who could get offers.
Speaking of recent offers, here’s the list of players who just signed:
KirbyKaze with Melee it on Me
The Moon signed with Misfits
Hugs signed with Selfless Gaming
N0ne signed with Allegiance
Swedish Delight signed with Renegades
“From Our Haus to Yours”