Fighting Game Rankings - "I got my B-rank in SF4!"


Edit: I got negged for putting this in the wrong section. What section should it go in? I know I talk about tournaments below, but the rankings wouldn’t necessarily have to be tournament-based. Should it just be in general discussion? Mods feel free to move it around as you want, I guess.

I took up fencing a while ago. There’s a group called the US Fencing Association, and they keep track of “rankings” for all fencers who have joined. Basically, by attending and winning USFA sanctioned tournaments, fencers progress from U (unranked) to E to A rank. In this case, “E” means you know which end to hold, and “A” means you could be olympic material. If you get enough fencers in a single tournament, the winners will get their E rank. If you get enough ranked fencers in a single tournament, and they place, the winners will go up in rank.

Basically it’s a system that exists to help seed tournaments (and for bragging rights :wgrin:). I could see this being useful to the fighting game community, either with many changes or few. Tournament seeding is kind of a tricky art, and rankings help keep things balanced and interesting. Also, who wouldn’t want the nerdprops of being an SF4 A-rank?

Would this give people with high rankings an opportunity to be total douchebags? Yeah. “Oh, I don’t play with anyone who isn’t at least a B-rank.” But people do this already anyway, so I wouldn’t see it as much of an issue.

Another thing I’m wondering is if something like this already exists. Does anyone know?

If I was going to follow through with this, I would probably build a simple site where people could register as players, organizers or both, and keep track of things that way. It might also be a great place for organizers to record their brackets.

I’m not trying to say that I have all the answers and everyone should aspire to achieve an A in Tonren’s Awesome Ranking System. Really I would want this idea to just be something that could inspire people to improve.

What do you guys think?


Your ranking system would have to be respected universally for it to matter. If it’s not respected, it’s just a letter. How are you going to establish, and later ensure the credibility of your ranking system? How will it be judged, what would be their criteria.

This is kind of a big thing to deal with at a large scale. If your criteria for ranking isn’t solid, then nobody will respect the A Rank members, and if nobody respects the A Rank, nobody will want to achieve that rank.

You sure this is something you want to bother with?


I’d prefer no system like this is every implemented. There will always be a way to abuse it, and people already have an idea of where people rank.


Maybe this should be attached to a wiki and only updated via tournament results.

But then again, they could just bring back the apex.

But I agree with Pherai, this is something that’s been tried before and is hard to make work because people abuse it.


an excellent point! you would need to take on a small army to pull this off and have it be respected and held in high regard! have you gave much though for the grading criteria?


lol Apex


Regarding credibility: I wouldn’t be handing out grades myself. The way the fencing system works, everyone starts with no ranking. Then a bunch of unranked people get together, and the winners get their E ranking. Now if there’s enough E-ranks in a tournament, the winners get their D-rank. And so on, up to A-rank. So the grading system, in a way, helps make itself credible: You go up in rank by winning against people who equal or exceed your own rank.


That makes a bit more sense, This would have to be completely controlled by major tournament organizers though, smaller tournaments would skew results.


Good point. I guess in that case, the big debates wouldn’t be “how do you hand out rankings” but “how do you hand out tournament sanctions”? I didn’t think of that–that’s a big issue.


Well i guess you could at least keep your grading/ranking system local, cuz globally or nationally would be a lot of work to keep up with.

At my local arcade (8 on the break, Dunellen, NJ), they have weekly Tekken 6 BR tournys and the guy who runs them has created a ladder ranking for the tournaments. So, you can pretty much get a jist of whos the best players at the arcade. He posts them on the site as well as teh results to every tournament. I think its a really good idea for competitive arcade games. And its crazy hwo many people come form all over to play at these weekly tournys.


Well Smash has those power rankings. They seem to work well.

Anyway, Pherai is right. We already know who are good players. They win tournaments.


They don’t work the same way.


I wasn’t compare the power rankings to Apex or this guy’s system. I was just saying that rankings can work on a national scale.


Oh well, I still think it should be pointed out for other people.


Interesting idea; but as it has been mentioned, people may abuse it which includes but not limited to refusing to accept matches from lower ranked players.

Come to think of it, what would happen if an ‘E rank’ player would win against a ‘B rank’ opponent or vice-versa?

Oh, and a fairly similar system is implemented in Tekken and Virtua Fighter series.


The whole point of a ranking system is to be able to determine precisely who will win in a given match. Graded systems fat finger the hell out of that.

Even if you have only 10 players in A, there’s still some distinction between those 10 players and the graded system won’t tell you how a match-up within A will turn out.

Nobody has really done fighting game ratings right. Here are the variables (beyond typical ELO stuff) that you have to solve for:

  • Character chosen.
  • Opponent character chosen.
  • The side you start on and the opponent starts on (left or right, makes a difference based on the players’ “handedness”)
  • The amount of rounds won by each.
  • Even better, the delta between both players’ health for each round.

I haven’t seen any systems bother to take those into account and I’d venture to guess that they make a significant difference.


There are rankings for Table Tennis players, a similar thing can be done for each game.

Although if you take all players into account, the first top 100 ranked players would probably be from Japan and the US players then wouldn’t even matter and the same players that wanted the system would ask for an end to it.


Rankings are fine. In SF4 Japan, they have a ranking system which unfortunately wasn’t carried over to console. VF has had one for years.