Tiers list based on top ten XBL players


I was interested to see how tier opinions relate to the real data of who the top ten XBL players are playing. Using the gamercards feature of the Capcom website I looked up the following data:-

1st:mute chimu kuri
Guile - 685:77

2nd:haru tejyo
Geif - 732:51

3rd:Bruce Askew
Deejay - 432:36

4th:Fifth n someBUD
Guile - 267:21
Blanka - 162:14

Ken - 223:4

6th:EMP Sabin
Sim 274:39

7th:Mr Jangara
Cammy - 1378:311

Guile 193:27

Honda - 622:65

Bison - 345:76

There were other characters used but I only counted them as a second if over 50% of their games were with that character as in fifth and somebud’s case. Going on the top ten and assuming these players choices are a strong factor in the tiers, we should probably ascertain:-

Top tier = Guile (3 mains by top ten players)

Second tier = Zangief, Deejay, Ken, Sim, Cammy, Honda, Bison (1 main by a top 10 player.)

Third tier = Blanka (One second by a top ten player.)

Fourth tier = Ryu, Akuma, Balrog, Chun-Li, Sagat, Vega, Fei Long and T. Hawk (No real trend towards top 10 players using them.)

Now this might seem a rubbish way of doing it - but it’s interesting, Akuma broken? There’s no top 10 players using him. Balrog top tier? Vega Top tier? There are no players maining these characters in the top ten. Doing this exercise for the top 20 might change things, and comparing it to the top 10 on PSN might alter it too - I’ll do these exercises another time, but I thought I’d share my thoughts here anyway.


The top 10 or even the top 20 is a very small sample. Looking at tournament results such as Evo might help you as well.

I was thinking about the tier lists lately and the best way to get one for HDR. One previous method used was to go through each character and ask their top players to score each of their match-ups an example might be RealDecoy saying Blanka vs Balrog is a 2-8 match-up. Then just add the scores up.

As with all methods it’s far from perfect but it’s a start.

Also I don’t think many of the top players pick Akuma.


Myself, I’m inclined to believe that tournament results are far more definitive than online results will be. I mean…think about it…what’s the one thing that you always hear about when you talk about online play? You guessed it! LAG! Lag should not ever be a factor when it comes to discussing tiers. In addition to that, you have to remember that it’s very hard to even get into the top 10 or 20.

Always remember that tiers are about ‘character potential’. While results may end up bearing out one thing, you still have to be able to look at matchups and honestly ask yourself what goes on in those matchups and who has an easier time dealing with those things.

For more information, keep reading “The Inevitable Tier Thread”.

Oh…and the reason why you don’t see Akuma up there is because the top players are usually playing in tournaments, themselves. Since Akuma is banned, there’s no reason to main him…and if you have any self-respect for your skill, IMHO, you’ll steer clear of him unless you’re just messing around to see what he can do. Playing Akuma in ST will make you a worse player since he doesn’t have to deal with a lot of the stuff that the other characters do.


Online play doesn’t mean much. I took 1/2 against 5th Bud last night (almost took both matches), and he later msg’ed me saying his end was laggy. And I’m certain he’s leagues better than I am, regardless of my win. As well, you can imagine the leaderboards might be different if some top players did more ranked (afro, blackmore, dgv, eggo, and so forth). Lastly, we need to remember that playing online means you will sometimes face opponents very inferior to you, resulting in easy wins. A W-L record can be inflated if you, say, face 20 lesser opponents. Online play definitely reflects rank and all that, but to a much lesser degree than tourney wins. It also says nothing about tiers, for reasons outlined above.

EDIT: And I think it goes without saying that top players have enough dignity NOT to main Akuma. Seriously.


agree with what norieaga said above


Online play really doesn’t mean much in the way of tiers and rankings, sorry to let you down.


Is the day ever going to come when we will stop the ‘it’s online man, it doesn’t really count’ bullshit?
Seriously, online is here to stay, it is the future of SF, so get used to it everyone.
There are some terrible laggy games I’ve had, but there are many with negiligible lag.
In other words, online does matter, and tier lists online or otherwise DO matter as well.
"Dude, I would have whooped you if it was offline!"
GTFO of here with that shit!


Online may be the way of the future, but until we’re all playing on fiber-optic connections or whatever other technology that ends up resulting in even faster connections without hiccups or lag, online matches cannot be seriously relied upon for accurate match results.

I’ll take what I can get, but I’ll look at what I have for what it is. Online play with hiccups and lag is not as accurate as offline play. That’s an undeniable fact and there is no logic that you could possibly come up with that can refute that. Surely you can see that.


I think that online play is a pretty damn good indicator of overall skill. Good online players are good players.


A lot of the top 20 just barely played after the new patch was released and just stopped to retain their ranking.


I think so as well, but at the same time, minor lag issues will in fact effect reversals, and overall timed attacks as well. offline, I can counter or do vega’s flip kick reversal 99 percent of the time. Online however, I’d be lucky to pull it off 70 percent of the time. and it always changes, depending on the quality of the connection I have with other players. And I hate that fact, and thats why some people will continually jump in on me when they see I can’t do reversals on them due to shitty connections. so even though offline you might be a better player, online still is a good indicator of your overall skill, minus a few issues.


Yeah, I should qualify that your numerical ranking on the leaderboards may not really correlate to how good of a player you are. But if a player beats you 10-1 online, there’s a really good chance he can also beat you offline.


my view is this:
Online play is the only way to get statistically significant data. Tournament data is simply too sparse. Online has millions of matches, and that is statistically significant. So I think that in principle, online is a great way to get data.

My problem with the current rankings online is not lag … it’s characters! Rankings should be specific to each player/character combination. For example, let’s say Thelo is just picking up Dhalsim. The best system would show:

Thelo-honda: 4800
Thelo-dhalsim: 1000

Under the current system, it just shows one combined ranking:

Thelo: 4800

Under the current system, if Thelo starts playing Dhalsim, his combined rank will go down. This is bad, and not just for Thelo. It’s bad because the whole system is based on feedback. under the current hybrid system, Thelo’s rank might go down to

Thelo: 2000

as he plays dhalsim. Then if he switches again to Honda, he’ll be playing at a 4800level when is he actually ranked at 2000! So his opponents will all get messed up rankings too.

It’s really important for each player/character combination to get its own ranking. That would be using the system as per design. Under the current, unfortunate implementation, rankings aren’t a very good measure. Let me list some of the problems with combined ranks:

*** Matchmaking gets messed up**
TrueSkill rank is supposed to match you up against players of equal skill. Let’s say you’re a master of Honda but a scrub with Dhalsim. You’ll now be matched up with intermediate level players. This is horrible. It’s too easy when you play honda and too hard when you play dhalsim. Under combined player/char rankings, you would correctly be matched up with master players when you pick honda, but bad players when you play dhalsim

*** Your rank gets messed up**
If you switch characters, your rank will be a wierd volatile mix of your characters.

*** Everyone else’s rank gets messed up**
You might think that you can just stick to one character and not have problems. But no. Let’s take the following example. Bob the shoto has a respectable rank of 4600 with his ryu. He’s pretty happy with his rank, and it reflects his skill. Thelo has been playing dhalsim and his rank is now an abysmal 2000. Thelo decides to play honda today. He gets matched up with Bob, and clobbers Bob.
Bob’s ranking will get HAMMERED, because Thelo (a 4800 level player) was playing with a rank of 2000. And beacause of the way the rankings are implemented, that loss will hit really, really hard. Thelo has played many many games, so the system is quite sure that Thelo’s rank is actually 2000. This means that it’s quite sure that Bob is less than 2000. So it might take Bob a very very long time to get his 4600 rank of ryu back. Better hope that Bruce Askew hasn’t been messing around with Fei Long, Bob!

So the current ranking system is terrible and doesn’t measure what its supposed to. In general, do good players get good rankings under the current system? Yes. In general, do bad players get low rankings? Yes. But it’s certainly not usable at the level of detail the OP wants from it. This could be easily solved with character/player rankings, though.


I agree with your entire post. And goddamn you’re funny! :rofl:


I like Zass’s post, and not just because my name is mentioned 13 times. :angel:


That’s what I did for the most part.

I think your Rank effects how it seeds you in “Quickmatch”, so I wanted to have a good Rank.

Losing Ranked matches to warping characters sucked for me.
Which is one reason I stopped playing Ranked.

I think using Rank to determine tiering is a fine method… especially for tiering Ranked play.
A lot of top HDR players don’t play Ranked, some don’t even play on XBL/PSN much.
In addition, lag/warping can seriously affect some matchups.
But you work with the data you got.

After reading Zass’s post, I want to add "nice post Zass!"
Definitely great points.


U make a good point but Online matches don’t really compare to going to an arcade and playing in real tournaments. You should probably watch some EVO matches (or various Tournament matches) & compare because that is only the top 10 players Online.


I didn’t say it was definitive - I intend to re-do this extending the scope to say, top 20, top 30, then maybe the same for PSN network. I know it’s far from perfect, but it is surely loosely indicative? When I extend it, it might change again.

One problem I do see with it that hasn’t been addressed - which is how lag effects characters. Lag effects everyone a bit - it probably evens out how the favour goes over a large number of matches so doesn’t really alter things much. However I would say lag might mess this method of deciding tiers if some characters are more effected by lag than others.

Guile might not the most affected by lag - his flash kick has a massive sprite, massive hitboxes and holds out for a while with good invincibility. His Sonic Boom has better recovery than some fireballs and his average jump speed and air normals aren’t particularly ones that require precise timing.

Vega’s scarlet terror on the other hand has good invincibility, but small hit boxes and it only stays out for a second - so anti-air wise Vega loses out - on the plus side, he starts a claw roll it’s hard for the other person to time a reversal through bad lag - the safe thing is to block and allow chip. Vega’s slide is a good move vs lag too, it stays out and if you use it too early or too late - it tends to at least trade. Using his pokes through thick lag is harder though. I would say due to the speed of walldives if your opponent is lagging badly, it might actually help the wall dive as people will find it hard to time an anti-air, particularly if it’s one that can go up the wrong way, leaving them vulnerable on one side - like Deejays upkicks or Guiles flash kick.

I suppose the comment about Akuma not being played because the best players don’t play him is probably true - however I also think Akuma is a character who is harder to play well through thick lag, but then I don’t main him so it could just be I’m not that good with him. Bison I think is pretty good in lag, Sim I think it probably tougher to play through lag. Rog is probably reasonable decent in heavy lag…

I don’t know, it just strikes me that if you are focusing on online play - some characters are a better choice to main, not because they are top tier, but simply that their move set is not as effected by heavy as some of the others.


Sh!t, Julien, that was one of the best posts I’ve ever read on this web site.

Killer observations, man. I think that most of us can agree with you wrote from our own experiences.


Guile suffers heavily in laggy matches, especially against characters that have high piority normals line balrog and vega, those are tough matchups for guile regardless, but lag just makes it worse. Perhaps charge characters come of worse in laggy matches.

The thing is with the leader boards on live is its very hard to break the top 10 without playing the people in the top 10. Some of the peeps in the top havnt had many games so it seems like they havnt played on xbl for quite some time. They are all no doubt top players, but I dont think you cant correlate the the top 10 in the leaderboards with actual character tiers. I love guile but I wouldnt say he is a top tier character, even tho skilled guile players can dominate, guiles inherant weaknesses prevent him from being a top tier character