PGRContenders, also known as the Path to the PGR: Contenders Tier List and colloquially known as the PreGR, was a list of players in North America and Europe released in January and February 2022. The list was created to highlight new and upcoming players who made their debut during the COVID-19 pandemic and was a pseudo-ranking in the form of a tier list. The list was planned to release in January 2022 alongside the return of the MPGR and PGRU; however, due to the rise of the Omicron variant during the COVID-19 pandemic, both rankings were postponed, leaving PGRContenders to release by itself.
The list was decided by panelists, who considered both a player's 2021 performance and their potential in the new year. Instead of a traditional ranking, a tier list is used instead in order to account for uncertainty in the scene. Each game received 2 lists: one for North America and one for Europe. Japan was excluded from PGRContenders as requested by the Japanese TOs, who believed it was too uncertain to properly rank their players in a tier list.
For the Melee rankings and Ultimate's North American ranking, 50 players were chosen for the tier list, with 30 of those players being on the final list. Panelists for each game and region gave each player a rating between 10 and 4, using the following as a reference: 10-9.6 for players they believed were S+, 9.4-8.6 for S, 8.4-7.6 for A, 7.4-6.6 for B, 6.4-5.6 for C, and 5.4-4.0 for untiered. Panelists who believed a player belonged between two tiers marked the player with "x.5," and panelists were allowed to abstain from rating a player they weren't too familiar with in 2021; although the latter did not have an effect on the final score, if enough panelists abstained from rating a player, the player would be disqualified (this only happened to moky). The scores were then normalized and the final score was calculated using a weighted average. These final scores were analyzed through K-means clustering to determine the final tiers for the list, with some tiers combined into a single tier if applicable.
The Ultimate European ranking has a different methodology. Instead of creating the tiers at the end of the entire process, tiers were created before the process began, with each tier having a set number of players and players in each tier assumed to be tied. 32 players will be on the final list. Instead of using a balloting process like the other rankings, the Ultimate European ranking was created from a consensus in a group chat.
North America (17) - Aura, Cool Lime, DarkGenex, Dawson, EdwinBudding, Faceroll, Faust, GimmeDatWheat, Kaiju, Metakill, Mosh, Nickemwit, Tuesday, Weis, Wills, Zamu, Zedreo
North America (15) - 5ebas, Barnard's Loop, Cagt, Dexy, EazyFreezie, FinallyRJ, Grayola, Kantrip, kenniky, L4st, Mistrals, moxi, Ripka, Stuart98, Toon
Mango was named #1 in addition to being in S+ tier.
moky did not make the list due to several panelists abstaining from voting on him.
Leffen was named #1 in addition to being in S+ tier.
MkLeo was named #1 in addition to being in S+ tier.