PMRank 2017: 40-31

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Welcome to day 2 of PMRank 2017! This section of the rankings is largely filled with PMRank newcomers that went from respected regional threats to feared national contenders over the course of the year.

PMRank is a panel-based Power Ranking of the top 50 Project M players worldwide. Players, commentators, and tournament organizers within the community had the opportunity to apply to be panelists, and we ended up with a little less than 20 panelists by the time of the project's conclusion. Initially, 77 players were qualified to be ranked based on their placings and attendance at major Project M events throughout 2017. Only 50 highly skilled players made the final list.

With that information in mind, the panelists were given a large collection of tournament data and the following prompt:
List all candidates on the ballot in order based on your perception of what is valuable in a competitor (recency, consistency vs. peaks, placings vs. head to head ratios, etc.).

Panelists were also tasked with rating each player on their list from 1-10, with the lowest ranking player given a 1 and the highest a 10, scaling it appropriately. For each player, the highest and lowest rating on all panelists’ lists were removed when averaging votes to reduce variance.

This project would not have been possible without the dedicated volunteers who helped us engineer spreadsheets, track down tournament data, construct head-to-head charts, create and revise ranking ballots, write and edit player summaries, and gather photographs. A number of photographers have given us permission to use their high-quality photographs of Project M players for the purposes of this project as well.

And with that, we return to our top 50 rankings from where we left off!

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Score: 4.98

Nobody, not even those in Jared “JJK” Johnston’s home of Ontario, Canada would have predicted the former Falcon main’s rise to prominence in Project M this time last year. After picking up Game & Watch because he was “tired of trying” JJK quickly rose through the ranks of Ontario’s finest, moving from an HM in early 2016 all the way up to second on the hotly debated Winter 2017 Power Rankings for Ontario. Though Jared wasn’t the focus then, things really started to heat up as JJK cast his eyes southward to the United States where he made a point of attending the biggest events he possibly could. First JJK grabbed a clean 13th place at Smash n Splash 3, falling to Plup and Techboy while taking out fellow rising Game & Watch star and #1 in Illinois, Drugfreechu, as well as eliminating Bobby Frizz. JJK soon upped the ante again by taking 9th at Smashadelphia, eliminating XYK before falling to Dingo in losers’, whom he would then take revenge on in the next month at Blacklisted 3 while also ticking off a second XYK win. The true highlight of JJK’s summer however was his stunning top 8 finish at Supernova 2 where he made a strong run through losers’, taking out Apollo Ali, Dusty, Twisty, Morks, Bongo, Goode, and JFyst before finally falling to Junebug in Loser’s Eighths. There’s nowhere to go but up for the Ontario native, and all it took was a little blue man and a lot of heart.

Written By: Yata!

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Photo Credit: Remzi Hazboun Photography

Score: 5.12

In 2016, Cedric “Goode” Goode committed to a complete character switch, dropping Zelda entirely to focus on maining Sonic. He insisted that Zelda could not compete in the current metagame, and he wanted to switch over to a character from one of his favorite video game franchises. Over the course of 2016, he struggled finding his footing and could not put up consistent results with Sonic. In 2017, however, Goode finally saw the fruits of his labors, bursting onto the national scene in a big way. His big breakout came at Supernova 2, where he eliminated Envy, Silver, and most surprisingly Switch for a 13th place finish. As his proficiency with the blue blur continued to grow, Goode climbed the ranks and became the best Sonic player in the northeast, and one of the best Sonic players in the world. Over the course of the year he also defeated local rivals BaconPancakes and Hyperflame and placed in the top 12 at both Super Smash Con 2017 and Project M Showdown 6. With growing skills on Sonic and good results to show for them, Goode has the potential to break into the highest tier of players in 2018.

Written By: Reslived

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Score: 5.16

In 2017, Adham “Dingo” Daud emerged onto the national scene to put his home state of Georgia back on the map with his distinctive Charizard. Dingo differentiates himself from the more well-known Zard player Kycse by using Neutral Air more sparingly, patiently waiting on the ground for mistakes, and working footstools into his punish game. His highly technical play, which he showcased during the Break The Targets renaissance that took off in early March, allows him to move quickly and accurately. This year Dingo rose to prominence against new opponents in new regions, beating Dirtboy at Blacklisted 3 and double eliminating Hungrybox to win Super Famicon 2017. At Clutch City Clash 2, he made his way past reslived and brought Blank to game 5, finishing in 5th place. And toward the end of the year, Dingo made the most of his home court advantage at Tipped Off 12, defeating Twisty, Yung Quaff, and BaconPancakes to earn 4th place, a career milestone. His only losses at the Georgia major were to Lucas legend Hyperflame. Hopefully in 2018 Dingo can continue to travel and show the world what his particular brand of Charizard can do.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Photo Credit: Dan Aki

Score: 5.60

Contrary to what his tag might suggest, Neil “Filthy Casual” Goel is a seasoned competitor and Wolf main, well known for his technical skill and suffocating laser pressure. The New Mexico native’s most notable tournament victory this year came during this summer’s EVO 2017 Project M side event, where he defeated ilovebagelz, Jose V, and lloD to take the event from winners’ side. But this was far from his only strong performance. Filthy’s hungry Wolf went on a rampage at Infinity and Beyond 162, the warm-up for Low Tier City 5, defeating Tealz, Aidan, and Phresh to take 4th. His placings were quite consistent overall; while his year was marred somewhat by losses to the likes of Blue, Ca$ino Wolf, and Dr., Filthy Casual placed within the top 8 at every regional he attended... with one exception.

At Salty Juan’s 4, the annual New Mexico tourney run by Filthy Casual and Katerrorist, Filthy Casual took home an unusually low placing at 17th, but he walked away the true winner of the weekend after proposing to his co-TO in heartwarming fashion. Filthy Casual walks into 2018 with an exciting future ahead of him, both in and out of the game.

Written By: Sabre

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Score: 5.66
Sponsor: Smash United

One of Houston’s finest, Shahid “Fearless” Jivani started the year off strong with a string of top level placings at southern regionals. He finished 4th at Battle Royale 3 and 2nd at King of Springs 2 before proving his consistency at an international scale with a 4th place finish at Frozen Phoenix 2017. His tag is no empty boast; for Fearless, the best defense is a strong offense. He will relentlessly challenge opponents with hitboxes on wake up and in other disadvantaged spots, and he burns through Aura like firecrackers on the Fourth of July. The soft-spoken Lucario main continued to show improvement after his Canadian excursion, placing 5th at Blacklisted 3, Smashadelphia 2017, and Clutch City Clash 2 all within the span of a few months. Sporting impressive wins over the likes of Kycse, Aidan, Darc, and Dingo out of region, Fearless has demonstrated that his strong local record against Fuzz is no fluke. Despite his consistency, Fearless lacks a true breakout performance going into 2018. Be ready for that to change in explosive fashion.

Written By: Sabre

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Photo Credit: Jeff Mahieu

Score: 5.67

Love him or hate him, the Michigan meme lord Josh “Morsecode762” Morse has had a silent but deadly year of bold, high impact gameplay. The Mountain Dew slamming Samus main started the year out with a thunderous 2nd place finish at Frozen Phoenix, taking out his frequent nemesis Dirtboy and claiming the lives of Ripple, Bluezone, and Fearless. As he climbed his way into the top 3 in both Melee and Project M at that event, he worked up the crowd with characteristic in-jokes such as his “Two Phones!” battle cry. Morse’s travel outside of Michigan was relatively light, and due to an unfortunate lack of foresight unbecoming of a Samus main, Morse missed his chance to compete in bracket at Smash ‘n’ Splash 3 where he certainly could have made big waves. However, Morse did maintain competitive local records with Dirtboy (9-11) as well as Techboy (15-16) over the course of the year, hinting at something more to come. Morse then ended the year strong with a bass-boosted victory at On the House, defeating Sharkz, Professor Pro, Dirtboy, and finally lloD—a multi-game powerhouse in his own right—to take the tournament. Adding along a solid 4th place showing at both Neo Tussle City and World’s Collide, Morse is looking to exemplify the strength of Michigan Project M.

Written By: Yata!

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Photo Credit: Remzi Hazboun Photography

Score: 5.86

Luke “Yung Quaff” Ferris makes his debut on PMRank with an explosive breakout year. He began 2017 with a decently strong showing at The True King, where he was able to take out dvd, GP, and Twisty to place 5th at the Pennsylvania regional. What followed were some less-than-stellar performances. At CGC 2017, his only notable set win of the event was against Mask, and at The Flex Zone 2, he dropped sets to American Bowser and Ant to take an underwhelming 33rd place finish. However, these results only served to make his breakout performance at Bigger Balc all the more dramatic. Though he dropped an early set in pools to Narq, Quaff was given a second chance when the tournament reseeded everyone back into winners’ side of top 64, allowing him to run through Blank and ilovebagelz. After losing to Switch, he proceeded to take down LoyaL, Dirtboy, and Hero of Time to make top 8 at the biggest tournament of the year in a run few people expected. Regional results throughout the year helped complement his Bigger Balc performance, as he was able to take sets off of Aidan, Envy, and Dirtboy again, securing Quaff his spot on this year’s PMRank.

Written By: Kumatora

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Photo Credit: Remzi Hazboun Photography

Score: 5.93

With 2016 titan Mr Lz leaving the spotlight this year due to heart complications and Hungrybox playing less PM in order to focus on Melee, it seemed that Florida would lose all of its high level representation in 2017. However, with the old greats leaving, a new challenger was able to emerge. Sonic player Jose “JFyst” Luis Rosario started the year with a stellar performance at Bigger Balc where, despite only getting 17th, he was able to beat Twisty, Venom, Phresh, and take ThundeRzReiGN to a game 5 situation, a unique feat at that event after ThundeRz dropped into the losers’ bracket. He proceeded to show off his Sonic more at Supernova 2, beating Silver on his way to placing 9th at the event.

To close out the year, JFyst claimed a number of high-grade wins that attest to his recent improvement. At Tipped Off 12 in November, he beat Yung Quaff to get into top 8, then proceeded to place 3rd after snagging one of the biggest upsets of his career: a 3-1 set over Hyperflame. A month later, he quietly snuck in two more extremely strong wins over Flipp and Jaden at an unusually stacked Connecticut local hosting many out-of-region threats. If he keeps up his momentum from the end of this year, there is little doubt that JFyst could break into the top 30 next year.

Written By: Kumatora

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Score: 6.02

It should come as a surprise to no one that Michael “LUCK” Provonsil makes a return appearance to PMRank in 2017. LUCK’s trademark banana control allows his Diddy Kong to absolutely overwhelm players without a strong grasp of Project M’s item game, and even many experienced item users. While banana play is Luck’s calling card, it is augmented by cartwheeling cross-ups, tricky feints, well-spaced aerials, and other universal Smash Bros fundamentals.

Many of LUCK’s key wins this year have happened in his home state of Texas. At No Fun Allowed in early March, he defeated Fearless and Fuzz on his way to a 3rd place finish. His progress in both the winner’s and loser’s bracket was halted only by Switch, who would go on to win the event. Two months later at Don’t Sleep!, Luck brought home a big win over Hyperflame to cap off a mini loser’s run before falling to SoCal kingpin Sosa and finishing in 4th place. LUCK travelled to the Southwest in the Fall to attend Balcy’s Palace, where he defeated Filthy Casual in an electrifying performance, and Salty Juan’s 4, where he netted himself a win on Blank but later slipped up at the end of a nail-biting 2-3 set against Chevy. LUCK has also earned respectable placings at large nationals, such as 13th at Low Tier City 5 and 17th at the Flex Zone 2. It remains to be seen whether LUCK can improve his consistency to become a top 8 contender at such events in 2018.

Written By: FlashingFire

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Score: 6.29

Pete “Envy” Grieco seemed to be one of New York’s rising stars at the end of 2016. With wins over the likes of Hyperflame and Flipp, and a strong 9th place showing at Olympus, the Ike and Diddy Kong player seemed unstoppable, but a character crisis in early 2017 slowed his momentum. Torn between his two mains, Envy reached respectable placings within the top 16 at every regional he attended, but struggled to recapture the national results he had closed out the previous year with.

In September he once again found his stride, but with neither Diddy Kong nor Ike. Envy entered Project M Showdown 6 playing Wario, and while he suffered an early loss to Aidan in winners round 2, he proceeded to storm through the losers’ bracket to a 3rd place finish. He dropped a combined total of three games against E2xD, Gallo, Zork, Aidan, and BaconPancakes, before falling to techboy in Loser’s Finals. In a reversal of his early-year trends, his results continued to impress after Project M Showdown. He placed 7th at CGC: Redux, then took 5th place at Immunity 2 to close out the year, before making the decision to return to Ike in 2018—the character with which he found such success in in the past. While 2017 was a tumultuous year for him, a focused Envy has the potential to return to his former peak and beyond if his character crisis has been solved for good.

Written By: Sabre



Rest of the List

1/21/2018 - PMRank 2017: The Edge of Glory
1/22/2018 - PMRank 2017: 50-41
1/23/2018 - PMRank 2017: 40-31
1/24/2018 - PMRank 2017: 30-21
1/25/2018 - PMRank 2017: 20-11
1/29/2018 - PMRank 2017: 10-7
1/30/2018 - PMRank 2017: 6-4
1/31/2018 - PMRank 2017: Top 3


Credits

PMRank Staff:
  • Adam “Strong Bad” Oliver
  • Brennan “FlashingFire” Connolly
  • Cody “Yata!” Anderson
  • Devin “Reslived” Gajewski
  • Ryan “Sabre” Weinberg
Graphic Design:
  • Anna “Kumatora” Mayorskiy
  • Cody “Yata!” Anderson
  • Courtney “Zesty” Coffman
  • Eric “FingerStripes” Bohorquez
Character Renders:
  • David "davidvkimball" Kimball
  • Eric “FingerStripes” Bohorquez
  • Mike "Kuro Kairaku" Nickerson
  • "SylveonPlaysSSBX"
Editor-in-Chief:
  • Brennan “FlashingFire” Connolly
Additional Editing:
  • Adam "Strong Bad" Oliver
  • Ahmed “Apollo Ali” Akbar
  • Anna “Kumatora” Mayorskiy
  • Cody “Yata!” Anderson
  • Kyle "Pegthaniel" Guo
 
Last edited:
FlashingFire

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