PMRank 2017: 50-41

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Welcome to the beginning of PMRank 2017! We are very excited to acknowledge the hard work and accomplishments of the players featured in this list, and we are thankful to Smashboards for hosting us for the second consecutive 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, let’s get started!

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Photo Credit: Bradley Barnard

Score: 3.03

One of the original Project M 3.0 pioneers, Bradley “Mask” Barnard, emerged from his upstate New York home to take names in 2017 and claw his way into the top 50. Wielding an unlikely combination of Charizard and Meta Knight, Mask claimed a head-turning victory over dvd in round 1 of Blacklisted 3, beat Silver and StereoKiDD at the pre-Supernova 2 Nebulous Prime, and defeated MorKs at Community Gaming Celebration 2017. One of his most notable playstyle quirks is that he often prefers using Charizard’s Down Throw to tech chase instead of going for more traditional Back Throw combos. This adds an extra dimension to his throw game that can confuse his opponent’s DI. His Meta Knight also takes advantage of his smart tech chasing, but adds in daring Dimensional Capes and extended edgeguard sequences. Mask has a lot of work ahead of him if he wishes to climb the rankings in a maturing metagame, but perhaps he can rise to the challenge in 2018.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Photo Credit: N/A

Score: 3.54

Anna “Kumatora” Mayorskiy is the first of several Massachusetts players debuting in the top 50 this year. Her in-region accomplishments include victories over players like Twisty and Yung Quaff, and she was no slouch at major tournaments either. Shiny Zubat, Marshall and MorKs have all lost sets to Kumatora’s aggressively technical Ness on the national level. Her best placement of the year came on her home turf at Blacklisted 3, where she defeated Kipcom, Rise and Marshall for a 9th place finish. She had long been considered an up-and-coming Ness player and was well-known for her technical prowess, but in 2017 her quality wins and a near-total lack of losses to players outside of this year’s top 50 finally earned her recognition as a top player. Now considered to be one of the top 3 Ness mains in the world, it’s not unthinkable that she could unseat one of the two Ness kings in 2018.

Written By: Reslived

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Photo Credit: Remzi Hazboun Photography

Score: 3.73

A perennial crowd favorite for his inventive choice of aerials, innovative punish game, brilliant off-stage play, and stubborn refusal to give into the staid bread-and-butter play used by so many of his Meta Knight peers, Mickey “Tealz” Coates has cleaned up his game enough to seize a spot in the highly competitive top 50. Relentlessly self-critical, it is no surprise that he continues to grow and change as a player, adding in new facets like accurate tech chase strings to diversify his already broad arsenal even further. With his determined mindset, Tealz has risen to new heights and defeated stronger opponents than ever before. Some of his best out of region wins include The Doctor at NorCal regional Super Smashed Bros, Luck at Low Tier City 5, and Dirtboy at the Ash@WIT before Neo Tussle City. At Balcy’s Palace, he earned notable wins on regional rivals Sneez and Aero en route to a 7th place finish, but easily his greatest triumph this year is a 2-0 victory over Sosa. Watch out for Tealz in 2018, as his drive to improve shows no signs of waning.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Photo Credit: Remzi Hazboun Photography

Score: 3.76

Cameron “LoyaL” George is no newcomer to Project M, but he is new to PMRank. A longtime SoCal Game & Watch main, LoyaL has been grinding his way up the SoCal rankings for quite some time, starting at #10 during the end of 2016 and peaking as high as #5 during the summer of 2017. Unfortunately he didn’t find the opportunity to travel much in the past, but in 2017, he began to go to more out-of-region tournaments to prove that his local results are no fluke. In particular LoyaL fought his way to a 5th place finish at the Evo 2017 side event and a 7th place finish at the NorCal regional Super Smashed Bros. Aside from these impressive results, he also boasts a win over fellow top Game & Watch player JJK from SuperNova 2, has traded sets with Gallo at Socal’s “Triple Tourney” weekend, and defeated MorKs at The Bigger Balc. His most impressive run happened early in the year at SoCal regional Brocal Gym 3, where LoyaL defeated ilovebagelz and ThundeRzReiGN (twice!), ending up in 2nd place to only Sosa. While LoyaL has expressed some frustration at the game and has taken a number of breaks, if he continues playing with the rigor and energy he displayed in early 2017 he is quite likely to rise towards the top.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Score: 3.77

Brennan “Bongo” Avery is a Captain Falcon main out of New York who is new to PMRank. He is quite content waiting patiently for mistakes with extended dash dancing, threatening space with carefully placed nairs and shield stops, and punishing with demoralizing tech chases. While Bongo might not produce the typical testosterone-laden combo video bait seen in other Falcons, he is still a joy to watch as he out-moves and out-thinks his opponents.

Bongo is a real threat to the upper echelon of PM players, and perhaps the greatest demonstration of his talent was at Downfall 6. To start his incredible run, he beat top Mario player Gallo in pools. After that, he built up steam in bracket by beating Flarp, Aidan, and Yung Quaff all in a row. While his winners side rampage was ironically stopped by Gallo, Bongo continued to collect wins on DVD and Phresh before being double eliminated, against all odds, by Gallo in their third meeting of the tournament. While this run alone includes some top-quality wins, Bongo is no one hit wonder–he also beat XYK and Yung Quaff at Blacklisted 3 and Envy at the Philadelphia Championships, and he bested Flipp in pools of Downfall 7. While he has had some rocky moments, including a failure to make it out of pools at Low Tier City 5, Bongo’s strong peaks speak volumes. Be prepared for Bongo to turn more heads in 2018.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Score: 3.92

While New England’s top-ranked players drew most of the spotlight for their breakout performances in 2017, Zack “Flarp” Gordon quietly put together an excellent set of wins across the East Coast with his unpredictable Luigi. As anyone who watches his “Luigi is Broken” series of tutorial videos will know, Flarp has a sterling gasp of his character’s movement tricks, underused hitboxes, and ledge play. Putting theory into practice, the Massachusetts resident picked up wins over the likes of Flipp and Twisty at smaller events across the Northeast, but he truly found his stride in his home state, at Blacklisted 3. After an uncharacteristic loss to Blitz in winners round 1 of final bracket, Flarp would go on to stake his claim as a top player by defeating Bubbles, Mask, Aidan, and Boiko in losers, before being eliminated by Marshall to take 13th place at the supermajor. Despite attending relatively few large events in 2017, Flarp put together an impressive resume of wins and placements that cemented his spot on the lower end of this year’s PMRank, and indicates that perhaps with more experience under his belt Flarp will prove to be a consistent threat to even the most fearsome opponents.

Written By: Sabre

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Score: 4.54

Known to many as the face of Project M itself, Adam “Strong Bad” Oliver has stood the test of time and cemented himself as one of the best Wario players in the world for another year. Strong Bad differentiates himself from most Wario players by implementing tools that are often overlooked, such as Up Tilt and DACUS, and capitalizing off of any unexpected hits. He demonstrated high peaks during the first half of the year, defeating Kycse on his way to a top 8 finish at The Flex Zone 2 and racking up wins over n0ne, Chevy, and YadoR to place a respectable 25th at The Bigger Balc. Strong Bad also earned a 1st place victory at Texas regional Wavedash to Win without dropping a set, even against Fuzz. Despite leaving competition behind in formal retirement, Strong Bad continues to be involved in the community, lending his leadership and networking skills to PMRank for the second year running. And if his participation at Fair and Balanced to close out the year is any indication, you can keep an eye out for his insightful commentary in 2018.

Written By: Sabre

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Photo Credit: Remzi Hazboun Photography

Score: 4.56

Kyler “XYK” Curtis had a rough start to the year. While he was still widely recognized as one of the world’s best Luigi mains, known for his obstinate patience and legendary fireball camping, he had a few rough placings including a 17th place finish at Frozen Phoenix. He had even begun to suggest that he would drop Luigi entirely and look for a new main character. However, the desire to drop Luigi soon dissipated as XYK earned a slew of big wins later in the year, taking sets off of players like Sothe, Phresh, Pikmon, and Dirtboy. His renewed confidence earned him some stunning placements at key midwest tournaments Borealis and Showdown: Battle Royale 2, where he placed 4th and 5th respectively. As he’s closed out the year, XYK has looked more and more confident in his Luigi, and hopefully we will see more of his wavedrops and cheeky ledge camping in 2018.

Written By: Reslived

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Photo Credit: Remzi Hazboun Photography

Score: 4.70

Giovanny “ilovebagelz” Garcia launched into 2017 with a bang, winning the qualifier bracket for the Cashed Out Invitational over Pikmon, then placing 7th in the final bracket after knocking out Professor Pro and n0ne. Cashed Out was far from the only highlight for Arizona’s finest, who proceeded to place 3rd at the stacked We Livin’ V bracket with wins over Gallo and Sosa, and also placed 3rd at Runback 2017. Although ilovebagelz focused primarily on Melee for a portion of the year, which contributed to lackluster placings at Smash Camp and Salty Juan’s 4, he has committed to proving himself as one of Project M’s elite in 2018. A master of crispy ledgedashes, long-reaching wavedrops, and intimidating Up-B callouts, ilovebagelz and his explosive Luigi will be worth watching over the next year.

Written By: Sabre

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Score: 4.82
Sponsor: Permafrost Gaming

Marc-Alain "MorKs" Bouchard has been an outstanding player for quite some time, maintaining a spot at #1 on the Montreal PR, but he didn’t travel enough to make it onto the 2016 PMRank. To compensate, he made sure to attend every single major tournament of the year to sharpen and showcase his skills. In fact, he is one of the most well traveled Canadians period, placing at least in the top 32 of all majors, and top 16 at Bigger Balc and Smash and Splash 3. Bigger Balc was definitely MorKs' highlight tourney; he made an incredible losers run after a round 1 loss to LoyaL, tearing through StereoKiDD, Gallo, and Aero to finish 13th at the largest tournament of the year. His accomplishments at Bigger Balc turned him from a formidable hidden boss into to a very real national threat. At Smash ‘n’ Splash 3, he also beat Melee Falcon n0ne. After demonstrating a ferocious drive to improve, it will be interesting to see if MorKs can climb even higher in 2018.

Written By: Yata! and Pegthaniel



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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