PMRank 2018: 10-7

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Photo Credit: Tram Tram


PMRank 2018's top 10 begins to take shape! We're going up to rank #7 today, and at this point, it's astonishing when any of these players don't make it to top 8 of even the most stacked tournaments.

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, 93 players were qualified to be ranked based on their placings and attendance at major Project M events throughout 2018. Only 50 highly skilled players made the final list.

PMRank staff collected and organized data from dozens of Project M events from the past year, seeking out tournaments with inter-regional competition. Panelists were tasked with reviewing this data and rating each player on the nominee 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. After an initial ballot, panelists were given time to discuss the aggregated results and move closer to consensus in the case of players with high standard deviations. Then, panelists submitted a second and final ballot.

Please note that the listed set counts do not include sets from locals, with the exception of locals that included significant out-of-region competition.

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.

Thank you for your patience this weekend. Without further ado, let's get back to it!


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Photo Credit: Princess Hyrule

Score: 8.86

Entrenching his position as the world’s iconic Toon Link, Brian “DVD” Sherbert had an incredibly prolific 2018. He continued to demonstrate the monstrous power of a properly wielded Toon Link, dealing out death by a thousand paper cuts and even more bombs, arrows, boomerangs, and sword swipes. Utilizing his technicality, versatility, and immense knowledge of the game, DVD firmly reinforced his status as one of the greatest Project M players of all time.

He kicked off the new year with an explosive 3rd place finish at We Tech Those 3, beating star players Phresh, StereoKiDD, and Sothe before falling victim to both of his local demons, Switch and Malachi. Down Fall 8 would begin the start of his dominance over Charizard main Kycse as he stormed to a 2nd place finish behind only Switch's Wolf. Resting Stitch Face would prove to be another notable event, as he would beat Kycse once more and hand Sosa a spicy 3-0 to advance, eventually losing to Malachi's Sheik and ending up on the wrong side of Sosa's rage in the Losers Finals runback. DVD clearly demonstrated that his skill was on par with the best of the best, but troublesome matchups against his elite NY/NJ brethren repeatedly forced DVD to look for answers.

DVD's results dipped slightly with relatively lackluster 5th and 7th placements at The Flex Zone 3 and Smashadelphia 2018, respectively. He beat players such as his doubles teammate Envy, Kycse again, hidden boss Zhime, and Olimar extraordinaire ~CP9~, but some familiar faces gated his progress - Sosa, Switch, and Malachi. Llod also pulled off an upset victory at Smashadelphia, and DVD traded sets with Envy to finish 3rd at Project M Showdown 7. Retro Rumble would mark a return to form for the fan-favorite Tink, as he acquired impressive victories over Envy and Kycse (who would later take his first and only set victory of the year during Losers Finals) to land a 3rd place finish. DVD would ride this upswing to cap off his year at Blacklisted 4, arguably one of the most stacked Project M tournaments of 2018. He defeated Phresh and Aidan before ultimately succumbing to the 1st and 2nd place achievers Switch and Filthy Casual to arrive at a stellar 5th place.

Clearly, DVD has no lack of strong placements and stronger wins over the course of the past year. But despite a multitude of strong showings, Switch and Malachi have proved to be incessant roadblocks to further success. He has edged closer to victory with some secondaries, primarily Roy, but he remains winless against the duo in 2018. Nevertheless, only a fool would deny that DVD is a unique and tenacious competitor who can spar and smile with the best of the best. If he can discover a way through his problem matchups, no one will be safe from the force that is DVD.

Written By: Grzly and FlashingFire

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Photo Credit: Tram Tram

Score: 9.02

Renowned as one of the most consistent players in Project M, Nick “Flipp” Filippides returns to represent Connecticut in the top echelon of PMRank for his third year in a row. He continues to forge new territory in Snake's metagame, taking full advantage of the character's never-say-die staying power and flexible combo trees.

Flipp started off the year slowly, placing 13th at We Tech Those 3 after defeating LUCK and dropping sets to former PMRank elites StereoKiDD and Phresh, but he quickly bounced back with wins over Kycse, Twisty, and Flarp at the Revival of Smashing Grounds in Massachusetts. After his return to form at Smashing Grounds, Flipp remained a significant threat at every event he attended for the rest of the year. He placed 5th at Smashadelphia 2018, losing losing only to Malachi and Switch, and defeated Cala at The Even Bigger Balc before falling victim to upsets by Blank and Boringman for a disappointing 17th place finish, his worst placement of 2018.

However, Flipp would once again come back with a vengeance, this time overcoming both the guns of Ivayne and the speed of Lunchables to take 5th at Low Tier City 6. A month later he went on to win Retro Rumble 2018 without dropping a single set, defeating the likes of Mr. Watch & Learn, Serbian Film, Blank, and DVD before fending off his Connecticut teammate Kycse in a back-and-forth Grand Finals set to take home the gold. While these accomplishments could have invited complacency, Flipp showed that his hunger was unabated with a ferocious losers run at Blacklisted 4. After beating Connor in pools, Flipp was sent to losers’ bracket early by Twisty, and he took the opportunity to pick up as many high-level wins as possible as he made his way slowly but surely into the losers’ side of top 8. After taking out Juanpi, Bongo, and Aidan, he triumphed over Pikmon in one of the closest and most entertaining Snake vs Game and Watch matches ever. Flipp would finally end his run at 5th place as Envy's Ike found the chinks in his armor.

Without a doubt, Flipp has defended his legacy as one of Project M’s most elite competitors for yet another year, with his impressive 73% win rate against players ranked below him, and strong placements at events such as Retro Rumble and Low Tier City 6. From his explosive entrance onto the national scene in 2016 to his quiet but nonetheless highly impressive resume in 2018, Flipp has made it clear that he has become a mainstay on the PMRank top 10.

Written By: Jetfantastic and Sabre


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Photo Credit: ExHale

Score: 9.08

While Brian “Blank” Sosa stayed mostly under the radar in 2017, with strong regional performances and a few eye-catching wins at nationals, his innovative Zero Suit Samus took him to new heights in 2018 from start to finish. Few players are willing to dive as deep as Blank to secure offstage kills, but he always knows he has the tools, skills, and confidence to close out stocks from anywhere.

Blank started the year with a landmark victory over ThundeRzReiGN at Poi Poundaz that many discounted as a fluke, but the younger Sosa sibling quickly made clear that his skill was not to be questioned. At his next out of region tournament, the Infinity and Beyond! 200 Shark Tank, Blank defeated Fearless and Captain Birdman on his way to Winners Finals, where he 3-0'd Lunchables in shockingly dominant fashion. After a tense 9 games of Grand Finals, Blank once again walked away the victor over the Texas defender. For perhaps the first time in his career, Blank's record against one of Project M’s most elite players was stronger than that of than his older brother, who had traded sets with Lunchables at Don’t Sleep! 2 the month before.

Back in his home region of SoCal, Blank became the hero of the West Coast after his outstanding performance at The Even Bigger Balc. After beating $wift to make top 64, Blank came up against Yung Quaff, the New York resident who had knocked him out of winners' bracket at The Bigger Balc a year before. Quaff took a 2-0 lead in the set, but Blank, not to be denied, completed a reverse 3-0 sweep and took that momentum with him into a tremendous bracket run at the biggest Project M event of all time. After defeating Flipp in another incredibly close game 5 set, Blank met up with ilovebagelz in Winners Quarters and came out on top. Blank lost to ThundeRz in the winners’ side of top 8, but he then eliminated his own doubles teammate Envy before facing off against techboy in Losers Semis. With a West Coast top 3 and the chance to meet his brother in Grand Finals at stake, Blank’s explosive punish game was at its peak, and he overran techboy with his speed and precision. ThundeRz would deny the brotherly brawl, but Blank had already secured his place in history.

The rest of the year was relatively modest for Blank, with a respectable 5th place at Retro Rumble, where he defeated Silver and Bubbles, serving as his only event out of SoCal. Over the course of this year, Blank’s impressive consistency and wins over the likes of Lunchables and ThundeRz tell the story of a truly fantastic player with even more potential yet to be unlocked. For now, Blank has decided to focus on competing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but after the last year it is clear that he has the talent to succeed in any game he chooses to put his time into.

Written By: Sabre

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Photo Credit: Tram Tram

Score: 9.21

Tyler “Fuzz” Graves exploded to prominence in 2017, starting the year unranked and ending at PMRank 2017's #6 player. After his breakout performance at The Bigger Balc, featuring wins over household names like Sosa and Switch, Fuzz never looked back. His creative and opportunistic Mewtwo remained a staple of top 8s for the first half of 2018, and his incredible consistency made clear to any observer that he had earned his place as one the greatest competitors in the modern Project M metagame.

In his home state of Texas, Fuzz began the year with back to back 4th place finishes at No Fun Allowed 2 and Don’t Sleep! 2. At both tournaments, his results were relatively par for the course; he gained wins over LUCK, Captain Birdman, and Nyx, whereas his losses were to Lunchables, Switch, Malachi, and Sosa. No Fun Allowed 2 would herald his first ever loss to Switch, but it would quickly be avenged on the New Jersey titan’s home turf.

At The Flex Zone 3, Fuzz seemed nearly unstoppable as he tore through the winners’ bracket, displaying a brutally optimized punish game against both Envy and Switch. As he trounced them in 3-0 and 3-1 victories, respectively, he played to the crowd with lighthearted popoffs and trash talk. In Winners Semis he faced off against Malachi, one of the only top players Fuzz had yet to defeat in his career. While the pace of the set was slower, more focused on mitigating Malachi’s infamously strong platform movement and neutral game, Fuzz’s punishes retained their sudden nature and disbelief-inducing flair, netting him a groundbreaking win. Despite two losses to Sosa that would end his run at 2nd place, Fuzz completed a double elimination of Switch in Losers Finals, once again displaying his strength in a matchup that Switch had once seemed dominant in against fellow NY/NJ resident Frozen.

For the rest of the year, Fuzz remained a prime contender at every tournament he attended, but he was beginning to feel his motivation to compete slip away. The Texas titan finished in top 8 at both Push More Buttons 2018 and The Even Bigger Balc, picking up strong wins over players like Dirtboy, ilovebagelz, Drugfreechu, Silver, and Nezergy. Then, on the anniversary of his first major win at Salty Juan’s 4, Fuzz posted on Twitter about developments in his personal life that had reduced his focus on Project M, and while he attended locals on and off during the second half of 2018, The Even Bigger Balc was his last major tournament of the year.

Whether he remains a top competitor in 2019 or not, the mark that Fuzz has left on the Project M scene is unmistakable. His relentless positivity and kindness have made him a beloved member of the community, and his can-do attitude inspired players around the world to push themselves to be the best they can be. As a player, his innovative playstyle and studied mentality have brought him to another year of success at the top of the Project M scene, and if Fuzz sticks around in 2019 there is nowhere to go but up for the world’s best Mewtwo.

Written By: Sabre


Other PMRank 2018 Articles

1/28/2019 - PMRank 2018: The Edge of Glory
1/29/2019 - PMRank 2018: 50-41
1/30/2019 - PMRank 2018: 40-31
1/31/2019 - PMRank 2018: 30-21
2/01/2019 - PMRank 2018: 20-11
2/05/2019 - PMRank 2018: 10-7
2/06/2019 - PMRank 2018: 6-4
2/07/2019 - PMRank 2018: 3-1

Last Year's Rankings

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
2/11/2018 - PMRank 2017: Recap

Credits
PMRank Staff:
  • Brennan “FlashingFire” Connolly
  • Devin “Reslived” Gajewski
  • Peter “Pikmon” Woodworth
  • Kyle “Pegthaniel” Guo
  • Courtney “Zesty” Coffman
Graphic Design and Character Renders:
  • Courtney “Zesty” Coffman
  • Paul "Motobug" Canavan
  • Jet "Jetfantastic" Breton
  • "waffeln"
  • Cosmetic Standardization Project (CSProject)
Editor-in-Chief:
  • Brennan “FlashingFire” Connolly
Additional Editing:
  • Devin “Reslived” Gajewski
  • Alex “Darth Shard” Elert
  • Ryan "Sabre" Weinberg
  • Jet "Jetfantastic" Breton
  • Kyle “Pegthaniel” Guo
 
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FlashingFire

Comments

#2
Going to predict 1st - 6th.

1st: Sosa:warioc:
2nd: Lunchables:toonlink::roypm:(:marth:)
3rd: Switch:wolf:
4th: Thunderzreign:dk2::falcon:(:ganondorf:)
5th: Techboy:popo:
6th: Malachi:sheik::peach:

Wonder how much I got correct. : p
 
#3
The_Bookworm The_Bookworm Lunchables has used both Roy and Marth more than he's used Toon Link in 2018. His Marth is definitely not a secondary. All of the games Lunchables won in Top 32 at SNS4 were with Roy and Marth, for example.
 
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