PMRank 2018: 20-11

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Photo Credit: Tram Tram

Ranks 20-11 are here! Today's batch of competitors is a truly awe-inspiring group, with heavy representation from NorCal and the East Coast.

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.

PMRank 2018 will be on break over the weekend. We will return on Monday, February 4th to begin the journey up through the top 10. Enjoy Genesis 6 in the meantime!


20 - boringman.png

Photo Credit: ExHale

Score: 7.62

While many people first learned of Parker “Boringman” Boring due to his meme-defining Mario, he left the plumber behind in 2017. In the last year, he has settled on playing mostly Sonic and Meta Knight, with a playstyle that heavily emphasizes a strong ground game, vicious tech chasing, and a mastery of kill confirms. While his highest placements have been in his home state of California, he can still be a fierce competitor when he travels.

His most notable out of state performance in 2018 was at Low Tier City 6, where he defeated Filthy Casual en route to a respectable 13th place. In state his placements have been vastly superior, peaking at 7th place at Even Bigger Balc with an impressive losers’ run through Flipp, JFyst, and Kycse. He also earned 3rd place at Fair and Balanced 2 after defeating Rongunshu and BaconPancakes, outplaced only by his long time in-region rivals The Doctor and ThundeRzReiGN. It remains to be seen whether Boringman’s future out-of-region performances will grow to better reflect his in-state accolades, but regardless, he still commands respect from every foe he faces.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Photo Credit: N/A

Score: 7.67

While Peter “Pikmon” Woodworth became notorious in the smash community for his incredible luck when using Mr Game & Watch’s Judgement, his consistent improvement and strong results in 2018 have little to do with chance. Pikmon started the year strong at Cashed Out: Forbidden Fight Club, where he defeated lloD and Boringman on his way to Winners Finals. There he lost a tense game 5 set to Mr Lz before falling victim to Ivayne’s losers’ run for 3rd place. After a few months without entering any majors, he journeyed to SoCal for The Even Bigger Balc and matched his 2017 performance at The Bigger Balc by drowning in pools once again. Rather than be discouraged, Pikmon used this setback as motivation for the rest of the year, and came back with a vengeance. At Low Tier City 6 he achieved his first major top 8, defeating Boringman once again and using his years of experience against Chevy’s Samus to clutch out a close match against Morsecode762 before ending his run at 5th place.

In August, Pikmon defended his #1 rank in Washington by winning Nemesis II over Aki and Punk Panda, before returning to NorCal for the school year. Finally, at Blacklisted 4, Pikmon defeated Juanpi and Dirtboy and went up 2-0 against Switch before falling victim to a heartbreaking reverse 3-0 comeback. In losers’, he knocked out Kycse on his way to a 7th place finish, marking his final top 8 of the year. Pikmon’s improvement as a player over the last year is undeniable, and we can expect to keep seeing him represent Washington and NorCal deep in bracket at any tournament he attends in 2019.

Written By: Sabre

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Photo Credit: Dan Aki

Score: 7.93

Tech skill fiend Neil “Filthy Casual” Goel made a significant leap in skill over the course of 2018. His Wolf, already well-known for its unmatched rate of laser fire, evolved in both speed and ferocity to become a tournament threat that every player should be wary of meeting in bracket. His mid-combo laser usage is particularly stunning, as Filthy combines the quickest trigger finger among Wolf mains with excellent height control and timing.

His peak performance in 2018 came from a stunning 2nd place finish at Blacklisted 4. Part of the hype came from the length of his losers’ bracket run - Filthy won his first set against Kycse in top 48, but he lost to Envy shortly afterward. There, he defeated Twisty, upset DVD, got revenge on Envy, and finished off techboy. While he ultimately lost to Switch in grand finals, Filthy demonstrated an uncommon endurance and ability to even reach that point. This newfound depth to his play took him further than ever before in 2018, shattering the ceiling of what previously seemed possible for New Mexico’s best player.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Photo Credit: Tram Tram

Score: 7.94

Another strong contender out of Norcal, Kevin “The Doctor” Ascate entered the national spotlight in 2017 and continued strong into 2018. The Mario main’s deep recoveries, extended punishes, and big reads earned him excellent wins and placements punctuated by his high energy pop-off celebrations.

Compared to last year, The Doctor traveled less for Project M, but he is still part of an elite group of players with wins against ThundeRzReiGN - one from Cashed Out: Forbidden Fight Club, and another at the Norcal pre-Fair and Balanced 2 local. He also had strong placings out of region at Low Tier City 6, where he beat HyperFlame on the way to 7th place. His peak placement this year, 2nd at Fair and Balanced 2, included victories against Chevy, Pikmon, and BaconPancakes. Despite a shorter resume than last year’s PMRank, The Doctor’s quality of wins prove that this “healer” knows exactly how to dish out the hurt.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Photo Credit: Tram Tram

Score: 7.94

Long deemed “the most underrated player in PM,” Ivan “Ivayne” Castaneda lived up to every bit of his West Coast hype train with a spectacular start to 2018. After not traveling outside of California at all last year, Ivayne headed to New York in January for We Tech Those 3, and it’s safe to say that he turned a few heads with his results. Over the course of that weekend, he defeated Flarp, Sothe, Twisty, Dirtboy, Envy, and Hyperflame, placing 2nd at the local held before the event, and 13th at We Tech Those itself. Just a week later, he would defeat the rest of NorCal’s top 5 all in a row as he tore through the losers’ bracket at Cashed Out: Forbidden Fight Club, taking 2nd place after defeating ThundeRzReiGN, Boringman, The Doctor, and Pikmon.

While it would be hard for anyone to surpass a month like that, Ivayne remained a top tier threat for the rest of the year, with respectable placements at every tournament he attended. He placed 17th at The Even Bigger Balc, and 13th at Low Tier City 6, with wins over the likes of Aidan, LoyaL, and ORLY, and ended the year with wins over Aki, Nezergy, and Pikmon on the weekend of Fair and Balanced 2. With more national exposure under his belt, the sky is the limit for PMRank’s highest placed newcomer going into 2019.

Written By: Sabre

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Photo Credit: Princess Hyrule

Score: 8.02

After an explosive 2017, where Evan “Sothe” Cunningham established himself as a national threat and made top 8 at every tournament he attended, expectations were high for the Midwest native in 2018. And for much of the year, he delivered. He started the year strong, taking 5th place at We Tech Those 3 after defeating Yung Quaff, Junebug, and BaconPancakes. Back in the Midwest, Sothe placed 5th again at Push More Buttons 2018, defeating Kycse along the way and pushing Sosa to his limits in one of the most back-and-forth sets of the year. At Smash N Splash 4, Sothe made top 8 once again, this time defeating techboy, lloD, and Kycse en route to a 4th place finish. At The Even Bigger Balc, Sothe knocked Kumatora and Rongunshu out of winners’ bracket before being sent to losers’ himself by ThundeRzReiGN and losing the Smash N Splash runback against techboy.

However, at Low Tier City 6, something changed. For the first time at a major, Sothe chose to play Fox in losers’ bracket, and he placed 17th, his lowest tourney placement ever. Afterwards, Sothe announced that he would be taking a break from competing until the competitive fire that once drove him to such great peaks returned. He has yet to enter another tournament so far, but expect a return to form from the world’s best Ivysaur in 2019 once he decides the moment is right.

Written By: Sabre

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Photo Credit: Princess Hyrule

Score: 8.33

There exists a certain kind of person that cannot excel at just one thing, but is found to be proficient at many things. Arjun “lloD” Molhotra is such a person, having gained recognition in both Melee and Project on top of his pursuit of a medical career. With a split focus, lloD did not hit as many PM events as others on this list, but he still managed to make noise when he showed up.

At Smashadelphia 2018, lloD took out New Jersey veterans EmuKiller and DVD to make it to Winners Semifinals. Although he dropped 3-0 to Kycse to fall to losers’ bracket, he managed to find 3-1 victories versus both BaconPancakes and even Malachi before falling once again to Kycse in Losers Finals. His other highlight came at the Even Bigger Balc over the summer. After winning the Melee bracket while wearing the purple foil Project M t-shirt, he made a deep run at the largest Project M event of all time, beating Jose V and techboy in top 64 to get to Winners Semifinals. lloD then nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tourney, going the 5-game distance with Sosa, but SoCal’s kingpin ultimately shut the door. In losers’ bracket, he succumbed to his least favorite matchup in Envy’s Ike, narrowly missing out on top 8. What the future holds for the accomplished Peach main is uncertain, but whether his chosen instrument is a GameCube controller or a stethoscope, lloD can succeed at whatever he puts his mind to.

Written By: Darth Shard

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Photo Credit: Tram Tram

Score: 8.43

MD/VA has been a significant region for Project M ever since the beginning, being home to both developers and players alike. These two states have produced a number of exceptional Diddy Kong mains over the years. Following the likes of Boss, Seagull Joe, and even Junebug, Raseen “BaconPancakes” Khan is the latest to ascend to greatness, and 2018 was his best year to date. The evasive yet precise Diddy main made lengthy tournament runs at some of the biggest events of the season.

At The Even Bigger Balc, BaconPancakes convincingly defeated Connor, Fuzz and Kycse to reach Winners Semifinals. Though he fell to Sosa and Techboy in top 8, he still earned 5th place at the largest Project M event of all time. Not to be outdone, his Low Tier City 6 resume is also impressive, as after losing to Malachi, he defeated Dirtboy, Hyperflame, Pikmon, and Morsecode762 before once again losing to the New York titan for 3rd place. Finally, at Fair and Balanced 2, BP earned wins on Sneez, Ivayne, and Aki, only losing to NorCal’s hometown heroes in The Doctor and Boringman. Overall, BaconPancakes stood out even among other rising stars in the Project M community, and we are just starting to realize how high he might soar. No longer in Junebug’s shadow, BaconPancakes has become the Diddy to emulate, and it shows with his consistency in his results and creative usage of a deep character.

Written By: Darth Shard

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Photo Credit: Princess Hyrule

Score: 8.65

After a great 2017 PMRank placement, Kycse continued to dominate in 2018. A bastion of consistency, his placements and wins continued to come in high quality and quantity. Most notably, Kycse went undefeated against Malachi across three separate tournaments - We Tech Those 3, The Flex Zone 3, and Smashadelphia 2018. Kycse’s worst placements at majors this year have been 9th at The Bigger Balc and 9th at Blacklisted 4, but outside of that, he has always placed within the top 8 of tournaments he attended.

He won two tournaments outright, The GURDY and House of Lz. At The GURDY, Kycse defeated Yung Quaff and Twisty on his way to the top, while at House of Lz he defeated the entire state of Florida and fellow Zard player Dingo. Other quality runs include Retro Rumble, where he beat Switch and DVD on the way to 2nd place, and The Flex Zone 3, where he defeated Aidan, Dirtboy, and Silver on the way to 4th. Kycse’s play this year has been oppressive enough to merit a wave of “ban Zard” memes, and he shows no sign of turning down the heat in the future.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Photo Credit: Princess Hyrule

Score: 8.80

Pete “Envy” Grieco truly outdid himself this year. With single digit placements at every major event he attended besides We Tech Those 3, Envy has reached new heights with his electrifying Ike. His quick decision making and combo extensions defy expectations time and time again in the best of ways. His greatest major tournament placement was Blacklisted 4, where he placed 4th by defeating JFyst, triumphing over Filthy Casual in one of the most entertaining and combo-heavy sets of the year, and taking down the mighty Flipp. But arguably his best performance was his Even Bigger Balc run to 5th place, which spanned an exhausting seven sets against fearsome opponents such as Silver, Punk Panda, Aki, lloD, and Boringman due to an early bracket loss to ThundeRzReiGN.

Overall, Envy has a great record vs his fellow PMRank members, boasting positive set counts against Aidan, Rongunshu, Boringman, BaconPancakes, and Flipp. He also has even records against a few players of the highest tier, namely Switch and techboy. With merits like these, it’s no surprise that Envy finds himself on the cusp of this year’s hallowed top 10 spots.

Written By: Pegthaniel and FlashingFire


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
 
Last edited:
FlashingFire

Comments

#2
*Parenthesis detonates secondaries.

11th: Envy:ike: +20
12th: Kycse:charizard: +0
13th: BaconPancakes:diddy: +3
14th: lloD:peach: -3
15th: Sothe:ivysaur: -6
16th: Ivayne:wolf::marth: New
17th: The Doctor:mario2: +6
18th: Filthy Casual:wolf: +19
19th: Pikmon:gw: +7
20th: Boringman:metaknight::sonic:(:lucario:) -3
21st: Morsecode762:samus2: +14
22nd: Rongunshu:lucario::marth: New
23rd: Dirtboy:squirtle:(:peach:) -1
24th: Twisty:warioc: -3
25th: Boiko:metaknight: +3
26th: Drugfreechu:gw: New
27th: Hyperflame:lucas: -20
28th: Aki:ness2: Returning
29th: Aidan:zerosuitsamus:(:ike:) -10
30th: ilovebagelz:luigi2:(:falcon:) +12
31st: Silver:falco:(:fox::metaknight:) -1
32nd: LUCK:diddy: +0
33rd: Cala:ivysaur: New
34th: Junebug:diddy:(:sheik:) -7
35th: Fearless:lucario: +1
36th: Bobby Frizz:fox: New
37th: Flarp:luigi2: +8
38th: Jose V:ness2: -13
39th: EmuKiller:metaknight::mewtwopm: -26
40th: Noghrilla:dk2: New
41st: JFyst:sonic:(:diddy:) -8
42nd: Captain Birdman:wolf:(:falco:) New
43rd: Ellipsis:gw: New
44th: Yung Quaff:metaknight:(:mewtwopm:) -10
45th: Bongo:falcon: +1
46th: JJK:gw: -6
47th: Reslived:ness2: New
48th: $wift:lucario:(:substitute:) New
49th: Punk Panda:wolf: New
50th: Nezergy:gw: New
HM: Sneez:rob:(:diddy:) New
HM: Dingo:charizard: -13
HM: Connor:roypm: New
HM: Bubbles:falcon:(:dk2:) New
 
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