PMRank 2018: 30-21

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Photo Credit: Princess Hyrule

PMRank 2018 crosses the halfway mark with ranks 30-21! These ten players pilot a whopping fourteen different characters!

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.


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Photo Credit: ExHale

Score: 6.27

Famous bagel lover Giovanny “ilovebagelz” Garcia has a knack for improvement - for three straight years now, he has climbed upward on the PMRank top 50. He continues to lead the Luigi metagame with innovative movement, optimizations, and setups, but also has developed a Captain Falcon secondary to bring the pain against those who think to counterpick his floaty main. At The Even Bigger Balc, bagelz made waves when he defeated Malachi’s Peach and pocket Game and Watch in the first round of top 64. He also defeated JFyst before landing at a respectable 9th place. The Luigi main also dominated quite a few regionals, winning Boss Rush: lloD, Runback 2018 over famous Melee Ice Climbers player ARMY, and Super Cyber Zone 2 over his longtime in-region rival Blue. As he continues to improve in both Melee and Project M, it remains to be seen just how high this tornado-mashing plumber can climb.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Photo Credit: Tram Tram

Score: 6.51

Aidan “Aidan” Shea had a small slump in 2018 compared to his incredible 2017. Nonetheless, he has remained a top level competitor and Zero Suit Samus role model. At tournaments, his runs would only end when faced with the best of the best. Early in the year, Aidan was met with an early loss at We Tech Those 3. However, he carefully piloted his ZSS through losers’ bracket, defeating Emukiller, StereoKiDD, Junebug, and Kycse, only faltering against Malachi on his way to a 4th place finish. At Revival of Smashing Grounds, Aidan defeated Kumatora before landing at 13th place. He also placed 9th at The Flex Zone 3, losing early to Kycse but defeating Jason Waterfalls and Zhime in losers’. Time will tell whether Aidan regains his 2017 consistency, but the peak of his play is as high as ever.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Photo Credit: Princess Hyrule

Score: 6.57

After exploding into the national spotlight at SnS2 with a win over Mr Lz in 2016, Aleck “Aki” Henderson had a very quiet 2017, missing the top 50 rankings last year. He came back with a mighty vengeance in 2018 and had amazing placements wherever he entered. At Even Bigger Balc, he almost got knocked out early, but instead he avenged his doubles teammate Pikmon by defeating Connor in a game 5 nailbiter. Aki then went on to defeat Blitz and Rongunshu to get an outstanding 13th place at the biggest Project M tournament of all time. Traveling to Norcal later in the year, Aki picked up wins over $wift and Sneez to take 5th place at Fair and Balanced 2. Aki now appears to be the best active Ness main and will look to defend that title going in to 2019.

Written By: Pikmon

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Photo Credit: Remzi Hazboun Photography

Score: 6.67

If there is any top player whose 2018 can be characterized by an astounding variance of high and low points in their career, it must be fan favorite Alex “Hyperflame” Mireles. It cannot be denied that Hyperflame went through some rough tournaments this year, drowning in pools at Smashadephia 2018 and The Even Bigger Balc after losses to players including King Koney and Tavi, but between those dark moments it was still clear to see that the MD/VA native is capable of breaking into top 8 of any major on the right day. Hyperflame placed 3rd at Smash N Splash 4, with wins over Jason Waterfalls, Junebug, and Kycse, 7th at Low Tier City 6 after defeating Boringman, and 2nd at Project M Showdown 8 after trading sets with Switch. For longtime Project M viewers, it is always a treat to see Hyperflame at his best, and as 2018 reminded us, there are few players who can stop the fastest Lucas on the planet once he gets going.

Written By: Sabre

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Photo Credit: N/A

Score: 6.86

Landing on PMRank for the first time is Tony “Drugfreechu” Rolens. From humble beginnings as an Ice Climbers main, Drugfreechu (also known as DFC) has become renowned as one of the premier Mr. Game and Watch players, and currently rules the Chicagoland scene with a paper fist, never placing below 2nd place at locals. In 2018, DFC extended his dominance beyond Illinois, establishing himself as one of the absolute best in the Midwest.

At Busters and Bandits: EBB, DFC fell to Blank in Winners Quarters, and then proceeded to make an impressive losers’ bracket run, beating Mr. Watch&Learn, Tealz, EmuKiller, and Blank in the runback to earn himself a spot in Losers Finals. Digging deep, DFC then dispatched the mighty Malachi in a 3-1 decision before submitting to Sosa in grands. Even his Busters and Bandits run failed to compare to his biggest highlight of the year, however. In December, in Madison, WI, Drugfreechu defeated Midwest rivals Connor and Dirtboy to meet up with Switch in Winners Finals. After losing 3-1 to Switch, DFC again defeated Dirtboy in Losers Finals to earn a rematch. Drugfreechu ultimately prevailed 3-0, 3-2, winning Invincible 3 over a top 5 player and cementing his legacy on this year’s rankings.

Written By: Darth Shard

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Photo Credit: Princess Hyrule

Score: 7.10

Despite being one of New York’s most reclusive players, Nick “Boiko” Boiko put up a great year at the events he attended in 2018, proving he’s still more than capable of keeping up with Project M’s most elite players. He kicked off the year with a 1st place finish at The Void, winning the New York regional over Aidan, Yung Quaff, Switch, and Envy. We Tech Those 3 represented a significant setback for the Meta Knight main. There, Boiko placed 33rd after choosing to DQ himself out of losers’ bracket due to wrist pains, and it would be another ten months before he entered another tournament.

At Blacklisted 4, after making it out of pools with Bowser, Boiko decided to take the top 48 bracket seriously, using his main at the last major he would attend in 2018. Despite having taken such a long hiatus from competing, Boiko tore through the losers’ bracket, defeating Stoks, Kunai, BaconPancakes, and Flarp before finishing at 9th place. It is hard to tell what this year will bring for the mostly-inactive Boiko, but be on the lookout for him to make waves whenever he elects to enter tournaments in 2019.

Written By: Sabre

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Photo Credit: Princess Hyrule

Score: 7.25

Will “Twisty” Gomez attended almost every east coast event this year as well as a few more across the country, with great performances each time. At We Tech Those 3, Twisty defeated Fearless in winners’ bracket before suffering defeat at Malachi’s hands. On the losers’ side, he beat Flarp and Ivayne before being KO’d by StereoKiDD at 9th place. At Down Fall 8, the Wario main beat Silver in winners’ and Yung Quaff in losers’ before being taken out by Kycse in Losers Semi-Finals, an exceptionally good performance for a 4th place finish. At The Even Bigger Balc, Twisty suffered an early defeat at the hands of JFyst. Undeterred, he went on a losers’ run to 13th place by beating Mr. Watch & Learn, reslived, and The Doctor before succumbing to techboy 1-3 in the tough Wario vs Ice Climbers matchup.

Twisty’s highest placements were 2nd at both Shine On You Crazy Diamond (the Shine PM “side event”) and The GURDY. At Shine, Twisty placed behind only Switch. At The GURDY, he defeated Zork, Jaden, and even Kycse to end up in grand finals. While Kycse would come back with a vengeance and win the tournament, the event still served as one of many strong wins and placements that cement Twisty’s status as a top player once again in 2018.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Photo Credit: Delta (Jeff Mahieu)

Score: 7.25

Jacob “Dirtboy” Smith makes his return to PMRank for the third year in a row, slipping and sliding his way with his signature Squirtle into the top 30 once again. This year, Dirtboy played a total of over 140 unique sets at 17 PMRank events this year, more than any other player in the world, and his list of impressive victories reflects that unmatched level of activity. The Michigan native took home wins over Switch, techboy, Envy, lloD, Sothe, and more over the past year, and retains a strong 55% win record against the rest of the PMRank 2018 field. Some of Dirtboy’s most notable placements include his 1st place finish at Meta Knight’s Revenge, where he double eliminated both Bobby Frizz and Sothe to win the tournament from losers’ bracket, and Evicted, where he defeated both lloD and 4est, formerly known as Mr. Lz. With other strong placements at events including 9th at Low Tier City 6 and Blacklisted 4, 5th at Plus Ultra, and 3rd at Super Smash Con 2018, it is easy to see why Dirtboy remains one of Project M’s strongest competitors for the third year running.

Written By: Wombat

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Photo Credit: Delta (Jeff Mahieu)

Score: 7.45

If there’s anyone in the Project M scene who exploded into the international spotlight over the course of a single weekend, it has to be Brad “Rongunshu” Sanderson. After a disappointing start to the year at We Tech Those 3, where he placed 49th, Rongunshu stepped up in a big way to defend Canada against all comers at Frozen Phoenix 2018. Rongunshu’s silky-smooth Marth defeated MorKs, Wyld, Dirtboy, XYK, and Ellipsis on his way to Winners Finals, and he was able to display impressive adaptation across his three sets with techboy before finishing in 2nd place.

Canada’s new hero made another big splash at Smash N Splash 4, riding the wave to a 5th place finish after defeating Dirtboy, LoyaL, Jfyst, and Junebug. With his hype Lucario and lightning-fast Marth, Rongunshu quickly became a fan favorite as he traveled across the United States to compete in SoCal, NorCal, and Michigan and prove his skill. Despite a modest 17th place finish at The Even Bigger Balc, Rongunshu defended his winning records over Ellipsis and Dirtboy at Plus Ultra, and defeated Punk Panda, Pikmon, and Filthy Casual en route to a 5th place finish at Fair and Balanced 2. As one of the community’s fastest improving players, be on the lookout for Rongunshu around North America as he does his best to demonstrate that 2018 was only the beginning of his rise to the top.

Written By: Sabre

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Photo Credit: Delta (Jeff Mahieu)

Score: 7.51

Over the years, Michigan has produced a slew of elite Smash players. Josh “Morsecode762” Morse is one such player, proudly competing at the highest level both in Melee and Project M. After narrowly missing the cut for top 32 at Smash N Splash 4, Morsecode set his sights on Low Tier City 6. In top 64, a 3-0 win over Sothe was followed by a close game 5 loss to Pikmon. Undeterred, Morse powered through losers’ with wins over LUCK, The Doctor, and a clean 3-0 of Flipp. In Losers Semifinals he finally was stopped in yet another game 5 set, this time against the dextrous BaconPancakes.

Morsecode also finished on top at Evicted, this year’s The Big House side event and the spiritual successor to On The House. Along the way, Morse took down Sharkz, who had placed 2nd two years before, and reigned tall over Michigan hidden boss Anther to make it to Winners Finals. Facing off against the prodigal ICs player techboy, Morsecode took Winners Finals, then held out against his in-state rival, winning grand finals after a game 5 reset. These performances reinforce Morsecode’s already strong resume for 2018 and give ample reason for his significant rise in the rankings.

Written By: Darth Shard


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
HyperFlame at 27th? Didn't see that coming, although he did have a few rough tournaments. Hopefully he improves in the future.
 
#4
*Parenthesis detonates secondaries.

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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