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PMRank 2019: 40-31

40-31.png

Photo Credit: Sabre

PMRank 2019 continues on, with the first 2018 veterans making their appearances, as well as a number of new faces.

PMRank is a panel-based Power Ranking of the top 50 Project M and Project+ 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, 70 players were qualified to be ranked based on their placings and attendance at major Project M/+ events throughout 2019. 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 significant inter-regional competition. Panelists were tasked with reviewing this data and ranking each player in order, from #1 to #70. For each player, the highest and lowest rankings 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.

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: Tram Tram

While Ryan “Sabre” Weinberg is a new face on PMRank’s top 50, his reputation as an industrious content creator and community leader precedes him. After years of supporting the scene, Sabre’s in-game accomplishments have risen to the height of his community efforts. Sabre has been a gatekeeper to the top 50 this year, never losing to anyone below that caliber and achieving a few big wins. At Blacklisted 5, he placed 17th by defeating Mr. Watch & Learn and ex-PMRank Kumatora. At the Encore, he again would place 17th by smacking down lower ranked players, losing only to Tealz’ Meta Knight and Arsenals’ Fox. All in all, 2019 rewarded Sabre for investing in Ivysaur in a way few players have ever invested in their characters. His hunger for innovation and improvement is something we can learn from long after the controllers are packed up.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Photo Credit: ExHale

While Matt "Cloudburst" Nichols has always been an inventive and unorthodox Squirtle player, in 2018 he began to add Wolf to his character repertoire. His decision to do so has borne fruit, and we are proud to welcome Cloudburst onto PMRank 2019. At Smash‘N’Splash 5, Cloudburst suffered a loss to the formidable Rongunshu, meaning he had to rally in the losers’ bracket. He defeated altan and proceeded to take on Wyld in a back-and forth set. Despite going down a stock early on in both games 1 and 2 in the frustratingly fragile Wolf-Sonic matchup, he maintained his composure and persevered to win both games in last stock situations, eventually making it to 25th place. At an array of West Coast events, Cloudburst pulled out both of his mains on a regular basis, allowing him to play to his strengths and pick up wins over the likes of Narq, Dumshiny, and Ca$ino Wolf. His coolness under pressure and ability to turn tiny openings into huge leads served him well throughout the year and helped to secure PMRank status.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Photo Credit: Princess Hyrule

Tremble in fear, Bowser is here! The first dedicated Bowser main to terrorize his way onto PMRank, Jake “American Bowser” Land, has a distinctive presence both in and out of the game. His red, white and blue flair make him easy to pick out of a crowd, and if that doesn’t do it, you’re just as likely to hear him. American Bowser’s vibrant emotions are fully engaged when he cheers on his DFW homies, and they reciprocate that encouragement while he plays. His first half of 2019 focused on a trio of southern regionals, where he notched wins against the likes of Sabre and Arsenals but also dropped sets to Austin’s Miyo and Oklahoma’s Plum Orchid. American Bowser then started to find his stride at Smash’N’Splash 5, taking out SoCal Meta Knight Tealz before being stopped by Fearless’ Lucario to place 25th. But it was at Low Tier City 7 where his King Koopa truly came alive, carving a loser’s run through Nave, Ellipsis, FlashingFire, and Mr. Watch&Learn to make top 8 at Texas’ premiere Smash tournament. American Bowser is more than just a low tier hero and a cheeky TV show reference, he’s living proof that you can play Project M however you want and have a grand time doing it.

Written By: FlashingFire

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Photo Credit: Delta (Jeff Mahieu)

Jason “Captain Birdman” Erdman and his menagerie of mains put up another great year in 2019 to secure his return to the PMRank Top 50. Rocking a combination of Wolf, Falco, Dedede, and Captain Falcon, Captain Birdman found frequent success with character counterpicks and a fluid combo game that kept opponents guessing. Captain Birdman started with strong placements close to home with top 8 finishes at Super Bit Wars 7 and Don’t Sleep! 3, gaining wins against Arsenals and FlashingFire. Despite a turbulent showing out-of-region at Smash‘N’Splash 5 where he placed 65th after defeating Connor in pools, Captain Birdman quickly returned to form back on his own turf. At Low Tier City 7, Captain Birdman returned to his Dedede roots to help him secure another win over Connor before taking sets over ORLY and Lucky to reach a fantastic 9th place finish at the second biggest event of the year. With quality wins at the year’s biggest events and two top 8 finishes at stacked regionals, Captain Birdman continues to represent some of the best Project M skill Dallas has to offer.

Written By: Sabre

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Photo Credit: Bozzi$Bear

Jack "Godtouch" Moore is the last of the multiple Fox players making their debut on this year's PMRank and the first player in PMRank history to hail from Pennsylvania. Despite defeating PMRank 2018's Aidan in a solid performance at Immunity 3, it wouldn't be until Super Smash Con where Godtouch would make his breakout. After a loss to Connecticut Mewtwo HM04 in pools, Godtouch would defeat ~CP9~, Narq, Hyperflame, and Dirtboy in the top 24 bracket before being double eliminated by Bubbles for an outstanding 4th place. While his final tournament of the year, Resting Stitch Face 2, would not be as explosive, a victory over former top 50 player Shiny Zubat would add another notable win to his records to close out his 2019. If Godtouch can consistently match his Super Smash Con performance in the next year, he could very well be a bracket threat to anyone, no matter their rank.

Written By: Motobug

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Photo Credit: Mr. Manny

Jake “Nezergy” Maldonado may have stayed close to his home turf of SoCal throughout the year, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a mainstay of the southwestern United States with his crisp Mr. Game & Watch.. Nezergy started 2019 with a top 8 finish at 5:00 PM Fights: Film Fest, earning wins over Wfycat and Ca$ino Wolf, and as the region’s #1 player he defended SoCal from out of regions threats such as Wfycat and Bongo to place 9th at SoCal’s own major, The Encore. But as sound as those victories are, Nezergy’s best performance came at 5:00 PM Fights: Reindeer Games, where he took consecutive 3-0 victories over ilovebagelz, Wfycat, and Blub to guarantee a SoCal Grand Finals with Sneez. With his worst losses this year coming from Aion and ilovebagelz, the latter of whom he has an even head-to-head record with, Nezergy proved to be incredibly consistent against the field of competition throughout the year, and with his continuous improvement he could prove to be one of the West Coast’s finest representatives in 2020.

Written By: Sabre

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Photo Credit: Delta (Jeff Mahieu)

Wilder "Wyld" Cusick is one of the many new faces on this year's top 50 from Illinois. While the spin-heavy Sonic main stayed in the Midwest for the majority of the year, the times he did travel netted him solid results. At Frozen Phoenix, Wyld was able to grab a victory over Yung Quaff before losing to him in the runback for 9th place. At "I Can't Beelieve It's Not 3.6!," Wyld defeated Twisty in pools to make winners’ side of bracket. At Smash ‘n’ Splash 5, Wyld would defeat fellow Sonic main Motobug and Floridan Fox main Up Smash & Pray before losing to Cloudburst just outside of top 32. His numerous other performances across the Midwest saw him take sets over local threats ORLY and Frost while avoiding any unranked losses. With his high skill floor and spacious ceiling, Wyld cements a solid spot on this year’s top 50.

Written By: Motobug

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Photo Credit: Junebug
If you’re in the market for high-octane Lucas combos and sizzling tech skill, Cristian “Narq” Claros has the goods. Early in the year, Narq established himself as a serious threat by defeating Ca$ino Wolf at the Arizona tournament Smash Camp 2019 on his way to 5th place. Back in his home territory of New York, he also beat Bubbles in a fast-paced match at Immunity 3. At Blacklisted 5, he managed to place an impressive 17th. On his way there, he managed to win a tight 3-2 set against Kycse using his full arsenal of potent down airs, tricky PK Thunder 2 recoveries, high-APM pressure, and slippery, unpredictable movement. In a final December trip to Arizona, Narq proved his previous win against Ca$ino Wolf was no fluke, taking another set off him in a 2-0 victory. He also defeated Cloudburst in both the Squirtle and Wolf matchups, finishing Reindeer Games at 4th place. Narq fans everywhere rejoice as yet another NY player steps up to the national plate.

Written By: Pegthaniel

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Photo Credit: Joey Hogan

2019 was a busy year for Paul “Motobug” Canavan. He earned several great wins at the ten qualifying tournaments he attended, had a part in organizing or running over half of those tournaments, and remained one of the community’s most active content creators. During the first half of the year, Motobug’s only win over a PMRank 2019 player was altan, although he did turn some heads with victories over former top-level players like Jaden and Phresh. He also suffered some questionable losses to the likes of Princess Knight, Serb, and Cody at the multitude of majors he attended leading up to the second half of the year. However, SoCal major The Encore marked a turning point for Motobug in 2019. After losing a nail-biter set against Sneez in winners’ bracket, Motobug earned arguably the best win of his career by beating Blank, the #8 on PMRank 2018, before losing a close set to Tealz to finish at an impressive 13th place at one of the hardest tournaments of the year. Motobug followed that up with a similarly great top 8 placing at Resting Stitch Face 2 by beating Flipp and ~CP9~. To close out the year, Motobug traveled from Massachusetts to the Wisconsin regional Invincible 5, which resulted in yet another career-defining performance. With a monumental win over top midwest player Sothe as well as two wins over Ripple, Motobug reached winners’ side of Grand Finals before Sothe earned his revenge with a 6-0 to win the tournament. Motobug has pushed himself in a few short months to the forefront of the Sonic metagame along with Boringman and Wyld. If his second half of 2019 is any indication, Motobug will continue to make a name for himself in the top echelon of players.

Written By: Connor

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Photo Credit: Princess Hyrule

2019 was a relatively quiet year for Alex "HyperFlame" Mireles. His playstyle and his choice in character both require the upper limit of Project M tech skill, and with those demands comes the potential for tremendous ups and downs. His big climb this year happened at Immunity 3, where HyperFlame defeated ~CP9~ and Dirtboy before being sent to the loser’s bracket by Switch. In Losers Quarters he weathered the storm against Malachi’s Ike and Donkey Kong in a close game 5 set, landing HyperFlame in Losers Semis for a runback with Dirtboy. Unfortunately, the remainder of the tournament was cancelled due to actual weather, dousing the lightning-quick Lucas’ run. HyperFlame took a long break from competing until August, where he entered Super Smash Con’s Project M bracket. He advanced to winners’ side top 24 as expected, but up-and-coming Fox GodTouch kept pace and sent him to the losers’ bracket, where a rare Jaden of former PMRank glory would deliver a subsequent loss. His last tournament of the year, PGH & Knuckles, saw a return to form for the former top 10 player, who defeated Johnohue and Tavi twice (though Tavi did best his Knuckles) to take the gold. While HyperFlame’s lack of attendance leaves him below the standard he set in 2018, a win on Malachi in any form is no joke, and his skillset is not one that is easily forgotten. Who knows how little might stand between HyperFlame and an electrifying 2020?

Written By: Motobug


Other PMRank 2019 Articles

1/26/2020 - PMRank 2019: The Edge of Glory
1/27/2020 - PMRank 2019: 50-41

Last Year's Rankings

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

Credits

PMRank Staff:
  • Brennan “FlashingFire” Connolly
  • Paul “Motobug” Canavan
  • Kyle “Pegthaniel” Guo
  • Peter “Pikmon” Woodworth
  • Ryan “Sabre” Weinberg
Graphic Design and Character Renders:
  • Paul "Motobug" Canavan
  • Samoe "Samoe" Fuchs
  • Cosmetic Standardization Project (CSProject)
Editor-in-Chief:
  • Brennan “FlashingFire” Connolly
Additional Editing:
  • CND
  • Connor “Connor” Remington
  • Paul "Motobug" Canavan
  • Nick "Nick" Hluska
  • Kyle “Pegthaniel” Guo
  • Ryan "Sabre" Weinberg
 
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PMRank Staff

Comments

31st: Hyperflame:lucas:-4
32nd: Notobug:sonic:New
33rd: Narq:lucas:New
34th: Wyld:sonic:New
35th: Nezergy:gw:+15
36th: Godtouch:fox:New
37th: Captain Birdman:falco::dedede::wolf::falcon:+5
38th: American Bowser:bowser2:New
39th: Cloudburst:wolf::squirtle:New
40th: Sabre:ivysaur:New
41st: Arsenals:fox: New
42nd: Dumshiny:dedede: New
43rd: Wfycat:pikachu2::mewtwopm: New
44th: Ca$ino Wolf:mewtwopm: New
45th: Ripple:dedede:(:ike:) Returning
46th: FlashingFire:snake: New
47th: Qtip:metaknight: New
48th: altan:lucario: New
49th: Anthony:falco::mewtwopm:(:fox:) New
50th: Comb:rob: New
HM: LSDX:snake: New
HM: Grzly:zelda: New
HM: ~CP9~:olimar: New

So my prediction about more :rob: players in the rankings is so far inaccurate. However, I knew that American Bowser was going to be on the rankings.

As expected, the new rankings has been mostly comprised of new faces, with only 3 so far being the only ones from the previous year being present. Similarly to the Melee/SSB4/Ultimate rankings, when we go deeper in the rankings, more familiar faces will show up.

I have been noticing more :fox: and :falco: in the rankings. In the previous rankings, only Silver (and to a lesser extent Birdman) repped the iconic Melee duo. Now there are 4 of them, and that is only #31-50.
I think the two are probably the two of the biggest benefactors, alongside :mewtwopm: and :ike:, of some of the top tiers of 3.6 getting nerfed in P+.
Speaking of 3.6 top tiers, I am already noticing less :wolf::metaknight::gw:, three of the most common characters in 3.6.

Finally, there is now a second :lucas: player in the rankings, although it is not as impressive as Hyperflame's past peaks with the character, as he used to be top 15, and sometimes top 10 with the character.
 
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