Photo Credit: TheZardDog
PMRank 2022 has reached its conclusion, and today we honor the greatest players of the modern era.
Welcome one and all to the return of PMRank! PMRank is a panel-based Power Ranking of the Top 50 Project+ players worldwide. We're pleased to be doing another full, Top 50 list, covering Undertow 2021 through HELLBREAK. PMRank staff collected and organized data from 25 Project+ events from the ranking season, seeking out tournaments with significant inter-regional competition. Initially, 72 players were qualified to be ranked based on their placings and attendance at major Project+ events from late 2021 through 2022. Panelists were tasked with reviewing this data and ranking each player in order, from #1 to #72. 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 to determine the placement of our PMRank Top 50.
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.
Photo Credit: ExHale
Set of the Season: Winners Semi-Finals at The Project M Theatre vs. Stango
Boasting perhaps one of the most consistent records in the scene, Jonny Sosa returned to Project+ after a period of relative inactivity with a new moniker and several new tournament-ready characters. Having been in the top 3 of PMRank every year he was active, and 2018’s #1 player in the world, Jonny Sosa has a historic legacy as one of the game’s elite players, and he lived up to those expectations this season. While he only attended five tournaments in the ranking period, Jonny Sosa didn’t place outside of top 3 at any of them, a rare feat for most any player. At Shipwrecked, Low Tide City 2021’s shadow major, Sosa swept some of Texas’ best to the side, taking down Dawn and Fearless without dropping a game. He then found his first hurdle of this season in Kycse, who would go on to win the event without dropping a set. Sosa did bring him to the brink in a game five set after switching to an old 3.6 standby, Pit. Sticking with Pit for the rest of the tournament, Jonny Sosa knocked out Yung Quaff and ilovebagelz before falling to Nogh in Losers Finals. At Jailbreak, Jonny Sosa looked almost untouchable, taking sets over Pikmon, SipMastah, Fearless, and Blue before falling in two game five sets to The Doctor, at the top of his game in late 2021. At the Summit-style invitational The Project M Theatre, Sosa dispatched long-time rival Malachi and an ascendant Stango, to earn a place in Winners Finals where he had to confront a long-time foe once again - techboy’s Ice Climbers. Having utilized Wario most of the tournament, Jonny Sosa brought out Zero Suit Samus from his arsenal of characters for this attempt at surmounting the glacial duo, but he fell nonetheless to the mountainous menaces. Jonny Sosa met another storied competitor in Losers Finals, ThundeRzReiGN. The echoes of the two titans’ years past found their way into the Hall of Gaming venue that day, and while ThundeRz would take the set in a narrow game five, last stock situation, Sosa had secured an impressive third place finish at one of the most stacked events in Project+ history. After a five month break, Jonny Sosa returned to competition at 5:00 PM Fights: Game Night, where he took over all of Arizona without dropping a set, defeating regional defenders Ca$ino Wolf and Blue, while also picking up wins over Chicago’s metroid and fellow SoCal player Sneez. At HELLBREAK, the last tournament of the ranking period, there was a similar tune playing to its progenitor tournament Jailbreak - Sosa again tore through everyone he ran into, defeating Aklo, Motobug, and Blue twice, while only falling to The Doctor once again. There are three immutable things in life: Death, Taxes, and Jonny Sosa’s ability to place top 3 on PMRank.
Written By: Stude
Photo Credit: Joey
Set of the Season: Grand Finals at Blacklisted 6 vs. The Doctor
Since his explosive debut onto the national scene in 2017, the prodigious rise of techboy has seemed all but inevitable. Every year he has displayed remarkable progress, climbing the ranks as he overcomes bracket demon after bracket demon, but 2021 was the year when it all came together for Michigan’s finest player. Despite a slow start to the season, placing 17th at Undertow after losses to Blue and Comb, techboy displayed absolute dominance at Blacklisted 6, winning his first ever supermajor after defeating metroid, Cory, Blue, and Malachi before double-eliminating the Undertow champion, The Doctor. Having claimed his long-awaited gold medal, techboy quickly proved that this win would be the first of many with his assertive performance at the Project M Theatre. After dropping a set to Nogh’s ROB in pools, techboy only lost a single game in top 16 as he obliterated a West Coast gauntlet of The Doctor, Jonny Sosa, and the legendary ThundeRzReiGN on his way to another first place finish. While techboy continued to display complete control over many of his fellow competitors for the rest of the season, winning Honeypot 4 from winners over Stango and Kycse, he continued to struggle against matchup specialists at his remaining majors in 2022. techboy placed fourth at Undertow 2022 and seventh at Blacklisted 7 after relatively early losses to players such as Flarp and Lunchables who have historically been excellent at the Ice Climbers matchup. From a player who had never won a supermajor prior to 2021, to winning two of the most stacked events in Project+ history by the end of this season, techboy’s continued growth is remarkable. His incredible 83% win rate against the rest of the top 10 shows promise that his major wins this season may well be the sign of an approaching winter for the Project+ scene. If techboy can improve his performance against character counterpicks and ICs experts, there will be no one left to threaten his reign.
Written By: Sabre
Photo Credit: TheZardDog
Set of the Season: Grand Finals at Jailbreak vs Jonny Sosa
What even is there to say about Kevin the Doctor Mario Player from California? Debuting at 17th on 2018’s PMRank and rising from there to the fifth best player in the world on the 2019 iteration of PMRank, it’s only right to see that upward trend continue. While losing the tête-à-tête to techboy, the panel chose to reward The Doctor’s consistency - his “worst” loss this year came against fellow NorCal legend SipMastah, while techboy caught some strays from players such as Flarp and Comb. Returning from quarantine with a relentless punish game and almost airtight neutral, The Doctor came into residency at Undertow 2021, winning the bracket over hard hitters like Lunchables, SipMastah, Yono, Twisty, and Bongo. At Blacklisted 6, he bled a bit with losses to techboy in Winners Finals and Grands, but not before he picked up wins on Mira, Mr. W&L, Thalia, dvd, and Stango. At Jailbreak, The Doctor defeated Dumshiny, Qtip, Sneez, Jonny Sosa, and Blue, before rematching with Jonny Sosa in Grand Finals. The Doctor incised himself in the chronicles of pop-off history after securing victory in his close sets with Jonny Sosa, literally running out of the room to great aplomb. The stage lights seemed a bit too hot for The Doctor at The Project M Theatre in his only finish outside of top 2 this season, losing to techboy and dvd for a ninth place finish, but not before netting wins over Stango, Kycse, and Melody. Exodus 2022 found our medical Mario master falling just short of first place in his home region, with SipMastah prevailing in Winners and Grand Finals. At Blacklisted 7, The Doctor dropped a game five set against Malachi in Winners Quarters, with SipMastah awaiting him for a top 8 qualifier. The two played out a close game five set, an unfortunate NorCal team kill - and The Doctor rose from the setup to carry out a run for the ages. 3-0’ing both Blue and Envy before another tense five games with former #1 Malachi, he made it to Grands after dropping dvd in the return bin in three games. Grands was a spectacle as well, with a clean 6-0 sweep over Stango securing BL7 as another jewel in his crown and another feather in his cap. It wouldn’t be the last either. At HELLBREAK, The Doctor sealed the deal on the year, winning the tournament without dropping a single game, an impeccable finish to an incredible ranking period and a showcase of his skills. We are thrilled to announce Kevin “The Doctor” Ascate as our undeniable #1 for PMRank 2022.
Written By: Stude
Stay tuned for the PMRank 2022 recap and combo video, coming tomorrow!
Other PMRank 2022 Articles
Last Year's Rankings
- Brennan “FlashingFire” Connolly
- Paul “Motobug” Canavan
- Peter “Pikmon” Woodworth
- Ryan “Sabre” Weinberg
Graphic Design and Character Renders:
- Paul "Motobug" Canavan
- Cosmetic Standardization Project (CSProject) & the Project+ Development Team
- Timothy “ilikepizza107” W.
- Ryan "Sabre" Weinberg