Many of this season's breakout stars make their proper PMRank debuts, as well as some seasoned veterans.
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
A true lover of the game, grealy makes his first PMRank appearance at 30th. The highly technical Lucas main traveled to twelve qualifying events this ranking period, ranging from his home region of New England to California and almost everywhere in between. While the beginning of his season reflected his previous lack of travel, taking losses to players such as Zen and Atari, grealy began to find his groove in the later months of 2021, defeating fellow Massachusetts player Mira at Shipwrecked, as well as the Meta Knight duo of Tealz and Qtip for a ninth place finish at Jailbreak. This momentum continued into the new year with the now-best Lucas taking a monumental win over SipMastah at You’re So Mad. Over the course of 2022, grealy defeated PwrUp, Av, and Kendrick across his travels in the US, adding another three ranked wins to his résumé. Grealy is the next in the long line of rising stars turned top level players hailing from Massachusetts, and, with his strong peaks, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him reach even greater heights in 2023.
Written By: Motobug
Perhaps nobody embodies the spirit of their main like ORLY. A true wild card in bracket, it feels like there's no player he can't beat. Kicking off the season with an impressive 25th place at Undertow 2021, ORLY followed this up with a 13th place finish at Joey's Birthday Bash at the start of 2022. A few months later, he went on to place 9th at Super TPS, winning a set against Motobug along the way. At Invincible VI, he only dropped a game in his Round Robin Pool and took sets off of Q? and Atomsk before having his run ended at 9th by Not Chris. However, at Undertow 2022, ORLY reminded everyone of his skill as he kneed his way to another 9th place finish at the biggest major of the year, with set wins over sfy | bees and taking Dirtboy to game five before being eliminated from bracket by Motobug. But ORLY had more to prove, and he went out with a bang with an incredible losers run at Honeypot 4. After winning his first top bracket set against Iowa Marth Landon and being sent to losers by Chaloopy, ORLY dug deep and went on to win five consecutive sets, including impressive game five clutches over Lunchables and Comb on his way to fourth place at his final event of the season. ORLY's aggressive playstyle and comeback potential is always a spectacle, and we look forward to seeing him carry this end-of-the-year momentum into 2023.
Written By: ilikepizza107
Photo Credit: emmy
There are very few people that can do what Motobug does, between organizing tournaments, seeding most others, helping to lead Project+ development and PMRank, and much more; however, we’re here to focus on another aspect that Moto excels in - competition. Motobug started the season in a rougher fashion than most of their fellow competitors. At Undertow 2021 where they were juggling double-duty as a TO, Motobug drowned in pools after upset losses to LoyaL and Gluteus. This only seemed to be fuel on the fire, as Moto began to piece together a résumé in 2022 that few could rival. Dual maining Sonic & Knuckles, they would take down Comb and Eggy at JBB, and at Super TPS II Combo Breaker Edition, they defeated Jank, LPag, and Kendrick. After taking the summer off, they moved on to Undertow 2022, returning to the series solely as a competitor - and the decision paid off, netting them wins over ORLY, Comb, and fellow Knuckles Yono on the way to a fifth place finish. They continued the trend at Smash Camp: New Lands, placing fourth with another win on Kendrick and a fresh win on Qtip. While Motobug barely missed out on top 8 at HELLBREAK after game five losses to Jonny Sosa and Narq, they rounded out the year as one of our finest community members and competitors.
Written By: Stude
Formerly known as Kumatora, Mira brought Ness back onto PMRank with her lightning-quick inputs and extended combo strings. The Massachusetts resident was one of the few players to attend all four of the major tournaments in 2021, and she placed in the top 24 at all of them. At Blacklisted 6, she defended her region against old school legends Switch and Emukiller, but her highlight of 2021 easily came at Jailbreak. There, she upset Shipwrecked champion Kycse and clutched out a game five set over Tealz to place a well-earned ninth place. While Mira traveled less in 2022, she matched her 2021 performance at Blacklisted 7 with another 13th place finish, taking down NyxTheShield and Shiny Zubat along the way, and continued her dominance over Massachusetts all the way to Wisconsin, where she eliminated local rival Thalia at Invincible VI. Her Jailbreak run, combined with wins versus current and former PMRank players alike, and her very strong performances in Massachusetts when actively competing show that Mira remains capable of ending anyone’s bracket run on the right day.
Written By: Motobug
Photo Credit: Prem
Beaming onto the scene in a major way, Kendrick shocked the greater Project+ community with wins on Thalia, Metroid and Comb at Joey’s Birthday Bash. If JBB was a period at the end of a sentence about Kendrick’s prowess, Smash Camp 2022 was an exclamation point. There, he defeated Studebacher Hoch, Mr. Watch & Learn, and most impressively, Arizona standout, Blue. At Undertow 2022, Kendrick picked up another win on Mr. Watch & Learn, as well as a dominant 3-0 victory over Yono. Consistency was Kendrick’s biggest obstacle to achieving a higher rank this season, as in between these impressive highs were quieter tournaments in which Kendrick was eliminated earlier than expected. Even so, he still picked up solid wins on PwrUp! and Stude at those events, showing that even on his off days, he is still primed to take out big names. Kendrick is one of the most impressive PMRank 2022 debuts, and it seems that he’s only getting started. A more consistent and confident Kendrick is a player poised to terrorize brackets as a torchbearer of the new generation.
Written By: Serb
Photo Credit: Alex Chafetz
A longtime Michigan Roy player, Yono changed both of these things going into the end of quarantine. Yono found renewed motivation for competition with the addition of Knuckles to the Project+ roster. The now Kansas resident started making waves at the first major tournament of the season, Undertow 2021. He had an incredible run through Che, Yung Quaff, Blue, and Dirtboy before losing two last game sets against The Doctor and Lunchables for a fifth place finish. After this momentous accomplishment, Yono’s opponents began to adapt to the new echidna, and he took 0-3 losses to dvd and Twisty for 17th place at Blacklisted 6. In the face of the competition’s growing familiarity facing Knuckles, Yono claimed wins over metroid, Thalia, and Mr. Watch & Learn for fourth place at Joey’s Birthday Bash, and he secured victories against Sneez, grealy, and ilovebagelz on his way to second place at Smash Camp 2022. The end of Yono’s season was comparatively quiet for the Kansas resident with no wins over the Top 50 at Super TPS II or Undertow 2022. Despite this slowdown, Yono’s incredible breakout this ranking period is one of the quickest rises to national acclaim in PM history, and his performances prove to the world how powerful both he and the newly-added echidna can be.
Written By: Motobug
After a period of inactivity while obtaining his medical degree, Ellipsis makes his PMRank return this season, squeezing into the top half with solid performances across the Midwest. He started off strong by defeating Kendrick and the Ness gauntlet of AssTAStic and Mira for a ninth place finish at Undertow 2021. While Blacklisted 6 was uneventful for the Michigan native, his next two events would be anything but. At Joey’s Birthday Bash and Super TPS II, Ellipsis took down Nave, metroid, ORLY, Yono, and a whopping four sets off of Chaloopy - placing first at both events without dropping a set. Ellipsis had a strong end to his season with an impressive display at Undertow 2022. After an early loss to XYK, the 2D extraordinaire powered through Thalia, Kendrick, and Dirtboy in one of the hardest losers paths of the tournament before falling to the wings of Kycse for seventh place at the largest tournament of 2022. Between busy weeks in his field of work, there’s little doubt that Ellipsis will find time to take down some of the best players of the game in the new year.
Written By: Motobug
Few players strike fear into players’ hearts like Chaloopy. Long considered a hidden boss of the region, the infamous Falcon main from the Midwest has long terrorized Illinois and Wisconsin alike with his eccentric playstyle, complete with his signature combination of footstools and techchasing. During Joey’s Birthday Bash at the start of 2022, Chaloopy crushed the competition in the winners bracket, defeating Motobug, Kendrick, and Yono before being double-eliminated by his emerging rival, Ellipsis. Two days later, he went on to win SUPER Accel, taking down Motobug and Che before 3-0’ing Mr. Watch & Learn in the bracket reset of Grand Finals. In May at Super TPS II, he proved without a shadow of a doubt that his success at JBB was far from a fluke. After being sent to the losers bracket by Ellipsis in Winners Semis, Chaloopy terrorized the losers bracket. Chaloopy started off his run by four-stocking Motobug in their first game while only taking 37% and prompting a switch from Massachusetts’ top Sonic, but their Knuckles could only take a game before Chaloopy won the set 3-1. He went on to footstool his way to victory over Lunchables and local bracket demon metroid before once again facing defeat by Ellipsis’ hand. However, at Invincible VI, Chaloopy solidified himself in the upper echelon of the scene by taking an impressive fifth place after taking sets off of Morsecode762 and Chaloopy’s fellow Illinois Captain Falcon, ORLY. While he ended the year with a relatively quiet 9th place finish at Honeypot 4, make no mistake: if you come across Chaloopy in bracket, you are facing one of the Midwest’s best!
Written By: ilikepizza107
Photo Credit: ExHale
Once one of the most traveled PM players, Dirtboy had a quiet year by his standards, attending only five events across the ranking period. All of these tournaments came in the Midwest where he proudly defended his home region. Dirtboy started 2021 on a high note at Undertow by picking up big wins on Pikmon and fellow Michigan standout Ellipsis, before earning an impressive second place finish at Honeypot 3 with wins over Comb, Sothe, and metroid. 2022 was quieter for Dirtboy, but he picked up additional wins on ORLY, Mr. Watch & Learn, and Not Chris at Midwest regionals. A master of mixups who excels at executing Squirtle’s kill setups to deadly efficiency, Dirtboy remains a beacon of consistency in a volatile game, and he proves why Squirtle can still be a menace in the modern metagame. Fans of the veteran Midwesterner hope that shades of the nomadic world traveler will reemerge in 2023 and his face will be seen at more events moving forward.
Written By: Serb
Photo Credit: Everfresh
Long Island native Bongo exhibits a patient and methodical style of Captain Falcon not seen in PM/P+ since the days of Massachusetts legend Darc. Rarely overextending and preferring to use stage control and positioning to outmaneuver his opponents, Bongo’s unique style earns him a spot back on PMRank, his first since 2018. While Bongo primarily stayed on the East Coast this season, he consistently placed within top 16 at events across the country this season, including ninth place finishes at Undertow, Jailbreak, and Blacklisted 7. In the process, the Long Island Falcon stomped the likes of Comb, grealy, and Narq, and sent Twisty to losers in a stunning upset at Blacklisted 6. In addition to his stellar wins and great placements, Bongo proved remarkably consistent this season, losing almost exclusively to players ranked above him. Bongo has proven time and time again that his Falcon is a force to be reckoned with, and a patient Falcon can be as lethal as a flashy one.
Written By: Serb
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