Photo Credit: tori
Two returning veterans continue their rise through the ranks, with one new face joining them in the top 10.
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: Joey
Set of the Season: Grand Finals at Undertow 2022 vs. Nogh
The sole representative of Canada on PMRank 2022, Rongunshu had a stronger season than ever before with a balance of Marth, Lucario, and Ike. The Marth and Ike started him off strong at Blacklisted 6, defeating PotatoesAreYum, Tealz, Serb, and AssTAStic, but falling to fellow top 10 members, dvd and Stango, for a fifth place finish. Rongunshu’s next event saw him travel to New York for You Can’t CC Me #1, where, on top of wins over Phresh and Envy, he also got revenge on Stango for his loss at Blacklisted 6. After successfully making his way into the Project M Theatre, the Canadian native flew to Connecticut to fight the best of the best. While his pool phase was less successful than he may have desired, taking losses to techboy and Nogh with only a win on Dr. Grin, his bracket phase showed his true potential. With a strong win over Melody and a tight game five victory over Blue, Rongunshu fell to dvd in a heartbreaking reverse 3-0 to bow out at seventh place. For his last events of 2022, Invincible VI and Undertow 2022, he turned up the jets. At Invincible, he powered through Eggy, Kendrick, Sneez, Dirtboy, and Pikmon twice to cleanly take the event while not even reaching game five in a single set. Undertow 2022 saw Rongunshu once again cut through everyone in his path. After defeating Massachusetts players Thalia and Motobug, he took a loss to Nogh in a rematch from the Project M Theatre. This didn’t deter the Canadian, though, as he brought out his rarely-seen Lucario to slay Kycse, techboy, Lunchables, and double-eliminate Nogh in one of the greatest losers bracket runs of the post-quarantine era. Rongunshu has proven himself as one of the scariest players to encounter in bracket, especially on his good days. If his peaks in the latter part of the season are his new normal, every player in the world should be watching out.
Written By: Motobug
Photo Credit: Joey
Set of the Season: Winners Semi-Finals at Undertow 2022 vs. Rongunshu
After years of dominating the Southeast, Nogh exploded onto the national scene this season with rare but emphatic appearances at majors across the country. At Undertow 2021, the multi-character extraordinaire utilized his Donkey Kong, Ivysaur, and ROB to take down Lunchables, Twisty, and Chevy on his way to a breakout fourth place finish, with close losses to Boringman in winners and a game five runback with Lunchables in losers showing potential for even further progress at future majors. At Shipwrecked, Nogh’s DK blew through the competition in winners, knocking out AB:JL, Blue, and a resurgent ilovebagelz before running into the brick wall that was Kycse. A switch to Ivysaur failed to save Nogh’s winners bracket, but his Donkey Kong eliminated SoCal titan Jonny Sosa with ease before he returned to Ivysaur for a game five rematch with Kycse in Grand Finals, ultimately placing second after Kycse claimed his first ever major win. After walking away from 2021 with impressive fourth and second place finishes, Nogh continued to develop new tools for 2022 and immediately put them to the test at Project M Theatre. His signature Donkey Kong delivered a decisive 3-0 victory over Rongunshu to start the day, but the star of pools was Nogh’s ROB, which upset Blacklisted 6 champion techboy in dominant fashion to earn Nogh first seed in his group. While Nogh was unable to find an effective counterpick against Tristate Zero Suit players Stango and Malachi, a win over Flarp earned him a spot in top 8 at Theatre. At his last event of the season, Nogh ripped through the winners bracket at Undertow 2022, trouncing XYK, Rongunshu, and Lunchables in quick succession to claim his long-desired place in the winners side of Grand Finals. When the time came to face Rongunshu in the rematch, Nogh’s Ivysaur and Donkey Kong both took games from his opponent’s red-hot Lucario, but he couldn’t quite close out either set, eventually being eliminated at second place. With two silver medals from this season under his belt, and counterpicks ready for nearly every top player he might face, Nogh seems closer than ever to his ultimate goal of taking a Project+ major in 2023.
Written By: Sabre
Photo Credit: Joey
Set of the Season: Winners Quarters at The Project M Theatre vs. Nogh
After (fittingly) landing at #47 on the official Melee rankings in 2019, Stango began eyeing a different game for his competitive endeavors: Project+. With his Smash expertise, Stango piloted Fox, Zero Suit Samus, and his infamous Donkey Kong throughout tournaments across the country. The former Melee player started off strong at Blacklisted 6, defeating AssTAStic, Envy, and Rongunshu at one of the most stacked events of the ranking period for a fifth place finish, losing out to future rival The Doctor and fellow East Coast threat Malachi. Stango attended two East Coast regionals in between his majors, defeating Twisty, Thalia, Rongunshu, and taking another two victories over Envy throughout them. After a successful voting campaign, his next major stop came at Project M Theatre. There, Stango lost two game five sets to Kycse and The Doctor in the group stage, but he was able to squeeze into the winners side of the final bracket due to Melody’s upset over Kycse. The tri-main performed stronger in the final phase, taking a 3-0 victory over Nogh in winners and a game five win over dvd, losing to two of the tournament’s top three in Jonny Sosa and ThundeRz for fourth place. The rest of Stango’s 2022 showed even stronger consistency, with him running through Lunchables, Dirtboy, Kycse, ORLY and metroid twice at Honeypot, only being defeated by techboy in their two encounters at the event. Stango completed his season at Blacklisted 7, using his Donkey Kong to clap and punch his way through LPag, Aidan, Blue, Malachi, and dvd to secure a seat in winners side of Grand Finals. While The Doctor proved to be a roadblock to Stango once again, taking both sets of Grand Finals and ending Stango’s run at second place, Stango’s placement earned him a repeat invitation to the upcoming Project M Theatre 2 and solidified his place in the highest echelons of PMRank 2022. Since his explosive post-quarantine debut at Blacklisted 7, Stango has established his hunger for a national win and his ability to get there, and there’s no doubt that we’ll see Stango working hard to earn the gold again in 2023.
Written By: Motobug
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