Photo Credit: Joey
North America's PMRank comes to an end with our very best talent of the season.
Welcome everyone to another year of PMRank! PMRank is a panel-based Power Ranking of the Top 50 Project+ players in North America. We're excited to put together another list of the best performers throughout the 30+ eligible events this year, covering Exodus 2023 through Honeypot 6. Initially, 76 players were qualified to be ranked based on their placings and attendance at major Project+ events throughout 2023. Panelists were tasked with reviewing this data and ranking each player in order, from #1 to #76. 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.
The full list of eligible events and eligibility requirements for PMRank 2023 can be found on our start.gg hub.
When you think about the long and illustrious history of Project M, you are surely to speak about some of its many legendary players and the long standing legacies they have left and for some still continue to build upon. One name that will come to anyone's mind when thinking about these players is Lunchables, who returned to form in 2023 and stepped back into the spotlight of the scene. After just barely missing the top 10 on the 2022 rankings, there were rumblings of Lunchables’ grand return after adjusting to his newfound life in the Midwest but with the new addition of Meta Knight to his ever growing arsenal of characters. We not only saw Lunchables restored to the forefront of the competition but absolutely command it. Lunchables started his year with Illinois’s Joey’s Birthday Bash. Still unsure if his Meta Knight had the chops for a bracket of this caliber, he utilized the two most notorious characters in his arsenal, Roy and Toon Link, to make easy work of the competition on his road to Grand Finals. The combination of his Roy’s explosive and lethal punish game and Toon Link’s resolute and methodical projectile play proved to be as unstoppable as ever. He plowed through the Midwestern guard of Samantha, Comb and Kendrick on his path to his true target in Winners Finals, dvd. Here, we watched the Roy and Sheik clash in a nail-biter game five set, but the Texan Boy Wonder ultimately fell to the New Jersey invader. In Losers Finals, Lunchables saw a bittersweet victory in his current static doubles partner ORLY to take another swing at dvd. Lunchables, despite his best effort to reclaim the gold and defend his new midwestern home, fell to dvd in Grand Finals of Joey’s Birthday Bash 2. On his next stop in his 2023 tour, Lunchables returned to his former home region of Texas, for The Back Hit. On his way to top 8, Lunchables took home victory over PMRank alum Jhamp/Arsenals and his new Midwestern neighbor Chaloopy, this time opting to use something old, something new and both things something blue with Meta Knight and Marth to slice up the competition on his road to revenge. For in top 8, Lunchables came face to face with dvd yet again, but this time things went in his favor, and after bringing out the heavy artillery in Roy, Lunchables emerged victorious over dvd in yet another game five clash. In Winners Finals, 3.6 era fans were treated to a classic titan battle Lunchables clashed against the undisputed tyrant of SoCal, Jonny Sosa. Lunchables pushed forward with Marth and a touch of Toon Link, but he ultimately fell to the SoCal Savage as he was proving to show he still was worthy of his former PMRank #1 status. In Losers Finals, he confronted dvd again and was silenced by him and his Sheik once again for a third place finish. After a not so desired bottom podium placement, Lunchables made a quick pit stop in Iowa for the semiannual Honeypot where he had a flawless bracket picking up two perfect set wins on the humble hero of Illinois Metroid. From there, he returned home to Wisconsin for Invincible VII for another trophy placement. He had a flawless run to Winners Finals, picking up wins over the likes of Yuko, Star, and ORLY. In Winners Finals, he faced the people's champion of Illinois and footstool phenom Chaloopy and made quick work of him with a mesh of Marth and Meta Knight. In Grands, he met an unexpected foe in the long standing contender for best Ivysaur, Sothe. However, Lunchables cut down his floral foe in a showstopper game five set to take home another first place finish. Lunchables then set his sights on Warp Zone 2 next. Lunchables primarily used Meta Knight in this bracket, showing he had finally confidently and comfortably worked the character into his lethal lineup of characters to the point where he could trust it to take hold of most sets. With da bess by his side, Lunchables made light work of Whoratio, Samantha, Comb and NorCal Invader SipMastah on his ride to Grand Finals. In Winners and Grand Finals, Lunchables was challenged by techboy both times but not in a way anyone had expected. Rather than seeing his fellow child prodigy’s iconic Ice Climbers, we saw techboy select a counter pick in the Z-Tech-S, a Zero Suit Samus he had been honing for trouble matchups. Lunchables was not fazed by this unseen character choice however, and he took down techboy in both sets with convincing 3-1 victories to secure a triple threat of tournament victories. The final tournament for Lunchables’ tournament year was the Midwest invitational, The PM Symphony. In this inaugural Midwest invitational, Lunchables squared off against his regional peers. He swept his pool of Rise, Chaloopy, Comb, Star and SoulOfficer, only dropping one game to Chaloopy. In the top cut of the bracket, he rolled through ORLY, Dirtboy and Comb to take his seat at winner’s side of Grand Finals. Techboy stepped up to the plate, but, this time techboy stood ever strong with refound confidence in his Ice Climbers, and he returned the favor from Warp Zone 2 and took the invital tournament out from under Lunchables in a Grand Finals reset. From here, Lunchables took a step back from competing in Singles for the remainder of the year, satisfied with his performances and with a desire to simply enjoy tournaments from a spectator (and doubles player) perspective. This year was but another shining accolade on Lunchables’ seemingly endless resume, The Texan turned Midwestern superstar returned to the competitive scene with not just a historic “flare” and skill we have come to expect from him but with a whole slew of new tricks and abilities. Lunchables saw nothing less than top 3 finishes in every bracket he entered, further showing that there is seemingly no end to how far he can push his talents and his characters, even adding yet another soldier to his army of swordsmen that can run with the best of them, old and new. For these abilities and achievements, we give Lunchables the placement of third on this year’s PMRank. Lunchables 2024 is a mystery as he has a desire to enjoy the casual side of tournaments and play more of a supporting and community-based role. Who knows how soon we will see him grace a singles bracket, but fans of his gameplay need not worry for as long as there are good doubles and even better Project+ to be played, Lunchables won’t be too far away to teach you a thing or two about the way of the blade.
Written By: Mr.Watch&Learn
As impossible as it is to summarize one’s achievements in a year’s span, if we could only use one word to describe techboy, it would be consistency. Between three open brackets and two invitationals, the Ice Climbers main appeared in every Grand Finals of every qualifying event he attended this year. Starting off the season relatively late with an appearance at Warp Zone 2 in the summer, tech breezed through pools and top 48, picking up wins on Thalia and Cloudburst. In top 8, techboy decisively 3-0’d Pikmon’s Mewtwo in Winners Semis, but he was sent to the loser’s bracket by Lunchables. In Losers Finals, techboy sent SipMastah packing in a 3-1 set before falling to Lunchables again in Grands, earning tech a second place finish in an impressive start to the year. The next tournament for the climbing duo was the Midwest Invitational, PM Concert: Symphony. Despite a rough start in day one’s round robin pool with a loss to ORLY and evil lesbian, techboy was able to win against Samantha and Dirtboy to make it into the winner’s side of bracket on day two. In the top bracket, tech went on to 3-1 Chaloopy, but he lost to Comb, dropping him down into the lower bracket. This didn’t stop techboy, however, and the Icies main saw the climb he had to make to reach the summit and dug deep. And dug deep he did, as he went on an impressive three set win streak that included winning the runback on ORLY and Comb, along with yet another win on Dirtboy to make it to Grand Finals. Still, the climb didn’t stop there - techboy went on to reset the bracket and win the entire invitational, picking up his first two set wins against Lunchables…lifetime. After his first place finish at PM Concert: Symphony, the next tournament appearance techboy made was at Undertow 2023, where he picked up set wins over UGS | Michael, WouldSmokeCraq, Comb, and Jagz$ twice, taking the tournament's top spot from the winner’s side. At his next invitational, On The House 2, techboy again bested Dirtboy before losing to bracket demon Morsecode762, dropping down to the lower bracket. Fighting his way back to Grand Finals, techboy won against in-region rival Ellipsis, and he moved on to reset the bracket against Morsecode in a tense game five set. It was not tech’s tournament to win, though, as Morsecode defeated him 3-1 in the next set, forcing techboy to settle for second. Techboy’s final performance of 2023 was at Honeypot 6, where he tore through the winner’s bracket, defeating a gauntlet of Illinois players including Rise, Star, Comb in a decisive 3-0, and Chaloopy 3-1. In top 8, techboy faced off against Phresh in the Icies ditto, winning 3-0 against the fellow Climbers. Winners Finals saw him best Rongunshu, winning the counterpick war 3-2. In Grand Finals, SipMastah, hot off of an amazing losers run, defeated techboy 0-3, but tech handedly handed off the master of sip 3-1 in the reset to win his third tournament of the year. As previously stated, techboy’s consistency and ability to overcome the most fearsome of bracket demons is awe-inspiring, to say the least. The determination and never-give-up attitude from the Ice Climbers main propelled him to new heights, and we can’t wait to see what mountain he summits next.
Written By: ilikepizza107
For a long time, New Jersey icon, dvd, had dominated the scene with his masterful prowess of Toon Link. Always considered to be one of the East Coasts heaviest hitters, dvd entered bracket after bracket in his hometown areas with resounding success over the years. A question that many asked because of his desire to not leave his pond was, could dvd stack up to those outside his home turf consistently? We’ve only ever seen the New Jersey native leave the East Coast once over his entire career, achieving a fourth place finish at Texas’ Low Tier City 5. Another question that arose was would dvd’s tried and true Tink be able to keep up with the rapidly changing meta of Project+. He had consistent top 8 placements, but that gold medal would often elude him. Unfortunately for fans of the Toon Link ace, it seemed like these questions would never have answers...until this year. In 2023, we saw two things some never expected to come from dvd traveling and a character swap. Ignited with the goal to silence all those who questioned his skill and thought that dvd would be nothing more than a hometown hero, he rose far beyond the competition. Further honing his deadly precise and methodical neutral play on top of his already masterful “chip” gameplay of weaving in and out of his opponents while slowly tacking on damage, dvd funneled these skills into a new hero of Hyrule, Sheik. Armed with his determination to prove all competition around him inferior, a disciplined and deadly Sheik, and a good bit of PTO, dvd embarked on his journey for the top of the P+ mountain. dvd made his first of many out-of-region debut appearances starting with the Midwest for Joey's Birthday Bash. Here, dvd unveiled his Sheik to the world, and he immediately began making easy work of his fellow PMRank additions. He mowed through evil lesbian, Potatoes and ORLY on his trek to top 8. In top 8, dvd faced Motobug for a 3-0 victory and came face to face with fellow Toon Link and Project M Legend Lunchables. Although we sadly did not see the two Toon Links clash, what we did see was an absolute masterclass set between the two’s Sheik and Roy for an amazing game five victory to push dvd to Grand Finals. Lunchables clawed his way back to dvd only to be shut down once again in a much more commanding 3-0 victory for dvd. dvd then returned to the East Coast for Lake George Snowdown to put his new main to the test against some of his fellow North Eastern peers. dvd went on a flawless run to top 8, picking up a win on Bongo on the way. In top 8, vintage dvd fans received a small treat in a grand return of the Toon Link as a counter to the bringer of bag season, Phresh, to dance around his oppressive approach and grab game. In Winner Finals, dvd stepped up to Kycse and easily sent the Charizard down to losers with a return to Sheik, demonstrating he can switch between his characters, old and new, comfortably and with positive result. In Grands, however, Phresh returned with an adapted gameplan and a champion’s determination, and he ultimately took the tournament over dvd, pushing him to attempt a last ditch attempt at an Ike counterpick to subdue the crafty climbers. Discouraged but not defeated by this second place finish, dvd shook off Lake George and set his sights on the New York tri-annual regional Cream of The Crop. Fellow NY/NJ legends, Gallo and Envy, stood no chance against their regional peer, and dvd shut down Kycse once again in Winners Finals. Kycse returned to keep our NJ hero in check, taking set one of Grands and showing that the old Zard still had some new tricks up his sleeve. dvd wouldn’t allow a repeat of LGS and defended NY/NJ from the invading champion of CT in a powerful 3-0 victory. From one tournament right into the next, dvd landed in Colorado for the extremely stacked Mile High Club. Here, we saw the first stumble of dvd’s rank #1 run. He achieved 3-0 wins over Serb and Motobug, but in top 8 he was shut down in winners by former #1 and Mario menace, The Doctor, and dvd fell to Hero of Arizona Blue in losers in an insanely back and forth game five set. dvd showed his resolute mental game though, and he bounced back in a return to Texas for The Back Hit. Unfazed by his previous fifth place finish, dvd cut down the likes of Midwest superstars metroid and Comb, however, Lunchables exacted revenge for JBB2 and took the winners set game five with a blend of Meta Knight and Roy. In losers, dvd exacted a revenge run of his own. After a win over Bongo, dvd saw a return to victory over Blue in another game five set for Mile High Club and a game five return win for the previous winners set. In Grands, dvd sadly fell short of a first place finish. After a strong set one victory, the New Jersey Sheik was running on fumes going into set two and fell to the SoCal Savage and King of Wah himself, Johnny Sosa who showed no loss of competitive form in his solitary tournament showing of 2023. Frustrated with his back to back failures to achieve the trophy, dvd entered NorCal’s The Grand Line, and what we saw from him was nothing short of a massacre. dvd proceeded to take the NorCal tournament in what was a near flawless run, dropping only a single game to NorCal native Dr. Grin. He returned his loss to The Doctor from Mile High Club twofold and left the Swordsman of the Great White North, Rongunshu, in ruin as well. dvd rounded out his 2023 resume with a finale appearance at Blacklisted 8. He made another flawless run to top 8, picking up wins on Massachusetts defender Thalia and fellow New Jersian Shiny Zubat. In top 8, dvd clinched a close game five set over fellow Top 10 attendee Malachi, but once again dvd met with a newfound wall in Phresh and dropped to Losers Finals after having his Toon Link and Ike fall once again to the Ice Climbers. In losers, despite his best efforts to get another shot at The Bag himself, he would succumb to Malachi in the runback and finished out the bracket at a third place podium finish. What we saw from dvd in 2023 was nothing short of excellence. He entered this year a man with a mission, to silence any shadow of a doubt of his abilities and to show, if given the opportunity to descend upon other regions, he would leave them in awe of his all around mastery of not just his characters but the game as a whole. For years, dvd has been a staple of the Tristate scene, a not so hidden boss that many from his home region would boast would be the best if he ever made the decision to leave his pond for the big ocean. Now that he finally decided to make that dive from one water to the next, the tidal waves he sent were felt by the scene all across the continent. With such resounding results, we are more than happy and honored to award dvd with number one on this year's PMRank. What does 2024 hold for our King of P+? Will we see a return to his quieter roots and seclusion in his home region or are we seeing a new era for dvd where he may grace brackets near and far with his expertise? Regardless of what may come, we can expect nothing short of greatness from our newly crowned #1.
Written By: Mr.Watch&Learn
Other PMRank 2023 Articles
Last Year's Rankings
- Che “Che” Woodson
- Brennan “FlashingFire” Connolly
- Paul “Motobug” Canavan
- Peter “Pikmon” Woodworth
Graphic Design and Character Renders:
- Paul "Motobug" Canavan
- Cosmetic Standardization Project (CSProject) & the Project+ Development Team
- rye "evil lesbian"
- Artemis "[Fleabag]" Groobert
- Timothy “ilikepizza107” W.
- Paul "Motobug" Canavan