A few PMRank veterans and plenty of longtime national spotlight hopefuls make their debuts today.
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.
Without further ado, let's begin PMRank 2023.
The PNW has enjoyed several PMRank players through the years, and Nerfy is the just newest face to represent the region - but Nerfy is the first player to represent the state of Oregon on PMRank. He makes his debut as Mr. 50 himself, showcasing a creative modern Luigi and adding another name to a very short list of successful Project+ Luigis. Staying close to his Oregon home, only traveling as far as NorCal, Nerfy got wins when it counted and showed the rest of the world that the PNW is more than just Washington. Nerfy started the year with his best bracket at Exodus, where he defeated I0N, Av, and Suvir on his way to his first top 8 appearance outside of Oregon. He came back down to earth at Carnival Clash, where PartyGhoul and Ford$ handed him losses before he was able to secure any notable wins. At Ghost Town, PartyGhoul continued to be a major roadblock for Nerfy as she double-eliminated him, only giving him time to secure wins on local players JCOnyx and Fish Warrior. Nerfy gave fans a taste of what is hiding in the woods of the Northwest, and if he ever chooses to travel to bigger events with more opportunities for major wins, the number next to his name could be even more impressive next year.
Written By: Serb
Making his top 50 debut as the second Olimar to ever crash land on PMRank is guttey at #49. Most commonly known for being a TO of NYC’s Cream of the Crop and his non-Pikmin and Pikmin-related plant prowess, guttey has been a household name for the space faring astronaut, but he has never had his time in the limelight until this year. Guttey looked to shoot for the stars with his alien companions in 2023 and set course for Joey's Birthday Bash 2 in Illinois. It was here that guttey started strong by donning the title of “The Hocotation of Time” by running through not one, not two, but three Ganondorfs: DLA, Che and a head turning upset over Chaloopy. Rocketing off that momentum, Guttey touched down in NorCal at The Grand Line 2 and added another accolade to his title of Ganon slayer with a dominating win over Potatoes to round off his deep space jump away from the East Coast. This season was a monumental year for Guttey: we saw a refined approach to his gameplay, expert piloting of the S.S. Dolphin to bring him and Olimar to new heights, and a brightly burning competitive flame that could be thanks to his rise and success in another cult fighting game with a different extraterrestrial friend. With the 2024 season on the horizon, it is unknown what ends of the P+ galaxy guttey and Captain Olimar will hyperjump to, but it can be agreed that 2023 was Steel F****** Guttey’s year.
Written By: Mr.Watch&Learn
Despite being most known for top 8 commentary appearances across 2022 and 2023, wren has been a hidden boss of the Massachusetts local scene for years, and she finally decided to hit the road in 2023 and make her presence known at the national level. Few other players in the bottom half of the top 50 posted a cleaner, more blemish free, record than wren did this year. Her lowest ranked loss came at the hands of Mr.Watch&Learn, a representative of the Edge of Glory in this year’s ranking, and she did not drop any sets to players not represented on this year’s ballot. To start off the year, wren had a relatively quiet first few tournaments, displaying her impressive consistency to defeat players below her seeding, but also her inability to close out sets against the big names in the Project+ scene. She defeated multiple local mid-level threats, but dropped sets to ORLY, Ellipsis, Shiny Zubat, and Mr.Watch&Learn at Joey’s Birthday Bash 2 and Lake George Snowdown. A trip to NorCal for Grand Line #2 was more of the same, as wren defeated fellow top 50 player guttey but dropped sets to SipMastah and Narq. As the year wound down, it seemed that wren may have been destined to exist in a state between top player and local threat, unable to clear that final hurdle with a big time win. Then, Blacklisted 8 happened. There, wren placed ninth taking out Rooster, Whoratio, Xtreme, Vortex (who was fresh off wins on both Serb and grealy), and most impressively, WouldSmokeCraq in a game five, last stock set off stream. Pairing her vast knowledge of the game with a consistent and ruthlessly efficient punish game, competitors facing wren in 2024 should be ready for a daunting challenge…assuming her hands are warm enough of course.
Written By: Serb
The California Ganondorf & Knuckles dual main, Potatoes, returns to the PMRank this year, gliding into his rank of #47. Starting off the year strong at Exodus 2023, Potatoes Warlock Punched his way through Frequency and Narq, then he followed up in Illinois with a Wizard’s Foot to stomp down LF Doom, Rise, Mr.Watch&Learn, and Studebacher Hoch at Joey’s Birthday Bash 2. Returning back to his home state for Grand Line 2, Potatoes took sets from Dumshiny and Dr. Grin before being stopped in the lower bracket by guttey, securing his placement at 13th. From here, Potatoes traveled out to the East Coast for Blacklisted 8, where he would spring jump his way into top 32 by beating Prince Fluff and tezlik before landing in 13th place after facing down Young Quaff. After seven events with six placements of 17th or higher, Potatoes made a point to show us that he can not only claim a spot amongst the top 50 once, but twice, this year claiming a higher rank at #47.
Written By: [Fleabag]
Texas’ very own multi-talented Captain Falcon main, Studebacher Hoch, makes his debut on PMRank. Traveling up to the Rocky Mountains for Mile High Club, Stude made it into top 32 by beating CD and Whoratio, and he claimed 25th place after being stopped back-to-back by California players SipMastah and Suvir. From here, he got in the Blue Falcon and drove it all the way to second place at Smash Camp 2023 where he tore through his competition with wins over Gazer and Bad Bully in upper bracket, and then, Dox, Anday, and ilovebagelz in lower bracket. After Smash Camp, Stude secured his second best placement of the year in Oklahoma at Sunset in Sapulpa. Stude beat Pickle Stein and upset FlashingFire to make it to Winners Semis where he was sent into lower bracket by Blue, but he didn’t let that discourage him. In the lower bracket, Stude eliminated cadenville and ilovebagelz, taking third place after a very close game five against another home region player, ~CP9~. From commentating and TOing, to Raptor Boosting his way through brackets, Stude certainly showed us his moves as a community leader, creative commentator, and, most of all, as a competitive threat.
Written By: [Fleabag]
Photo Credit: Boarder
It would not be a stretch to say that 2023 has been the best year for Sheik in Project+ to date. With Sheik being represented by more players on the ranking than ever before, the evil techchase/chaingrab woman is beginning to get results and representation to match her placement on the tier list. One particularly prodigious paramount player pointedly propagating this progressing potent promotion and palpably participating in precipitating Sheik’s peak prominent presence on the present PMRank is Pacific Northwest’s preeminent premier puppygirl, Peaches, popularly presented as PartyGhoul. Peaches had a wonderfully consistent season on her first PMRank, placing inside the top 8 at every tournament they attended this season. At their first ranked event this year, Carnival Clash, Peaches decimated Nerfy 3-0 and finished the event at a respectable fifth out of 51 entrants after falling to fellow PNW player PwrUp! in a heart-wrenching game five set in Losers Quarters. PartyGhoul didn’t stay down, however, as proven by her second place finish at Ghost Town where she took two more sets from Nerfy, only losing to top Ivysaur, PMRank 2022’s #34 Sabre, twice. While this was a great showing for Peaches, her true potential started to shine at the West Coast’s last event for the season, Against All Odds. There, PartyGhoul took the event’s title literally, bulldozing her way through Potatoes, legendary combo video producer BlueZone, and top Lucas Narq for a seventh place finish. As Sheik stocks continue to rise, be sure to keep an eye out for PartyGhoul in 2024’s biggest brackets and keep in mind: there ain’t no rules saying a dog can’t wreck you in Project+.
Written By: evil lesbian
It’s the little things that make the biggest difference in distinguishing a PMRank player’s gameplay from the rest. Movement Master and Guessies God Che knows this well and focuses a lot of his intent and energy towards getting the little things juuuuust right. When he wasn’t preoccupied with making downright evil combo videos, commentating at major events, setting up streams for Midwest tournaments, and lending his silky smooth voice to Project M Nexus videos, the multitalented master of malevolence spent his year dispensing upsets and breaking brackets, starting with Joey’s Birthday Bash 2. There, Che took wins over top 50 hopefuls Whoratio and Tuck, sent Boat into losers (where she went on to make the run of her career), and defeated infamous Midwest boogieman Ripple in a seat-clenching game five last stock set before losing to Star to finish out at an imposing ninth place out of 110 entrants. Che held a grudge and acted on it seven months later at Tripoint Smash 200, where he steamrolled through mawwwk and SoulOfficer on his way to getting payback on Star in another clutch game five set. Following that, Che had another incredible showing at The Bird House XII, beating Illinois staples Shrug, Rise, and Star once again. Although he had a lackluster performance at Against All Odds, the King of Evil still managed to close out the year strong with a 17th place finish out of 80 competitors at Honeypot 6. This sick, twisted Ganondorf establishes a commanding presence with high placings at majors despite his supposed folly to crave the clip more than the W. Che not only spawns fear from his power to challenge and defeat the bravest of heroes — adversaries fall under the unsettling dread of having their souls stolen and sealed away in sick GIFs and wicked combo videos.
Written By: evil lesbian
Embodying his tag as best as he can, Rise has had a tremendously eponymous year. A long time veteran of the scene, Ricky has been a not-so-hidden hidden boss for years, making Connecticut PR in 2017 and 2018, and taking names in Georgia up until he moved to Illinois halfway through 2022 where he immediately began making waves in his new home region. Despite boasting an already solid baseline, Rise has steadily soared to new heights this past year. His year started modestly with wins over Grab2Win and evil lesbian for a 17th place finish at Joey’s Birthday Bash 2, followed by 25th at The Back Hit where he beat Oklahoma R.O.B. Caedenville before he fell respectably to Boiko and Cloudburst. Ricky remained undeterred, however, and he returned triumphantly five months later at PM Concert, the Midwest invitational, after earning a spot by defeating the dreaded Ripple in Grands at a qualifier event, Tripoint 192. There, he put on a showcase in pools by clinically dismantling Chaloopy with Mr. Game and Watch in a blindingly fast 3-0 and netting wins over SoulOfficer, evil lesbian (again), and even Illinois’ other rising star “Star.” After showing the world just what sort of 2D terror he was capable of, Ricky took a break until November, when he resurfaced for The Bird House XII. There, Rise razed the nastiest “Nave” and the seasoned “Spicy” Sheik to earn himself a ninth place finish. Rise ended his year at Honeypot 6 by beating YGL, SoulOfficer for a second time, and SgtPingwen finishing with a modest 17th after losses to Rongunshu and Comb. Although 2023 was a great year for the solo Mr. Game & Watch, don’t think Rise’s climb will end there – he has his eyes set for higher altitudes in 2024.
Written By: evil lesbian
Bursting over the horizon with unmatched speed and technique, Lucario/Pit dual main Boat smoothly sails into rank #42 and makes landfall on her first PMRank. For this season’s maiden voyage, Boat casted off from her home port of Seattle and navigated to Illinois for Joey’s Birthday Bash 2. Seeking the tournament’s treasures, this mighty vessel traversed the turbulent tides of three consecutive last stock game five sets, threading the needle to victory over both of the Midwest’s best Fox players, Trevor and Jisp, but she took on water in a defeat to Che. Boat wasn’t sunk yet though, and she helmed two of the biggest upsets in the tournament (and 2023 in general), barging through IL defenders Chaloopy and metroid in two more exhilarating game five sets before the defending JBB1 champion, Ellipsis, anchored Boat’s run at an admirable 13th out of 110 entrants. Following her stellar voyage in Illinois, Boat netted wins on former top talent Frozen and Twisty at Blacklisted 8. Later in the season, Boat pillaged victory from Mulldrifter and plundered sweet, sweet revenge against Che at Against All Odds while defending the Pacific Northwest. While the seas of PMRank 2024 are uncharted waters, if Boat stays the course, you can plot another PMRank berth for Boat as she and her crew of Lucario and Pit challenge the dragons of the unexplored world.
Written By: evil lesbian, CND
Shining as bright as her tag, the celestial Lucas main Star won’t let anyone cloud her path on the way to comboing the top, taking the rank of #41. Over the season, she went to an astronomical 13 tournaments of the 32 total events that qualified. Starting off on her own turf at Joey’s Birthday Bash 2, she claimed important upsets over Thalia and Ellipsis in the upper bracket, and then she defeated Che in the lower bracket before collapsing at seventh to Comb. During Mile High Club, she took notable wins off of Colorado hidden boss Arcana and 3-0’d Fearless to secure 13th in the stacked tournament. Following up Mile High Club with Invincible VII, Star defeated PMRank 2019’s #10, Sothe, on her way to a ninth place finish. At the Midwest invitational, PM Concert: Symphony, Star was determined to radiate waves. Getting the runback on Comb in the “Second Movement'' round robins, she took a stellar game five off the R.O.B. main along with a solid victory over the Snake main, SoulOfficer. Star proved she isn’t just a shooting star, but a permanent part of the Project+ top player constellation.
Written By: [Fleabag]
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