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PMRank 2023: In The Margins

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Photo Credit: bluerosetori

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.

In every iteration of PMRank, there have been certain players who did not meet pre-established attendance criteria but made waves at the few events they were present for, and 2023 was no different. From Blue in 2018, Violet in 2019 or Envy in 2022, some players possess a talent in this game that many recognize as elite any time they are on screen, and their absence from the rankings might seem unfathomable to readers. This year, we want to highlight the accomplishments of a few of these players, those that did not make it onto the rankings due to activity, but whose sets are still talked about throughout the ranking process and whose skill is worthy of acknowledgement.

The One Hit Wonders

The one hit wonders are players who only attended a single event this year, but put on a show in that lone appearance. Both of the players listed here are former PMRank members who, with a full stable of bracket appearances, may have found themselves in the top 50 again.

Kansas’ own Yono only made it out to Honeypot 6 in December. There, the former best solo Knuckles main spindashed to success in the bracket, reminding everyone why he was in the top 25 on PMRank 2022. His ninth place run began after a quiet start as he played to his seed in pools, but Yono quickly reminded everyone in the building why he should never be slept on in the top cut of bracket. He went on a run that included toppling PMRank hopefuls Not Chris, grealy, and most impressively Dirtboy before fellow Midwest powerhouse Chaloopy ended his run. Yono proved that his placement on PMRank 2022 wasn’t due to matchup unfamiliarity or Knuckles gimmicks, but was a testament to his ability and effort.

Jagz$, Florida’s #1 player and #41 on PMRank 2022, brought his flashy dair combos and unique Project Plus-specific Marth techniques to the main stage just a single time this year, and there may be a timeline where Jagz$ was declared the Undertow 2023 champion. However, a last minute signup from techboy disrupted this plan, snatching the crown from Jagz$’s grasp. Despite falling short of the top spot on the podium, Jagz$ took down Jisp, ~CP9~, Dirtboy, and Ellipsis twice during bracket before ultimately succumbing to the frigid clutches of techboy’s Ice Climbers in Grand Finals. Following up his PMRank debut with such a confident performance gave Jagz$ fans something to look forward to, but this was ultimately the lone event for what could have been another stellar year for Florida’s vocal leader.

Close but no Cigar

Players in this tier just missed the attendance requirement by a single event and had inconsistent success at the two events they did participate in. Whether it was an inability to travel, competing interests that interfere with their availability, or a dearth of events nearby, something prevented these three players from truly showcasing the breadth of their talent.

Sothe, Iowa’s favorite Ivysaur main, a player many hoped would make a return to full time competition after being inactive in 2022 following three consecutive years on PMRank in the top 15, only made it out to two events in 2023. At Invincible VII, he produced an impressive run reminiscent of the old Sothe Midwest fans love - one punctuated by wins over Chaloopy, Dirtboy, and metroid. His Honeypot 6 performance was less impressive, however, where he was able to successfully defeat Mr.WatchandLearn, but fell to Not Chris and ORLY for an uncharacteristic 25th place.

Representing Colorado, a state with an up-and-coming scene full of talent and drive that has never been represented on PMRank, polear gave viewers a majestic glimpse of the high peaks of Colorado PM. He turned in an impressive performance in his home state at Mile High Club, defeating ~CP9~, Ivayne, and evil lesbian. His second event, Honeypot 5, was more challenging, as he dropped a set to Midwest’s Olivia as well as ORLY while only securing wins on Tennessee's Xtreme and Rooster. If polear ever finds consistent opportunities to travel outside his own region to experience more matchups and further acclimate himself against out of region talent, one could expect the Rocky Mountain Marth Main to finally make his PMRank debut.

Whether you’re a longtime fan of Project M dating back to the pre-3.6 days or have found the game recently, there are very few players who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing Blitz’s unique Ike in action. The longtime Ontario native had perhaps one of the most disparate performances between his two events of any player listed in this tier. At the Grand Line 2, he lost to fellow oldhead Darc and up and coming Norcalian Ion while failing to secure a notable win. He followed up his lackluster Grand Line 2 performance eight months later at Honeypot 6 with the best run of any player spoken of so far. In this run, he defeated Mr.Watch&Learn, Motobug, ORLY and Chaloopy before winning a game five nail-biter against metroid in what might have been the most entertaining Ike ditto of the modern age. A lack of travel opportunities has always been Blitz’s main obstacle to success, but if he can ever get a more forgiving schedule (or a wealthy benefactor to sponsor his travel), then 2024 may be the day he makes his debut on PMRank where he rightfully belongs.

The Brotherhood

The Brudders. ESAM and Nick Riddles. The Sosa Brothers. Rishi and llod. Smash has no shortage of famous pairs of brothers, some of which have even dipped their toes into the world of Project M, but none have had such an impact on Project M/Project+ while it has been their side game the way the Brotherhood did in 2023. Aklo, a likely top 10 Melee player and his brother, Foxy Grandpa, made it out to two of the more unique Project+ tournaments this year and left their mark on these events. The brothers attended both the Shine 2023 Project+ side event, Shine Out of Shield, and Tipped Off 14, an event featuring both Melee and Project+ in Florida. These events both featured fewer top Project+ players than some of the other majors of the year, but Aklo in particular displayed what a top 10 Melee and once hidden PM boss can do. Aklo defeated Dirtboy in two sets to win Tipped Off and ran through a Massachusetts gauntlet consisting of Serb, Flarp and grealy before falling in Grand Finals to a red-hot Shadowhawke for second place. It is this tantalizing success in such a limited quantity of events, both of which were missing elite tier talent, that leaves Aklo fans wondering what could have been and what could be.

Foxy Grandpa, the second half of the dynamic sibling pair, was no slouch either and proved that he too likely could have been ranked if he turned in one more competitive performance. While his Tipped Off was less impressive than Aklo’s run, his Shine Out of Shield included wins over Serb, Stude, and Thalia before he too was defeated by Shadowhawke. Many years ago, there was a common myth that Melee players would roll Project M players in bracket if they wanted to, and for a long time there was little evidence to support this, but the Brotherhood has rekindled this debate and has shown what happens when Melee players treat Project M seriously as a competitive option.

Remember the Titan

The last player deserves his own tier in this article and should come as no surprise to anyone who is even remotely familiar with Project M history. Jonny Sosa has been a titan of the game since he picked up a controller, never ranking worse than top 3 in any iteration of PMRank he has qualified for. Sosa only attended The Back Hit, an event that was notable for several former top players making returns to the game (Switch, Gallo, Birdman, Jhamp and Twisty also attended this event after long periods of inactivity), but he silenced any doubters who thought he might have fallen off. He secured a first place win defeating Birdman, Blue, Lunchables and dvd in sets that showed, even when he is rusty, Jonny Sosa is still one of the best of all time. A viciously efficient punish game built upon fundamentals and an intricate understanding of Wario underscored these wins and further cemented Jonny Sosa as the best Wario player of all time. With his interests and commitments focused on life outside the game, being in a region going through a drought of events, and that region being challenging to travel into and out of often, Jonny Sosa fans may have to be content with the occasional masterclass instead of a full blown PMRank campaign.

Written By: Serb

Other PMRank 2023 Articles

1/29/2024 - PMRank 2023: The Edge of Glory
1/29/2024 - PMRank 2023: In The Margins
1/30/2024 - PMRank 2023: 50-41
1/31/2024 - PMRank 2023: 40-31
2/1/2024 - PMRank 2023: 30-21
2/2/2024 - PMRank 2023: 20-11
2/5/2024 - PMRank 2023: 10-7
2/6/2024 - PMRank 2023: 6-4
2/7/2024 - PMRank 2023: 3-1

Last Year's Rankings

1/23/2023 - PMRank 2022: The Edge of Glory
1/24/2023 - PMRank 2022: 50-41
1/25/2023 - PMRank 2022: 40-31
1/26/2023 - PMRank 2022: 30-21
1/27/2023 - PMRank 2022: 20-11
1/30/2023 - PMRank 2022: 10-7
1/31/2023 - PMRank 2022: 6-4
2/1/2023 - PMRank 2022: 3-1


PMRank Staff:

  • 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

  • CND
  • rye "evil lesbian"
  • Artemis "[Fleabag]" Groobert
  • Timothy “ilikepizza107” W.
  • Paul "Motobug" Canavan
Last edited:
PMRank Staff


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