LumiRank 2023 | 41 - 50

Welcome back to LumiRank 2023. Smash Ultimate has only seen its competition grow stronger week after week in one of its busiest years yet. LumiRank is thus proud to bring you the 150 strongest players in the world, based on the period from December 19th, 2022 to December 17th, 2023.

For information on the LumiRank 2023 schedule, check out the landing page here.

Moist | Aaron || Photo: Victoria Hamilton (@bluerosetori)

Aaron has constantly been one of the most electric players to watch among the top talent in the United States. From his lovable personality, his radical character choice, and his particularly potent pop-offs, it feels like you have to search VERY hard to find something to dislike about Aaron.

Although Aaron has had a bit of inactivity in the last few months of 2023, his overall year has been spectacular. At MomoCon 2023, Aaron swept his way to a 4th place finish at what was one of the most volatile tournaments of the year. He also had an amazing performance at Shine 2023, beating Anathema as well as Jakal. And lastly, his best performance of the entire year was undoubtedly his run at Riptide 2023. At the waterpark tournament, Aaron was the one making the biggest splash, getting his second best victory of the year when he defeated MuteAce in a close game 5 set. Why second best? Well, because Aaron defeated Sparg0 this year at Super Smash Con 2023, definitively his best upset throughout a career that has been filled with star-studded victories.

Aaron’s struggles mostly lie within consistency or attendance, which many people regard as THE hardest parts of competition as a whole. But there’s no question that when he’s on, he’s ON, and Aaron has become one of the most beloved players within the United States, and maybe even beyond. If you don’t remember, Aaron actually has a small cult following over in Japan. Japan has countless talents who are all exceptional at the game, as I’m sure we’re all aware, so the fact that many of their spectators have chosen Aaron as their favorite player should speak to how beloved and talented he is.

— Matthew “RisterMice” Rice

Rarukun || Photo: うってぃー / Utthi (@kamera_k_rool)

acola won Kagaribi #7. Miya won Kagaribi #8. When Japan’s biggest Wi-Fi grinders go offline, they’ll have that Cinderella run, and demonstrate their prowess at the highest level. And Luigi main Rarukun is no different.

Throughout the year, Rarukun has dominated online in Japan, consistently defeating all but the top echelon of the Wi-Fi world. Achieving 5th place on the Smashmate ladder, he established himself as an online titan. But at the same time, he was climbing the ranks offline. At MaesumaTOP #12, he defeated Asimo, Nao, Doramigi, and Karaage for 9th, gaining momentum and picking up wins on Eim, Jogibu, and Reno.

But Rarukun had a problem — he kept getting upset early, and had to survive a deadly losers bracket at every major. So when Sumabato SP Ultimate ran round robin pools instead of double elimination, Rarukun’s chance came. After making it out of pools, he crossed controllers with the best Yoshi, Yoshidora. Yoshidora had won their last three sets, and it hadn’t been close.

But something was different. Rarukun wasn’t letting Yoshidora move. He kept parrying the Yoshi main’s aerials, and he landed grab after grab. After Rarukun clutched the win in games 1 and 2, it was already over. Rarukun closed it out in 3-1, taking his first victory over the Yoshi.

He’d finish at 4th place. With such a strong showing, was it time to take a break from the game? Not at all! He’d head home and start playing more Smashmate, reaching another 5th place on the ladder as he paired his offline breakout with reinforced online dominance.

With a fresh year and momentum behind him, who knows what new peaks Japan’s best solo Luigi will reach!

— Rose “Rosebloom” Kermode

Kome || Photo: アルファ / Alfa in Japan (@alfa_gorinne)

After a brief hiatus from being in the top 50 on the mid-year ranking, Kome, the only man capable of making theory top tier Shulk work, is back. The Kyushu native turned Kansai staple stayed in Japan for the entire year, making it his first year where he didn’t attend an overseas tournament since Smash 4. Regardless, he once again put up a strong year with more of what we’re used to from the Xenoblade enjoyer.

In an era where Kansai has become the strongest region in the world, the tournaments Kome once used to dominate have become overrun with young up and coming top 50 players, and are harder than ever to place well in. Kome spent the year dueling with youths such as Doramigi, Rarukun, Snow, and Ryuoh, showing that despite being twice as old as some of them, he has no trouble hanging with the new age of Smash. On top of this, the region houses the power trio of acola, Miya, and Yoshidora, the latter of which he managed to defeat at Maesuma TOP 15.

As always, Kome was one of the more upset prone top players this year, but he usually managed to turn his misfortune around. A prime example of this would be Sumabato SP 38, where after losing his round 1, he went on a shocking 12 set losers run, defeating a rogue’s gallery of opponents, including Doramigi and Asimo, all the way to 4th place.

On top of his success at regional and national level, Kome managed to top 8 two more majors this year. In March he placed 3rd at WAVE #4 defeating Jagaimo, KEN, Umeki and MASA, whereas October saw him placing 5th at MaesumaTOP #14.5, taking down long time demon sssr.

As time carries on and life catches up to many of us, Kome shows that he has no intention of going anywhere away from the spotlight just yet.

— Alice “Alice” Len

BUZZ | Hero || Photo: アルファ / Alfa in Japan (@alfa_gorinne)

Hero has been the world’s premier Bowser main for a couple of years now, achieving the highest ranking the character has ever gotten by landing at 18th on the OrionRank Mid-Year 2022. This season has been less stellar, as the competition has begun to catch up and Bowser’s weaknesses are revealed by tough matchup after tough matchup. That hasn’t stopped Hero from pulling off huge wins though, beating the odds against other players time and again.

Hero has thought about secondaries, pulling out Snake to beat Daru’s Kazuya at Kowloon 8. His Donkey Kong has taken games off players including Gackt, and won a critical game 5 against Senra last year. It’s possible his most successful years are even still ahead of him if he is able to develop his skills with other characters and incorporate them into his lineup. Whatever he decides, we can only hope that he continues to bring the same excitement and determination we saw in runs like his two during Golden Week, where he made top 8 at consecutive supermajors MaesumaTOP #12 and Kagaribi #10, beating Cosmos, Ryuoh, Jogibu, Toriguri, Karaage, Yaura, and KEN, as well as a masterclass in heartbreak against zackray.

We know Hero still has more to show us, and so every time he knocks an opponent off their game, when he starts landing hit after devastating hit against the myriad flashy and nimble high tiers of this game, the world can’t help but watch the magic happen, hoping their Hero can pull off the impossible once again. 

— James “Doxazo” Rivers

DTN | Tsubaki || Photo: うってぃー / Utthi (@kamera_k_rool)

Tsubaki is, by the account of many who have watched him play, the sickest player to ever do it. Weaving through the air and sliding along the stage, stringing beautiful combos across the screen without giving his opponent a chance to breathe, the Joker main makes his sets seem more like elaborately choreographed dances than competitive battles. But the new face of Joker had his start somewhere that you wouldn’t expect for a character of such technical precision: online play, Wi-Fi brackets, and rating ladders.

Having attended almost 400 online tournaments to date, Tsubaki is one of the most active Wi-Fi grinders in all of Japan. Landing in Smashmate’s top 30 and placing top 3 consistently in online brackets, his first offline wins were expected to those familiar with the Japanese online scene. What wasn’t expected was the meteoric rise the Joker main experienced after that.

Tsubaki took the offline scene by storm, placing near the top at major brackets and defeating top talent like Miya, Asimo, Masha, and Rizeasu. But those tournaments were preludes for his best performances: Seibugeki #14 and Tamasuma Kyokkan #3.

At Seibugeki, he beat Ezs, Toriguri, and most impressively Shuton in a close game 5, finishing 3rd after losing the runback in Losers Finals. But Tsubaki wasn’t going to leave that set record on a loss. Two weeks later, at Tamasuma Kyokkan #3, Tsubaki would defeat top Marios Nao and Syadou, then meet Shuton again in Winners Finals.

He wouldn’t let it be close this time.

3-0 in Winners Finals, 3-0 in Grand Finals, and Tsubaki was victorious, claiming his throne at the top.

Despite some inconsistencies, Tsubaki has established himself as part of Japan’s top echelon. Online, offline, he’ll defeat the best of the best anywhere, and there’s no telling where this Joker main will go next.

— Rose “Rosebloom” Kermode

Big D || Photo: Ellie Pinheiro (@EllieJellieeee)

Big D is one of the greatest Smash Ultimate players of all time. He’s been internationally ranked every year (2020 notwithstanding), and he’s somehow gotten better every year. After last year, when he finished 19th, it felt like he was done surprising us. 

And yet…

Big D didn’t have the most active year in 2023, which gave him fewer opportunities to show us what he could do, but he was able to put together the most impressive tournament run of his career at Smash Ultimate Summit 6. 

After losing to Proto and Tweek (in arguably the Ice Climbers’ two toughest matchups), he beat Aaron, VoiD, and Glutonny to start Sunday on the winner’s side. With these, he already had a classic Big D run, but he wasn’t done yet. He beat acola to a pulp in a resounding 3-1. It was acola’s lowest-ranked loss of the year and his only loss to any character ranked below the A tier on the official Smash tier list. Big D would go on to beat Kurama to finish third. 

But he had more than just one tournament; wins over Jakal, Riddles, MKBigBoss, Scend, and BassMage rounded out another exceptional season for Canada’s resident god-killer. 

He just wins sets when the chips are down. He won’t win every set, but Big D proves consistently why he is one of the most feared and respected players on the planet. 

— Jack “Trash Day!” Clifton

SHADIC || Photo: Ellie Pinheiro (@EllieJellieeee)

Fighting SHADIC has to be incredibly frustrating, because despite Corrin’s low base movement stats, SHADIC has the rare ability to always be exactly where his opponent doesn’t want him.

In his win over MkLeo at S tier Luminosity Makes Big Moves Miami, SHADIC used Corrin’s one good movement stat, grounded acceleration, to dash in and out of Leo’s threat range, forcing Ultimate’s GOAT to make guesses that were rarely in his favor. Then, when opportunities arose, SHADIC pounced, never just landing one hit, instead getting solid two and three hit combos on nearly every neutral win. He won that set 3-1, and finished 4th after a losers run that ended the tournaments of Riddles, Zomba and Kola.

But that’s not his only trick. In his run to 9th at Super Smash Con 2023 out of 2607 players, the largest Smash bracket post-COVID, he showed off completely different gameplans to beat Chase and Big D on championship Sunday.

Against Chase he realized that he wouldn’t be able to contend with Palutena’s big, fast and oftentimes armored hitboxes. So he stuffed them out, getting up in Palutena’s personal space and shutting out SoCal’s number one player in a 3-0 sweep.

Against Big D he knew that he needed to play patiently, space efficiently and separate the climbers, which he did by setting up nasty 50-50’s between pin and back air, all the while dashing back and forth like a madman.

SHADIC’s incredible game sense is what makes him a special player, and at only 16 years old there is no ceiling to what the kid can accomplish.

— Jack “Trash Day!” Clifton

26R | Onin || Photo: Victoria Hamilton (@bluerosetori)

A full year ago, Onin shook the world by winning Smash Con in dominant fashion. All eyes were on how they’d carry their momentum into 2023, so it came as somewhat of a shock that they fell at a disappointing 25th at January’s Let’s Make BIG Moves, and then took a nearly five month hiatus from majors. It’s one thing to win regionals in the Midwest, but it’s another to get back out into the major circuit and prove to the world that they’re the one of the best players in the world. Fortunately enough, Onin was able to do this — an amazing run at Crown to 4th that once again slew Smash’s top echelon of talent (Maister, Gackt, Tweek, Chase) and ignited another wave of discourse about Steve.

From there, Onin’s been nearly impenetrable within the Midwest and has put up strong results at majors as well — a 9th at Port Priority stands as a capstone result at one of the biggest events of the year. Onin’s greatest strength, however, has been becoming the ruler of the mid-sized regional — with the exception of a slight stumble at Santa Paws, Onin did not miss top 2 at any regional. This includes taking a hard-fought gold at their home event of the Big House, wherein the Steve extraordinaire won the first Big House title for a Michigan player, ever.

I got flack for saying it last time, but I’m going to double down again: character or not, Onin accomplished something that few others have ever accomplished as competitors, and they deserve the utmost respect for it. They are one of a kind, and I look forward to seeing what they accomplish next year.

— Hugh-Jay “trade war” Yu

DIO || Photo: ふかせ / fukase (@yoroisan)

DIO’s year started with a bang, sneaking into Umebura SP 9 as the 17th seed and outmaneuvering Noi, Asimo, and Miya to place 7th. Though this would be his strongest performance of the year, it also served as the template that would define the rest of his season — again and again, DIO showed up big at majors, placing 17th at Kagaribi #10 with wins on chicken, MASA, and upsetting Canadian invader Riddles, and making a run to 9th at Kagaribi #11, where he beat Huto, Senra, Eim, and Jogibu before getting double eliminated by zackray. But despite these high-profile successes, DIO would see weaker performances in two key venues: regional events, where DIO’s infiltration would be occasionally cut short before top 8 at events like NUMASUMA 9 and Grand Slums 13 and 15, and oddly enough, majors in Kansai, where MaesumaTOPs #11 and #12 would see his two lowest placements of the year.

Due to his consistent but somewhat scattershot attendance, DIO only faced a few top players more than once or twice all year, but those he did are figures of significance; he went positive against Jogibu, even with Miya, was repeatedly bested by Tsubaki, and ended the year negative against Masha, his rival for best player out of Chubu. DIO’s season subsequently winds up reading like a well-crafted narrative in the same vein as his main’s home series, where he’s challenged and tested across his travels, battling a cast of recurring characters, stumbling and sometimes falling short — but when the stakes are highest and it matters most, DIO always brings his best, comfortably securing his place in the top 50.

— Vincent “SelfDestructGambit” Chow

AREA310 | Doramigi || Photo: アルファ / Alfa in Japan (@alfa_gorinne)

At just 14 years old, Min Min prodigy Doramigi took the Japanese scene by storm this year. At the start of the year, despite picking up some good wins, he tended to perform around his seed and take occasional upsets. But after a disappointing 17th at Sumabato SP 39, he entered MaesumaTOP #13 and truly showed his potential.

After surviving a close set with Lucas main himo_pechio, Doramigi would make it to the tournament’s top cut with a 3-2 upset victory over Tea, but he was far from done.

Doramigi stormed through almost every top player the supermajor had to offer: ProtoBanham, Yoshidora, and Kameme before finally falling in winners and grand finals to Miya for an incredible silver medal finish.

Although he hasn’t been able to replicate that miracle run since, Doramigi’s been a name to look out for at every bracket he attends, adding Hero, Gackt, Kaninabe, Yaura, Skyjay, Snow, and Senra wins to his repertoire.

From Wi-Fi to weeklies to supermajors, Doramigi’s certainly one of the biggest stars of 2023 in Japan, and it’ll be exciting to see how far he can go in this coming year. With his attendance already confirmed for 2024’s Battle of BC 6, he’ll get his chance to shine on the world stage soon enough.

— Rose “Rosebloom” Kermode

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