LumiRank 2023 | 61-70

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.

Capitancito || Photo: Victoria Hamilton (@bluerosetori)

Since the Mii Fighters’ introduction in Smash 4, they’ve been banned, derided, and shoved to the bottom of tier lists and usage lists. The Miis aren’t real, they can’t hurt you. 

But by becoming the first main of any of the Miis to ever be ranked, Capitancito and his Mii, Laquisha, shed that stigma once and for all.

He’s been a well known Wi-Fi grinder for a long time, but this year he finally made the next step that people in the Dominican scene have been waiting for. Capitancito mixed strong peaks with solid consistency across his 13 events in 2023. Obviously the wins over Sonix are stellar, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. With five top 2 finishes at his five C and D tier events, 9th at Wavedash, 9th at LVL UP EXPO and 2nd at Low Tide City, Capitancito became an international threat in 2023, and there’s no reason to expect him to slow down any time soon.

Skyjay, ApolloKage, Maister, Wrath, Lima and more, Capitancito’s season was a step up from any level that we’ve seen from him before. His ledgetrapping is too tough. His movement is too rad. His swag? Too different. They will try to kill Capitancito but they cannot. He will keep you and your favorite player on the ledge until they turn the lights off at the venue, and he’s only getting started.

— Jack “Trash Day!” Clifton

M0tsunabE || Photo: さきょう / sakyo (@sakyooooou)

The high-flying Falco main M0tsunabE was one of many runaway stars in Japan this year, be it through his flashy cutscene-combo gameplay or his Twitter shenanigans that were sometimes just as attention grabbing. For as much of a big game M0tsunabE talks online, it makes it all the more impressive that he has the results to back it up.

M0tsunabE started the year with a few strong events, including a 9th place finish at KOWLOON #4 where he scored a win on Asimo, but his breakout event was doubtlessly WINNER! NEXT #2, where he took sets over sssr, Yamanaction, HIKARU, and zackray to reach winners-side Grand Finals of the national, ultimately getting 2nd to Shuton. He carried that momentum through the rest of the year, making his first major top 8 at DELTA #4 with a 7 set losers run that included wins on Scend, Paseriman, and Kaninabe. By the end of the season he’d made top 8 at 3 majors in total, the most any Falco in Ultimate has accomplished in a year; at UltCore he placed 7th, beating Umeki and Atelier, and then he made his best run of the year at November’s Seibugeki 15, beating KEN and Yaura to place 5th. In between these successes are a couple rough placements and close misses, but given that M0tsunabE attended 33 ranked events this year, his overall consistency is remarkable. The only thing really missing from his resume is a huge, landmark run at a supermajor — but then again, M0tsunabE seems to prefer the big stage, so I doubt he’ll spend much longer waiting in the wings.

— Vincent “SelfDestructGambit” Chow

Ouch!? || Photo: Bekah Wong (@alonelychime)

What do you call a hidden boss who hides in plain sight?

At this point, every top player traveling to British Columbia knows that they’ll likely have to face off against Ouch!?, one of the planet's best Wolf players. The Canadian wunderkind doesn't just stay confined to his region these days, however; in 2023, he traveled further than ever before, and it paid off in spades.

This year, Ouch!? ruled over his region with an iron fist. He entered twenty-two Pacific Northwest regionals and won a staggering eighteen of them. You might see that statistic and assume those tournaments were easy to win, but that's not the case. To claim those victories, Ouch!? had to defeat both countless PNW stalwarts, like Big D, JDV, and Lemmon, and a rogue's gallery of invaders, including MuteAce, ApolloKage, Lui$, Chase, and MVD.

Many hometown heroes shrink when they travel elsewhere, but Ouch!? is a notable exception. His trip to NorCal for Genesis 9 still stands as his best tournament of the year. He finished 9th at one of Smash’s most historic majors, eliminating Kameme and Nao in the process. Ouch!? traveled even further from home to attend Super Smash Con later in the year and performed respectably there too, placing 17th with wins on Vendetta and Candle.

Will Ouch!? continue expanding his travels in 2024? Only time will tell, but he's sure to keep improving regardless. Only one thing's for sure: as long as Ouch!? stands as British Columbia's protector, the region is in very good hands.

— Victor “AnonymousBadger” Mujat

Chase || Photo: Victoria Hamilton (@bluerosetori)

Hurray! SoCal is saved!

After several of Southern California's best players steadily became less active throughout Ultimate's lifespan, the historic Smash region suddenly found itself with surprisingly little representation on the global stage. That all changed when tenacious Palutena player Chase made the leap from up-and-coming Wi-Fi warrior to bona fide top player, claiming the #1 spot on the SoCal Power Rankings back in 2022. He took another major step up in 2023, becoming globally ranked for the first time.

Chase's 2023 campaign saw him travel across the United States, achieving stellar placements like 7th at MAJOR UPSET, 17th at both Genesis 8 and Super Smash Con, and Top 8 at numerous regionals. Along the way, he picked up wins on players like Riddles, Onin, Ouch!?, Lui$, and Jakal, demonstrating his steady improvement.

His best run of the year came at Crown the Third in June. At Utah's biggest Ultimate event yet, Chase knocked out defending champion Tea, then scored another big upset over Light. Those wins brought him all the way to 7th, his highest placing at a supermajor thus far.

Even results like that aren't enough for Chase, a player just as ambitious as he is talented. Rather than stick to Palutena, he's been gradually and successfully developing Steve and Aegis secondaries for when the Goddess of Light just isn't cutting it. At this rate, don't be surprised if next year's LumiRank graphic lists his characters in a completely different order.

Chase is willing to do whatever it takes to get better, a trait which will continue to serve him well. Expect big things from him in 2024!

— Victor “AnonymousBadger” Mujat

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

Rizeasu is one of Smash’s biggest enigmas. I doubt this blurb will be an introduction for him to most, but he is well and truly the closest thing we’ve ever seen to a top 100 random main. While his character list has become a bit more limited over the years — cycling certain characters in and out — he still is known as the guy that was top 100 all time in Smash 4 predominantly going bottom tiers. What could he do if he mained more traditionally good characters?

We seem to have the answer as of late, with his peak result in 2023 at MaesumaTOP #14 fueled by his Marth and Byleth that led him to placing second. Marth has been a staple of his arsenal for years, but the latter emerged on Smashmate during quarantine.

His tactic of switching things up constantly always had — and still has — a price.Rizeasu is somewhat inconsistent, owing to his eclectic character pool that includes hits like Robin, Mii Brawler, and Terry on top of his already well-developed sword lineup.

Usually one can predict (or at least give a rough guess) of a player’s career when they start falling into patterns, but Rizeasu defies it all and has remained one Smash’s most unusual kinds of hidden bosses. You simply can’t count him out no matter who he picks.

— Joshua “Barnard’s Loop” Craig

SNB | takera || Photo: さきょう / sakyo (@sakyooooou)

Some players will attend nearly anything. Burnout tends to catch up with players when they play in dozens upon dozens of events a year, but takera is truly a trooper with 35 ranked events and far more locals under his sash — he even restarted his own weekly series to have even more tournaments to attend.

The results? Up and down, like any competitor, but positive on the whole. Sometimes he’d lose early and run out of steam quick, but takera’s sheer event coverage gave him a lengthy list of wins, and even a highlight accomplishment of 5th at both MaesumaTOP #13 and DELTA #5.

Those events gave him a well-aged win on Toriguri and victories over players like Cosmos, M0tsunabE, Gackt, Noi, Jogibi, Kome — and plenty of other notables, too. It also doesn’t hurt that he won Gen 1.0 at the start of the year either, beating Kanto mainstay Jagaimo and shutting Alice out twice.

He’s done it all since Smash 4, going from a feared Ryu player to one of Ken’s most accomplished pilots in Smash Ultimate and a player that is constantly on the radar due to his uncanny ability to simply roll up and trash nearly any competitor.

Win or lose, takera is looking for a good fight, and he seems to learn and grow from each new event he attends despite the breakneck speed of attendance.

— Joshua “Barnard’s Loop” Craig

Luugi || Photo: Théo Lalanne (@thlalanne)

When I sat down to write this piece, I was a little puzzled on how to proceed. I’ve written about Luugi’s incredible accomplishments and growth over the years several times in a similar fashion to this. What else can be said that isn’t just recycled from before? Well what I can say is that this has been a year of resilience for the Canadian-born Brit.

As one of the world's premier Luigi mains, the going can often be tough as everyone tries to keep their distance from his incredible combo game. As they say though, this is when the tough get going, and Luugi showed this in spectacular fashion, defeating AndresFn, Bloom4Eva, and obliterating Glutonny 3-0 on his way to 2nd at Invasion: April 2023. An extremely tumultuous trip to Battle of BC 5 led to a 25th place finish, cut unfortunately short by Kameme early in his fairytale losers run. Clearly this inspired his showing at King Of Fields 95 #3, where Luugi stormed through Nitox, KID, Eko, Tarik, Space, Sisqui, and finally quiK in losers to finish 2nd to Glutonny himself. The wonderkid carried this momentum to Regen 2023, taking out Mr. R, Space, and Ikan twice to lift the trophy here again, just like in 2022.

Luugi is of the strongest players in Europe, but still doesn't have a team to operate under — courtesy of the UK’s shallow esports sector — which makes it difficult to showcase just how good this kid is. The rumour mill tells us that Luugi expects to be leaving the UK for Canada soon, and if this happens I expect to see a North American team pick up this hot prospect at some point in 2024, leaving a battlefield of battered bodies in his wake.

— Tom “G-P” Scott

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

Eim is a name that people might recognize. Not only was he Smash 4’s final major winner, he has been one of just a few players at the helm of Sheik’s resurgence in Ultimate. The high technical demand can come with inconsistency, but Eim has managed to trudge through it.

Despite some inconsistent placings, his losses tended to be of high quality – his run at DELTA 5 shows this with losses to Shuton and Nietono for 17th. He’d also take big wins even at midrange placing events, taking out players like Yaura, Dabuz, and Asimo.

This would all probably be enough to get just outside of the top 100, but Eim made it here through his sharpest performances. His first was at Kagaribi 9, where he’d beat Nietono and HIKARU to place 7th against losses to Yoshidora and Zackray. A little over a month later, he’d beat a myriad of top 150 players at Seibugeki 13 in his run for 4th, with some wins like Gachipi and Ly aging very well as the year went on. 

With Sheik’s meta continuing to evolve and improve, Eim – who has been on a hiatus since October – has proven to be one of the character’s biggest torchbearers and is not to be underestimated. 

— Joshua “Barnard’s Loop” Craig

MOZE | Ryuoh || Photo: Bekah Wong (@alonelychime)

Though it’s currently on hiatus, let it not be forgotten that Japanese esports team flat-gaming was a veritable star maker in its heyday. FTG sponsored acola before he won Kagaribi #7, Miya before he won Kagaribi #8, and even briefly sponsored Hurt at Indonesian regional ACE-HIGH (which he also won). Sharing a stage with such accomplished previous teammates seems almost a little unfair to the final player formerly on FTG, Ryuoh. One of the best Diddys in Japan, Ryuoh’s 2023 was scrappier and much more up-and-down than his ex-FTG contemporaries, but his results show the same promise, that potential for greatness, if you look close enough.

Ryuoh’s best major run of the season was UltCore, the biggest event in Chubu this year, where the enterprising ape-player defeated Sigma, alice, Tsubaki, and Kaninabe to place 3rd as the 22nd seed. This was far and away his best major all year, only cracking the top 16 at two other open bracket A-tier events — but even without UltCore, Ryuoh’s season contains a litany of impressive wins, including Jagaimo, Kome, and Toriguri. He capped off his year with back-to-back 3rd place finishes at Sumabato SP 42 and 43, two monstrous regional runs that netted him wins on MVD, Snow, Rizeasu, Doramigi, Shirayuki, Asimo, and Yoshidora. Ryuoh’s accomplishments this year were many: he signed with a new team, took sets off some of the top players in Japan, and even brought Miya to game 5 on two separate occasions. Perhaps he didn’t set the world on fire in 2023, but fans saw flashes of excellence as he kicked up sparks.

— Vincent “SelfDestructGambit” Chow

EMP | Tilde || Photo: Dylan Revezzo (@RedShirt__)

Tilde is the best Falco player in North America, and for a long time, was THE driving force behind the character’s meta. While these days, Tilde is joined by names like M0tsunabE and MASA, this doesn’t mean that Tilde is any less skilled or any less dominant in the tournaments he enters. 

Tilde boasts consistent placements at C and D tiers, but his first larger tournament placing of 2023 was at Battle of Z x UMAD, where Tilde made the trip to Canada to place 4th by defeating Armadillo and Mr. E. 

Tilde continued to get good placements at smaller tournaments, like Defend the North 2023 where he placed 2nd. But it would require another trip back to Canada for Tilde’s best placing of the year: his stellar performance at Get On My Level 2023. A lot of people tend to forget just how crazy this placement was. But Tilde placed 3rd at a Super Major, FAR exceeding his seed. On the way to this illustrious finish, Tilde defeated Atreus, who was THE breakout star of GOML 2023. Tilde only lost to Sparg0 and Sonix, two of the greatest in the world, for a placement at an S+ tier that hundreds of players could only hope to achieve. 

Tilde didn’t attend much afterward, but if this GOML placement is anything to go off of, we’ll be looking at Tilde’s future tournaments with lots of vested interest. 

— Matthew “RisterMice” Rice

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