LumiRank 2023 | 71 - 80

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.

YSM | BassMage || Photo: Théo Lalanne (@thlalanne)

Over the last two years, BassMage has had a meteoric rise that was mostly propped up by the popular streamer Hungrybox’s undying, unwavering support. While this was instrumental in allowing BassMage opportunities like a Summit spot, it left us wanting more. 

No recap of BassMage’s 2023 can be complete without mentioning his best run of the year, and indeed, his whole career: his run to 9th place at Tera. Known as one of the most stacked ultimate majors of all time, BassMage far exceeded all expectations at the European tournament. On the way to a 9th place finish, BassMage defeated takera 3-1, then went on to defeat Sisqui 3-0, thus creating two of the greatest upsets of the entire tournament. Not only this, but BassMage then took Sparg0 to a close game 5, but would lose, before losing to big chungus for 9th. 

This was far and away BassMage’s best ever placements and one of Jigglypuff’s greatest placements of the year. Other notable placements include top 8 finishes at ECLIPSE 2023, Gateway Legends 2023, Frosty Faustings XV, and MAJOR UPSET, a great list.

Just last year, many people couldn’t think of BassMage without thinking of Hbox. But now, just a year later, BassMage has made a name for himself all on his own, and did so with the grit and determination signature of the pink puffball. 

— Matthew “RisterMice” Rice

NS | BeastModePaul || Photo: Dylan Revezzo (@RedShirt__)

Hero’s trajectory for much of Ultimate’s lifespan wasn’t particularly impressive. Despite a firestorm of controversy on release, it’d take a long time for the character to see much of any metagame impact, and even that felt fleeting. It was going to be a tough climb to push this character.

BeastModePaul saw the mountain and ascended to the top of it this year. The climb was gradual; He’d mostly grind locals after a rough opener at Let’s Make Big Moves 2023, but after some struggles at more regionally inclined events, he placed fifth at Gateway Legends with big wins over MuteAce and IcyMist. This tied itself to more wins at CEO 2023 — most notably Jake.

Things would wax and wane from here, with an underperformance at CIRQUE du CFL 2 and a fantastic one at ReWired Fest where he most notably took a 3-1 win over ApolloKage. His home state run at Let’s Make Moves Miami also impressed as a consistent run, with wins over Peabnut, Kobe, and Chase.

His last major outing, while not featuring a groundbreaking placement, saw a career highlight run with wins over a gauntlet of Europeans at Port Priority 8. Not only did he beat Glutonny in a shock upset, he’d also defeat top Spanish players AndresFn and Sisqui after being sent to the losers bracket.

Paul has begun to really showcase this character’s full potential in a tournament setting, and his recent performances point to a continued high trajectory.

— Joshua “Barnard’s Loop” Craig

CF | Anathema || Photo: @MajoraXrd

R.O.B. is by no means an uncommon character. After all, not only does the robot have some of the highest usage among Ultimate’s playerbase, he also has some of the highest win rates in Ultimate’s competitive scene today. R.O.B. is everywhere, and so, R.O.B. players are everywhere. But despite all of this, and a plethora of talented R.O.B.s like Zomba, sssr, MKBigBoss, and more, one still remains the favorite of many spectators. 

Anathema is the favorite R.O.B. of many people in the smash community, and by some accounts, the “only cool R.O.B.” in the entire competitive scene. And to give them credit, it’s hard not to see where all this is coming from. Anathema’s fans attribute their love to his insanely high tech skill, especially when it comes to R.O.B.’s dastardly deadly combos and projectiles. R.O.B. is a character that can work in a myriad of playstyles, and Anathema has carved a niche in the community of spectators as the most technically skilled. 

With a top 8 finish at Shine 2023 as well as at MomoCon 2023, Anathema has proven time and time again to have the bracket stamina and fundamentals to support his tech skill. Some of Anathema’s best tournaments took place within the last few months of 2023. If those placements are an indicator as to what Anathema’s 2024 will look like, then something tells me that we’ll be seeing a lot more of Smash’s Coolest R.O.B. in the new year.

— Matthew “RisterMice” Rice

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

Taikei is Japan’s second best representative of the fastest thing alive. While often overshadowed by KEN’s consistent placings with the blue blur, Taikei’s carved out his own path and made quite the name for himself.

Taikei is the kind of player who always seems to be on the verge of a breakthrough. A last stock game 5 with Atelier at DELTA #2, a failed reverse 3-0 on Manzoku at Gen 1.1, Taikei always comes so close to the next level, even when he falls just short — but this Sonic’s got places to go and rainbows to follow, and he won’t let close calls stop his race to the top.

Despite being tormented by his bracket demons this season, which include Fox main Paseriman (a notoriously bad matchup for the speedy hedgehog) as well as uame and chicken, Taikei was often able to make deep losers bracket runs even after upsets, ensuring a strong level of consistency. In one of his best performances, Taikei captured a 3-0 victory over KEN at DELTA #2, where KEN remarked it was the first time he’d lost in the Sonic mirror in eight whole years.

However, the Sonic main would truly go Super at Kagaribi #10, where he ended up face to face with North America’s best Rosalina, Dabuz. Despite Dabuz’s prior victories over Sonix, Taikei was able to defeat Dabuz 3-2 in a huge win for him, securing himself 17th place at one of the year’s biggest tournaments.

Taikei’s only racing further up the ranks of Japan’s scene. Hanging on the edge of tomorrow, you might blink and miss him as he speeds past and leaves his opponents in the dust.

— Rose “Rosebloom” Kermode

Cosmos || Photo: @emmy1984_

It was once said that Cosmos was the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the competitive smash brothers ultimate scene. That’s certainly true, as Cosmos is one of the most volatile competitors that the scene has to offer. Whether that’s because of a character crisis, the volatile nature of the Aegis, or just because he’s built like that, no one can really say for sure. What we can say with certainty is that Cosmos is far from washed, like some would have you believe. 

Over the course of this year, Cosmos has obtained such placings like a pair of 9th place finishes at both Let’s Make BIG Moves 2023 and Genesis 9. And if you’re not satisfied with 9th, Cosmos has plenty of top 8 finishes for you. Take his 4th place at LVL UP EXPO 2023, or 4th again at GamingHotel 2023, with wins over some of the best that Europe has to offer. And of course, who can forget Cosmos’s trip to Japan? Over the course of this extended stay in the land of the rising sun, Cosmos got 5th at KOWLOON #5 and tamasuma kyokkan #2. That’s a feat that many players could only ever hope to achieve. 

It’s no secret that Cosmos struggles with consistency, more than perhaps any other top player. But there’s a reason that consistency is considered to be the hardest part of competition. With a diverse character roster and visits to multiple corners of the world of Smash, Cosmos is not going anywhere anytime soon. He may indeed be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but don’t forget — that book is a classic. Just like Cosmos. 

— Matthew “RisterMice” Rice

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

No player exemplifies the character loyalist quite like Sigma. The Chubu native has stuck with Toon Link for over a decade, dating all the way back to the character’s debut in Brawl. Staying relevant in the Japanese national scene across three whole games, it’s safe to say that Sigma is the definitive Toon Link, and 2023, although quiet, continued to extend that legacy.

Sigma’s year was not one of breakout performances, but rather a solid consistency, reliably making it far in bracket no matter the depth. Of particular note is his MaesumaTOP #12 run, where he was able to take out two invaders in Jahzz0 and Dabuz before finishing at 25th, but the placement just inside top 32 was one that Sigma became very familiar with over the course of the year. Additional wins over the likes of Asimo, TamaPDaifuku, and Yamanaction continued to prove that the veteran was still keeping up.

Sigma’s greatest contribution, however, is his influence on the newer players in the scene. Alongside his efforts as a coach, it’s not too difficult to see that Sigma’s loyalty to Toon Link has swayed many a character choice in his country. A rare sight in other parts of the world, Japan boasts an extraordinary number of Toon Links across the length of the archipelago. As Sigma steps back from competition to focus on his health and his newborn, the players he’s inspired will keep his legacy going as long as Toon Link is around.

— Kenny “kenniky” Wang

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

Top players know skill. So when Eik’s offline debut at DELTA #4 caught the eye of none other than MuteAce, it was certain that he’d become a force to be reckoned with in no time. And in a way, he already was, having long established himself as Smashmate’s premier Peach in an environment where precision and techskill can often fall by the wayside.

By July, Eik had already defeated the likes of Huto, Neo, chicken, Jagaimo, and Lax. But his eyes were set on a different Paisy titan, one much closer to home — Umeki. To become the best princess user in Japan, Eik would have to surpass the longtime veteran. And he looked to be on track to do so, exhibiting stunning consistency with a lowest placement of 17th and gathering additional wins over players such as Kameme, MASA, takera, and M0tsunabE. Yet his goal continued to float just out of reach, with Umeki always finishing just a few placements ahead. So there was always more to improve upon.

With just seven months of offline competition under his belt, Eik’s journey to unseat Umeki has seen him blossom into one of Japan’s strongest. And right after the conclusion of the ranking season at DELTA #7, just three iterations after his debut, Eik’s efforts paid off. He defeated Umeki 3-2, and outplaced the country’s best Daisy, proving to himself and the country that he might just be a contender for the Princess’s throne, and a name for the world to look out for.

— Rose “Rosebloom” Kermode & Kenny “kenniky” Wang

Lui$ || Photo: Bekah Wong (@alonelychime)

Lui$ is one of the top US Palutenas, and was one of the driving forces behind the Palutena Renaissance that happened this year. Because we all remember for a while when people were saying that Incineroar was a better bracket character then Palutena, right? Well, many Palu mains themselves were the ones behind that rhetoric, and faith in the green-haired goddess had never been lower. 

But Lui$ decided to just prove everyone wrong throughout 2023. Lui$’s year, especially the first half, kicked off the Palutena renaissance. A 1st place finish at Gateway Legends saw Lui$ take the victory (and the enormous prize pot) over ApolloKage in one of my personal favorite Grand Finals ever. Additionally, Lui$ had phenomenal placings at Wavedash, where he joined fellow Palu main Chase in the top 8; and High Rez, where he defeated both the past king of New York, Dabuz, and the current one, Zomba. 

Rounding off Lui$’s year was his performance at Watch the Throne, which saw him get wins over both Tarik and MkLeo, who used to be a big bracket demon for him. The Palutena Renaissance is in full swing, and Lui$ is one of a few players that we have to thank for that. Truly… we are SO back.

— Matthew “RisterMice” Rice

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

The Smash Ultimate community is no stranger to the myths and rumors that inevitably crop up when enough people love and discuss the same thing. You’ve probably heard of a couple — the prowess of Game 4 Leo or the event-specific power-up Marss gains at Genesis. But one such myth you may not have heard of is even-year Paseriman. Supposedly, long-time Japanese Fox main Paseriman performs notably better during years that end with an even number, and going from a 2022 season where he ranked among the top 50 to a comparatively quieter 2023, it’s hard not to see the grains of truth in the legend. But even on his off years, Paseriman is not to be underestimated.

Across the season, he’d take sets over Tsubaki, Toriguri, Ryuoh, Yamanaction, and takera, with both his Fox and a rapidly-developing Diddy Kong secondary. Although he’d only make one major top 8 appearance, at WAVE #4, he made it one for the record books, taking sets over M0tsunabE, Eim, Neo, and KEN before ultimately finishing at 5th place. But I think one of Paseriman’s essential and often overlooked strengths as a player is his resilience. We love to see players make long losers runs, shows of endurance that mark them as excellent competitors. Sparg0 made 2 losers runs of 5 sets or more during 2023, and Miya made 5. Paseriman, on the other hand, made 7 losers runs of at least 5 sets across the year, with his longest topping off at a whopping 8 sets won. His message is clear: be it as a mainstay of major top 8s, or as the subject of the most oddly compelling player merch I’ve ever seen, he has the resolve to stick around and make his presence felt, and he’s here to stay.

— Vincent “SelfDestructGambit” Chow

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

Post-quarantine Kansai has solidified itself as the world’s premier top player spawner, and Snow is one of MaesumaHIT’s most quietly successful outputs. He hasn’t had a stellar breakout run akin to that of Doramigi or Kaninabe, and he doesn’t play a rare mid tier like Senra or Shirayuki, and as such he hasn’t received quite the same attention as his peers. But what Snow does have is a steady upwards trajectory that has landed him in the top level of the strongest region on the planet.

Kansai’s talent pipeline is simple: grind Smashmate, then come offline to the weekly MaesumaHIT. With regular attenders including Kome, Jogibu, Shirayuki, and more, this is one of the most talent-dense weeklies in the world, and it’s easy to see how such ready access to a myriad of top players has resulted in multiple ascension stories just this year. Snow’s rise stuck close to this path; after becoming a top 20 mainstay on the Smashmate ladder, he began attending MaesumaHIT in late 2022, shortly after his 16th birthday. February saw him win his first iteration of the local as well as peak at 4th online, and soon, the real results came pouring in.

There’s a myriad of ways to track Snow’s climb, but by far the clearest is tracking his performances at in-region major MaesumaTOP. In 2022, he’d attended three of them, but failed to make top 96 at any. But after he started regularly attending its sister weekly, his finishes kept improving: 65th at #11, 33rd at #12, 9th at #13. MaesumaTOP #14 saw him crack top 8 to place 5th, and he’d one-up that placement with a fourth at MaesumaTOP #15. With his additional 7th at Sumabato SP Ultimate, he’s already made three major top 8s. If this is where he’s come in just one year, just imagine what’s in store for him in the next one.

— Kenny “kenniky” Wang

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