LumiRank Mid-Year 2023 Rankings | 30 - 21
Welcome to LumiRank Mid-Year 2023! As the Smash Ultimate scene continues to grow and talent pools continue to deepen, carving out a position at the top of the metagame is harder than ever. We’re excited to now recognize those players that have put in the work to rise to the top.
As a reminder, LumiRank Mid-Year 2023 is meant to be a check-in point as we continue through 2023, and our end-of-year ranking will cover the entirety of this season as well as the remainder of the year.
For more information about the LumiRank partnership, the release schedule, and more, check out the introductory article here.
There are fewer players on planet Earth with a more statement defining breakout than Onin. They won Super Smash Con 2022 so dominantly that they set the scene ablaze with discourse surrounding Steve. Their back half of 2022, although not nearly as strong, was still wildly consistent — so it came as a surprise to everyone when they fell at an uncharacteristic 25th at January’s Let’s Make Big Moves. After that point, Onin took a several month hiatus from majors, instead remaining uncontested at Midwestern regionals and firmly asserting themself at the head of the Great Lakes.
Onin then made their major return this season with a relatively neutral Battle of BC: 17th, which seems bad, until you realize that they dropped to two of the world’s finest in Miya and Kameme. At Crown two weeks later, they took down Chronos (a player who had beaten them once prior), Gackt, Chase, and Tweek en route to 4th, only losing to the breakout star of the weekend Jakal.
On a more personal level, Onin is a once-in-a-generation talent. You’re free to feel the way you want to about their character, but even the most ardent Steve hater has to admit that pretty much nobody on Planet Earth can play the blockman at Onin’s level. Past that, their boundary-shattering friendship with acola, effervescent sense of humor, and emotional strength to weather the storm of Smash Twitter shows me that Onin embodies the soul of Ultimate’s scene. They are truly a gift, and whichever direction Onin’s career goes from here, we’ll be sure to drop a :catway: in support of one of this game’s legends.
— Hugh-Jay “trade war” Yu
As one of the most fearsome character specialists in the world, Big D often makes the impossible possible. Last year saw him have some of his best performances of all time, but Big D showed this season that he has no intent of slowing down. Standing tall at 6’8”, the Canadian giant towered over the competition at two tournaments in specific this season, merely a week apart.
At the final Smash Ultimate Summit, Big D performed a miracle by being the only person to take a set off of eventual champion acola, in a matchup largely considered hilariously one-sided. That wasn’t the only impressive thing he did that weekend, however, as he also picked up wins over Aaron, Sparg0 slayer VoiD, Glutonny and Kurama en route to a dazzling 3rd place finish.
He would prove the following weekend that he was far from a one trick pony with a top four performance at MAJOR UPSET. There he would defeat Jakal and fellow countryman Riddles in yet another showcase of everything the highly technical Ice Climbers have to offer.
After recently being picked up by Luminosity Gaming, the Vancouverite’s travel may start to pick up in the near future. And at any event he’s at, top players in his bracket path better prepare themselves, as Big D has shown that there’s nothing his Climbers can’t do.
— Alice “Alice” Len
When you hear the term “workhorse”, who do you think of? We’ve all met that one reliable, dependable individual that can always be seen at the centre of any operation, and when it comes to the European Smash Ultimate scene there are few who embody that role more than Sisqui, who finds himself at every event worth their salt, filling one of the oh-so-precious top spots each time.
It speaks volumes to his consistency that Sisqui has missed only one European top 8 all season. At every other major there Sisqui was a prominent front runner, including at DOSE2SUCRE, GLORY 3, Shonen WAR #2, Invasion: April, King Of Fields 95 #3 and WANTED 2023, the last of which saw him taking home gold. The real story here lies in Sisqui’s incredible strides across the pond this year with strong performances at Genesis 9, Collision 2023 and Get On My Level 2023. The real highlight of the season has to be Battle of BC 5, however, where meteoric victories over Riddles and Yoshidora resulted in a 9th place finish.
Given Sisqui’s desire to make this his full time career — despite the struggles of living in a less prosperous region for esports — and an incredible 5th place at Smash Factor X in the new ranking period, I have no doubt we’ll be seeing more from the bonafide workhorse of Europe and an even higher ranking at the end of 2023.
— Tom “G-P” Scott
It’s been a long time coming. DIO is the best player in Chubu, a region nestled between Tokyo & Osaka’s population centers that has often gone underrated and faced persistent venue size issues & entrant limitations. Just a few weeks ago, the region would have its first ever major — UltCore. This would also happen to be a major that DIO himself was the tournament organizer for.
He’s been around a while. Like many Brawl Snake players, DIO quickly returned to his original main in Ultimate, and has been a perpetually relevant player with limited travel to out-of-region events. This time around, he attended several majors, starting with an impressive 7th at Umebura SP 9 where he’d beat Miya and Asimo.
His season highlight might be his tight 3-2 win over Riddles at Kagaribi #10. Despite placing 17th after, he clutched out against Riddles with a well-timed C4, giving him his first big win against a top level North American player.
— Joshua “Barnard’s Loop” Craig
At some point in life, you’ll happen upon someone special. That moment when you realise you’re looking at someone just a cut above the rest will stick with you for a long time. For me, no-one exemplifies that feeling more than Bloom4Eva, who — from attending his first local in the East of England as a 14th birthday treat — had a meteoric rise to the top of the European Smash community in record time.
Looking at the Bayonetta specialist’s results for the start of 2023, you’d be forgiven for thinking it's written in binary as SmashUK/IE Circuit Finale, KO: The Main Event, Tea Party 3, Glory 3, Shonen WAR #2, Invasion: April 2023 & BRINK all resulted in a 1st place finish. Curiously, nearly all of these wins came from the losers bracket after using pocket characters through the winners bracket, almost as if he were asking the competition to make him work for his wins. His most impressive run came at Shonen WAR #2, which featured an earth shattering losers run of 3-0 victories over AndresFn, Glutonny, and Sisqui twice in grand finals. This performance posed the unimaginable question to the world: have we finally found a new European king?
As it stands right now, this question remains unanswered. Bloom4Eva is yet to compete stateside this year and has declined invites from most events in North America, leaving him as the biggest question mark on this list. Fortunately, Bloom4Eva has confirmed his attendance for Watch The Throne 2023 in December of this year, which may finally answer that million pound question.
— Tom “G-P” Scott
The future of Falcon is here. Fatality’s small hiatus and diminishing drive have left the door wide open for Captain Falcon representation at the top, and Jogibu has taken that opportunity and ran. Sporting a completely different style from the dark red Falcons that have pushed the meta in the west, Jogibu has established himself as one of Kansai’s strongest and a member of Japan’s elite.
After coming off a small break of his own from late 2022, Jogibu immediately turned heads when he won the 256-entrant Toyota Grand Slam 13, defeating Tsubaki, Karaage, Masha, and Miya to achieve Falcon’s largest Ultimate win ever. He’d follow it up by making top 8 at MaesumaTOP #11, defeating titans Yoshidora and Yaura as well as upset fiends Toura and Yn to continue his amazing start to the season.
While Jogibu would cool off a little afterwards as Japan’s inevitable upsets found their way to him, he would continue to prove that his newfound position in Japan’s upper echelon wasn’t going anywhere, with numerous top 8s at Sumabatos and a late-season victory at ITSUKUSHIMA #1 over West Japan defenders Asimo and Yaura. In fact, Jogibu seems to have a stranglehold on Shikoku’s former top two, being a combined 5-1 in sets against them this season among his many, many wins. As one of many new blood talents emerging into the Ultimate scene post-pandemic, Jogibu’s future is bright, and his future endeavors (including an overseas appearance at Tera) are certainly worth looking out for.
— Kenny “kenniky” Wang
For a bit, it was looking over for us, BuzBros. Throughout April and May, Dabuz placed 33rd at three consecutive supermajors (Collision 2023, MaesumaTOP #12, DELTA #4), something wildly unprecedented. Before then, Dabuz had only ever missed top 32 once in Ultimate: Super Smash Con 2019, where a loss to a young Canadian Richter sent him out at 49th. His Kagaribi #10 looked to be a nail in the coffin after an early loss to Taikei.
But with every “it’s so over” comes a “we’re so back.” In losers, Dabuz kept marching onwards. With nine wins in losers against Japan’s finest, six of which went game 5, Dabuz finished 4th at Kagaribi #10, saving his Golden Week.
Dabuz’s greatest victory this season, however, was his event win at CEO. Any sort of tier or major discourse aside, CEO was a massive achievement for the Rosalina, Min Min, and Alph specialist, his biggest tournament win throughout all of Ultimate. Poetically enough, that very same kid from Smash Con 2019 — now his TL teammate — was the player he overcame at his peaks years later; his wins against Riddles are the highlight of his runs at CEO and Kagaribi. The comeback is always greater than the setback — and nobody exemplifies the power of perseverance quite like Dabuz.
— Hugh-Jay “trade war” Yu
Skyjay is a genuinely special player.
He’s the highest ranked player of a character ranked C tier or lower in the official Ultimate tier list. But don’t tell him that. His almost frenetic belief in himself and his character have earned him a long list of victims in Ultimate’s best players.
The highlight of his season is obviously his 2nd place finish at Collision 2023 where he nabbed wins over worldwide top 10 staples such as Dabuz and Maister and double eliminated Sparg0. But that’s not all: he also has wins over Riddles, ApolloKage, Chag and Mr. R sprinkled throughout a strong season all around.
He’s just a menace. Nothing that he does should work in theory, but in practice he puts together beautiful performances where his opponents are so afraid of one option that they get hit by another.
He had some pitfalls, which pulled his ranking down a bit, but if this was a ranking of the scariest players in Ultimate, he would be 10 spots higher. Skyjay can beat anyone, and with a cleaner next season, he could move even further up into the top echelon of players.
— Jack “Trash Day!” Clifton
He’s one of Japan’s biggest content creators in Ultimate and one of the most well-known Ness players of all time. Despite a mixed start to his season, you just can’t count Gackt out — he’s Japan’s big wildcard.
With every wildcard comes slumps, which we saw at a few of the season’s early majors. By March, he’d begin to recover with three solid regional performances in the leadup to Golden Week. His Golden Week would peak early, but leave its mark — he unexpectedly defeated Riddles in sound fashion, and went on to narrowly defeat both Shuton and Tea to make winners finals in one of the greatest performances of his career. Only acola and Miya could stop him.
Even late in the season, he wasn’t quite done — in a remarkably well-aged win, Gackt would 3-0 Sonix at Crown the Third, after narrowly losing to MkLeo. Whenever Gackt attends, there’s no telling what’s going to happen: Nobody can ever count him out!
— Joshua “Barnard’s Loop” Craig
Despite a huge shake up in Japan’s hierarchy, KEN is still one of the country’s best. He opened the season with a strong performance at Kyojin Dojo, placing second with wins over hard hitters like Gackt and Shuton. As his season progressed, he’d often find himself just outside top 8s, but would still rack up good wins in the process, with a win over Yoshidora at Umebura SP 9 being a major highlight.
His best performance of the season was at MaesumaTOP #11, where he became one of just three Japanese players this season to defeat acola in bracket in a nail biting 3-2 victory. He would also once again face Sparg0 at Kagaribi #10 in their third set — and be the only player at the event to take Sparg0 to game 5.
Between his major performances, KEN has also been a grinder, attending over 40 events, most of which are locals. While the locals don’t count for LumiRank, it is worth noting he’s been capable of taking sets off of nearly every relevant player in the Kanto region, a mark of his skill that shines through at his best ranked events this season.
— Joshua “Barnard’s Loop” Craig
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