ΩRank Spring 2022 Top 50: 30-21

The week concludes with the ΩRank 30-21. In Ultimate’s wildest season, these players did not simply pop off at an event or two. Rather, they consistently exceeded expectations in a season full of volatility. Brought to you by Stuart98 with graphics by Cloudhead, these are the ΩRank 30-21 best players in the world.

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Marcel “HIVE | quiK” Romagnuolo had his best season of Ultimate so far, cracking top 30 after a stellar season that included excellent results at majors in Europe and across the Atlantic. quiK’s attendance may have been relatively modest compared to other European players at only 7 events, but each one was a positive to his season. His peak was a phenomenal run to 2nd at E-Caribana, where he defeated TriM, Raflow, Peli, and Chag to make Winners Finals, lost a heart-stoppingly close game 5 set against MkLeo’s Corrin, defeated sisqui 3-1, and lost 1-3 against MkLeo in Grand Finals. At COLOSSEL 2022, quiK defeated Eko, iStudying, and Mezcaul to make top 12 before losing two game 5 sets against sisqui and Bloom4Eva to place 9th. At his sole North American appearance of the season at Let’s Make Big Moves 2022, quiK defeated Colorondo8, Jdizzle, WaDi, and IcyMist while losing to Dabuz and Kola. At other events throughout the season, quiK defeated players like Larry Lurr, Oryon, and Tarik.

quiK’s strongest selling point is his loss record: At all three of the major events he attended, he was defeated only by top 20 players, and two thirds of these losses went to game 5. His worst loss of the season was to his fellow countryman DarkThunder at Rise of PPT, and even then not only did he beat Larry Lurr at that event, but he also ended the season with a 3-2 record against DarkThunder. Although a paucity of wins against top 20 players prevents him from ranking any higher, his unimpeachable major loss record lands him a spot in top 30. As his multiple game 5 losses against some of the best players in the world demonstrate, quiK is no player to be trifled with, and he enters the Fall 2022 season in a strong position to reclaim both his lost titles as the best Samus player in the world and the number two player in Europe.

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The best Steve player in the United States, Jake’s season can best be summarized as mediocrity sandwiched by excellence. Jake opened his season with one of the best tournament runs of any player the whole season, taking 3rd at Glitch – Infinite by beating Light, T3 DOM, Leon, Kola, Dabuz, and Gackt while losing to Zomba and Cosmos—4 wins on top 50 players and three wins on top 20 players. After this excellent start however, Jake went into a bit of a lull in his results, going five straight tournaments without a top 50 win, four of which had at least one loss to a player outside the top 50. A 65th place finish at Genesis 8 and 25th place finish at Pound 2022 were particularly bad: each involved a loss to a player outside the top 100 as well as a top 100 player not in the top 50.

After several months of underperformance, Jake started turning things around with a 9th place finish at CEO 2022 that included a game 5 win on MuteAce. He then closed out his season with a second major top 8, getting 7th at Double Down 2022. At Double Down, Jake beat MoDzai, VoiD, Quandle Dinglelingleton, and reverse 3-0’d Kome to make top 12 before losing to ProtoBanham. He then earned his second Gackt win of the season to make top 8, ultimately falling to Kola. Should Jake be able to maintain the level of play he showed at Glitch and Double Down through a whole season, he may well be a threat to rank within the top 20.

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Takuto “R2G | Kameme” Ono had a rough first season out of quarantine, but mostly returned to his former glory in the second. Kameme attended four ΩRank S tier tournaments and top 8’d three of them, primarily using his new main of Sora but supplementing with Sheik and Mega-man. Kameme opened the season with his first post-quarantine top 8 of an open bracket tournament at Kagaribi 6. After losing the final match of his pool to Toura in a game 5 set, Kameme won 8 sets in losers to make top 6, taking down players like kept, shky, Lea, DIO, Hero, and Rizeasu along the way, ultimately falling to Gackt. At Maesuma TOP 7, he defeated Across, Futari no Kiwami Ah~!, and Injelly to make top 12 before losing to Yoshidora, then took down DIO and Jogibu in losers before being eliminated by Tea. A few days later, Kagaribi 7 would be Kameme’s sole finish outside of top 8 at a major for the  season, as he lost 1-3 to both Choco and Shuton with best wins of Abadango and Oi, George. A few weeks later would be Kameme’s worst performance of the season as he was eliminated in the Round Robin phase of best of 9 invitational Shin-Ken League, taking a bizarre 0-5 loss to Tarakotori the Litte Mac with a best win of YOC.

Bouncing back, Kameme earned his third major top 8 of the season, appropriately enough at Maesuma TOP 8, where he defeated Toura, Sylph, Repo, and Asimo to make top 6 winners side before losing game 5 to Nietono and 1-3 to MASA. Kameme closed the season out with a 3rd place finish at WAVE 1, where he beat yuzu before falling 0-2 to T, then won 6 sets in losers over Muramura, yuzu again, Taikei, Abadango, DoubleA, and a runback against T before losing 1-2 to Akakikusu. Although Kameme’s losses this season weren’t especially bad, he still averaged just under one loss to a player outside the top 50 per tournament and only two of his wins were to players above him, which ruled out a top 25 appearance. Still, as the best Sora player in the world, Kameme has put the character’s skeptics on notice, and is a top threat to return to top 20 status going into the Fall 2022 season.

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Undisputedly the best Ness player in the world, Gakuto “Gackt” Ito enters the top 30 for the first time after a season which featured some of his best—and worst—performances in his Smash Ultimate career. Gackt had the highest S tier attendance of any Japanese player this season, going to as many outside of Japan as inside, and made top 8 at half of them. Gackt’s peak event was a run to 3rd place at Kagaribi 7, where he defeated Bino, takera, Nietono, KEN, and DIO in winners before losing to acola in a reverse 3-0, then brought down Shuton 3-0 and DIO again 3-1 in losers, ultimately being defeated in Losers Finals by Asimo in another reverse 3-0. At Glitch – Infinite, he defeated Sinji, Quandle Dinglelingleton, Kola, and Glutonny, losing only to Zomba and Jake. At other events throughout the season, he beat players like Atelier, Cosmos, Kameme, Lea, and Shogun.

Despite some of the best performances of his career, Gackt also severely underperformed at several events. At the Gimvitational, despite beating Cosmos, he went 1-4 in sets, taking losses to unranked players Jin and yonni. At Winner! -Next Gen-, he lost his round one to Rui and falling in losers to Futari no Kiwami Ah~! with a best win of Suinoko. Both Maesuma TOP tournaments were especially bad for him. At Maesuma TOP 8, he placed 49th, losing game 5 sets to Manzoku and Trigger. Maesuma TOP 7 stands out as his weakest run of the season, placing 65th with game 3 losses to Take and Ly. If Gackt overcomes his consistency issues next season, he will easily rank within the top 20. For now, top 30 will have to do.

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Tyler “Panda | Marss” Martins is still a long ways from his pre-lockdown peak, but his Spring 2022 season was also better than it might seem at first. Although Marss opened the season with an underperformance at C tier Connecticut regional CT Gamercon 5, where he lost to Axiom XL and Ling to place 5th, he followed it up with his best run of the season. At Genesis 8, Marss made top 12 by defeating Lancelot, ESAM, and Kola, then lost 1-3 to Sparg0. He then defeated Aaron 3-1 to make top 8 before being eliminated in a reverse 3-0 by one of his long-time bracket demons, Myran. At Kawaii Kon a week later, Marss took a set off Larry Lurr in Grand Finals, though he lost both Winners Finals and the second set of Grands to finish 2nd. At The Gimvitational, Marss went 1-1 with Light in sets, winning 3-1 in pools while losing 1-3 in bracket, and also defeated Chase and loaf. At CEO 2022, Marss suffered an early game 5 loss to Sean but went on a tear in losers, winning six sets over players like Quandale Dinglelingleton, Peabnut, MVD, and Aaron before being eliminated 1-3 by Dabuz. At Double Down 2022, Marss beat Kurama in winners before getting a tragic 33rd place to the awful bracket of KEN in winners into Riddles in losers.

Although far from having the win résumé of some players this season, Marss still has wins on two top 20 players. His greatest strength, however, is an impeccable loss resumé, with over half of his losses being to players in the top 20. Although still far from his pre-lockdown peak, Marss is clearly getting there. Indeed, part of his relative underperformance this season is simply growing pains as he transitions from a Zero Suit Samus solo main into a dual main. In fact, with Zackray’s inactivity since January and other top players of the character abandoning him, Marss already has a strong claim to the title of best Joker in the world and is well positioned to return to the top 20 next season.

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As we pass the halfway point and enter the top 25, the competition only intensifies. The season of Yutaro “Paseriman” Nagumo, and those of the 24 players that follow him, isn’t just better than those of the players who preceded him on the ranking, but markedly so. The peaks are more numerous and stronger, the underperformances fewer. Paseriman had the results of a top 10 player for the first few months of the abortive 2020 season before it was cut short by the pandemic, but struggled in the post-lockdown months of 2021. This year marked a resurgence for Paseriman, and while he wasn’t able to consistently put up top 10 results this season, he still consistently overperformed expectations at event after event. Paseriman opened the season strong with a run to third place at Kagaribi 6, defeating Shissho, Yamanaction, Toura, Zackray, and Gackt before losing 0-3 to Shuton in Winners Finals and to Zackray in the Losers Finals runback. At Winner! -Next Gen-, he took gold, defeating TKM, chicken, Brood, and KEN to make Grand Finals, where he lost the first set to Shuton 0-3 but clutched the second in a reverse 3-0 that ended with a two stock.

Golden week offered mixed results for Paseriman, as he notched an Asimo win at Maesuma TOP 7 but took four losses to players outside of the top 50. This includes his worst event of the season, Seibugeki 10, where he lost his round 1 to Kurumisu and won 8 sets in losers before being eliminated by TKM. Paseriman came back with a vengeance at the Shin-Ken League invitational, sweeping his best of 9 Round Robin pool over YOC, Kameme, Tarakotori, Mao, and ProtoBanham, to make final bracket, where he defeated KEN 5-1 but lost the runback against ProtoBanham 3-5.

Not only does Paseriman’s record against the top 50 stand at 10-10, but his record against the top 20 is a positive 7-6. Some inconsistency still haunted Paseriman this season and prevented a top 20 appearance, as he took 8 losses to players outside the top 50 and 5 to players outside the top 100. Even so, Paseriman is on the rise once more, and is a top threat not only to make the top 20 in the Fall 2022 season, but if he can get his consistency issues under control, the top 10.

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Undisputed to the title of best Palutena player in the world in the post-quarantine era, Santiago “Chag” Perez retains a top 25 position after a successful, albeit highly uneven season. Chag’s peak was a double elimination on MkLeo to win Ultimate Tropical Arena 2022, winning 3-2 in Winners Finals, losing 2-3 in the first set of Grands, then winning 3-1 in the second set. Though many doubted the value of such wins given that they were over Leo’s new R.O.B. secondary, those doubts would be put to rest after MkLeo used the character to score a win on ProtoBanham at Double Down a month and a half later. At COLOSSEL 2022, Chag took 3rd place at Europe’s first Supermajor, defeating eMass, Tarik, NaetorU, sisqui, and Bloom4Eva while losing to Glutonny and MkLeo.

At 18 events attended, Chag is tied with fellow Palutena player Raflow for the highest attendance of anyone in the top 50. In addition to the results listed on his playercard, some of Chag’s other impressive events include:

  • 5th at G4 Smash Fullerton, where he beat Maister while losing to Larry Lurr and Glutonny
  • 5th at e-Caribana, where he defeated eMass and Mr.R while losing to sisqui and quiK
  • 5th at Delfino Maza Para RETA 2022, beating Rox, AlanDiss, Skyjay, and BigBoss, losing to Glutonny, MkLeo, and Skyjay.
  • 7th at Collision 2022, beating Axiom XL, Toast, BigBoss, and Stocktaker69, while losing to Stocktaker69 and Light.

Nearly half of Chag’s losses this season were to players in the top 20. Additionally, every single win he had on a top 50 player was on a top 20 player. However, Chag was not exactly the paragon of consistency this season; for every win he had on a top 20 player, he also took a loss to a player outside the top 100, totaling 7 losses to players outside the top 20. This inconsistency keeps him out of the top 20 himself, but as his record this season shows, that is no reason for players above him to take him lightly.

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CJE | Hero (pronounced ‘Heh-roh’) rose to prominence in 2021 after dominating the Japanese wifi scene and then finding profound success at their offline events. His results only improved even further this year, landing him a top 25 spot. At only 5 events attended, Hero wasn’t a frequent sight at Japanese tournaments in 2022, but he made his few appearances count, racking up 8 wins on top 50 players between them. Hero opened the season with a run to 9th place at Kagaribi 6, scoring wins on Akasa, Nao, and Asimo before falling to Repo’s Mega-man and Kameme’s Sora. At the Maesuma Offline invitational, he defeated Rarukun and Luminous while losing 2-3 to Shuton and 0-3 to acola. His strongest results, however, were yet to come.

Maesuma TOP 7 would prove to be Hero’s strongest run of the season. At the event, Hero defeated momon and Sylph before being sent to losers by Yoshidora 1-2. In Losers, he tore through several of Japan’s best players in ProtoBanham 2-1, Injelly 2-0, Kome 2-0, and KEN 2-1, before falling at 5th place to acola 0-2. At Kagaribi 7, Hero lost in pools to nagu in a game 5 set, then won 7 sets in losers to finish 13th, beating Surasura, Toura, Sylph, Paseriman, Raito, and Omuatsu before falling to Shuton in yet another game 5 set. Hero closed out the season with a run to 2nd at Maesuma TOP 8, defeating Shogun, Paseriman, YOC, Yoshidora, and Nietono to make Grand Finals before losing the two sets of Grand Finals 0-3 and 2-3 to Yoshidora.

The bad loss at the largest event he attended combined with relatively low attendance prevents a top 20 appearance from Hero, but he is not to be underestimated, and with 60% of his losses going to last game, Hero could easily place within the top 20 or even top 10 next season should things go his way. Indisputably the best Bowser player in the world, Hero’s rise in post-lockdown Japan looks to be continuing unabated.

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After a stellar 2021, Brian “bc | Cosmos” Kalu had a cooler Spring 2022, but he still had many very impressive tournaments, and his finish outside the top 20 reflects an intensifying of competition this season as much as it does a decline in his own results. Cosmos’ best event of the season was the one that he opened it with, taking gold at Glitch – Infinite by beating Scend, mugen, Dabuz, Jake, and taking two sets off Zomba in Grands after falling to him in Winners Finals. Problematically for Cosmos, this was also his sole top 8 at an S-tier of the season and one of just two major top 8s, the other being a 4th place finish at A+ tier GOML 2022. At Collision 2022, Cosmos fell to SHADIC and Peabnut to place 33rd, his worst performance of the season, and while his 17th place finish at Genesis 8 was an improvement as he defeated Stroder and Fatality before losing to Glutonny and Ikan in game 5 sets, it wasn’t anything special. Pound 2022 was a mixed bag, as Cosmos scored wins on KEN and ApolloKage, but lost 1-3 to MkLeo and then Sean. At Mexican C-tier Casablanca, Cosmos defeated Javi, Maister, and AlanDiss to win the event, but suffered an unfortunate 25th at MomoCon two weeks later, losing 1-3 to SHADIC and 0-3 to yonni with no wins on qualified players.

After a 9th place finish to Kome and sisqui at Battle of BC 4, Cosmos regained his footing as he placed 7th at his next event, the Gimvitational. After losing to Gackt and Sparg0 in pools, he defeated Light and Kola in game 5 sets in the Gauntlet phase, then lost to Asimo 0-3 and Light 1-3 in bracket while taking a game 5 win on Larry Lurr. At GOML 2022, Cosmos took unfortunate losses to Syrup and Big D, but also got wins on Tilde, Goblin, and Kola to finish 4th. He closed out the season with a 13th place finish at Double Down 2022, beating Zinoto and Shogun in winners before losing 0-3 to Tea, then beat Rocke 3-0 in losers before losing game 5 to Kola.

With a 6-8 record against the top 20, Cosmos clearly still has what it takes to hold his own against the best, but 7 losses to players outside the top 50, including 3 to players outside the top 100 prevent him from reappearing in top 20 this season. Should he resolve his inconsistency issues, Cosmos might return to performances he showed at the start of Ultimate and has shown glimpses of since.

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Salvatore “SSG | Zomba” DeSena continues his rise through the ranks of Ultimate’s best players. Rather than the single absurd peak that his 2021 season consisted of, Zomba’s rise this season was facilitated by consistent placements in top 8 of majors and superregionals around the country. After mediocre performances at regionals in the first few weeks of the year, Zomba properly opened the season with a run to 2nd at Glitch – Infinite, taking down Glutonny, Jake, Gackt, and Cosmos to make Grand Finals before losing both sets of Grands to Cosmos. This would prove to be his peak performance of the season, though there was plenty else left in store. He dipped somewhat at Collision 2022, finishing 9th to Quidd and Light with no notable wins, but returned triumphantly at Genesis 8, beating yonni, Goblin, sisqui, and Myran to make top 8 winners but falling 2-3 to Sparg0 and 0-3 to Glutonny to place 5th. At Pound 2022, Zomba called fellow New Yorker Dabuz’ title as King of New York into question by eliminating him in a game 5 set as he ran to 5th place, also collecting wins on WaDi, Tsubotsubo, Ling, and Sean in the process while falling to Jakal and Riddles in game 5 losses. 

Low Tide City was another successful event for Zomba, beating ChocoTaco, Aaron, Dark Wizzy, ApolloKage, and MuteAce, before ultimately falling 2-3 to Lui$ and 0-3 to Sparg0. His results dipped somewhat afterwards however, losing 0-3 to Goblin and 2-3 to yonni at MomoCon 2022 with a best win of Puppeh. At Crown 2, he took an early loss to JoJoDaHoBo but won 7 sets in a losers run that included a game 5 win on KEN, being stopped only by Shuton 1-3. At CEO 2022, Zomba lost 2-3 to Aaron but defeated MuteAce and yonni in losers, then was subsequently eliminated by MVD. MVD turned into a late season demon for Zomba, as he would send Zomba to losers two weeks later at Double Down 2022, and Zomba would subsequently be eliminated 1-3 by Lui$ for his worst major placement of the season.

Despite an impressively consistent season, Zomba fails to make top 20 due to two primary factors. The first is that despite consistently losing to top 20 players at majors, Zomba also attended six events rated B-tier or lower and took 10 losses to players outside the top 50 between them, representing all of his losses at lower tiered events except for two Dabuz losses at Warped!. Additionally, despite facing top 20 players 12 times throughout the season, Zomba only won a third of the encounters, a problem that worsened as the season went on. Zomba went from a 3-4 record against the top 20 after Pound 2022 to only 4-8 by the end of the season, ultimately dooming his top 20 hopes. Nevertheless, Zomba remains on an upward trajectory from season to season, and, not being satisfied by 21st, will surely aim much higher going into the Fall 2022 season.

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