The release continues into its penultimate day. These 10 players did not merely survive Ultimate’s wildest season; they thrived, delivering incredible bracket run after incredible bracket run. Brought to you by Stuart98 with graphics by Cloudhead, these are the ΩRank Spring 2022 Top 20 players in the world.
It seems strange now, but it was only a few short months ago that the debate between the best Shoto main in the world was between AndresFn, Ikan, Munekin, and Vendetta. The debate continued and shifted as each one bolstered their argument with a surprisingly strong bracket run, followed by mediocrity. In the final months of the season however, the debate was abruptly ended by the emergence of a dark horse candidate. Now, there is no debate to be had. There is a definite best Shoto main in the world, and he is Kazuki “SPG | Asimo” Takeuchi.
Asimo hails from the obscure Shikoku region of Japan, a region that for years was almost entirely disconnected from the rest of the Japanese smash scene. That began to change in the post-lockdown era, with Asimo’s SPG teammate Yaura making low top 50 last year after few but strong bracket runs and continuing that into this year. The emergence of Asimo as a top 20 player, however, was entirely unexpected and unprecedented in the smash scene, akin to if a state like Arkansas was secretly harboring a top 20 player. Asimo was putting up decent results throughout 2021 and into the first few months of 2022, but it wasn’t until May that he truly broke out, going on one of the greatest cinderella runs of Smash Ultimate history at Kagaribi 7, Japan’s most stacked tournament since lockdown ended. Having lost to ProtoBanham 1-2 a few days earlier at Maesuma TOP 7, attentive spectators were curious if he would be able to make the upset happen in a rematch at Kagaribi 7, and they were not disappointed as Asimo took him down 3-1. He then proceeded to take down MASA, Tea, and Huto to make Winner’s Finals, where he lost 0-3 to acola. After beating Gackt 3-2, he lost to acola again 0-3, ending his breakout run at 2nd.
His breakout at Kagaribi 7 qualified Asimo for an invite to the Gimvitational for a stateside debut, and Asimo took the opportunity and ran with it. Asimo unexpectedly swept his pool, scoring 3-2 wins over Marss and Chase and a 3-1 win on Light, then beat Cosmos 3-0 in the main bracket before falling to losers via a 1-3 loss to acola. Kola subsequently ended Asimo’s run, reverse 3-0’ing him to make Asimo fall at 5th place. Across the rest of the season, Asimo scored wins on players like Atelier, Jogibu, Kome, Sigma, and Yaura.
Asimo’s win rates are deceptively low, owing to an 0-5 record against acola this season. Across five different best of 5 sets, Asimo was only able to take 3 total games, and never more than one game per set. What really holds Asimo back from a higher ranking is a poor performance at his first event of the season, Sumabato SP 22, where he lost to Tsumusuto and George (not to be confused with Oi, George) for a 65th place finish. This performance is anomalous against the rest of his season, and as high as Asimo is ranked now, he still has more room to grow than he does to fall.
Sota “GW | zackray” Okada’s attendance took a nosedive this season, but his skill very evidently did not, as he makes top 20 off of a single major win at the sole event he attended. zackray spent the bulk of the season playing Pokemon Unite, but he attended a single event before then: Kagaribi 6.
In pools, zackray appeared to be playing shakier than usual, going game 5 with Rain and Nagare, struggling to win with a new Sheik co-main. He started cleaning it up on day 2, defeating Taikei 3-0 and Rizeasu 3-1, but then fell game 5 to a long-time bracket demon, Paseriman, and was immediately pitted against ProtoBanham for 9th place after the latter fell to Lea earlier. Shockingly, zackray eliminated ProtoBanham 3-0 using Sheik, putting him in top 8. He then was up against Kansai Sheik player Sylph, dropping the first two games with Game & Watch and Joker. Then something clicked and zackray performed a dominant reverse 3-0, executing three two-stocks in a row using Joker. He then defeated Repo and Gackt for 5th and 4th in consecutive 3-0s before going up against Paseriman again in Losers Finals. In stark contrast to their winners side match, this was a dominant 3-0 win for zackray, putting him in Grand Finals against Shuton. Once there, zackray double eliminated Shuton in two 3-1 sets.
zackray not only is one of 5 players to have no losses to players outside of the top 50, but also has the highest win rate against the top 50 of the entire list. Only attending a single major during a season but winning it can take you very far, but there is a limit to how far it takes someone, resulting in zackray’s 19th place ranking. With his adventures in Pokemon Unite now over, he is a top contender to return to the top 10 moving into the Fall 2022 season.
The best player in the UK and best Bayonetta player in the world, Oliver “Bloom4Eva” Alexander twists in at 18th after a breakout year internationally. Dominant in his country, Bloom4Eva lost only two out of the nine tournaments he attended domestically this season. Among these UK tournaments are a first place at Boss Battles: For Glory, where he defeated RyuKai, Jaka, Suppahsemmie, TriM, and double eliminated sisqui, as well as 1st place finishes at both iterations of the Invasion regional series, which combined to net him wins on eMass, Luugi, and Tarik. At his other domestic appearances, he accrued multiple wins on players like eMass, Luugi, MazeBeans, and Peli.
Bloom4Eva displayed even more impressive performances at his two international outings. At COLOSSEL 2022, he took an early loss to NaetorU in one of his characters’ notoriously bad matchups, but defeated Longo, Luugi, quiK, Mr.R, and Glutonny in losers before falling 0-3 to Chag. At Double Down, his sole appearance outside of Europe, he defeated Teaser, frawg, and Kome while losing 1-3 to ProtoBanham and 0-3 to Jakal to finish at 13th place.
Bloom ends the season with the second highest tournament win rate in the top 50, winning 7 out of 11 total events he entered, and a dominant 23-5 record against the top 100. Losses to Shaneak, OwlBBs, and MazeBeans at small regionals are but minor impediments in a season of excellence. Further international travel is sure to elucidate just how much farther the UK’s best player can rise.
After a surprisingly strong but somewhat mixed 2021 season, Pau “GIA | sisqui” Caire followed up with an impeccable Spring 2022 season, breaking not only into the top 50 but the top 20 with strong results both in Europe and across the Atlantic. sisqui played in 14 events across 5 different countries throughout the season, and while some performances were stronger than others, only three were detrimental to his season.
sisqui’s first few months of the season were middling compared to those that would follow, as he participated in six different tournaments prior to Genesis but took a loss to players outside the top 50 at four of them while getting no wins on players better than Leon (FR). Genesis was where sisqui turned his season around, scoring wins on players like Big D, MVD, and Riddles to achieve a 9th place finish. After Genesis, sisqui attended six additional tournaments but took only two losses to players outside the top 50. These include BOSS BATTLES: For Glory, where he defeated Luugi, Mr.R, and Nitox twice while losing two game 5 sets to Bloom4Eva, as well as e-Caribana 2022, where he lost his Round 1 to Sintro but won 7 sets in a losers run that began with a 3-1 win on Lancelot followed by his first ever win on Glutonny in a game 5 set. Sisqui followed up his Gluto win by beating Raflow, Oryon, Sintro, Chag, and Tilde, before losing 1-3 to quiK. At other events across the season, sisqui defeated players like Cosmos, ESAM, Leon, Mr. E, NaetorU, Space, and quiK.
sisqui’s earlier underperformances keep him out of the top 15, but the strength of his major results guaranteed him a top 20 position. As we move into the Fall 2022 season, sisqui is in a position not only to defend his title of best (Dark) Samus player in the world, but challenge Glutonny’s claim to the throne of Europe that he’s held since Ultimate began.
The meteoric rise of Carlos “Bandits | Sonix” Pérez continued into 2022, as the best player in the Dominican Republic notched solid event after solid event to launch himself into the top 20. Sonix’ attendance in 2022 was low at only five events, but he made his low attendance count by picking up a bevy of wins and an unimpeachable loss record.
Sonix opened the 2022 season by taking 1st at LVL UP EXPO 2022, defeating frawg, Larry, MVD, and Scend twice without dropping a set. At his next appearance at Pound 2022, he picked up wins on Peabnut, Puppeh, Myran, Jakal, and Gackt, while losing only to Glutonny and MkLeo. At MomoCon 2022, he defeated Wrath, MuteAce, and Goblin to make top 8 winners, then lost to Light and Tweek to finish at 5th place. At CEO 2022, he took a game 5 loss to Toast in the first round of top 24 winners, then went on a nine set losers run, defeating players like Fatality, WaDi, Tweek, Dabuz, Toast again in a runback, and then double eliminated Riddles in two game 5 sets to close out the season. He closed out the season with a 9th place finish at Double Down 2022, defeating MPg, Rocke, and MVD before falling 0-3 to Tea and 1-3 to Dabuz.
Incredibly, aside from his anomalous Toast loss, Sonix only lost to top 10 players this season. He falls outside the top 15 only because of a paucity of wins against the top 20; all four of his top 20 wins came from the same event, leaving his other bracket runs surprisingly empty, and his wins peaked at Dabuz and Tweek. Still, Sonix’ star is clearly still rising incredibly quickly, and next season might be the one where he finally manages to snag a top 10 position.
The best Yoshi player in the world, Revo | Yoshidora followed up his breakout 2021 with another solid season this year. In contrast to his 2021 of consistent top 8s throughout, Yoshidora’s 2022 was substantially more volatile, with higher peaks and lower lows. This makes his Spring 2022 look marginally worse than his 2021 did, though ultimately the difference was not enough to push him outside of the top 15.
Yoshidora opened the season with his weakest performance since 2020, losing early to Munekin after bad seeding made them play in pools at Kagaribi 6, and taking a 1-3 loss to Rido in losers. A subsequent run at Sumabato SP 24 ended in a 17th place finish with 0-2 losses to shori and Jagabata. Things picked up from there; a day later at Chubu Smash Chronicle, he defeated DIO, Kome, and Paseriman, and went 1-2 with Rizeasu in three sets to place second. At Maesuma TOP 7, he beat Raito 2-0, Hero 2-1, Kameme 2-0, and acola 2-1 to make Winner’s Finals, where he lost 0-3 to Shuton, then lost a runback against acola 1-3, ending his run at third place. At Kagaribi 7, Yoshidora was once again victimized by poor seeding, losing game 5 to acola in round 2 pools. He won runbacks against both of his Kagaribi 6 losses in losers, beating Rido 3-2 and Munekin 3-0 as well as getting additional 3-0 wins on Akasa and kept, but was defeated 1-3 by Kome to place 17th.
After Kagaribi 7, Yoshidora would make Grand Finals at every event he attended for the rest of the season. Sumabato SP 26 was Yoshidora’s strongest run of the season, as he defeated DIO and Asimo and double eliminated acola 3-2 in Winners Finals and 3-1 in Grands, taking home the gold. At Kamisuma 13, the inverse happened, as Yoshidora beat Asimo and Rizeasu, but was double eliminated by acola 2-3 in Winners Finals and 1-3 in Grands. Yoshidora ended the season with an incredible run at Maesuma TOP 8 After defeating Tsuna, shori, Shirayuki, and Kojika Yoshio, he lost 2-3 to Hero in top 8 winners. He then eliminated Etsuji, MASA, and Nietono to make his way back to grands, where he won the first set 3-0 over Hero and the reset 3-2 to secure his first supermajor victory.
Although the season ended with Yoshidora having a 3-4 losing record to acola, he’s the only player to have more than a single set win on him. Additionally, his 67% win rate against the top 50 is the 7th highest on the ranking. His early season underperformances hold back what is an otherwise very top 10 season, but he has strong momentum to secure that top 10 ranking going into the Fall 2022 season, as demonstrated by a recent 2nd place at Sumabato SP 28, where he yet again traded sets with acola, as well as another top 8 finish at Kagaribi 8.
Michael “Liquid | Riddles” Kim’s Spring 2022 was his strongest season yet by far, securing a solidly top 15 ranking thanks to an array of wins on players across the top 20 and top 50. Undisputed to the title of best player in Canada, the rise of Riddles has been a constant since Ultimate was released, and this season was no exception. Riddles was on a trajectory to make this season a top 10 one, but underperformances both to open the season as well as close it ultimately prevented this from panning out.
Riddles’ first event of the season was an uncharacteristic 49th at Glitch – Infinite to Sonido and Fatality, a result caused by Roy experimentation that did not pan out. Back on his co-mains, Riddles had the best event of his career at Collision 2022 four weeks later, defeating Jake, Light, Tilde, Kola, and Quidd to finish 4th while taking losses to Sparg0 0-3 and Tweek 2-3. At Genesis 8, an unusually weak bracket meant that Riddles achieved a top 16 finish with a best win of Teaser and losses to Chag and sisqui. At Pound 2022, Riddles defeated IcyMist, BacoN, Gackt, and Zomba to finish 4th at another S-tier. At MomoCon, he defeated Jahzz0, Suarez, Myran, and Kola while losing to Light and DDee, finishing 7th.
Riddles’ hot streak would continue into the final month of the season. At Battle of BC 4, he scored wins on players like Big D, BassMage, a runback against sisqui, and a win on Glutonny, while losing to KEN 0-3 and Ouch!? 2-3. At the Gimvitational, he lost to yonni in pools but defeated loaf and Tweek, then beat Larry Lurr in the gauntlet phase to make main bracket in Winner’s. Once there, he earned his best win of the season in Sparg0, then won a game 5 runback against yonni before falling 1-3 to acola and 0-3 to Light to end his run at 3rd. At CEO 2022, Riddles fell just short of earning his first major win, defeating Anathema, Jake, Dabuz, and Toast to make Grand Finals but losing two game 5 sets in Grands to Sonix. At GOML 2022, Riddles made Winners Finals off a surprisingly easy bracket of SuperGirlKels, Zinoto, Goblin, and Syrup thanks to multiple upsets, but lost Winners Finals 2-3 to Onin and was eliminated at 3rd by Big D, 0-3. Finally, Riddles closed out the season with perhaps his weakest tournament, placing 25th at Double Down to Shoe and Jakal, though he still came away with a win on Marss.
With strong records against the top 10, top 20, and top 50, Riddles’ top 10 hopes are done in only by his early and late season underperformances along with his surprising number of empty brackets. Top 15 is still an impressive jump from his inconsistent 2021, and it will have to do for now. Riddles has risen substantially every season of Ultimate since the game launched, and it would come as no surprise to find him in the top 10 in the Fall 2022 season.
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After multiple top 10 seasons, Enrique “Maister” Hernández Solís fell out of the top 10 this season. Although he still put up multiple top 10 level results, he couldn’t quite do so with the necessary consistency; nonetheless, this was not by any means a bad season for the best Game & Watch player in the world and some of his results this season might be considered his best yet. Maister attended ten events over the course of the season, but 40% were net negatives.
Maister struggled for the first few months of the season as he opened the season with a strong albeit somewhat mixed 9th place finish at Smash Ultimate Summit 4, sweeping his pool by defeating Fatality, Goblin, and ProtoBanham, but then losing 2-3 to Light and 0-3 to Elegant to fall at 9th place. He followed this up with an 0-2 at the G4 Smash Invitational to MkLeo and Chag. At Delfino Maza RETA 2022, he defeated Elvis, WaKa, BigBoss, and Goblin to sweep his pool, but lost a close game 5 set against Glutonny in winners round 1 of the main bracket and then lost 1-3 to Cloudy to finish 9th at yet another invitational. At Genesis 8, he suffered his worst performance of the season, losing 0-2 to Big D in winners and 1-3 to yonni in losers to finish at a disappointing 25th place.
After Genesis, Maister turned things around. At HOUSTON’S LIMIT BREAK, he double eliminated MuteAce to win the 111 entrant regional. At Low Tide City 2022, he defeated Colorondo8, BassMage, and SHADIC to place 3rd while losing 0-3 to Dabuz and Sparg0. At MomoCon 2022, Maister double eliminated Tweek in two 3-1 sets and also scored wins on yonni, SHADIC, and DDee, losing only to Dabuz in two 0-3 sets to once again place 3rd. Maister then took a trip to France, placing 3rd at 95 Kings of Fields 2 with wins on Mezcaul, Raflow, and Glutonny. His final event of the season was also his strongest. At COLOSSEL 2022, Maister defeated Destany, Luugi, NaetorU, and Glutonny, putting him in Winners Finals against MkLeo. In a tight game 5 set, Maister earned his first victory on his longtime bracket demon. Although he lost the grand finals rematch 0-6, this still stands as one of, if not the best performance Maister has ever had.
Although his earlier season underperformances prevent a top 10 ranking, Maister clearly is still a force to be reckoned with and he ends the season on a strong trajectory to return to top 10 for the Fall 2022 season. Recent weeks have seen an unexpected development: competition for the title of best Game & Watch player in the world, after Japanese G&W player Miya won Kagaribi 8 last week. With the newfound competition, Maister will have to consistently play to the level of his peaks if he hopes to retain his title going forward.
Few remember it now, but Kengo “SBI | KEN” Suzuki actually won his first overseas Ultimate tournament, taking the 385 entrant Midwest Mayhem Ultimate in December 2018. It would be a full year before he flew across the Pacific again, however, and unfortunate circumstances combined to deliver KEN a 65th place finish at Kongo Saga in December 2019 to Runes and quiK. Two years later, he made top 8 at the 2021 Smash World Tour Championships, but without any top 20 wins after a tragic game 5 loss to Sparg0. This season, KEN finally overcame his overseas curse, winning Canadian major Battle of BC 4. This was merely the pinnacle of an overall very strong season, his best result in a season of highs that landed him his highest ranking yet on a global Smash Ultimate power ranking.
KEN opened the season with a 9th place finish at Kagaribi 6, defeating Brood, Munekin, and kept before falling 0-3 to Shuton in winners and 1-3 to Rizeasu in losers. Rizeasu defeated KEN with Sephiroth, which would inspire KEN to pick up the character and eventually become perhaps the best Sephiroth in the world. At his next performance at Smash OPEN in Akihabara Esports Japan, KEN defeated Gorioka and HIKARU but lost 0-2 to Takera and Paseriman. His next appearance at Sumabato SP 25 would be the debut of his new Sephiroth co-main, as KEN defeated Tsubotsubo, Asimo, Raito, Nietono, and DIO to make Grand Finals, where he lost the first set 2-3 to Shuton but won the 2nd set 3-1, going Sephiroth for every game he won. At Winner! -Next Gen-, he defeated Shuton again 2-1, but lost 1-3 to Paseriman and lost the runback against Shuton 2-3. KEN then traveled overseas to Pound 2022, but characteristic to his overseas curse, he placed a disappointing 13th, losing 0-3 to Cosmos in winners and 1-3 to fellow countryman Atelier in losers with a best win of LeoN.
Returning to Japan, KEN placed 7th at Maesuma TOP 7, defeating Tsuna, Take&Watch, Shirayuki, and Abadango, but lost 1-2 to Shuton and Hero. A few days later at Kagaribi 7, he defeated Sidarezakura and Yamanaction but fell 1-3 to Gackt and 0-3 to ProtoBanham to finish 17th. At Shin Ken League, KEN defeated Brood, Kirihara, and Tsubotsubo to qualify for the final bracket, but lost to HIKARU and Shuton. In the final bracket, he lost once more to Paseriman 1-5, but repaid Shuton’s early 2-5 win over him with a 5-2 win in the 3rd place tiebreak. At Shinosuma HEROES, he repaid takera for his earlier win on him 3-0 but lost 0-3 to ProtoBanham and 2-3 to Shuton.
For the last month of the season, KEN made three appearances at overseas tournaments. At Battle of BC 4, KEN had the 2nd best performance of his career, winning Canada’s most stacked tournament with 3-0 wins over Exodia, H4DS, and Riddles, then defeated Shuton in a game 5 set to make winners finals, where he defeated Tea 3-1 and then 3-2 in Grands to win the event. A week later at Crown 2, KEN defeated Shoe, Varun, and BassMage to make top 8, where he lost 1-3 to Tea and then 2-3 to Zomba to finish 5th. KEN traveled back to Japan briefly for Seibugeki 11, where he finished 7th with uncharacteristic losses to Futari no Kiwami Ah~! 1-2 and YOC (pronounced Yosshi) 0-2 despite picking up wins on Umeki, Choco, T, and Kome. At his final event of the season, Double Down, KEN made a run to 5th place, defeating TriM 2-1, BigBoss 3-1, Marss 3-0, T3 DOM 3-1, and Shuton 3-2 to make top 8, but falling to ProtoBanham and Dabuz in game 4 sets.
With 10 tournaments attended, KEN’s season featured both the most storied rivalry of the season as well as one of the biggest cases of a bracket demon. KEN and Shuton played a total of 11 sets in four different cities and 3 different countries at ΩRank events alone, with an additional 7 sets (including 3 in two additional cities) at locals. Restricted to just ΩRank sets, the set count ended at 6-5 Shuton’s favor. On the flipside, KEN’s biggest bracket demon for the season was an 0-3 record against Paseriman, winning just two games between a best of 3, best of 5, and a best of 9 set. KEN’s had his best year of Ultimate yet, but it wasn’t quite enough to make top 10, in large part due to the aforementioned underperformance at Seibugeki 11. Even so, KEN’s clearly on the rise once again, with his Sephiroth co-main giving him newfound ability to defeat old bracket demons. As his recent 4th place at Kagaribi 8—with a game 5 win on Paseriman—to open the Fall 2022 season demonstrates, KEN’s only going up from here.
After a 2021 of high highs but low lows, consistency was the name of the game for Kolawole “Moist | Kola” Aideyan in 2022, as he made top 8 at all but one of the 13 tournaments he attended. While his 2021 featured far more use of his Roy than his Cloud, in 2022 Kola shifted to using the two about equally, especially as the season went on, a combination that earned his positive set records against the top 50, top 20, and top 10, though not without some bad losses mixed in.
Kola opened the season with a run to 2nd at Let’s Make Big Moves 2022. After losing to ChocoTaco game 5 in the first round of top 96, Kola won 11 sets in losers over the likes of Lavish, moxi, quiK, Fatality, Scend, Dabuz, and MuteAce, then reset the bracket on Quidd in a 3-1 set. Kola couldn’t quite close it out, going down 0-3 in the bracket reset to the Quidd games to place 2nd. At Glitch – Infinite, he defeated Vendetta and Tilde, but lost 1-3 to Gackt and 0-3 to Jake. At Collision 2022, he took an early loss to Toast, but defeated Ling, Quandale Dinglelingleton, Goblin, and Glutonny in losers before falling game 5 to Riddles. At the most stacked tournament of the season, Genesis 8, Kola defeated Flow, Kurama, BigBoss, Oryon, and Dabuz while losing to Marss and Glutonny to finish at 7th. At Low Tide City 2022, he ran through Suarez, Ned, Jonhy, Lui$, and Dabuz to get to Grand Finals, but got 1-6’d by Sparg0. MomoCon 2022 was Kola’s worst tournament of the season; not only was his 9th place finish his only outside of top 8, but he took the worst loss of any top 20 player in the form of Camorific, a loss that is tied for the biggest upset by seeding of all time with an Upset Factor of 13. Though he defeated Pink Fresh, Gomakenpi, Sinji, Mugen, SHADIC, and Fatality in a losers run to 9th before losing 1-3 to Riddles, it did not come close to making up for the bad loss.
Kola followed up his worst tournament of the season with his best tournament of the season, taking 4th at the Gimvitational while scoring wins on Larry Lurr, Ferps, Chase, Tweek, Sparg0, and Asimo, the latter two sets being reverse 3-0s. His only losses at the Gimvitational were acola, Cosmos, and Light, with the acola and Cosmos losses to game 5. He followed this up with a run to 5th at GOML 2022, though with a deceptively shallow win list for the placing: his notable wins were IcyMist and Aaron, and he lost game 5 to Onin and 1-3 to Cosmos. Finally, to close out the season he placed 5th at Double Down 2022, losing 0-3 to ApolloKage in a major upset in winners but beating BassMage 3-1, Cosmos 3-2, Shuton 3-2, and Jake 3-1 before falling to Tea’s Pac-Man in a reverse 3-0. At regionals throughout the season he picked up additional wins on DDee, Fatality, Peabnut, Sean, Teaser, Vendetta, and Xerzal, though he also dropped sets to Xerzal and Teaser.
Ultimately, what holds Kola just barely from a top 10 finish this season are two factors: lack of depth to his runs and multiple losses to players outside of the top 100. Though Kola peaked at 2nd at A-tiers, his S-tier runs peaked at 5th, whereas every player ranked above him finished 3rd at at least one S-tier. Additionally, Kola took 4 losses to players outside the top 100, and while losses to Teaser are mitigated by being at small tournaments, ChocoTaco and Camorific losses were at majors, with the Camorific loss on its own being enough to cancel out a great major performance. Still, Kola’s consistency has improved immensely from 2021, and it wouldn’t take a whole lot of improvement for him to stand as indisputably top 10.