Smash Finland mid-PR 2024

Written by: Kasperi “Kass” Koponen

Smash Finland’s first ever mid-PR season article is here!

As most of our players know, the board of Smash Finland made the decision to extend the Finnish Power Rankings (PR) seasons to last for a year instead of the half-year seasons we have been used to during the lifespan of Ultimate. There were multiple reasons for this, such as the reduced number of tournaments in Finland, making it harder to compile rankings, which led to individual good or bad performances being more significant and possibly made competing more stressful for our players competing for spots in the PR. Also, this allows graphic designers in our scene to focus on a single PR graphic every year.

However, a good portion of our scene still wanted half-year rankings to continue and were worried the competitors might not be able to stay motivated for an entire year without a new ranking in between. This is where the “mid-PR” comes in!

Mid-PR is an “unofficial” ranking made by fewer panelists, that consists of the usual top 15 ranking. The panelists were instructed not to overly invest time in assembling their rankings, as this ranking is considered unofficial. The ranking is still based around tournament results and head 2 heads, like the official PR, so basically take this as a “less accurate PR before the actual PR pops up in about half a year”. There will be a short overview/blurb of every player on the ranking: highlighting their placements, best wins so far this season, and more!

However, this article has way more content besides just the top 15 ranking; we’re going a bit more in-depth on the current, on-going season! The top 15 ranking will be followed by multiple smaller sections:

Honorable Mentions: highlighting players who almost made it into the top 15 and could be seen in the official PR this year

Rising Stars: highlighting players who have shown remarkable improvement so far this season, regardless of skill level

Unseen Talent: highlighting players who haven’t attended any tournaments this season so far, but could definitely show up on the official PR

Smash Finland “mid-PR” 2024

Panelists: Kass, leggasiini, Mr.Arska

Note: due to Lancelot’s Round Table Rumble 3 being an invitational and some of the players having the advantage of being invited and making it into the final bracket, only head-2-head results from this tournament matter in this ranking.

#15: Geeni (Snake/Sonic)

  • Mocktail Mash: 7th/30
  • Alvarin Areena: 5th/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 7th/42
  • Östis 2024: 9th/43
  • Koneistamo 24: 17th/51
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in LCQ, beat Metabug and Toriburger, lost to Mr.Arska and Dragon

Our favorite uptilt masher is here!

It came as a surprise, and it still might come to some people as a surprise Geeni isn’t currently ranked in Finland, despite placing #8 in Winter 2022 PR and #7 in Summer 2023 PR. Geeni has time and time again proven he is among the best players in Finland: just this season he has beaten Viljami, Dragon, Mr.Arska (x2), Metabug and Liero, and had two close game 5 losses against Tande and close game 3 losses against both Viljami and Mankinen. Will he be able to finally close out a win against Tande, or perhaps another player in the top 5 range this season? He’s definitely capable of it.

Although mostly sticking to his guns and playing Snake, his Sonic has seen some tournament play in Koneistamo pools and seems to have significantly improved, although the Sonic is not nearly at his Snake’s level yet.

It’s extremely difficult to predict how Geeni is going to place in this year’s PR: anything could happen between him not making the PR and being somewhere in the top 10 again. Some of his unranked losses this season have been rough, losing to Fungus and Toriburger, and his Koneistamo run must have resulted in him dropping a few spots here in the mid-PR. But having three top 8 placements and multiple wins on top competitors in Finland is nothing to scoff at. Lack of tournament practice could simply be a reason for being a tad more inconsistent, as he’s not usually able to participate in the Arkade weeklies at Helsinki, which are currently the only weeklies running in the area. Here’s hoping he gets back to the online grind for practice.

#14: Mankinen (Young Link)

  • Alvarin Areena: 17th/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 9th/42
  • Lantrek 2024: 9th/39
  • Östis 2024: 7th/43
  • Koneistamo 24: 5th/51
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in LCQ, beat Rämä and broken, lost to Gohenko and ZartZu

Last season, Mankinen was known for his consistency, placing 9th in all three tournaments he attended. In addition, he appears to be the PR gatekeeper of Finland, basically. He didn’t necessarily beat many top players: his only win against a PR player was Rämä (#14 in Summer 2023 PR). However, he did beat many, many players who land somewhere in the #15-25 range skillswise, such as maksu, S4ND, Senator, Suzki, VilNess, JiiKoo and Lepus, and only lost to ranked players with a few exceptions such as Myst and Ramustelija (both of which have been ranked).

This season? There’s good news and bad news compared to last season. The bad news? Everything that went down at Alvarin Areena, with him getting upset by Naigel, Hakuri, Gnirps and Ramustelija, placing 17th. The good news? His wins are way better than last season beating Mr.Arska, Gohenko, PK, Myst, (all currently ranked players), Geeni, Rämä, Joona_TakaToolo and Valtsu so far. The amount of wins he has gathered definitely outweigh the underperformance at Alvarin Areena.

Ironically, Mankinen lands at the exact same ranking he had in Winter 2023 PR, #14. How consistent. However, there is definitely potential for him to end up higher in this year’s PR, especially if he keeps getting wins against ranked players and getting top 8 placements. That, or maybe he’s just gonna be #14 again, it would be funny.

#13: Gohenko (Joker/Byleth/Cloud)

  • Mocktail Mash: 4th/30
  • Alvarin Areena: 9th/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 9th/42
  • Koneistamo 24: 9th/51
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in LCQ, beat Kekkeri and Mankinen, lost to leggasiini and Viljami

Ah, Finland’s favorite MKLeo clone.

First being ranked #4 in Winter 2022 PR, then #6 in Summer 2023 PR and #8 in Winter 2023 PR, Gohenko is considered to be one of the best players in Finland, having multiple wins on basically every ranked Finnish player (except Lancelot). This season, he’s still doing well although maybe not as well as he would’ve wanted, missing out on a top 8 placement three times. His notable wins this season are Kass, Mankinen, Senator, Geeni and Ramustelija. He also won a game against Lancelot in Alvarin Areena: not something that’s noted in rankings but it’s still a feat.

So, what’s different this season? There’s basically been three big bracket demons for Gohenko he hasn’t quite figured out yet: the Tervajoki brothers (Tande & Viljami) and leggasiini, losing twice to Tande and thrice to Viljami and leggasiini. Before this season, his all-time head-2-head record on all three players was positive. For him to make progress in the rankings, he will have to put work on trying to overcome these three obstacles, as all three players have attended basically every Finnish tournament this season: it’s hard to dodge all of the three players in a tournament.

Regarding his character choices, so far it seems like he’s done with Pyra/Mythra and has moved on to playing Cloud instead as a secondary/pocket character. It seems to have paid off for him: while his Cloud hasn’t seen much tournament success yet, he has beaten Kass in an Arkade weekly using Cloud.

So far, he’s been very consistent this season with his “worst” loss being to Mankinen: he hasn’t lost to unranked players at all, even though there have been close calls, with Kekkeri taking him to game 5. With the level of consistency and ability to take sets from any top Finnish players, he will likely be ranked this year, but it remains to be seen if he will make it into somewhere in the top 10 or if he’ll stick to the lower spots on the ranking. He is definitely capable of achieving a higher spot.

#12: Vallu (Hero)

  • Alvarin Areena: 3rd/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 5th/42
  • Östis 2024: 13th/43
  • Round Table Rumble 3: invited, lost to leggasiini and Anbil

Vallu on sankari!

With Vallu being ranked #2 in Winter 2023 PR, it can be rather surprising to see him down at #12 here. However, this doesn’t really mean Vallu is an inconsistent player: all Finnish competitors minus Lancelot are just very close to each other in skill level. Sure, he placed 13th in Östis, but he lost to Tande, Metabug and Mr.Arska, all being very respectable losses.

He did lose to Joona_TakaToolo in pools at Alvarin Areena, which is still a very respectable loss despite Joona being unranked. Despite this, he still managed to place 3rd only losing to Tande and Lancelot in the bracket. In Assymylly, he once again lost to Tande and Lancelot, but managed to take Lancelot to game 5, which is something only a few Finnish players have ever been able to do. He also has wins on leggasiini, Mr.Arska, Geeni and Suzki so far.

Similarly to many Finnish competitors, Tande has become a bracket demon for Vallu, and if Vallu wishes to place highly in this year’s PR, he will have to put work both in the Pokémon Trainer matchup and in the player matchup. It’s definitely likely for Vallu to place multiple spots higher than here: him underperforming at Östis could easily be his only underperformance this season. There are numerous other top level players he hasn’t played yet this season such as Kass, Lyfja, Viljami, ZartZu, Dragon and Bl4ck, and it’s very possible he might net some wins against them, if given the opportunity to do so.

#11: Mr.Arska (King Dedede)

  • Mocktail Mash: 3rd/30
  • Alvarin Areena: 4th/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 9th/42
  • Lantrek 2024: 7th/39
  • Östis 2024: 17th/43
  • Koneistamo 24: 9th/51
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in the LCQ and got a spot from the invitational, beat Geeni, Viljami and maksu, lost to ZartZu, Tande and Whoophee

The beacon of hope for Jyväskylä’s Ultimate scene: he is and has been the only ranked player from Jyväskylä (after the first ranking in July 2019 where Trifroze was ranked).

Last season, Mr.Arska climbed to the #5 spot, being ranked #11 in the Summer 2023 PR and #13 in the Winter 2022 PR. With his worst losses being Dragon and Myst, most of them being against Lancelot and foreign players such as Faifre, THE SCHMIXTAPE, and with wins against Lyfja, PK, Tande, Mankinen and maksu, he achieved the fifth spot by being consistent while also having a solid repertoire of wins against some of the best players in Finland.

This season, similarly to Mankinen, there’s both good and bad news. The bad news is he hasn’t been as consistent, most notably underperforming at Östis 2024, losing to Suzki, Geeni and Mankinen, even though he did beat Vallu there. The good news is he arguably has better wins than he did last season, beating Tande, Kass, Viljami (2x), Geeni (2x), Vallu, Myst and Senator. He placed 3rd in Mocktail Mash, outplacing players like Kass, Viljami, Gohenko and Dragon is also a great feat.

The goal for Mr.Arska for the second half of the season should be getting better placements to make up for the Östis 2024: with more top 8 placements to make up for the worse placements, he could definitely rise a few spots up on the ranking. He has attended every tournament (except for Bissembly) this season, and if he keeps it up, he should surely end up somewhere in the top 10 of this year’s PR.

Head-2-head wise, Tande has been giving him difficulties like for every other Finnish competitor, beating him three times, but Mr.Arska does have a win against Tande early this season in Mocktail Mash. Last time they played in Round Table Rumble 3, the set went to a close game 5, which is definite proof he could beat Tande in the near-future. His head-2-head with Kass is very similar: Mr.Arska beat Kass at Alvarin Areena, but Kass counterpicked Min Min in the last two sets and beat Mr.Arska. Can he beat one of the two again, to even up the record? It would certainly make a case for him being among the top, and he’s certainly capable of it.

#10: Dragon (Snake)

  • Mocktail Mash: 5th/30
  • Östis 2024: 5th/43
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in the LCQ, beat Geeni, Myst and S4ND, lost to Mint and Viljami

Yet another beacon of hope for a scene that doesn’t generally perform as well in Finland. Dragon, the Snake player from Kuopio, has definitely made a name for himself in the Finnish Ultimate scene in a shorter time than most players, starting to attend tournaments more often during the Winter 2022 season. Among other Finnish competitors, we’ve always thought it’s only a matter of time until Dragon would start popping off and beating high ranked Finnish players, and he has started doing exactly that recently. Last season, he finally got ranked and landed on the #9 spot. Currently, he is the highest ranked Snake player in Finland, which isn’t an easy thing to achieve, considering the competition (PK and Geeni). Instantly doing better than other Snakes, especially since Snake is one of THE matchups to know at Finnish top level, is quite an accomplishment and says a lot about Dragon as a player.

There could be another paragraph written about Dragon as a player, but let’s talk about his results this season. So far, he has placed 5th twice, and he also did quite well at the Round Table Rumble LCQ, losing game 5 sets to Mint and Viljami. He also has wins on Kass, ZartZu, Viljami, Geeni, Ramustelija, Myst and Liero: not many players in Finland can say they have wins on Kass, ZartZu and Viljami this season (the only other player who has achieved this is Tande). He also beat Nibodax (a Bayonetta player ranked #2 in Belgium) at Valhalla IV this year as well! This is not taken into account in this ranking and won’t be taken into account in the actual PR, but it’s still a massive achievement.

To place higher in the PR this year he would simply have to just attend more and do as well as he’s done here: he could easily be somewhere among the top 5. As with other Finnish players, figuring Tande out should be a goal, as he has lost to Tande twice this season already. It’s hard to see him place worse than #10 in the ranking this year, with his level of consistency and with him having quite a pile of valuable wins.

#9: Bl4ck (Kazuya/Palutena)

  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 4th/42
  • Lantrek 2024: 2nd/39
  • Östis 2024: 13th/43
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in the LCQ, beat JiiKoo and S4ND, lost to Viljami and Liero

Known as a Doc/Palutena player for most of Ultimate, Bl4ck made the switch to Kazuya during the Winter 2022 PR and hasn’t looked back. Being ranked #3 in Winter 2019 PR with Dr. Mario and Palutena, he has been steadily trying to climb back to the top with Kazuya, being ranked #15 in Winter 2022 PR and #13 in Summer 2023 PR. He wasn’t ranked last season, but that can be attributed to him simply not attending many tournaments: he only played in Östis 2023 II, placing 13th and losing to Ramustelija and Myst.

This season is looking to be his return to greatness, first placing 4th at Assymylly and beating Gohenko, Tande and Viljami in the process, following it up with a 2nd place at Lantrek only losing to Lyfja in grands, beating Lyfja (once), leggasiini and ZartZu. Östis was a bit rougher (does Bl4ck have an Östis curse?), losing to maksu, Ramustelija and ZartZu for 13th place. Having an unranked loss to Liero (although a great, nearly ranked player) at Round Table Rumble is also a hit to his placement.

Something to note is that it hasn’t been all Kazuya for Bl4ck: he switched to Palutena mid-set against Viljami in Assymylly, managing to clutch a win from a 1-2 game deficit. He also pulled off a similar switch against S4ND, almost losing to his Incineroar but clutching the set with Palutena. His Palutena did lose to Viljami later at Round Table Rumble, though. It’ll be interesting to see if he will keep using Palutena against Viljami the next time they play. The Link MU shouldn’t be bad for Kazuya, right?

It could be the nature of Kazuya, but Bl4ck hasn’t been greatly consistent with him so far at tournaments, so it’s hard to speculate on the future. This goes both ways, though: it feels as likely for Bl4ck to pull off great, crazy runs as the runs where he just places 13th and gets upset by unranked players. If he starts getting more consistent though… It’s a terrifying thought for his fellow competitors. He has currently (as of 17.6.2024) won three Tampere weeklies in a row against players like leggasiini, Metabug and PK, so it’s definitely possible we might already be living in Mishima’s world.

#8: Metabug (Luigi)

  • Lantrek 2024: 5th/39
  • Östis 2024: 2nd/43
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in the LCQ, beat Naigel and Rämä, lost to maksu and Geeni

Yksi grabi vain…

Metabug had a meteoric rise to the top last season, being ranked #3 in the Winter 2023 PR. In the previous two seasons, Summer 2023 and Winter 2022, he was ranked 12th. Last season, he placed 3rd in both tournaments he attended, having wins against leggasiini, Viljami (x2), Tande, Vallu, Myst and Dragon.

This season? Anything could still happen. His placements are on par with last season: in Lantrek, he placed 5th beating Mr.Arska, Kekkeri and Senator and losing to leggasiini and Lyfja. In Östis however, he had a very good run beating Tande, Dragon, Vallu, Myst, Geeni and only losing to Kass, ending up 2nd. Similarly to Dragon, he would simply have to attend more to place higher in the ranking, and keep performing like he has so far. He did underperform at Round Table Rumble 3, which must have put more pressure on him: is he able to repeat the successful tournament runs from this season and last season, or will another underperformance happen, potentially closing the door for a top 5 spot this season?

Metabug appears to be one of the few players in Finland who doesn’t have a bracket demon from Tervajoki, having a positive record on both Viljami and Tande last season and having a positive record on Tande this season as well. Kass has beaten him twice this season, but Metabug has been known to be a difficult opponent for Kass in the past, making the next encounter of Luigi vs Air Luigi interesting: will Metabug be able to cut the losing streak, or has Kass figured the matchup out?

#7: ZartZu (Banjo & Kazooie)

  • Lantrek 2024: 4th/39
  • Östis 2024: 7th/43
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in the LCQ, beat Mr.Arska, leggasiini, Mankinen and Spider, lost to +HOPE+ and Mint. Tied highest placing (9th) from all Finnish players, with Tande and leggasiini

Skill issue!

ZartZu, the only Seinäjoki representative in Ultimate PRs, is most definitely one of the players to watch out for in Finland, being ranked #2 in Winter 2022 PR and #3 in Summer 2023 PR. Last season he wasn’t ranked at all, only because he didn’t attend any tournaments. This season the stupid bear and his egg spitting/shitting bird are back with a vengeance. 🦉

At Lantrek, ZartZu went on a great run beating Kass, Tande and Mankinen, placing 4th losing to leggasiini and Bl4ck. Östis didn’t go as well, as he placed 7th, but he did get revenge on both leggasiini and Bl4ck for what happened at Lantrek, beating both of them this time, although losing to Viljami, Dragon and Tande.

At Round Table Rumble 3, ZartZu gathered more ranked wins against Mr.Arska, leggasiini and Mankinen, also having one of the highest Finnish placements at the invitational (9th). (we gotta do better at the next RTR, we suck)

He also went on a good out-of-country tournament run at Valhalla IV, placing 17th/157 and beating Pyrum. Not counted in this ranking, but it definitely shows he’s skilled and one of the top Nordic players: he doesn’t only do well in Finland.

Knowing what he’s capable of, it’s very possible he will go up a few spots in the actual ranking. He will need to do better against the Tervajoki brothers to have an argument for a top 3 position, though. The next ZartZu vs Tande set especially is going to be a decisive factor in their competition for the top spots, as their record is 1-1 currently. If ZartZu does beat Tande and manages to outplace him at future tournaments, that’s already a strong argument for being ranked second or third this year.

#6: Viljami (Link)

  • Mocktail Mash: 7th/30
  • Alvarin Areena: 7th/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 5th/42
  • Lantrek 2024: 13th/39
  • Östis 2024: 5th/43
  • Koneistamo 24: 3rd/51
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in the LCQ, beat Bl4ck, Dragon and Gohenko, lost to Voravi?! and Mr.Arska

In one of the most meteoric rises ever in Finnish Ultimate history, here’s one of the Tervajoki brothers mentioned in probably most of the blurbs I’ve written so far: Viljami. Last season, Viljami was ranked 12th, and before that in the Summer 2023 season, he was unranked. Both Viljami and Tande have kept improving at a remarkably fast rate, culminating in both of them reaching high single digits here in the mid-PR (likely also in the actual ranking this year) and being the players to beat at Finnish tournaments.

Last season, Viljami had a few underperformance at Östis and Assymylly, placing 17th in both of the tournaments. With last season only having four tournaments, those underperformance ended up costing Viljami a higher spot in the rankings. Even then, he gathered multiple great wins last season, beating players like Vallu, Geeni, Dragon, Senator and Suzki.

This season though? It’s like night and day. Let’s just list the notable wins first: Viljami has wins on ZartZu, Tande, Gohenko (x3), Dragon, Bl4ck, Mr.Arska, leggasiini, maksu (x2), Mankinen (x3), Myst, Geeni (x2), Ramustelija and Joona_TakaToolo. That’s quite a massive step up from last season! Placement-wise: Viljami placed in top 8 four times this season, and got his best result ever placing 3rd at Koneistamo 24, only underperforming once so far in Lantrek, where he had his only unranked loss against Kekkeri in a close game 5 Link ditto.

He seems to have taken an alternative path to his brother in accomplishing the level of success: while Tande saw success after switching from Byleth to Pokémon Trainer, Viljami has been sticking with the Link, even if the opinion on the character has been slightly on the decline especially in the late Ultimate meta. We have seen Viljami’s Toon Link come out especially against Metabug, though, but it seems likely he will stay a Link main. The character doesn’t seem to matter in the Finnish meta anyway, if you look at the characters in our rankings (K. Rool, Dedede, Jigglypuff, Banjo)

Will Viljami be able to keep improving even further? His biggest obstacle so far seems to be Kass, losing to him four times this season. Lyfja and Mr.Arska also give him some trouble, and he has also lost to Bl4ck, Dragon, Geeni and Tande this season. In the second half of this season, we’ll see if he is able to overcome the few players on his path to becoming one of the greatest players in Finland.

#5: leggasiini (King K. Rool/Zelda)

  • Mocktail Mash: 2nd/30
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 7th/42
  • Lantrek 2024: 3rd/39
  • Östis 2024: 9th/43
  • Bissembly BYOB 2024: 1st/16
  • Koneistamo 24: 5th/51
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in the LCQ, beat Gohenko, Liero, maksu, Voravi?!, Vallu, lost to ZartZu, Faifra and Rage. Tied highest placing (9th) from all Finnish players, with Tande and ZartZu

Being ranked #6 last season and #5 in Summer 2023 PR, it’s looking like the man known for his funny dsmashes and for mashing fair at ledge like a crazy person will receive a similar ranking again this year, which is definitely not an easy thing to achieve.

leggasiini has been quite consistent this year, achieving three top 3 placements, two top 8 placements and missing out on top 8 only once in Östis. He got his first ever tournament win at Bissembly BYOB 2024 this year, beating Kass twice, Suzki, jwso (x2) and fishingman57: while Bissembly was a small tournament, it was still an accomplishment to take the tournament as the second seed. Taking the tournament against Kass also means their record is currently 3-1 in leggasiini’s favor, and with Kass performing better lately, these wins are more valuable.

With wins across the board against top Finnish players such as Tande, Kass, ZartZu, Metabug, Mr.Arska, Dragon, PK, Gohenko (x2), Vallu, Mankinen and Ramustelija, perhaps it’s better to list the active ranked players he DOESN’T have a win against: Lancelot, Lyfja, Viljami, Bl4ck, Senator and Geeni (not currently ranked but well, you know).

Since he hasn’t played Lancelot, Senator or Geeni this season, maybe it’s best to talk about the other three: Lyfja, Viljami and Bl4ck, all of which have wins on leggasiini this season. These three players, in combination with Tande who has beaten leggasiini thrice, seem to be the current roadblocks for leggasiini. Although Bl4ck only has one win against leggasiini in tournaments so far this season, Bl4ck does have multiple wins against him in Tampere weeklies in the past month, suggesting his Kazuya could become a problem. 

Overall, leggasiini has only unranked loss so far: Suzki. The underperformance in Östis also came down to a bit of awful bracket luck, losing to Kass and ZartZu for 9th, both being “top 5”- level players in Finland. Will he be able to keep up the good performances and net wins against the people he needs to beat: Lyfja, Tande and Kass?

#4: Lyfja (Samus)

  • Lantrek 2024: 1st/39
  • Östis 2024: 4th/43
  • Koneistamo 24: 2nd/51

Being ranked #7 last season, which he likely wasn’t happy with considering he was sitting at the #2 spot in the Summer 2023 PR, Turku’s very own Lyfja is back and doing much better this season, being ranked #4 in the mid-PR.

He has gathered a great amount of wins this season, having wins on Kass (x2), leggasiini (x2), Viljami, Bl4ck (x2), Metabug, PK, Geeni, Myst and Senator. He started the season with a bang by winning Lantrek 2024 over players such as Kass, leggasiini, ZartZu and Bl4ck, losing to Bl4ck but then beating him in grands + grands reset. At Östis, he only lost to Kass and Tande, and at Koneistamo, he lost to Kass twice in the grand finals.

As for most Finnish top players, the goal for Lyfja is trying to beat Tande, especially if he wants to make a statement for being ranked above Tande. In this ranking, Lyfja and Tande were extremely close in points (Lyfja having 52 and Tande having 53 points), and the difference maker for the ranking this year could be their head-2-head record. Kass is also another player to beat for Lyfja, having a positive record (3-2 so far) over him. The next time they meet will set the tone between the two for the rest of the season: if Kass takes another set, it will get even harder for Lyfja to even up the score, and if Lyfja takes the set, they will be even: meaning Lyfja would only have a losing record against Tande, improving on his already clean head-2-head results.

Lyfja will very likely be top 5 this season at the very least, if he keeps beating the other people competing for the spot like he has this season: leggasiini, Viljami and ZartZu. In addition, the window is definitely open for him getting the #2 spot as well, but it basically boils down to doing well against Kass and Tande during the second half of this season: will he seize the opportunity to do so?

#3: Tande (Pokémon Trainer)

  • Mocktail Mash: 1st/30
  • Alvarin Areena: 2nd/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 3rd/42
  • Lantrek 2024: 7th/39
  • Östis 2024: 3rd/43
  • Koneistamo 24: 4th/51
  • Round Table Rumble 3: invited, beat Mr.Arska, lost to Rage and Faifra. Tied highest placing (9th) from all Finnish players, with ZartZu and leggasiini

I’ve used the term “meteoric rise” two other times in this article, but this is where it actually applies the best. To understand this the best way, let’s go back to the beginning.

Tande’s first tournament was back in Winter 2019: Bob-omb Battlefield, where he went 2-2 and placed 49th/126, losing to Ode and Drape. He already did much better than most new tournament players do, I wonder if he has potential for more? There are no records on the characters he played, but I would assume he played solo Joker.

In 2020, he played at Hämpton Games and Lantrek 2020. At Hämpton Games, he went 3-2 losing to Lyfja and VilNess, and at Lantrek 2020 he didn’t make it to the bracket, and went 2-2 in pools losing to Lyfja and nnarigoN.

In the Winter 2022 season, after the COVID lockdown restrictions were not in place anymore, Tande started attending more tournaments. At this point, he was playing full Byleth (to my knowledge). He did beat players such as Mankinen, Rämä, maksu, VilNess, Gnirps and Rickshaw, and his worst losses were to Myst and Ramustelija. Quite a consistent player at this point, but not PR level quite yet.

To my knowledge, he picked up Pokémon Trainer some time during the Summer 2023 season, and started mostly using PT here. This is where he started beating higher level players for the first time, such as Dragon, PK, Mr.Arska, Senator, Joona_TakaToolo, and Geeni. His mostly consistent results and great wins netted him a spot on the ranking, landing at #9.

Winter 2023 didn’t go as well for him. He did beat players such as Lyfja (for the first time ever, after losing to him multiple times in the past), Viljami, Drape and Suzki, but his wins weren’t as good as last season and his placements were quite inconsistent. Maybe this is when he started investing more time in PT? Changing mains often shows as a momentary dip in results. He ended up unranked, although he was an honorable mention in the ranking.

Let’s finally talk about this season, after absorbing all the Tande lore. He finally went full PT, not looking back, and it paid off big time. The season started off extremely strong for him: he won Mocktail Mash, placed second at Alvarin Areena and third at Assymylly. After these strong performances, even Lancelot gave him high praise, stating Tande had the “best results out of everyone [attending Östis 2024] easily”. He went from being an honorable mention to basically being a top 3 level player in Finland in one season, which is crazy.

In the other tournaments this year, he would only receive a single new top 3 placement at Östis where he placed 3rd. His Östis run was quite legendary to say the least: he got upset by Myst early, but he kept his head up and proceeded to tear up the losers bracket by beating Kekkeri, Vallu, Geeni, ZartZu, Dragon and Lyfja, finally falling to Metabug in losers finals.

His head-2-head records are quite solid, having wins on Kass, Lyfja, leggasiini (3x), Viljami, ZartZu, Bl4ck, Dragon, Mr.Arska, Vallu, Gohenko, Mankinen, Senator and Geeni. Dang, that’s almost the entire PR. There are only a few hiccups: a 0-1 record against Myst and Metabug and 1-3 record against Kass. There are also some unranked losses, against Gnirps and Valtsu, both being almost PR level players. If he doesn’t get more unranked losses and keeps up the great performances, the only player he needs to focus on taking down is Kass. With Kass having three 3-1 wins in a row against Tande, it certainly seems tough, but him winning a game each time is definite proof it’s doable.

#2: Kass (Jigglypuff/Min Min)

  • Mocktail Mash: 5th/30
  • Alvarin Areena: 5th/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 2nd/42
  • Lantrek 2024: 5th/39
  • Östis 2024: 1st/43
  • Bissembly BYOB 2024: 2nd/16
  • Koneistamo 24: 1st/51
  • Round Table Rumble 3: invited, lost to Mint and Pyrum

It’s weird to write a blurb for myself… But I’ll try my best to be objective here.

During the past three PR seasons, Kass has always been in the top 5 (3th in Winter 2022 PR and 4th in both Summer and Winter 2023 PRs), and now he’s finally making the argument for second place, with winning records across the board against Finnish top players such as Tande, Lyfja, Viljami, Metabug and Mr.Arska and by winning both Östis and Koneistamo this season.

In past seasons, Kass has definitely had similar records on top Finnish players, even getting three wins on Lancelot in the last two years, so the peaks have definitely been there already. What he has lacked in the past though is consistency, but this year his results are looking much cleaner: in past seasons he would often miss top 8, or even top 12 at worst, but this season he has consistently placed in top 6, attending every ranked tournament.

His head-to-head records are looking much better too, only having a single unranked loss against Ramustelija in Alvarin Areena in comparison to last season’s four unranked losses. His record against Lyfja, another potent competitor for the 2nd spot in Finland, is also looking much better than it ever has, being up 3-2 against him.

What’s also different this season is the fact his Min Min is starting to see more play in tournaments. He mostly used Min Min in Lantrek 2024, for example, beating Mr.Arska and Kekkeri. Other than that, it’s been all Jigglypuff.

With losing records against leggasiini, ZartZu, Gohenko, Dragon and Ramustelija so far this season, second place is definitely not guaranteed yet. He does have a very solid record against the Tervajoki brothers who seem to have a hold on most Finnish players, but there’s one player nearing top 5 range that he struggles hard against: ZartZu. Kass has yet to win a single set against ZartZu, ever. With him being more active, it’s going to be very difficult for Kass to keep the second place, even if it looks more achievable than ever for him. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen, though, the competition is fierce.

#1: Lancelot (Roy/Chrom)

  • Alvarin Areena: 1st/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 1st/42

This comes as no surprise: ranked #19 in EU and having wins on big worldwide names like Bloom4eva, Gackt, Leon, quiK, Tarik and Supahsemmie just to name a few, Lancelot has been remarkably dominant in Finland during Ultimate’s lifespan, only losing to two Finnish players ever in Finnish Ultimate tournament history. This season is looking to be no different from the others.

He hasn’t attended many tournaments this season, as he has been focusing on out-of-country tournaments such as Valhalla IV (placed 3rd/157 beating Tarik and Mezcaul), Grand Conquest 2024 (placed 4th/178 beating NUTLORD and Kodiak), Olympus (placed 2nd/174 beating Space, drybie and Supahsemmie), Battle of BC 6 (placed 17th/494 beating Ron), 95 Kings of Fields #4 (placed 9th/347 beating Oryon and Gackt). He has beaten multiple other top players in smaller tournaments during his travels this year, such as MKBigBoss, Ouch?!, Flow, Susu, WebbJP, PeW, RyuKai and Artsnif. He is definitely making a name for himself outside Finland this year.

The Finnish tournaments he did take part in is enough to definitely showcase the level of dominance we have come to expect from Lancelot. In Alvarin Areena, he beat a good chunk of Finland’s top players such as Kass, Tande, Gohenko and Vallu and in Assymylly Winter 2024 he did it again, beating Kass, Viljami and Vallu. He has dropped games to Kass, Viljami, Vallu and Gohenko this season, but no sets have been lost.

It’s definitely not an easy task having such an upper hand on an entire competitive scene: one can only imagine the mental fortitude you need to have to combat always being rooted against because people want to see upsets happen. Fellow competitors also thirst for a Lancelot win, while Lancelot has very little to gain from beating Finnish players. However, it’s looking all but confirmed he will remain at the top for the sixth year of Ultimate in a row, deservingly so.

Free agent, by the way.

Final list:

Smash Finland Ultimate "mid-PR" 2024

  1. Lancelot (Roy, Chrom)
  2. Kass (Jigglypuff, Min Min)
  3. Tande (Pokémon Trainer)
  4. Lyfja (Samus)
  5. leggasiini (King K. Rool, Zelda)
  6. Viljami (Link)
  7. ZartZu (Banjo & Kazooie)
  8. Metabug (Luigi)
  9. Bl4ck (Kazuya, Palutena)
  10. Dragon (Snake)
  11. Mr.Arska (King Dedede)
  12. Vallu (Hero)
  13. Gohenko (Joker, Byleth, Cloud)
  14. Mankinen (Young Link)
  15. Geeni (Snake)

Honorable Mentions

This section will briefly highlight the players, who received points from our panelists for the mid-PR and could definitely make it into the PR this season. No blurbs, but just know these players are definitely threats nearing the top 15.

Ramustelija (Cloud/Sora)

  • Alvarin Areena: 7th/57
  • Östis 2024: 9th/43

Best wins: Kass, Bl4ck, Mankinen, Senator, Rämä

Myst (R.O.B/Roy/Young Link/who knows at this point)

  • Alvarin Areena: 9th/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 9th/42
  • Östis 2024: 9th/43
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in the LCQ, beat Gnirps and Hakuri, lost to Dragon and maksu

Best wins: Tande, PK, Suzki, Liero

maksu (Ganondorf)

  • Alvarin Areena: 13th/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 13th/42
  • Östis 2024: 13th/43
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in the LCQ, beat Myst and Metabug, lost to Mr.Arska and leggasiini

Best wins: Bl4ck, Metabug, Myst, Senator, Suzki

Senator (Pikachu/Cloud) (formerly known as WTFinland)

  • Alvarin Areena: 13th/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 17th/42
  • Lantrek 2024: 9th/39
  • Östis 2024: 17th/43
  • Koneistamo 24: 7th/51
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in the LCQ, beat RJJ and Jegerlilla, lost to Mint and Hakuri

Best wins: Mr.Arska, Suzki (x2), Rämä, Hakuri

Suzki (Byleth)

  • Alvarin Areena: 25th/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 13th/42
  • Lantrek 2024: 13th/39
  • Östis 2024: 17th/43
  • Bissembly BYOB 2024: 3rd/16

Best wins: leggasiini, Mr.Arska, Hakuri, JiiKoo

Liero (Kirby)

  • Alvarin Areena: 13th/57
  • Assymylly Winter 2024: 17th/42
  • Östis 2024: 13th/43
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in the LCQ, beat Bl4ck, Hakuri and Jegerlilla, lost to Voravi?! and leggasiini

Best wins: Bl4ck, Senator, Ramustelija, Suzki

Valtsu (R.O.B)

  • Koneistamo 24: 7th/51

(not enough attendance)

Best wins: Tande, WTFinland, Eere, S4m

 

Rising Stars

An experimental section of the mid-PR! This is where I will highlight players, who didn’t make the PR or the list of honorable mentions, but have notably improved their placements and/or have gotten wins against higher level players.

Entirely chosen by me, Kass: in the future there could be a small panel that chooses players for this section?

S4m (Banjo & Kazooie)

  • Mocktail Mash: 17th/30
  • Alvarin Areena: 17th/57
  • Östis 2024: 25th/43
  • Koneistamo 24: 25th/51
  • Vectorama 2024: 1st/18
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in the LCQ, beat gek (formerly known as wrist or MoistWrist), lost to Gnirps and Hakuri

Lappeenranta’s hero S4m has actively participated in offline tournaments since May 2022, when he first competed in Miittelö #2. Since then, he has been improving at a good pace: in the Summer 2023 season, he took sets from players such as S4ND, Gnirps and Axiom and in the Winter 2023 season, he got his first ranked win against Metabug in Östis 2023 II.

This season, his results have leveled up again. Although Vectorama didn’t have any ranked players and mostly consisted of local players from Oulu, winning a tournament is still definitely a huge feat and deserves a mention, beating players such as SKIPAH, Kasiolove and Jecux (x2).

The 33rd places or worse from previous seasons are also nowhere to be seen here, and he has beaten players such as gek (formerly known as wrist or MoistWrist), Jupe, Naigel and Gnirps. Not only that, this season he has taken games from ranked and nearly ranked players such as Tande, Myst, Geeni, Mankinen and maksu, being concrete proof he has what it takes to score more insane upsets in the future.

Although Braacket isn’t the most accurate way to measure skill, he is currently algorithmically ranked #27, a huge upgrade from last season, where he ended up 40th. Although he is held back by living in Lappeenranta, a city that has no Smash events or other players to play offline with, it looks like him traveling for hours to play at offline events is starting to pay off. Will he get another ranked win this season?

Eere (Byleth/Aegis/Bowser)

  • Koneistamo 24: 9th/51

Eere, mostly known for playing Byleth but also having a strong Aegis and Bowser, doesn’t participate in tournaments much, especially outside Helsinki. He largely just plays at the Arkade weeklies in Helsinki, having wins on many of the ranked and unranked threats in Helsinki such as Gohenko, Mankinen, Geeni, Senator, Joona_TakaToolo, maksu and Drape. He was ranked #15 in the Helsinki “Pekka Ranking”, above players such as Senator, Rickshaw, Hakuri and Drape.

This season however, he traveled to Turku to play at Koneistamo 24, which is (according to the data I have) his first tournament outside Helsinki. He placed 9th, which is his best all-time tournament placement and definitely a good showing for him, beating players such as S4ND, Toriburger, acousthicc and taking a game from Valtsu.

Here’s hoping he will go to more tournaments.

Toriburger (Falco)

  • Mocktail Mash: 9th/30
  • Alvarin Areena: 25th/57
  • Koneistamo 24: 13th/51
  • Round Table Rumble 3: participated in the LCQ, beat Kekkeri and NOQQYSC, lost to Naigel and Geeni

Wait, Turku has more players than just Lyfja, Valtsu and Blizzarska??

Toriburger has pulled off upsets in the past, beating Viljami last season at Assymylly Summer 2023. However, this season he’s not only pulled off upsets: he’s starting to be near the “almost PR”-zone. Placing 9th at Mocktail Mash and 13th at Koneistamo 24, with no placements worse than 25th unlike with his previous seasons, the improvement is definitely showing. So far, he has beaten Geeni, Ramustelija, Kekkeri and NOQQYSC: especially the wins on Geeni and Ramustelija suggest Toriburger definitely has the potential to pull off even crazier upsets in the future, managing to crack open some of the top 20-level players. He seems to be quite open to traveling outside Turku, attending tournaments in Helsinki, Espoo and Jyväskylä this season, and having already registered for Smash Sauna. Will he already pull off more upsets in Tampere next month?

fishingman57 (Bayonetta)

  • Östis 2024: 17th/43
  • Bissembly BYOB 2024: 4th/16

Known for his Sheik and some other characters like Joker and Wolf (there’s probably others as well but can’t remember), fishingman57 finally made the switch to Bayonetta about a year ago.

Beating other unranked, talented players such as Brødboks, Tylon, Psyro, Komon at the Nordic Arcadian Series online tournaments definitely shows fishingman57 has what it takes to perform well at tournaments. He hasn’t got great wins offline just yet, but it’s just a matter of time for sure: he has taken players like Geeni and maksu to game 5 this season, taken a game from Metabug and beaten players such as JiiKoo and Jecux. Placing 17th at Östis this season is a major improvement from last season, where he placed 33rd. It feels like he’s on the brink of becoming a major threat in Finland. I just want to say I called it before it happened.

Unseen Talent

This section is dedicated to players, who are known to be PR-level threats but simply haven’t attended any tournaments this season, or in a while. We miss you, please come back.

Lakila (Steve)

The Finnish big chungus who only attended five tournaments ever in Finnish Ultimate history, yet is known to be a very talented player, having wins on a variety of ranked players: Gohenko, Kass, Mursu, leggasiini, Lyfja, Vallu, Geeni, Metabug, PK, Myst, Ramustelija, Viljami, ZartZu and Bl4ck to name a “few”. He did better in his first tournament ever at Assymylly 2022 than most players EVER will, beating high level players such as Metabug and Lyfja and losing to Gohenko and Vallu for 9th place. He has played at a few other Helsinki tournaments, like Savukylä Smash where he placed 2nd, Vallilan Valloitus where he won the entire thing and Round Table Rumble 1 and 2, where he placed 17th and 7th, respectively.

It seemed like a success story in the making, but he never had enough attendance to be ranked in Finland. He was listed as an honorable mention in both Winter 2022 and Summer 2023 rankings, because he only entered a single tournament during both periods, otherwise he could have definitely been a candidate for top 5 in Finland.

It’s been over a year since Lakila was last seen at Round Table Rumble 2, which is his longest period of inactivity so far: it’s possible he doesn’t play Ultimate anymore. We miss him, though. Finland needs a Steve.

Trifroze (Snake, Captain Falcon)

A veteran in the Finnish Smash scene, Trifroze was a threat in both Brawl and Smash 4, being ranked #14 in Brawl and formerly being ranked #9 in Smash 4. He was also a big threat in the very early era of Finnish Ultimate tournaments, placing 3rd at Nordic Rumble II, 5th at Lantrek 2019 and 7th at Tamppaus 2019 and having wins on players such as Vurky, Schwa, Mursu, House and Ode. He ended up being ranked #9 in the very first Finnish Ultimate PR back in July 2019.

Since then, he hasn’t attended any tournaments again. He played at a Helsinki weekly four years later, placing 5th/29 using Captain Falcon and proving that he still got it, beating players such as Kekkeri and Rickshaw and taking games from Kass and Joona_TakaToolo. His performance at the weekly definitely suggests he would still do well at Ultimate tournaments today, possibly becoming a PR-level threat as well. Who knows?

Vurky (Yoshi, Fox)

Similarly to Trifroze, Vurky is a veteran in the Finnish Smash scene, achieving a crazy milestone of being ranked in Smash for an entire DECADE between 2010 and 2020. In Ultimate, he was ranked #12 in the July 2019 PR, and #15 in the December 2019 PR. He has beaten players such as Eedwarddi, Kass, Geeni, leggasiini, Myst, Bl4ck and maksu. He was very active during the pre-COVID era of Ultimate, attending 16 tournaments, winning Reiska & Ryyppy and placing 4th/58 in Bob-omb Shelter.

After the COVID era, he has only attended a single tournament, Östis 2022: some of you might remember him being seeded 50th in this tournament which was a bit funny. (no jabs at Kekkeri’s seeding) He ended up placing 9th, beating Bl4ck, Wilson and Kasiolove. In recent times, he has attended the last two Tampere weeklies, placing 4th and 5th, beating players such as PK and Mankinen. Also, he won a small Arkade weekly a few months ago, beating Jupe, Naigel and Lepus. He’s still a threat, for sure.

Pharaoh recently made a video about Vurky, in his series where he showcases the best Yoshi in every region. Maybe it’s about time for a comeback?

Kaura (R.O.B)

Similarly to both Vurky and Trifroze, Kaura is no stranger to Smash tournaments: he competed in Smash 4 for years before Ultimate was released, being ranked #8 in the final ranking. Also similarly to the two, Kaura was a major threat in the early years of Finnish Ultimate tournaments. He won Gyostage 2019, placed 9th/126 in Bob-omb Battlefield, 2nd/43 in Oulunkylän Offstage 8 and 2nd/40 in Oulunkylän Offstage 7. He has beaten players such as Eedwarddi, Mursu, Ode, NOQQYSC, Myst, Suzki and Senator. He was ranked #13 in the July 2019 PR and #7 in the December 2019 PR.

After COVID, Kaura has attended Savukylä Smash, Arkade Nights #2 and Koneistamo 23, placing 17th in all of these three tournaments. While he didn’t get ranked wins in any of the three, he did beat players such as iLift, Eere and Bulla. It’s about 9 months since Koneistamo 23, though, and he has only played in a single Arkade weekly since then. Is there a chance Kaura could make a huge comeback? His strong fundamentals are still there for sure, it would be just a matter of getting some practice for him to do well again.
 


 

Kass
23.06.2024