2017 was a big year for Australian smash. On top of national majors like BAM and OHN, the introduction of the NSW Smash Circuit saw regional events held in Wollongong, Newcastle and Canberra, attracting the top talent from across New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. This led to increased competition around the southeast of the country, and the emergence of some new talent. At the end, the winner of the leaderboard was awarded a return flight to compete at Evo Japan, with another set aside as the first prize for an invitational event with the next 32 players held at Red Bull HQ in Sydney.
As 2017 draws to a close, and with a number of Australian smashers planning to travel internationally throughout January, we thought this was a perfect time to take a snapshot of the top level of competitive play in Australia and highlight our top threats at overseas events. This PR reflects the efforts and performance of players at regional and national events in Australia last year, beginning with BAM9 in May. There has been a lot of shakeup, but there are a number of familiar faces returning to form as Australia’s top threats. Among them, new threats are emerging and challenging the status quo.
Australian smash is only going to get bigger in 2018, and it kicks off with a bang. There are a number of Australian smashers travelling internationally throughout January, with 4 attendees at Poi Poundaz, 2 at Genesis 5 and over 20 Australians registered for Evo Japan. A number of these are top players who have made this latest rankings, so be sure to read on for an individual breakdown of each player!
Australia’s low tier hero has had an incredible year. Despite tough competition, he managed to take 1st place at both of Australia’s national majors in 2017. At BAM9 in May he took down his long term rival Ghost in convincing fashion, while at OHN15 in September he claimed the top spot despite tough international competition in the form of Germany’s BluB and Tru4 and a strong challenge from his hometown threat of Jdizzle.
Extra has had a number of other great performances this year, including winning the two most lucrative prizes on offer - firstly a trip to Evo 2017 for taking 1st place at PvP’s Gold Coast event in May, and in November winning the NSW Smash Circuit Finals, earning flights to Evo Japan this month. The whole of Australian Smash will be watching and cheering as Extra makes his mark on the international scene in just a few weeks’ time, and the world had better watch out.
Jdizzle narrowly made his way onto the Aus PR for v2, thanks mostly to his strong local performances in what is widely considered to be the most competitive region in Australia. Many wondered whether he would sink or swim, and in 2017 Jdizzle proved he is certainly capable of competing with the best. In addition to maintaining his strong performance at home (even going back and forth with Extra), he had a number of impressive results at some of the biggest tournaments of the year. He placed 9th at BAM9, and then shocked the nation at OHN15, taking out Ghost, Waveguider, Tru4 and BluB to place 2nd. He backed this up at Melbourne’s monthly event CW December (which featured interstate threats such as Ghost, Poppt1, Joe and Tru4 in addition to his hometown rivals), taking 1st place at the event and dropping only a single game. Jdizzle ends the year at 2nd on the Victorian PR and a dominant 3-0 record against Ghost, truly cementing himself among the best of the best in Australia.
Jdizzle has certainly made his mark on the Australian smash scene in 2017. As he is finishing school this year, hopefully we will see more of him interstate. It will be interesting to see whether he can maintain his position in 2018, or possibly even topple Extra to climb higher!
Ever since his explosive entrance onto the national scene at SXC2k15 in November 2015, Ghost has been undisputedly the best player in the country with one dominant performance after another. He was challenged by Extra in late 2016, but managed to hold his ground. Now, after 18 months at the top, he has finally fallen from the top spot.
But Ghost is far from out, with strong performances at BAM9 (2nd) where he fought off challenges from Luco and Aha, and OHN15 (5th) where he managed to defeat Duon, Snugs and Haiku. He also managed to defend his home turf by placing 1st at SXC2k17, showing us that Ghost is clearly still a top threat in Australian smash and will be looking to be back on top in 2018.
Unhappy with his fall during the last PR period, Waveguider has returned in full force. He was one of only four players to take top 8 at both major events this year, placing 5th at BAM9 and 4th at OHN15. He also put up a good fight in his hometown at Defence of the ACT, where he defeated his bracket demon Ignis for the first time in two years, and fought one of the most nailbiting grand final sets of the year where he narrowly lost to Extra.
As one of Australia’s most well known players, it is good to see Waveguider performing at his peak again. With the increase in competition, he will have to step up his game even further to hold onto his position, but he has the potential to do this and climb even further in 2018.
Hailing from Frankfurt, Germany, Tru4 is currently halfway through a 1 year holiday in Australia. A top threat in his home region, Tru4 immediately made waves in the Australian scene by challenging Extra’s claim as the best player in Melbourne. After 6 weeks in Melbourne, he travelled to Sydney where he placed 5th at OHN15. Since then he has spent the past 4 months living in Sydney, travelling to every local and regional tournament he can, and placing incredibly well at all of them. He even travelled back to Melbourne for their December monthly, where he took 2nd place with a victory over Ghost. His local performances have recently earned him the #1 ranking on the local Sydney December PR, above the likes of Luco and Joe.
Despite the fact that he has only been in the country for 6 months, and will be leaving halfway through 2018, Tru4 has made an amazing effort to be as involved as he possibly can with the Australian scene, and has made some very respectable accomplishments in the process. As such, we thought it was appropriate to recognise this by placing him on our national PR. He is also planning to attend Evo Japan this January, where he will be representing both the German and Australian communities. Even after he leaves for his home, Tru4 will remain an Australian smasher, and can be sure to attract the full support of the Australian crowd wherever he is.
After what he saw as a lacklustre performance during the v2 PR period, Luco was keen to redeem himself for v3. He came racing out of the gate, with an amazing 3rd place at BAM9, defeating the likes of Jdizzle, Jezmo and Waveguider and losing only to Ghost. He kept a steady pace throughout the year, with a number of strong performances including 7th at both Newcastle Siege and OHN15, but unfortunately he was unable to replicate his BAM9 performance.
Thanks to the incredible support and sponsorship of the Australian community, Luco is one of four players who will be representing the country at Poi Poundaz in Hawaii this weekend. Be sure to look out for him there, and as he competes at home throughout 2018 and tries to climb the national rankings.
Sriks first rose to national prominence with an amazing 3rd place finish at EG2, which earned him an honourable mention on v2 of the AUPR, released in April/May this year. Although he only placed 17th at BAM9, Sriks has been on an absolute tear throughout the remainder of 2017. This began at Newcastle Siege where, despite falling in the first round of top 32, he made an amazing losers’ bracket run to take the entire tournament. He’s had a number of other strong placings since then, including 9th at OHN15, and 4th at Defence of the ACT.
On top of this, Sriks had a number of strong local performances around NSW and the ACT this year, which allowed him to take 1st place on the NSW Smash Circuit leaderboard at its conclusion. This has earned him tickets to Evo Japan, where he will be proudly representing Australia, and Australia will be at his side cheering him on.
Snugs has been on the rise in Victoria for some time now, and as he has started to travel the country in 2018 he has proven to be a national threat also. His placings show a steady improvement throughout the year. From 17th at BAM9 to 9th at Newcastle Siege with a victory over Sriks, finally breaking his 9th place curse with 7th at OHN15 defeating Luco, 5th at both Defence of the ACT and the NSW Smash Circuit Finals and 3rd place at the NSW monthly Star Forge Underground. He has accrued a number of wins against players who other Victorians struggle with, including a 1-1 record against Luco and flawless 2-0 records against both Sriks and Joe over the v3 season.
Snugs’ upward trend is rivalled only by his consistency, having achieved top level results every time he has travelled outside his home state this year. If he can keep this up, he will certainly be climbing the rankings in 2018.
A staple of top level competitive play in Australia, Ignis has held his ground despite all the shakeups of 2017. He hasn’t had quite the same highs as those above him, but he is one of Australia’s most well-travelled top players and consistently places well at most national/regional tournaments he attends. He achieved good placings at both majors this year (9th at BAM9 and 13th at OHN15), and had a number of other consistently strong placings like 4th at Newcastle Siege, 4th at SXC2k17 and 2nd at the NSW Smash Circuit Finals, where he defeated MM, Duon and Dr. Ainuss.
Though his overall ranking has dropped this season due to the emergence of new challengers, Ignis is far from in decline. He has been constantly improving to keep up with the new talent, and he can expected to continue this in 2018.
Recently celebrating his 15th birthday, Joe is the youngest player on this PR. He has been the rising star in his hometown of NSW for some time, and 2017 has been his year to show the whole country what he’s got. He rose to national prominence with his performance at Newcastle Siege, where he ran through the Victorian gauntlet of Extra, Yehya, Ignis and Duon before his run was stopped by Sriks at 2nd place. Since then, he has been travelling around the country to any event he can get to. His mediocre performances at the two largest events of the year have been contrasted by stellar performances like the one mentioned above, as well as 4th at the NSW Smash Circuit Finals and 3rd at SXC2k17. He is also the only player in the entire country to have a non-negative (and non-zero) set count with Extra over the v3 PR period at 2-2.
Joe has had some stellar highs, but is unfortunately held back somewhat by his lack of consistency. Had he performed at BAM and OHN to the same level as his breakout performances, he would be much higher on this list. Nonetheless, Joe is still young and clearly has a lot more improvement left in him. He will definitely be a player to keep a keen eye on during 2018.
As well as acknowledging Joe’s accomplishments as a player, we also want to take a moment to recognise the incredible support he has received from his parents. There are very few parents who would let their child travel around the country to play video games with a group of people who are predominantly older. But Joe’s parents have let him travel, both with and without them, as well as funding these journeys. On top of all this, their recent birthday present to him is a trip to Japan to compete in Evo, so you can expect Joe to make the most of this and compete as his absolute best.
Another staple of top level Australian smash, Duon has had some stellar results this year. He placed 2nd at PvP’s Gold Coast event defeating Dr. Ainuss and Jaice, 3rd at Newcastle Siege defeating Luco and Boozer, and 4th at CW December defeating Extra and Swithi. Unfortunately, his performance at both majors this year has been hindered by some rough bracket luck in meeting top players who had experienced upsets earlier in the bracket. At BAM9 he fell to Jezmo, only to immediately face MM who narrowly defeated him at 17th. Then at OHN15 he nearly defeated Ghost, and was rewarded with a losers bracket run of Poppt1 (who he defeated) into Waveguider (who knocked him out at 13th). While Duon seemed to struggle towards the end of the year, he finished on a high note with a 4th place at the December Couchwarriors monthly, defeating Extra and Swithi.
Though his major results this year have caused his ranking to drop somewhat, Duon continues to prove his strength in his home region of Victoria, and he will be looking to redeem himself in 2018.
Known for his eccentric personality, Dr. Ainuss is certainly a controversial figure in the Australian community. He is known for a remarkable pool of pocket characters; while his Fox is the standout threat that most players fear, he frequently pulls out unexpected character choices in tournaments, and none of them can be slept on.
Whatever opinions people may have of him, it’s hard to argue with his results. He started the season by defeating Sriks at BAM9 for 13th place. Soon after, he had a run of strong wins at home and claimed the #1 spot in NSW for September. He backed this up with 9th place at OHN15, and knocked Extra into losers at the NSW Smash Circuit Finals to take 3rd place. He rounded out his solid performances with a respectable 5th at SXC2k17, and defeated Poppt1 in a tense grand finals to take WA’s biggest tournament, Perthbound.
Doc is one of the most motivated smashers in the country, so you can be certain that he will continue practicing and travelling to any tournament he can get to throughout 2018, trying to improve his standing next season.
At the time of v2 of the PR, Aha was not even on the radar of who to look out for as top threats in the country. This changed shortly afterwards at BAM9, where he completely stunned the nation by defeating Jeese, Jezmo and double eliminating Boozer to take 4th place at Australia’s largest tournament of 2017. His placings since then, while not quite of the same calibre, have still been very good, with 13th place at OHN15 and 9th at SXC2k17, where he eliminated the 2016 champion Duon.
With a placing as strong as his BAM9 performance, Aha has definitely earned his spot on v3. You can bet that he will definitely be working to improve in 2018, and perhaps could pull off another miracle performance at BAM10.
After an incredibly strong performance during his trip to the east coast in January 2017 and a rightfully earned 3rd place on v2 of the AUPR, Poppt1 had high expectations going into the main 2017 season. While he has lived up to these at times and shown he is still a very strong player, he has unfortunately fallen short on the big stage in 2017.
With his best results being 9th at BAM9 and 2nd at SXC2k17, Poppt1 has certainly had some strong performances, but a lack of wins on top players at major tournaments and a few upsets have contributed heavily to his decline. He is not one to give up easily though, so you can expect him to travel as often as he can and will be trying to climb his way back to the top in 2018.
Expectations of Boozer were high coming into the v3 season off the back of his win at EG2 and subsequent 4th place ranking on v2 of the PR. Boozer certainly did not disappoint with a 5th place run at BAM9, and continued this with a 5th place at Newcastle Siege. Unfortunately, his passion for the game waned throughout the year, and his attendance subsequently suffered. He didn’t travel interstate for the remainder of 2017, and even dropped off the November local Victorian rankings due to insufficient attendance.
He recently made a return at Victoria’s December monthly tournament which featured a number of interstate threats, where he showed he is still a very capable player by placing 7th and defeating Joe in the process. He will also be travelling to Japan during January and competing in Evo Japan, so hopefully he is back at his peak by then and reinvigorated to once again dominate the Australian scene in 2018.