Fighting game tournament CEO has made the decision to ban Lab coat 21 from the event’s Dragon Ball FighterZ tournament, prompting both support and backlash from the greater FGC.
— CEO Gaming FGC Events (@CEOGaming) June 1, 2022
In a Tweet today, the CEO Twitter account does not give an explicit reason why the character, who launched as the latest DLC for the game, was banned.
“After a formal review with the CEO Board of Directors ( @jebailey & the entire DBFZ Community), we have decided to Ban Lab Coat 21 from #CEO2022‘s tournament play”, the CEO Twitter account reads.
They didn’t go into any further detail, but some fans speculate that this is in part due to the character’s strong showing at Combo Breaker- with many fans claiming the character’s debuffs made her too strong to continue allowing in the competitive scene.
Bandai Namco Entertainment had previously announced they were looking into rebalancing Labcoat 21, though there’s been no word on when they planned to roll out the update, probably due to how close it was to major tournaments.
“We’re currently working on the game balance update, including the “Android 21 (Lab Coat)” DLC which was released on February 24, 2022. The details of the release time will be announced at a later date”, the tweet reads.
[#DBFZ]We’re currently working on the game balance update, including the “Android 21 (Lab Coat)” DLC which was released on February 24, 2022.
The details of the release time will be announced at a later date.
We hope for your continued support of DRAGON BALL FighterZ.
— Bandai Namco Esports (@BNEesports) May 2, 2022
As is always the case with DLC characters, some fans accused Arc System Works of intentionally making the character broken to drive DLC sales.
“I really don’t understand what the plan of ArcSys was for this character. It’s obvious they made her intentionally the best character by far – Did they really just think making people buy her to compete would be worth the negative PR and damage to the scene?“, writes Twitter user FirebirdSicky
Meanwhile, other players are defending the decision to ban her due to what she’s done to the game via her debuff super.
“She’s unarguably the best character in the game right now, and one of her supers has a debuff that lowers a characters damage by 21%, making matches take longer than they need to (and said super is a fully invincible, decently fast command grab you can combo into)”, writes Milkmeister502.
Some users are excited for the ban, saying that the removal of the best character in the game means they’d finally start seeing diversity in the lineups of the 3v3 fighter.
“After watching CB that’s probably the move. chat was counting how many supers she did that entire top 8 (it was like 68 or something like that) Banning her means it wont be Labcoat 21 and friends: the movie, get to see some more diversity in teams can’t wait“, says PokeM456.
Banning characters in modern fighting games is borderline unheard of- the most recent example was DQ Hero from Super Smash Bros Ultimate, which even then was more about the character’s recency and localization problems rather than being overpowered.
That being said, it’s not like emergency rules themselves are unheard of- once infinites were discovered in Melty Blood Type Lumina, rules were added to make sure not every round was a race to time people out in permanent combos.