A tournament for Super Smash Bros Ultimate has banned two of its latest characters, Steve from Minecraft and Kazuya from Tekken, following polls from the community.
In a tweet, Tourney Locator, a large tournament in Texas, US said that they would be banning the two characters at the request of the community.
This was a move that they aim to spread across the Texas Smash Bros community, and made in partnership with Super Smash Odyssey, another tournament series in the Texas area in their attempts to “unify” the Dallas-Fort Worth Smash Bros community.
“In my heart, I believe it is the wrong thing to do, because it affects a game, something that is supposed to be fun the way it is, and it hurts the players who have spent a lot of time in the lab with Steve or Kazuya. In my head, I feel it is the right decision for the health of the entire scene and the competitive nature that the scene has become accustomed to“, writes Trey ‘GodFondren’ Fondren from Tourney Locator.
“ I hope that the decisions and moves we make now will allow the scene to last, grow, and be fun again for everyone involved”, Trey continues.
At the moment, it doesn’t apply to regional-level tournaments- but Steve and Kazuya are banned from their weekly events.
“It was not close. Weeklies are where we all spend most of our time, not regionals and majors, so we were looking at keeping the local scene fun”, the Tourney Locator twitter account elaborated.
Why Steve And Kazuya Are Banned
Steve and Kazuya have been contentious ever since they were included in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, but Steve in particular came into the spotlight following an exploit that allowed the character to recover from any hit.
As for Kazuya, the Tekken character is supposedly too strong, being able to overcome most losing situations with what’s referred to as “Touch of death” combos.
It should be noted that many fighting games are known to have problematic characters, though banning them is a rare last resort.
That being said, that doesn’t mean calls to ban a character are entirely rare- Dragon Ball FighterZ fans had tried to get Android 21 (Labcoat) banned over similar complaints that she was too strong.
In Melty Blood Type Lumina, several characters were discovered to have infinites– situations where they could lock down an opponent until the clock ran out, and tournaments responded by simply banning infinites rather than the characters who could do them.
Naturally, there are arguments to be had for and against banning characters- in the case of characters like Kazuya, whining that a character needs to be removed because he’s too strong sounds like the words of a sore loser rather than a tournament organizer.
On the other hand, as GodFondren elaborated, if it’s making the local community unhappy, the tournament organizers also have a duty to consider what will improve their local scene.