Steve z Minecraft has been added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in October 2020. Since then, the sentiment around the character has getting worse due to accusations that the character is broken and incapacitated. Now, the recent discovery of a competing glitch has brought these conversations back into the spotlight. Now that sounds like swaths Smash Bros. the competitive scene outright bans tournament characters.
Steve has been controversial from the start, with players reporting issues with his combo potential and high number of ranged attacks. This makes him a frustrating character to fight, and he doesn’t have many characters Super Smash Bros. Ultimatean extensive squad is a tough opponent for him. Due to this, calls to ban the character have continued since its release. It seems some of these folks are getting their wish now that a new glitch has been discovered that pushes the character from overpowered to unjust.
What’s the problem with Steve inside? Smash Bros.?
In layman’s terms, Steve has a glitch with his knockback animations that allows him to recover at a faster rate than other characters in the game, meaning he can break combos that should otherwise work with other characters and retaliate before the adversary can act. It’s not an intended part of the character’s toolkit, but rather an unfortunate technical workaround that worked to players’ advantage. Despite, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Is no longer receives balance updates from Nintendoso competition organizers have two options: ban the strategy or ban the character?
The logistics of banning a strategy are complicated. If you decide to allow players to continue to use Steve in competitive tournaments, but not knowingly allow them to use the technology, it will take a huge amount of time to moderate matches where the character is used. It requires players to record a replay of the trade, and the organizer to check and verify if player Steve is breaking the rules, and then finally check the legality of the game. While these types of calls can be made more easily during in-person tournaments (although being pushed away always interrupts something else during the event), making them in an online environment becomes much more complicated. These replays need to be uploaded or steamed in a much more time consuming way than when the organizer goes over the players data during game setup. For this reason, some tournament organizers have called for a complete ban on Steve, rather than spending valuable time and resources micromanaging a specific character.
Juan Manuel DeBiedma, prolific Super Smash Bros. The player, who has won tournaments like EVO throughout his career and online tournament organizer The Coinbox better known by his nickname Hungrybox, shared a video of the situation on his YouTube channel. In the video, DeBiedma reviews several tournament organizers across the United States, announcing his decision to ban Steve from their events. Eventually, after some thought, he follows suit, saying that Steve will not be allowed into The Coinbox “until further notice.”
How common is Steve’s ban?
Barnard’s Loop, data organizer for Break community, has compiled data on the current stance of most states on Steve. At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus yet on how much the organizers are going down on the character. However, a few at least place some restrictions on players using it, such as allowing it local tournaments but not state tournaments. Still, Hungrybox notes in its video that The Coinbox introducing a ban can be seen as a blueprint for others to follow, and only time will tell how far that will go.
Generally, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is not bound to unified rules, especially without Nintendo’s direct involvement in the competitive scene, so tournament organizers can do whatever they want. But Steve’s current state points to a fundamental fighting game balance problem that comes when the developer finally moved away from supporting it. Super Smash Bros. Ultimatethe last patch was released in december 2021 and since then the community has had to grapple with the state of the game by setting its own competitive rules. For now, Steve gets banned in some tournaments, and in others he will be at least a controversial pick.