The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate pro scene has seen another instance of Steve dominating the competition with arguments for and against the powerful character breaking out once again.
Fierce matches at Super Smash Con 2022
Discussions around Steve took the spotlight because of a large-scale fan event held in the United States called Super Smash Con 2022. The event featured offline tournaments for each title in the Smash Bros series, with special attention being paid to the Smash Ultimate singles division.
Powerhouse players like MkLeo, Riddles, and other high-ranking competitors were set to appear and many thought one of them would claim the top prize. However, there was a dark horse among them. A rising star from Michigan who goes by Onin.
Onin started appearing in tournaments regularly in 2021 and is only 16 years old. While their resume may not be full of achievements yet, Onin defeated top players one after another and sparked a discussion around their character of choice, Steve.
The mighty Onin
Onin didn’t just win—they dominated the top players in the field. This included a sweep of MkLeo, a Smash Ultimate player from Mexico that many consider to be the best in the world and who consistently places well in large-scale tournaments. Things were going smoothly for MkLeo at Super Smash Con 2022 too as they continued winning matches with their main character Byleth.
However, MkLeo and Onin would soon face off in the Top 32 Bracket. MkLeo started strong by demonstrating some skillful moves, but the tricky style of Steve would prove to be overwhelming. By using blocks to maintain spacing, the minecart, and a combination of pickaxe combos and TNT, Onin put together a variety of attacks that were too much to handle.
The last game was especially shocking as Onin was able to put Byleth away without dropping a single stock. Seeing a young newcomer steamroll who many call the “king” of Smash Ultimate left viewers astonished.
After winning against tournament favorite MkLeo, Onin went on to defeat Riddles, Glutonny, and finally Maister to claim the top spot in the tournament. With such a young competitor reaching the mountain top after going through so many strong players, it looked like a new star had been born.
However, it also served to fire up the ongoing discussion around whether Steve is too strong of a character. That’s because this isn’t the only example in recent memory of a young competitor using Steve to take down the top level of competition.
Another Steve-playing dark horse
To be more specific, when Japanese player acola won The Gimvitational, a Smash Ultimate tournament many proven players were invited to participate in. At the time, acola was only 15 years old but used Steve to take down top-level players and win the event. Since then, there have been calls from players and fans alike to ban Steve from competition (related article).
*acola was actually scheduled to play at Super Smash Con 2022 but withdrew because of the current situation regarding COVID-19.
But even still, Steve dominated the event and added more fuel to the fire surrounding the character. MkLeo commented that while Steve is a strong character, he doesn’t feel that he played well. He also said he knows why he lost and will practice to perform better next time.
What pros who have faced off against Steve think
Riddles, one of the players Onin beat at the event, replied to a tweet by Smash Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai saying, “PLS PATCH SMASH BROS SPECIAL AND NERF STEVE PLS PLS PLS PLS PLS PLS PLS.”
Glutonny, another player Onin went through at the event, tweeted, “Steve is good for no one … Players that play Steve will get shit on and insulted. And those who doesnt will get mad. Very sad situation tbh.”
Light, another competitor at the event, joked, “I see this as Steve firing me from my job. I’m applying for mcdonalds.” While everyone had praise for Onin, many players have taken a critical stance on Steve.
As for Onin, they have their own Twitter ID set to @BanStevePLEASE in what feels like a mix of sarcasm and self-deprecation. Even a separate account they used previously had the Twitter ID of @WeHave2BanSteve, so it looks like Onin is fully aware of the controversy surrounding the character.
acola commented on the results by connecting it to the criticism Bayonetta players received in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and wondered if this is how Bayonetta players were talked about in those days. For players putting up results with Steve, it’s a complicated position to be in.
Steve is under fire
While many pros are saying that Steve is too strong, some are of the opinion that ways to counter the character just haven’t been figured out yet and that the situation isn’t as bad as Bayonetta was in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
Amid the discussion around Steve, Sparg0 hinted that they may be returning from their hiatus by tweeting, “Guess I’ll have to intervene.”
While Onin dominated the event and proved their skill, results like these also establish that Steve is a strong character. Threat levels around Steve are higher than ever, even compared to when acola won The Gimvitational.
However, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai stated with the patch in December of 2021, balance changes to the game are done. With the development team now dispersed, it’s hard to think that changes will be coming to the game. However, it will be fun to see how the meta evolves going forward.
Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-08-15 15:40 JST)