Smash

New Smash Bros fighter Hero is already getting banned from tournaments

by Michael Gwilliam

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Smash Bros Ultimate’s newest fighter Hero has officially been banned in South Australia due to the character being “anti-competitive.”

Ever since his release, there has been a lot of controversy regarding the Dragon Quest character’s moves and random nature of his kit. 

While luck does work both ways, the fact that the fighter’s success is heavily centered around RNG has been met with skepticism, especially from those who consider competitive integrity to be the utmost importance.

Nintendo
Nintendo
Some of Hero's abilities have an element of luck.

However, not all agree with the ban. Smash icon Gonzalo ‘ZeRo’ Barrios recently made a video about the fighter drama and remarked that the “ban hero” movement was a “tremendous knee-jerk reaction”.

Despite this, South Australia Smash Central, the main network for the scene down under, decided to ban Hero. The announcement was made via a Twitlonger post on August 14.

“After deliberation and plenty of discussion we have concluded that Hero’s design as a character is fundamentally dependant on randomness to the point that it is not reasonable in a competitive environment,” South Australia Smash Central declared.

“RNG permeates every element of Hero's design, from spell selection to random critical hits and hocus pocus effects. While randomness has to varying degrees always been present in competitive games and other Smash games, Hero is so dependent on randomness that it cannot be 'played around' or accounted for in competitive play. The argument is similar to the reason why items are banned in competitive play.” 

Nintendo
Nintendo
Hero is currently 'broken' in Ultimate.

In organized Smash Bros tournaments, stage hazards, items and final smashes are all disabled in an attempt to limit randomness. That does not mean that unexpected situations can still occur, but SASC addressed those as well.

“Additionally, even other random effects in the game, such as G&W's Hammer or Peach's turnips, still require the player to connect with the move. Although it is not a central issue, many of Hero's random tools, such as magic burst edgeguards, unblockable kamikazees or psych up critical shield breaks are frequently unavoidable and decide whole stocks.” 

“We want to emphasise that this ban is not because hero is too strong, but because he is anti-competitive. We believe that tournaments are meant to provide an opportunity for players to demonstrate their skill and that, as a general rule, the player who plays more skilfully should emerge victorious,” they added. 

The ban, however, could be lifted in the future. In a follow-up tweet, the Australian account said that Hero’s barring is indefinite and could change in the event of a patch. “Will the game get patched?  Will other scenes follow suit? We'll look at Hero's results in a month or two and decide again.” 

Only time will tell if more scenes side with the ban and agree to ban Hero. In any case, it’s yet another chapter in history book of controversy in the Smash Bros community.