An upcoming Smash Ultimate tournament has gotten a lot of attention after its organizer decided to ban Sonic, much to the dismay of Blue Hedgehog mains. However, the ban isn’t as controversial as it may seem.
Houston-based Smash Ultimate TO ‘KrebsTLegend’ announced on May 4 that his tournament, on Wednesday May 7, will not feature Sonic because the fighter has been banned.
“Yes that’s right, Sonic is banned in my big online tourney this Wednesday!” he revealed in a post that gained traction after legendary Smash icon Gonzalo ‘ZeRo’ Barrios retweeted the decision.
“Serious opinion, it’s his tournament so he can do whatever he wants,” ZeRo wrote. “But it is still kinda funny how Sonic did get banned and joins the extremely small circle of banned characters.”
On Reddit, players spoke out against the ban. “Wow this is dumb,” Quasar-Radio-Reyna commented.
“This is extremely silly. We should start banning Cloud and Ness and everyone else good on Wi-Fi too then huh?” StormierNik replied.
Serious opinion, it's his tournament so he can do whatever he wants.
But it is still kinda funny how Sonic did get banned and joins the extremely small circle of banned characters.
— Tempo ZeRo (@zerowondering) May 4, 2020
Others tried to explain why they thought the ban was happening. “With all the input lag of wifi it’s a lot harder to react to fast stuff like Sonic’s spin dash, which gets used constantly,” user Alexxii said. “The same spin dashy, time outy tactics get used offline too.”
On May 3rd, Sonic main Sonix defeated MKLeo to win the first Quarantine Major hosted by Jacob ‘Alpharad’ Rabon and Charlie ‘Cr1tikal’ White. The win itself was quite controversial, given how Sonic’s style of play drags matches on to situations where time expires resulting in a win for whoever had less damage received.
However, according to Krebs, the ban is just for fun and Sonic will be available the following week.
“I actually have nothing against Sonic,” he told Dexerto. “Banning him for one (and only one) tournament was really just an interesting thing to do.”
Since 2012, Krebs has hosted multiple tournaments with special stipulations such as 3v3, 4v4, randomly paired doubles, item legal singles and more.
When asked if he thinks Sonic should be banned in major events such as EVO, which will be played online in 2020, he was outright opposed.
“No major tournaments should consider banning any character,” he said. “Minor ones can do it to be funny/unique, but major ones definitely shouldn’t.”
Sonic isn’t the first Smash Ultimate fighter to cause controversy: Upon his release, Hero was banned in certain communities because the fighter is luck-based.
It will be interesting to see if any other tournaments decide to outright ban Sonic from online play for longer than a week or if the Blue Hedgehog’s reign of terror will continue.