Super Smash Bros. Ultimate stans had an exciting weekend as SmashCon, an annual tournament dedicated to Nintendo’s popular crossover fighter (and clones like Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl) wrapped up on August 14. There were plenty of upsets, including one of the world’s best players, MkLeo, taking fifth place in the tournament’s singles bracket. But what’s melting down the competitive community right now is that a player named Onin took home first place playing Steve from Minecraft, and now a lotta people want the character banned from future tournaments because of how busted he is.
Onin is relatively new to the scene, having made his tournament debut at The Online Olympus II in January 2021, after which he continued to make appearances at various tourneys, even taking first place at Combo Breaker 2022. The Smash wiki now deems Onin one of the best Steve players in the world, and he’s built up quite a body count. In tournaments past, he’s beaten MkLeo and Riddles, the best Canadian player in the world. He’s also stomped Ice Climbers veteran Big D, as well as the top Peach player, MuteAce. Basically, Onin is goated. And then at the SmashCon grand finals this weekend they even bodied Maister, the world’s best Game & Watch user and a current top-three Mexican Smash Ultimate player. It was a brutal whipping, to say the least.
Onin picked their main, Steve, while Maister switched between Game & Watch and Sora. However, it almost didn’t matter who Maister chose because Onin won rather decisively. Maister did manage to beat Onin one time as Sora—to which the crowd erupted in cheers and confetti—but Onin walked away the victor, absolutely wiping the floor with Maister.
Still, the crowd was on Maister’s side the entire time. Despite Onin dominating the match-up, the audience chanted “Let’s go Maister” and “Let’s go Sora” in an effort to cheer Maister on. The crowd even screamed Sora’s spells in unison—fire, thunder, and freeze—whenever Maister cast them. And as the tournament reached its climax, the community became jokerfied, tweeting their utter disdain for the Minecraft miner. A lot of folks really hate Steve, so much so that they want him banned from the competitive scene.
The discourse around banning Steve from competitive tournaments has been going for a minute but really came to a head two months ago when Japanese champion acola, another Steve player, won The Gimvitational, a major Smash Ultimate competition held in June. Casual and pro Smashers alike were pissed because acola, who’s dominated the Asian scene, came to North America and beat all of the best competitive players.
That was part of it. But the real reason why folks were mad about acola winning was because Steve is widely considered to be totally broken. With his solid zoning tools and limitless combo potential, not to mention great range and excellent kill power, Steve is frustrating to fight against. That, coupled with the fact that this year’s SmashCon tournament featured at least nine different Steve players, added more fuel to the fire. People literally can’t stand this character.
Kotaku has reached out to Maister and Onin for comment.
Sadly, some gamers, as they are wont to do, are throwing copious amounts of hate at Onin. From booing at the tournament to tweeting that they suck to sending threatening messages, Onin is now on the receiving end of some truly toxic gamer shit. It’s a bummer to see, especially considering all this player did was win a tournament with an available Smash Ultimate character. There’s no reason to get so spiteful. You can hate the character, but don’t turn that hate onto the player. It’s unnecessary and wrong.