One of Super Smash Bros. For Wii U’s more controversial characters is in the spotlight again. Pros and casuals alike are debating whether to ban Bayonetta from competitive play. The gun-heeled fighter’s presence in Smash has been a point of contention in the competitive Smash community for some time now, because of her incredible combo potential and a barrage of kicks that will send you flying. Even after being tuned down by Nintendo, there are many arguing that the character is too overpowered to be involved in competitive games.
The conversation came to a head when three of the top four spots at Frostbite 2018, a major Smash tournament, were occupied by Bayonetta players. While there are advantages to the character, Bayonetta does have something of a cult following, which has made a resurgence thanks to the Bayonetta 2 Switch release.
To be fair, Bayonetta was not the only target of the community’s ire, Cloud has also been pointed out as an incredibly strong character in doubles. But Bayonetta’s presence this year, from filling top spots at tournaments to winning Evo, has been dominant.
But the ultimate question remains: is it right to ban a character? Bayonetta has been beaten before (as Compete points out, MkLeo regularly takes down Bayonetta players), and removing a character instead of adapting the rules seems a bit hasty to many. Especially when Smash isn’t the most evenly balanced game in the eSports arena in the first place.
One popular phrase, “just SDI,” has popped up as the response for dealing with Bayonetta. (SDI, or smash directional influence, is tapping the control stick in any direction during the freeze frames of being hit, to avoid multi-hit combos).
So this could just be a case of popularity and a few players protesting a bit too much.