Despite the release of Ultimate for the Switch, Smash Bros. Melee is still played as a professional esport worldwide. Like any thriving esport, there are often rule changes for the game to keep play even and interesting.
”Wobbling” is one of the more controversial moves in Melee and is exclusively used by players who main the Ice Climbers. The technique requires the player to desynch the climbers, then execute a grab. They can then bash an opponent until death with the inescapable grab.
While, historically, wobbling was allowed in tournaments, several states have now banned the move in competative play.
Last week, the Super Smash Bros. Melee community in Tennessee fired the first shot in the modern wobbling war when they announced that most of the competitions in their state would ban the controversial Ice Climbers technique. Since then, tournament organizers in four more states have decided to follow suit, setting a standard for their specific regions that conflicts with the scene’s widely accepted ruleset.
The first of these states was Kentucky. Local tournament organizer Austin “Reeve” Reed revealed the decision with a single tweet, which he posted last week in the midst of Tennessee’s kerfuffle over the fake announcement about the wobbling ban. Reed posted that, for his part, wobbling would be banned in Kentucky “for the foreseeable future.” He also implored communities in other states to “take initiative” on the matter so that change would occur within the Super Smash Bros. Melee community on a wider scale.
Montana heeded Reed’s call and came to a decision to ban wobbling on February 8. The official Facebook group for the Montana Melee community opened a poll asking local players for their opinion, and although it only received 16 responses, over half were in favor of a wobbling ban.