Steve from Minecraft has been the subject of a lot of controversies in Smash Ultimate, with calls to ban him going on with a lot of recent events. The simple builder has taken on a life of his own in the minds of some Ultimate players, becoming a demon terrorizing innocent players.
Steve mains are becoming a problem that just won’t go away for a lot of fans. To some, he’s a broken character with an unfair advantage. He’s turning pools into a repetitive mess reminiscent of the duller tail-end of Smash4’s esports. However, it’s debatable just how OP he really is. Recent figures have shown that Steve really isn’t destroying the competition in the way his opponents claim.
Smash Ultimate’s Steve Problem
A spectre is haunting pro-Smash Bros, the spectre of Steve. The friendly builder wasn’t immediately jumped on as top tier when he was added. However, over time some broken aspects of Steve have resulted in him utterly dominating the higher end of the events. He has a lot of utility and some of the ways he’s played don’t feel fair.
Some of the best Steve mains have been picking up great wins with the character. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s broken. A Sonic main recently won a major, it would be unfair to ban any unusual character that starts to be viable at a high level. We really need to look at pick rates and how much Steve mains have been winning. Outside of Onin, Steve hasn’t been over-represented in the top 8 of major competitions.
The final brackets for the Panda Global Circuit and Smash World Tour haven’t had more than an Ultimate Steve main or two. It might not feel like it, but he’s no more represented in the top 8 of most events than any other character. One Redditor recently compared his pick rate in tournaments and found much the same thing.
While many are upset with Steve, it seems Ultimate is well-balanced enough that he’s yet to take over. Looking at the actual results of Steve in tournaments, it seems crazy to call for bans on a character that rarely cracks the final bracket outside of a few skilled players.
Calls for Steve’s ban in Smash Ultimate
The calls to ban Steve in Ultimate have been part of Smash Bros for a bit now. Notable players like Light have even jumped in with calls to ban him in the past. It’s clear there’s some frustration with how Steve has been implemented. However, does that mean he needs to be banned?
The case in favor would likely be that the character isn’t going to be fixed. Smash Ultimate is done, no further changes to balance are coming to the game. He’s going to be like this forever.
Going against it is that Ultimate Steve mains haven’t really had too much representation at the top level to justify a ban. The Steve players to take majors have all been talented, and deserved the win. It seems unfair to turn on one popular character who is found to be more useful. Especially in a game like Smash.
Does Steve Ruin Smash competitive?
Some have pointed out that Steve parallels previous smash games. Specifically, that he’s a broken character added too late to ever get fixed.
In 4’s case, those characters kind of broke the game while players waited for Ultimate to arrive. It’s even got some players joking that broken characters are a Nintendo ruse to prevent players from sticking with old versions of Smash ever again. It’s a fun way to look at it, but shouldn’t be a serious comparison. As shown, Steve’s pick rates aren’t insane compared to previous games in the series. While he does have some advantages, the results from tournaments over 2022 have shown that good players can work around Steve.
The Ultimate meta is going to continue to develop without patches. That can be the slingshot tech, or Steve becoming high-tier. Rejecting any developments in the game as broken is going to be more harmful in the long run for Ultimate. While Steve might be an adjustment, it doesn’t look like he’s getting banned any time soon.