Bayonetta, and more specifically the players who main Bayonetta, were the center of attention for all the wrong reasons in Las Vegas on August 5th, 2018.
Lima defeated CaptainZack in a Grand Finals consisting of a Bayonetta mirror match. Both competitors are great friends, making for exciting matches as both went almost blow for blow. Grand Finals even had a reset in the bracket, as CaptainZack came from losers and beat Lima 3-2, who had sent him to loser’s bracket previously. The second set was not as close as Lima won with a clean 3-1 victory over CaptainZack.
Unfortunately, this moment was eclipsed by a few other moments that sparked anger and disgust among the Smash community.
Ever since the release of Bayonetta, people have adamantly called for her to be banned from competitive play due to her low-risk, high-reward nature of her game. Bayonetta can combo someone all the way to the top of the blast-zone to get very early kills at very low percentages. Bayonetta also has several defensive abilities that can instantly turn around a match, making it worrisome to approach the character. Witch Time, Witch Twist, and Bat Within are the biggest sources of complaints among the community.
Witch Time is a counter move that slows the opponent down for a couple seconds, giving Bayo plenty of time to start a kill-combo. Witch Twist is her recovery move, combo-starter, combo-finisher, and combo-breaker due to its enormous hitbox and its four-frame activation, or 1/15th of a second. Bat Within is activated through strict timing, 1/60th of a second to be precise, by air-dodging, rolling, or spot-dodging an opponent’s attack the instant it hits. Bat Within then lowers the damage Bayo takes and she turns into a group of bats and flies past the opponent, which can turn the tables of advantage quite quickly.
These abilities have made many Smash community members upset as most find her to be infuriating to fight against as a competitor and boring to watch as a viewer. This culminated at the start of Grand Finals when several people in the crowd left due to the last match being a Bayo mirror match. This also came after many crowd members booed any time a Bayo won a game, so the tension was already boiling up.
The first set of Grand Finals played out like any normal set, but it was the start of set two that sparked the outrage. As the match begins, CaptainZack and Lima both use the neutral special move of Bayo named Bullet Climax. You can hold down the button if you want, which keeps Bayo stationary until you release the button. The two competitors were in a stare down, yet one of a friendly nature as both Lima and Zack couldn’t help but laugh and enjoy themselves. This went on for two minutes until Bear, one of the tournament organizers, told them to play as you are not allowed to stall during a match. You can watch the moment below.
This led to several arguments between community members as outrage spread like a wildfire over social media. People took umbrage with their antics at a place like EVO, which is a historical and prestigious fighting game event. Some felt they ruined the competitive spirit by laughing so much and having fun during what should be a tense moment.
Unfortunately, this Grand Finals will always be one that lives in infamy.