SSBM Coaching Controversy at EVO 2017

Coaching in Fighting Games has been a touchy subject for the last few months. As more sponsors and professional teams join the Fighting Games space, resources such as coaches and analysts were sure to follow. Coaching seems to me like a logical step for any esport. Teams and sponsors want to field the best players possible and want to give them the highest chance of winning which will ultimately expand their reach and grow their business.

But as we all know, not all Fighting Games players are “esports”. In fact, very few are. As the community grows into this new space of “professional” sports, there will be growing pains but if there is one event that has taken a hard stance on coaching…it was Evo?

Or so they say.

According to Evo’s Rule Page : “there is no coaching during any tournament match beyond pools.”

But of course, there was a problem. Hungrybox used a coach in semifinal match to qualify for Top 8 against SFAT. If the no coaching rule would’ve been enforced, a Hungrybox DQ would’ve resulted in a 2–1 for SFAT which would’ve saw him to a Top 8 Winners’ Side position.

For many Smash fans this was seen as an egregious decision but when Mr. Wiz took to Twitter to defend the decision, he left us with this:

Well ok, maybe SFAT really did get coached and really did violate the rules…right?

If these arm taps are coaching then well, I don’t know what to say.

This incident is sure to add some form of friction to the Melee community after tensions are already raised to a high point due to the “snubbing” of Melee’s Sunday among other things.

All things aside, I’m sure this Saturday night Top 8 will be great! You can watch that here.