Genesis 9, a major fighting game tournament, took place this weekend. There were great combos and huge setbacks as the super big event before Super Smash Bros. Melee and Ultimate ended on January 22. Unfortunately, while the tournament was going on, one of Canada’s top Kazuya players, Michael “Riddles” Kim, caused a heated argument in Ultimate‘s community around “top player privilege” and “ego issues” when he threw his controller after losing a game.
Considered one of the best Kazuya and Terry main dishes in Canada, Riddles is in ninth place throughout North America. A member of the esports organization Team Liquid, Riddles has finished in the top 10 at just about every tournament he has competed in. the top spot. In short, the Super Smash Bros. community sees Riddles as a goat. So, knowing he came in Genesis 9, a California tournament packed with top talent such as Steve player Acola and Marth mainman MKLeo, his ardent fans and interested spectators expected him to perform. He did, but not to the level he, or the game’s community, had hoped.
Riddles found himself in the losers round after losing a close set to Palutena player Chase. Riddles would go on to win the next two matches in that series, to eventually face France’s Lucina leader, Nassim “Leon” Laib. The fight started heavily in Riddles’ favor. However, Leon had Riddles’ number on speed dial, while Leon switched to Chrom, giving Riddles little room to breathe.
It all came to a head when in the final battle, Leon absolutely embodied Riddles in spectacular fashion. Riddles lost that match. After sitting in his chair for a while, the frustration clearly visible on his face and his opponent no longer in view, Riddles slammed his controller hard on the floor before leaving the arena.
People were perplexed by the upset, as Riddles was a top seed, which meant he was expected to finish pretty high. However, Leon ranks 77th. The odds were always in Riddles’ favor, as evidenced by the faces of those around the two players. Aside from congratulating Leon on his win, most people were stunned by what happened. There were a few people taking pictures of Riddles sulking in his chair, but most others in the immediate vicinity were shocked.
It is this brief moment that the Super Smash Bros. community to discuss popping in a professional setting.
“You throw the controller”, a tweeter said to riddles in capital letters. “Do you know how much you make people suffer? You lost [and] was outplayed by a neutral character. So you just cheese people at 0 [fuck] from.”
“It’s called holding people accountable,” another tweeter said. “Something that this community actually needs more of.”
“It doesn’t matter if he’s humble, he still had that moment,” said a third tweeter said. “Now if you pass him 9 times out of 10, it will happen again. Just stop fam lmao. Everyone has those moments, we get it, but shrugging it off like this just shows why top player privilege is a thing.
Reactions to the YouTube video above aren’t much better, with some agreeing that Riddles “has no right to be salty or furious” and that he’s “a little baby” who needs to “man up.” Others laughed at the incident, while a few memed his name and called him “Shittles” instead. One person even said that Riddles has “insane ego problems” because he reacts this way. Sheesh.
This is because Riddles leads Kazuya Mishima, one of Tekken‘s protagonists, the 81st combatant part of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s Fighters Pass Vol. 2, and a notorious character in the game scene. Kazuya is a combo heavy fighter in Ultimaterelying primarily on his electric wind god fist to stun his opponents and deal heavy damage. Kazuya, and especially this stun operation, was a thorn in the side of the community Ultimate players who regularly ask for Kazuya (as well as Steve van Minecraft) to be banned from tournament use. Basically, Riddles gets a lot of hate for the character he plays, and his loss to Leon and the resulting on-camera explosion was an excuse to keep going — to the point that Riddles eventually deactivated his Twitter account.
my city contacted Riddles for comment.
In Twitter DMs with my city, Leon said he was both scared and motivated by Riddles, ready to face him in the Genesis 9 competition. However, Leon did not expect to beat Riddles, saying he was “very surprised and shocked” to do so with his secondary character, Chrom. He also wasn’t entirely surprised by Riddles’ reaction to the dismay afterwards, although he didn’t entirely agree with his opponent’s behavior.
“[Riddles’ reaction was] fully [unwarranted] in any form of major competition. That’s easy to see,’ Leon said. “Throwing your own controller at it [release] frustration is not the best move, but it only concerns him and himself. As long as he respects his opponents (which was the case with me), there is nothing disgusting [about what he did]. I would also be sad and frustrated if I left the tournament so early.”
Not everyone is dragging Riddles because of the way he jumped off in Genesis 9. Multiple top players, from former competitor Yonni until great player Justin Wong until Aaron Wilhite of Moist Esports, defended Riddles’ actions. It’s kind of ironic when you think about it, a few days before Genesis 9 started, an Italian crush player was excluded from future tournaments after literally punching his opponent during a live stream. Riddles, on the other hand, took out his frustration on an inanimate object and announced that he would be taking a long hiatus from his Discord. I’m not entirely sure what the community wants from Riddles, or top players in general, but asking them to be robots and show no emotion just isn’t it. I mean, I still occasionally throw my controllers because video games make me angry. It’s human nature, right? At least Riddles didn’t take it out on his competitor.