Riddles under fire for throwing controller after elimination at Genesis 9
Top Ultimate player Riddles has been the topic of a heated debate in the Smash community after he threw his controller at Genesis 9.
Super Smash Bros. is a game known for its salty community and a split-second moment at Genesis 9 only served to solidify this stereotype.
Well-respected Super Smash Bros. Ultimate pro Michael "Riddles" Kim became the top of a heated debate within the competitive scene when he violently slammed his controller onto the ground after losing a match. Riddles, 22, is considered one of the best Kazuya mains in the world and has consistently placed in the top 10 at every tournament he's entered. Until now.
Riddles was in the loser's bracket but he still had a good chance to climb back to the winner's side. All he had to do was take down Lucina player Nassim "Leon" Laib. While it looked like Riddles had it in the bag at first, Leon eventually took down the titan with Chrom. The 77th seed progressed, leaving Riddles in the dust in spectacular fashion.
After the elimination, Riddles sat in his chair looking quite distraught. Then, a few minutes later, he threw his controller in frustration.
Smash players took to Twitter to flame the pro player. Throwing a controller is often looked down upon in the community, seen as unsportsmanlike and something done in bad taste, taking away from the victor's moment. Many fans pointed out that Riddles always beat people and yet they never threw their controllers in anger. Others said that he shouldn't be given a pass on a petty moment just because he's a top player.
In response to the backlash, some Smash players noted that this was just a one-time thing for Riddles. It seemed like Riddles was getting labeled as a salty controller thrower when he had only been seen doing it at one tournament. Otherwise, Riddles has been described as "humble." But should he get a one-time controller throwing pass?
"This is understandable, cause Riddles was really hyped about G9, talking about how its the biggest tourney this year. He also grinded a lot to prep for G9 so it is very disheartening to be out this early," one fan said on YouTube.
Added another: "Man's literally went through most of the stages of grief in under a minute. It was sad watching you could see the pain and disappointment not the biggest riddles fan but it doesn't feel good seeing someone put themselves through that much."
Another comment noted that Riddles still gave his opponent a fist bump. Saltier opponents will sometimes snub the winner after losing, walking away without acknowledging them. But Leon himself didn't react kindly to the top player's behavior.
Talking to Kotaku, Leon said that "throwing your own controller" out of frustration "isn't the best move." He added that it wasn't a big deal to anyone other than the involved players, however, since Riddles was still respectful to him.
The drama over that split second moment has clearly gotten to Riddles. He told fans on Discord that he might be taking a break from Smash.
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Olivia Richman is a seasoned esports writer and editor who enjoys creating unique content about Smash, Apex Legends, Halo, Rainbow Six Extraction, Call of Duty, and basically every other game! Olivia enjoys the Pokemon TCG, Kirby, and being a persuasive thief in Fallout and Outer Worlds.