iBDW's recent controller question for Genesis has brought up a long-time debate within the Super Smash Bros. Melee community: Should button remapping be allowed?
Top Smash player iBDW is known for voicing his opinions about tournaments. He recently questioned if Genesis was going to allow button remapping. iBDW tweeted that he "literally can't compete" if button remapping isn't legal.
In response to iBDW's concern, a Smash player dug into Genesis' rules and found that button remapping was legal. The controller section of the regulations reads: "The recommended controller of choice is a wired Gamecube controller. Turbo functions, macros, and hardware modifications [...] are banned."
There was no mention of button remapping in the section, making it seem like iBDW was in the clear. But iBDW followed up with an even more specific question: "Can you confirm that I'm not allowed to use an OEM Z jump controller?"
Another player responded: "Remapping is allowed but I think Z jump means you need to disable either X or Y as jump."
iBDW replied, seeming relieved: "Yup, I have X as grab, not as jump!"
While it seems like things are all good for iBDW at Genesis, the Smash community did respond with some questions about controller modifications and button remapping. Some felt that button remapping should be completely fine no matter what since controllers like the Box were allowed. But others noted that button remapping seemed illegal or at least like some sort of handicap.
iBDW has proudly discussed his special controller many times, including in a past Inven Global interview. He told me during Mainstage: "I have a bunch of quality of life changes. Highest quality buttons. I’m one of the very few top players that’s open to trying new things. It's like in traditional sports — new sports equipment is better than older ones. Why not? Electrical modifications, ridiculous things. I’ll try it out! And it normally ends up being very good! My Z button is literally a mouse switch."
For now, it seems like iBDW and other pros with modded controllers can play in peace. That doesn't mean everyone agrees with the practice of modding Gamecube controllers, however.
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