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The Earthbound hero makes an unlikely appearance. 

When you’re playing competitive games, you pick the strongest character, right? Not always, it seems.

Just about everyone was surprised to see Ness, a Super Smash Bros. character from Earthbound, appear at Evo 2014 during the qualifying pools on Friday. The Super Smash Bros. Melee community has ranked each character as to which are best for competitive play. Characters like Fox, Peach, and Shiek are ranked very high, while characters like Ness and Pichu are ranked at the bottom.

Does that mean Ness could never win against Fox? Of course not. It all comes down to the skill of each individual player. At a competitive level, however, some characters have disadvantages that cannot be overcome.

Ness has short and stubby arms and terrible recovery. Although Vrud put up a valiant effort with the hero from Earthbound, Tai’s Marth just had too many inherent advantages. Firstly, Marth has a sword, meaning that Ness must navigate around it before being able to land a hit. Secondly, Marth has a lot of mobility and good recovery, while Ness on the other hand is out of luck if knocked too far off the stage.

There are times when mid-tier characters come up and turn the competitive scene on its side. aMSa’s Yoshi during Apex 2014 put up an incredible fight. He ended up ranking 9th in the entire tournament. But it’s still very doubtful that a player can find the inner magic within Ness and bring him up a few tiers.

Screengrab via YouTube

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