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Opinion: Should Scorpion Be Banned From Injustice: Gods Among Us?

Injustice: Gods Among Us is one of the quickest growing competitive games in our current gaming atmosphere. It has outsold Call of Duty for two weeks now, and its fanbase is only growing. However, something has happened to make many players drop the game. That something is the downloadable content release of a Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion.

According to many players, Scorpion breaks the game. In Injustice, you have to hold back to block, while in Mortal Kombat you only hold a block button. Thus, when Scorpion performs his teleport punch in Mortal Kombat, its actually easy to block, but in Injustice it’s a free mix-up. Specifically, the meter burn version of this move is what’s most loathed, as it’s incredibly safe on block and allows him to get pressure if blocked or a short combo if it hits.

While many professional tournament players are crying out for Scorpion’s ban, I don’t particularly think he’s that bad. First of all, all of his teleport punches can be blocked by holding straight down, which is still a perfect low block. The meter burn version can even be jumped and punished! Combos from a teleport punch don’t do a lot of damage and while Scorpion can get some scary vortexes, they are entirely avoidable.

But that’s beside the point. Let’s say, for a second, that Scorpion is overpowered. So what? We have dealt with overpowered characters before. Dark Phoenix in Marvel vs Capcom 3 was one of them. She skewed the entire meta-game and everyone kept playing. Arguably, Yang from the original Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition was another overpowered character. Heck, certain games like Third Strike and Marvel vs Capcom 2 ran entirely off their broken character rosters.

Many professional Injustice players are saying, “Don’t take this from us” to tournament organizers, stressing that to keep people interested in Injustice, Scorpion needs to be taken out of tournament rotation. However, other games weren’t afforded the same courtesy. Double butt slam was not removed from Skullgirls tournament play, and it could have used the tournament boost. Persona 4 Arena and Blazblue never banned characters despite fairly obvious tier lists. In fact, when anyone started talking about bans they were practically shunned out of the community.

So what makes Injustice so special? Why does Injustice get to have bans just to allow the game to survive? It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there in the professional fighting game community, and if Scorpion allows your dog to be eaten, so be it.

Finally, many pro players are saying that “Scorpion isn’t even the best in the game, he just breaks the game.” What does this even mean? If he is getting a majority of wins, doesn’t that make him the best in the game? If it’s too easy to win with him, doesn’t that make him the best in the game? If he isn’t the best in the game, then more work with another character can routinely produce victories against him. Banning him is just saying that you don’t want to put in that work.

In my opinion, Scorpion shouldn’t be banned from Injustice, tournament play or otherwise. He’s an interesting and fun character and he is making a lot of other players who rested on their own overpowered tactics come out of their comfort zone. Sure, his inclusion in the game will make some people leave the scene, but so what? That happens to all sorts of fighting games for all sorts of reasons. Injustice isn’t special, it’s another fighting game with an unbalanced character roster, like all the rest.

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