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People Are Mad at Top Tier Characters. What's the Deal?

Elizbar Ramazashvili
6 min

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People Are Mad at Top Tier Characters. What's the Deal?
"Wow, you cheap Kunimitsu player!"

In the world of competitive gaming, particularly in the realm of fighting games, there's a phenomenon that's been brewing for quite some time. People are getting increasingly mad at those who choose to play top-tier characters. You know, the fighters that are considered the cream of the crop, the heavy hitters, the ones with all the tools and combos. But what's the deal with all the anger? Is it really justified, or are we simply witnessing a clash of perspectives within the FGC? After all, they're just doing what any competitive gamer would do – maximizing their chances of winning.

First off, it's essential to understand what top-tier characters are. In the world of fighting games, not all characters are created equal. Game developers often introduce a variety of fighters with unique abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Over time, the community collectively assesses and ranks these characters based on their performance in tournaments, their ease of use, and their overall effectiveness. The top-tier characters are the ones that consistently perform well, often due to having a well-rounded set of tools or dominant traits.

Now, let's address the main source of frustration: the players who choose to main these top-tier characters. It's important to remember that competitive gaming is, at its core, about winning. When people enter a tournament or play ranked matches, they're aiming to secure a victory. So, why wouldn't they pick the character that offers them the best chance of achieving that goal?

Imagine you're competing in a race, and you have a choice between driving in a regular car or a high-performance, dedicated vehicle. Which would you choose? Most would opt for the race car because it provides a competitive advantage. Similarly, in the world of gaming, selecting a top-tier character is akin to choosing a racing car – it's a strategic decision to enhance your chances of success.

And it's not just about winning; it's also about the thrill of competition. Competitive gamers thrive on challenging matches, where skill, strategy, and adaptability are tested to the fullest. By choosing a top-tier character, players are often seeking to engage in the most competitive matches possible. These characters are frequently used by other skilled players, which means that facing them provides a unique opportunity to hone one's skills and gain valuable experience.

Consider this scenario: you're an aspiring chess player, and you're offered a chance to play against a grandmaster. Would you turn it down because they have more experience and are likely to win? Probably not. You'd jump at the opportunity because it's a chance to learn and improve your game. Similarly, playing against top-tier characters in fighting games can be a valuable learning experience, helping players become better and more competitive in the long run.

Another reason to curb the anger towards those who choose top-tier characters is the fact that character tiers can shift over time. Game developers regularly release balance updates and patches to adjust character strengths and weaknesses. What might be a top-tier character today could become mid-tier or even low-tier in the next update. Thus, players who are labeled as "tier chasers" today might simply be ahead of the curve in anticipating future shifts in the meta.

The gaming landscape is dynamic, and what's considered powerful today might not be so in the near future. It's not uncommon for once-overpowered characters to be nerfed or for previously underpowered characters to receive buffs. As a result, the top-tier character choices of today may very well evolve tomorrow, leveling the playing field once again. Arslan Ash’s famous Kazumi is no longer a top-tier pick, and neither is Knee's Devil Jin. Does anyone remember Book’s Leroy? Feng is all the rage today, and it's not certain how strong he will be in Tekken 8 on release. It's possible that someone else will fit the laurels of being broken.

EVO2019 - VSlash Arslan Ash (Kazumi) vs Rox Dragons Knee (Kazuya) - Tekken 7 Grand Finals

Let's not forget that everyone has their own reasons for playing a particular character. While some players may select top-tier characters purely for their competitive advantage, others may genuinely enjoy the playstyle, aesthetics, or backstory of those characters. Just as in any hobby or sport, personal preferences play a significant role in gaming. Character loyalists live for the moments when their pick becomes top-tier.

When it comes to competitive gaming, it's not only about the character choice but also about how well the player can execute their strategies. Simply picking a top-tier character doesn't guarantee victory. Skill, practice, and adaptability still play a crucial role in determining the outcome of a match. In fact, skilled players can often overcome character disadvantages and outperform those who rely solely on their character's tier placement.

Ultimately, it's essential to remember that competitive gaming is about more than just picking a character. It's about the thrill of the competition, the pursuit of self-improvement, and the joy of playing the games we love. People who select top-tier characters are simply making strategic choices to maximize their chances of winning, much like athletes selecting the best equipment or strategies in traditional sports.

Rather than directing anger and frustration toward these players, consider embracing the challenge, learning from your losses, and striving to become a better gamer. In the end, gaming should be about enjoying the journey, regardless of which character you choose to play.

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