It hasn’t even been 2 weeks since the release of the final DLC characters for Smash 4, and Bayonetta has already proven to be a staple of competitive play. In just 10 days, Bayonetta already saw two tournament wins in Atlantic North, and three close second place finishes.
The first tournament was the Sunday weekly Smash 4 tournament at Nebulous in New York, where NinjaLink showed up for a rare treat, this time bringing the Umbra Witch along with him. NinjaLink placed a respectable second place, above usual threats such as JohnNumbers, Dill, Mike Kirby, and more. NinjaLink eventually fell to Anti in Game 5 of Grand Finals, unaware that Anti would throw out a 5th consecutive Up Smash in a row.
Everyone noticed, and wondered if this was a fluke or not. NinjaLink is known to always be a sleeper hit in Smash, even if we haven’t seen too much of him in Smash 4 yet. The New York native originally gained popularity for revolutionizing much of Diddy Kong’s competitive game in Brawl, put on the map after defeating Mew2King.
The next event Bayonetta would get a grip on would be this past week’s Xanadu weekly. The MDVA local had special guest Tyrant in the house, one of the highest ranked players in SoCal. After a well earned 13th place finish at Genesis 3, no one doubted that Tyrant would take home first place, or so we thought. Tyrant ended up at a very surprising third place, after losing to two Bayonettas, by Pink Fresh and Le Troof. We were treated with a Bayonetta ditto for both Winners Finals and Grand Finals, so no matter the result, she was taking home the win, and a respectable second place.
To complete Bayonetta’s recent string of prize winnings, Salem took the community by surprise with the best Bayonetta showing yet. The previous Apex champion returned after about a 6 month hiatus from Smash 4 with his new Bayonetta, that he claimed to be in the lab with nearly every waking minute since release. Salem displayed a tremendous amount of control with the character, with a very strong neutral game and smart punishes, rather than relying on early kills off the top like seen at Xanadu.
Salem attended the SMASH & CLASH weekly tournament outside of Philadelphia this past Friday, and KTAR XVII on Saturday. Salem took home an easy double victory in Singles and Doubles at S&C, followed up with an impressive 3rd place in Doubles and 2nd place in Singles at KTAR XVII. Salem bested opponents such as Vex, Hooded, and Blue at SMASH & CLASH, and took down monstrous opponents at KTAR such as Marss, Pugwest, Jtails, Sinji, and Nairo! Salem went into the event with a relatively low seed due to inactivity, and had to play Nairo in the very first round of the top 32 bracket, where he won with a decisive 2-0 victory. Nairo started off with his tried and true Zero Suit Samus, and then switched to Bayonetta for the ditto in game 2 – but neither match up worked in his favor. Salem ended up finishing 2nd after losing two sets to Marrs from New England in Grand Finals, even after Salem defeated him in Winner’s Finals.
Check out footage from the Grand Finals of SMASH & CLASH with Salem vs Vex here:
Now that the community has taken notice, only time will tell if Bayonetta will continue to gather such results. Other players have attempted to pick her up without as much success such as Nairo and Dabuz, who placed 17th and 13th respectively at KTAR. Originally heralded as a character with brain dead combos and one of the best in the game, we’ve already seen a stark difference in the first and second week of the witch with players already learning how to escape her off-the-top combos, and punish some of her strong ground approaches.