Gafrobox will be tournament legal according to EVO's new tentative controller ruleset, organizers ask for fan feedback before finalizing

Hitbox and Smash Box also deemed fit for tournament play

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • September 25, 2019 at 6:29 p.m. PDT

As the fighting game community has grown so have the controllers competitors use in tournament settings. As we continue to evolve further and further away from the traditional arcade layout, questions of what should be accepted as tournament legal have become more and more frequent.

The Evolution Championship Series staff have come forward with a game controller ruleset to set a standard for the FGC's largest yearly tournament.

Especially after the controversy surrounding CYG|Daigo's potential use of the Gafrobox at Combo Breaker 2019, (he didn't end up using the stick at the event) the community has been in debate as to what kind of controller perks cross out of the parameters of fair play.

Just a few years back the stickless Hitbox controller, which replaces the traditional joystick lever with buttons that can cause avatars to walk left, right, crouch, and jump, allowed for simultaneous blocking in both directions while playing Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Changes were thereafter made so that players could not guard both sides at the same time.

The newly released list of rules addresses both of these controllers by name and deems them both tournament-worthy based on standards also laid out in the document. Here's the text on the Gafrobox:

The "Gafrobox" implements a specific method of SOCD cleaning where holding multiple, opposite directions will always keep the most recent, still depressed input. For example, when a user holds Left, presses Right, and releases Right, the Gafrobox will send the Left, Right, Left inputs to the game.

In this case, 3 user inputs (press Left, press Right, release Right) has resulted in 3 different game inputs (Left, Right, Left) and therefore is not in violation of Rule 1. The Gafrobox also implements SOCD cleaning such that Left and Right are never simultaneously sent to the game and is not of violation of Rule 3. Therefore, the Gafrobox is tournament legal.

In addition to helping players understand what will be allowed, establishing standards in this arena is also meant to help those developing controllers ensure that their devices won't be banned from use.

The current ruleset is not yet set in stone as EVO organizers will be examining fan feedback and making potential alterations until October 31. You can read the ruleset in its entirety in this Google document.

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