Despite the admittedly gross nature of the festivities, the latest Splatoon 2 Splatfest seemed to be a rousing success, with thousands of players tuning in to try their hand at battles that replaced the game’s standard ink with ketchup and mayonnaise. The fun quickly faded in the aftermath, though, when Splatoon 2 fans discovered a frustrating technicality: same-condiment battles don’t seem to have counted toward determining a winner.
For context, Splatfest is a Splatoon 2 event in which players choose a side between two options, venture out into the battlefield to represent their selected vote, and attempt to win matches for their team. Naturally, the side with the most votes and highest win percentages is declared the winner. In the case of ketchup versus mayo, the former snagged 73% of votes leaving just 27% to the latter. Though that side may have lost the popular vote, it still managed to take home the proverbial crown, and players have picked up on why.
As the condiment war’s announcement image shows, Pearl the Inkling chose mayo and Marina the Octoling opted for ketchup. Given that Marina is such a popular character amongst Splatoon 2 players, most picked her over her Off the Hook bandmate. With so many players choosing team ketchup, many were forced to face against their own team, while team mayo always had a different-sauce fight. Some ketchup-ers have indicated that about 85% of their daily Splatfest battles were against players on their team.
This has raised one very important question: Do ketchup-versus-ketchup matches count toward wins? Such battles could, theoretically, act as one win and won loss to cancel themselves out, or perhaps the in-game mechanics already have a process for determining how to tally up same-team fight “wins.” It seems unlikely that Nintendo didn’t consider this possibility when crafting the event, but the company hasn’t yet commented on the situation.
The Splatoon 2 fandom, however, erupted on social media after mayo was announced as the winner. Twitter users have been directly mentioning the Nintendo of America account, demanding answers, expressing their confusion, and venting their irritations about how unfair they believe the outcome to be. “Would help if ketchup hadn’t constantly been matched up against ketchup. Guess popularity muddles team structure,” one user wrote. Another stated that they hardly ever encountered mayo players: “I didn’t even know Team Mayo existed with all the other ketchup defenders I was fighting.” User DixieRebecca echoed, “I only played mayo… four times. It was ketchup versus ketchup. This is not fair.”
Amidst players calling the event “rigged” and even going so far as to call the results “fake news,” one important thing can be gleaned from this recent Splatfest: Splatoon 2 has room to grow in the matchmaking department. The game’s single-player campaign boasts a ton of cool content and seems to have run smoothly since launch, but by the results of this event, it seems the multiplayer modes have a few snags that need ironing out.
Essentially, if the Splatfest can’t find balance between its two teams, then it’s very likely that the more popular team will cancel its own wins out and the lesser team will come out the victor. While we would love to say that team mayo simply was better, there does appear to be something wrong with the system considering 73% of the Splatoon player base was on Team Ketchup.
Perhaps the minds behind Splatoon 2 will double down following the sauced-up Splatfest and make appropriate adjustments to prevent something like this happening again. Until then, it looks like Team Ketchup will have to accept defeat and watch Team Mayo take the glory.
Splatoon 2 is available now exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.