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Top-tier Super Smash Bros. Melee player Cody “iBDW” Schwab may be dealing with permanent damage to his hand after using a claw grip too long.

There are two popular ways to hold a GameCube controller while playing a fast-paced fighting game like Melee. One of those grips is known as the claw grip, characterized by the right index finger permanently covering the Y button of the controller and the thumb moving between the A, B, and C stick. The middle finger of the right hand will be on the right bumper. While effective for Melee and Ultimate, it looks like the claw grip may have hurt iBDW’s hand.

iBDW is one of the best Fox players in the world right now, known for his passion for modded controllers and fast-paced gameplay. But he was forced to slow down a few days ago when he started feeling some pain in his thumb. On August 5, iBDW tweeted that he may have “minorly sprained” his thumb and was going to take a few days off from Melee to play shooters instead.

“Hopefully no big deal long term,” he said at the time.

The often overthinking Melee player came back soon after to declare that the pain may be something more serious. He questioned if it was some type of tendonitis that was possibly even “pretty severe.” He decided to go to urgent care to have his hand looked at, worrying that he may be taking off a month or more from playing the game.

Meanwhile, iBDW felt he knew the possible cause of the damage.

“Gonna look into this more but I might just completely have to abandon my old grip for long term and learn a new one. I knew claw was bad for your hands but shit man that’s painful,” iBDW wrote.

After looking at his hand, iBDW added that doing the claw grip with his right hand “straight up caused it.”

While many sent well wishes to iBDW, worried for the state of his hand with so many super majors coming up, others noted that claw grip has been ridiculed for this exact reason for years. Some even claimed they had told Codey about claw grip themselves during chat only to be shut down. Others added that they also had hand issues from playing Smash and figured it would only get worse with time.

For now, fans are waiting to hear iBDW’s official diagnosis. It’s unclear if he will be attending any upcoming Smash tournaments due to his troubling hand issues.

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