Do hands provide an unfair advantage? Do eyes? If a blind person wants to enter should all matches against him be played with the television set off? The people holding the tourney are idiots and you shouldn’t participate on those grounds alone.
If a person is used to a pad they’ll probably do better with it. Hell there are people who are most comfortable with the original pads like the original 360 and PS3 pads. It’s personal preference. Sticks are only a controller, they do not provide an advantage, it is a preference, end of discussion.
Sticks are not an unfair advantage, they are not an advantage, they are just a controller. The correlation that people with sticks do better is more that they spent 100 bucks on a controller and obviously are pretty invested in the game. Also it implies that they have been around longer and are used to arcades. A kid whose first fighting game was Tekken on a console is not going to be used to a joystick, because he wasn’t going to make his 60 dollar purchase into a 160 dollar purchase, simple stuff.
Further it implies some knowledge of fighting game culture which leads to a more advanced form of play. I mean those people who HAVE joysticks probably would just win with gamepads, so it’s really moot. Arcade Sticks just have been popular because these games were played exclusively at arcades for a long time, this is no longer true, there are great gamepad players out there.
I mean Shine is a 15 year old online Gouken who uses a pad and he placed second in Battlefield Arcadia soooooooooooooooooo, and that was his first Tournament I think.
It’s simply a correlation based on spending habits, and experience. Though I don’t give a shit, if a pad player goes through all the trials in the game and spends hours on hours playing the damn thing, he’s going to be good. Hell, I hope a pad player takes Evo.