In English-language forums discussing saimoe tournaments, the term "Sniped" refers to an instance where a popular character, usually a tournament favorite, is eliminated from the tournament by a perceived weaker opponent (the "sniper"), which often occurs earlier than the stage where said popular character was expected to lose. It is a form of tactical voting.
Sniping implies that the activity was intentionally done by fans of another contestant or series, in order to benefit their picks later in the tournament. It can also overlap with "spite-voting", or the tendency for a contestant to be eliminated in the next round after they win against a fan favorite.
The term originated from discussions of the 2channel's Anime Saimoe Tournament, mainly in the English-language forums AnimeSuki and 4chan's /a/nime and Manga board. It was also used in the International Saimoe League forums, since many of the users there came from AnimeSuki.
In the Chinese ACGN fandom, the analogous term "Knife" (刀) is used instead, which refers to a voter deliberately choosing a weaker character against a stronger competitor that they don't like.
Examples of Sniping
insert example matches here.
- Saimoe 2011 Round 1: Mikoto Misaka vs Homura Akemi vs Sara (Jewelpet). One of the most infamous matches of the tournament, this 3-way match turned 2-horse race ended with Misaka knocking out pre-tournament favorite Homura partly thanks to the former's support from Chinese voters. Misaka later went as far as the group finals (top 16), where she lost to Astarotte Ygvar. Misaka's victory over Homura was accused of cheating and foreign influences, which might have contributed to the organizers implementing harsher rules in later editions.
- The Best Girl 3 semi-final ended in a double upset with #53 Mikoto Misaka taking down #1 Hitagi Senjougahara by 37 votes, and #42 Megumi Tadokoro defeating #6 Holo by 16 votes, causing arguably the saltiest meltdown in the tournament's history. At that time, both Senjougahara and Holo were the favorites to win the tournament because of their past deep runs; they also have a shared history as they fought each other in round 6 of the previous Best Girl, which Senjou won. Redditors widely believed that fans of both girls tried to snipe each other out by voting their rival's opponent in the semis in hopes of giving their waifu an "easier" match-up in the final. This backfired spectacularly as their opponents benefited from additional votes, which may be part of the reason why both Senjou and Holo were knocked out by such small margins.
- Best Girl 6 Round 5: Asuna vs Zero Two. It is believed that Zero Two fans, who rallied support outside the r/anime subreddit, apparently wanted their girl to have easier match-ups in the later rounds in case she wins, so they voted against historically stronger girls in other matches from that day. This resulted in Saber losing to Hachikuji and Taiga losing to Karen. Asuna won that match however, and she defeated her remaining opponents by progressively bigger margins afterwards, which suggests "weaker" competition - or more likely momentum from her side.
- 8.17 Accident in 2017 edition: Kanna Kamui vs Mash Kyrielight. It is the most famous, and the most controversal match of saimoe history. But I omit it due to the space limitation. Just See this article.
A list of characters known to produce upsets. [give reasons why]