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Damn, a lot of these didn't age well. But I might as well throw my hat into the ring.
1. Ryu Hayabusa (Ninja Gaiden): I agree that given Koei Tecmo's recent closeness with Nintendo, this would be a natural choice. From what little I know of the former, there doesn't seem to be any other character of theirs that would be a sort of mascot, save for MAYBE a few of the DOA characters (and considering Sakurai's cheeky remarks on Mai, Kasumi probably isn't happening).
2. Doomslayer: While id Software still controls Doom as an IP, Bethesda technically owns it, so that might fit with the rumors (along with the Mii Fighter hat that was leaked not too long ago, which I will not include here out of respect for potential spoilers). I really don't see any other Bethesda characters making the same impact as Doom Guy, other than maybe the Dovakhiin.
3. Rayman: Not much to say here... just overdue at this point.
4. Tracer: Basically for the same reasons as everyone else has stated, but I'd honestly be happier with a more retro character such as The Lost Vikings or one of the Warcraft orcs.
5. One of the Golden Sun protags: ...Not for any justifiable reason. I just want them to resolve that cliffhanger from Dark Dawn.
As for characters I'd give up on, I'd say... well, pretty much any franchise/company already represented. Sakurai was very clear on expanding into "new worlds" which to me says IPs without any existing reps. So no more Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, DK, or Xenoblade reps, just to name a few (Sorry not sorry Rex fans.) I'm not sure how this applies to characters like Geno, whose specific franchise of origin is murky (is he a Mario character, or an OG Square Enix character? Logic would dictate the former, but the latter is possibly and preferable since he hasn't shown up in non-costume form in several decades to my knowledge.)