Smash World Tour organizers have announced their 2022 Championship Tournament and their 2023 series of events have been canceled following notice from Nintendo that they can no longer hold their tournament.
“It is with an incredibly heavy heart that we must announce that the upcoming Smash World Tour Championships, as well as the Smash World Tour 2023 are to be cancelled,” the organizers wrote in a Medium post.
“Without any warning, we were notified the day before Thanksgiving by Nintendo that we could no longer operate. This was particularly shocking given our conversation with Nintendo over the past twelve months. Since then, we have been working 24 hours on 24 to make the appropriate logistical arrangements, as well as to prepare this statement with appropriate legal advice.”
Upcoming Smash World Tour Championships and the entire 2023 Smash World Tour are to be cancelled.
Full story: https://t.co/3ro3q7rr4h pic.twitter.com/Gcgcgakdvp
— Smash World Tour 2022 (@SmashWorldTour) November 29, 2022
The Smash World Tour has had over 6,400 live events worldwide according to organizers with an attendance of over 325,000 people. This year’s championship was also expected to have the largest prize pool in competitive Smash Bros. history. at $250,000.
Nintendo has a known history of head-butting with Super Smash Bros. events and tournaments. third. Nintendo has closed a Super Smash Bros. tournament. in 2020 for using online mods, and famously, Nintendo tried to stop Super Smash Bros. Melee to take place at Evo 2013. This followed a community donation campaign where the winner could choose a game to enter Evo which was Super Smash Bros. After an online outcry, the tournament was allowed to continue.
Last year, Nintendo seemed to be making inroads into the competitive Smash Bros. scene. by announcing an officially licensed tournament with Panda Global called Panda Cup. However, Smash World Tour organizers claim that this very relationship may have impacted the tournament’s closure.
The statement accuses Panda CEO Alan Bunney of sabotaging efforts to organize Smash World Tour despite an ongoing discussion between Smash World Tour and Nintendo about a potential license for themselves and where the company “made it clear that Panda’s partnership was not exclusive”.[.]”
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“However, we quickly found that many organizers were apprehensive about joining [with Smash World Tour] in 2022. They told us that Alan, the CEO and co-founder of Panda, told them that we were going to be closed and not coming back in 2022.”
In a statement to IGN, Nintendo said: “Unfortunately, after ongoing conversations with Smash World Tour, and after giving the same deep consideration we give to any potential partner, we have been unable to reach an agreement. with SWT for a full circuit in 2023. Nintendo requested no changes or cancellations to the remaining events in 2022, including the 2022 Championship event, given the negative impact on players who were already planning to participate.
The organizers dispute this in their blog saying, “Our Nintendo representative opened up letting us know that they are being asked to deliver the news that in the future Nintendo expects us to only operate with a commercial license, and that we would not be entitled to it for future championships or any activity in 2023.” The organizers say they also received this notice in writing.
In an interview with IGN earlier this year about the Panda Cup, the company said the decision to officially allow a tournament “was really a big step for us.” However, the company also hinted at the internal decision-making processes that have frustrated the grassroots community for so long.
“We love the grassroots community, we want to see it thrive, we want to see it strong, but there’s also – we as Nintendo have our own internal challenges,” Nintendo’s Bill Trinnen said at the time. .
Never mind, Smash World organizers. Tour says they will lose “hundreds of thousands of dollars due to Nintendo’s actions,” but promises full refunds for all participants.
Matt TM Kim is IGN’s Managing Editor. You can join it @lawoftd.
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