By next weekend, Nintendo will have made another foray into esports with the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open Spring 2020 tournament. The competition is the product of an ongoing partnership between Nintendo of America and Battlefy, the event’s organizer.
Just a few weeks until the #SmashBrosUltimate North American Online Open Spring 2020 tournament kicks off! #CEODreamland awaits the top 4 players, as they’ll be eligible for a trip & registration to the Orlando, FL event. This could be your shot!
— Nintendo Versus (@NintendoVS) February 17, 2020
The fast facts
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open Spring 2020 will take place on Feb. 29 and March 1 and will feature the previously popular best-of-3 sets and no item rule. Tournaments will be divided across eight regions over the two days, with regions 1-4 battling at 10 a.m. PT on Feb. 29. Meanwhile, regions 5-8 will compete at 8 a.m. PT on March 1; the event is open to residents of Canada, Mexico, and the US.
Each region’s top 32 players advance to a single-elimination, best-of-3 bracket during the same day. Brackets will continue until each region can decide on its top two players. Each day will subsequently wrap up with double-elimination finals to crown the top two winners of the day.
The event’s top four players will be eligible to win a trip to CEO Dreamland 2020 in Orlando, Florida, taking place March 13 to 15. The trip would include registration for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 1v1 Singles event at Dreamland.
Nintendo’s place in esports
As this event marks the sixth of its kind since last year, it shines a light on Nintendo’s relevance in the esports scene. The company is one of the biggest video game publishers in the world, and multiple Super Smash Bros. titles are major contenders in esports’ fighting game community. However, none of Nintendo’s other titles have a place in esports, making it a bit of an odd man out.
The company also recently got called out by Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma, a major name in the Smash Bros. competitive scene. According to Hungrybox, the company needs to further support esports surrounding its games. Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa previously stated in an interview that the company isn’t opposed to being more involved with esports.
For now, it seems the company’s primary focus will remain elsewhere. However, events such as this one could indicate Nintendo is trying to make a slow transition towards competitive support. In a conversation with Esports Insider, Battlefy General Manager Yohan Sengamalay highlighted its growing collaboration with Nintendo:
Our partnership with Nintendo over the last year is a great example of an esports circuit built with a major publisher for the wider community. Our goal is to create an open online series in which anyone in North America can compete with a chance to gain access to the biggest live events like EVO and Genesis 7. We’re incredibly excited about the future of the Super Smash Bros. Open in 2020.
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