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Nintendo Closes Smash World Tour ‘Without Any Warning’


Image for article titled Nintendo Shuts Down Smash World Tour, Organizers 'Loss Hundreds of Thousand Dollars'

Picture: Nintendo

Smash World Tour organizers have today announced that they are being shut down after Nintendo, “without any warning”, told them they “cannot function anymore”.

TourIt’s a run by a third party (as Nintendo has a bad tradition of doing this), has grown over the years to become a largest in the field of esports and fighting games. As the SWT team says:

In 2022 alone, we’ve connected more than 6,400 live events worldwide, with over 325,000 live participants, making the Smash World Tour (SWT or Tour) the largest esports tournament in the world. history, for any game title. The Championship will also feature the largest prize pool in Smash history at over $250,000. The 2023 Smash World Tour is expected to have a prize pool of more than $350,000.

That’s all congrats, though, because the organizers now say “Without any warning, we received notice the night before Thanksgiving from Nintendo that we were unable to function. move anymore”. While Nintendo has yet to comment—we’ve reached out to the company—Nintendo recently partnered with Panda to run a series of officially licensed, competitive games. break down event.

While this will be a disappointment to the organizers, fans and players of SWT, it also puts the team in a huge financial hole as a lot of pre-bookings and events planning have already been made. be done. As they say in the cancellation notice:

We don’t know where things will go with contracts, sponsorship obligations, etc – in short, we will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars due to Nintendo’s actions. With that said, we’re taking steps to fix many of the issues that have arisen from the cancellation of the upcoming Smash World Tour Championship – especially for players. Please follow up in the coming days for help with travel arrangements. Given the timeline we’re forced to take, we have to publish this statement before we can work out all the details. All attendees will receive a full refund.

The move blinded the SWT team, who believed that, after years of friction, they were starting to make some progress with Nintendo:

In November 2021, after the Panda Cup was first announced, Nintendo reached out to us to place a call with several people on their team, including representatives from their legal team. We really thought we might be shut down because of the fact that they now have a licensed and partnered competitive circuit in Panda.

When we joined the call, we were surprised to hear the opposite.

Nintendo contacted us to let us know that they’ve been watching us build for years and wanted to see if we’d be interested in the work. with them and pursue a license as well. They made it clear that Panda’s partnership was not exclusive and they said it was “not without going unnoticed” that we did not violate their IP regarding game modifications and represented good for Nintendo values. They’ve made it clear that modifying the game is their main concern regarding the “occurrence of events”, which also makes sense to us as they’ve been acting over the past few years on the issue. there.

That long conversation changed our view of Nintendo on a macro level; it was extremely refreshing to talk to many senior team members and clear up a lot of miscommunication and doubts over the years. We’ve explained why so many people in the community are hesitant to reach out to Nintendo to work together, and we truly believe that Nintendo is taking a hard look at their relationship with the community and the ways in which they can help. to participate actively.

Guess no! Aside from Nintendo now stipulating that tournaments can only take place with official permission — something SWT failed to register—the group also alleges that Panda went around sabotaging them in front of the organizers of the individual events (the World Tour would be an umbrella linking these events together) .

You can read the full announcement heregoes into more detail and ends with a call to “rethink how they currently conduct their relationship with the Smash community, as well as their partners.”

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