EVO Japan 2020 prize pools leave Smash Ultimate community furious

Brad Norton
Smash Ultimate characters fighting / crowd at EVO Japan 2019

The prize pools have been revealed for EVO Japan 2020 and while a number of titles are in line with expectations for one of the biggest fighting game events of the year, the Smash community is more than upset at their reward.

The 2020 Evolution Championship Series Japan is set to kick off on January 24, marking the third iteration of the prestigious fighting game event to take place in the country.

With attendance and viewership dramatically increasing year over year, various communities expected prize pools to expand as a direct result. Just days prior to the event, official prizes have been outlined and while a few scenes are satisfied with what’s at stake, the Smash community has reacted with nothing but frustration.

Smash Ultimate characters fighting
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate released in December of 2018 and features the biggest roster of any game in the series.

With a much-criticized history of failing to support the competitive Smash scene, it appeared as though Nintendo was looking to right their wrongs and help bolster tournaments around the world throughout much of 2020. 

As one of the first landmark events of the year draws near however, Smash Ultimate players have been left in a state of shock upon discovering the prize pool for this year’s EVO competition. 

Outlined on the official EVO Japan site, the first place prize for Smash competitors is a Nintendo Switch Pro controller with a “gold smash mark.”

EVO Japan 2020 prize pools
The prize pools for EVO Japan 2020 in full.

No further winnings were included for second or even third place finalists, meaning that the Smash segment of EVO Japan is truly all or nothing.

Comparatively, all other fighting games on display are set to receive a healthy sum of cash, helping compensate the top competitors who may be flying out for the event. 

Street Fighter V and Tekken 7 top the pack with equivalent prizes of roughly $9,000 USD for those who finish in first place. Additionally, anyone finishing inside the top eight for either scene is set to receive upwards of $500. 

Reacting to the news, countless Smash fans expressed their frustration at the prizing. Popular content creator Andrew Nestico couldn’t believe the announcement. “Are you kidding me,” he questioned, venting his disbelief online.

It is worth noting however, that the translated versions appear differently. The English outline highlights the Switch Pro controller, while the Japanese version indicates that “prizes for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be announced later.”

There’s no telling how the final version of the prize pools will appear, but with only three days left until the action kicks off at EVO Japan 2020, there is little room for adjustments to be implemented.