Hungrybox slams “embarrassing” prize pools for Smash Bros. Ultimate

Published: 28/Dec/2019 18:11

by Scott Robertson


One year since the release of Smash Bros. Ultimate, one of the biggest faces in Smash in Juan ‘Hungrybox’ Debiedma has gone on record to draw awareness to the “tragic” state of prize pools for professional competitions, and other pro players share his sentiments as well.

Just a year removed from the release of Smash Ultimate, and the returning sales numbers indicate that the iconic fighter franchise is in good standing heading into the next decade. When it smashed the 15 million units sold number, it earned the accolade of best-selling fighting game of all time.

But, despite all of the money Nintendo has raked in with the base game and the DLC packs they’ve sold, a very small amount has gone towards prize pools at professional Smash Ultimate tournaments.

Ultimate is Nintendo’s most sold Smash Bros. game to date.

In a piece for Nintendolife, in which pros reflected on Ultimate’s first year, several of the game’s best brought up the current prize pool situation, with one of the most beloved Smash players in Hungrybox holding nothing back.

Hungrybox called the payout for Smash Ultimate “downright embarrassing.” He also said that it’s “tragic” that the amount of money players receive is in no way comparable to the number of views and impressions that the game gets on social media and video platforms.

The same article addresses what a flagship year it was for Smash video content, on both YouTube and streaming platforms. Pro player Gonzalo ‘ZeRo’ Barrios has spent more time streaming than attending tournaments, especially after signing an exclusive contract with Facebook.

It’s easy to understand why ZeRo would put more focus on streaming when you consider the amount of money players win from tournaments. According to the pros, unless you consistently finish at the top, it’s hard to financially justify going to more events.

Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby says “Only the top [players] make enough money from events to attend more,” and described any placing below 7th as “monetarily worthless.”

Hungrybox places the majority of the blame squarely at the feet of Nintendo. They don’t sponsor a massive yearly tournament the way other competitive titles and their developers do.

ValveGabe’s appearance at the Dota 2 International is a visual representation of Valve’s support of pro Dota 2.

Using Dabuz’s notion that you’d have to finish 7th or better for participation to be financially worth it, 7th place at this past summer’s Dota 2 International netted a team $858,252, which is roughly $170,000 per player. There are two CSGO majors per year, and finishing 7th at a major earns a team $35,000. 7th place in solos at the Fortnite World Cup won $525,000.

The biggest Smash Ultimate event this year in prize money was Smash Ultimate Summit 2, with a $50k prize pool, and each of the players who came in 7th took home just over $1,500.

Other fighting games have a big blowout annual tournament, so this problem is unique to Nintendo. The Capcom Cup 2019 featured a $390k prize pool, and has put up at least $350k over the past four years. The Tekken World Tour finals for this year massively increased its pool to $250k.

CapcomThe best Street Fighter V players duked it out at the Capcom Cup, where the winner took home $250k.

“It’s the only company that really isn’t putting money into pot bonuses,” Hungrybox continued. “Even though they very easily could. We need developer support. I can’t stress this enough.”

If Nintendo continues to “sponsor” the Smash Ultimate competitive scene without injecting more cash for prize money, they may have to brave the next decade without a competitive scene altogether.

League of Legends

LCK 2021 Spring Split: Liiv SANDBOX show signs of life

Published: 20/Jan/2021 13:50 Updated: 20/Jan/2021 13:53

by Lauren Bergin


League of Legends’ LCK 2021 Spring Split is underway! Ten Korean teams compete for a place in the Spring Playoffs. Here’s the stream, schedule & standings to keep you in the loop!

  • Liiv SANDBOX show signs of life by beating Afreeca Freecs
  • An intense decider match has DRX finally defeat Nongshim Red Force
  • Gen.G still on top.

As the region currently holding the Summoner’s Cup, the LCK is brimming with talent in 2021. Throughout the course of the ten-week season (January 13 – March 28), teams will be battling for their place in the Spring Playoffs on March 31.

Over $3.6 million is up for grabs in 2021’s Spring Split, as reigning world champs DAMWON Kia look to stamp authority on their region. Here’s everything you need to stay up-to-date.

LCK 2021 Spring Split: Stream

The LCK streams live on its official Twitch channel, as well as on Missed some of the action? Catch-up on both platforms within 24 hours of the game’s conclusion.

LCK 2021 Spring Split: Results & schedule

Below are the results & schedule for the forthcoming week’s action, followed by the following week’s schedule.

Week 1 results (January 13 – January 17)

Date Match  PT ET GMT 
January 13 Gen.G 2 – 0 KT Rolster 12:00 AM 3:00 AM 8:00 AM
T1 2 – 1 Hanwha Life Esports 3:00 AM 6:00 AM 11:00 AM
January 14 Nongshim RedForce 2 – 1 Liiv SANDBOX 12:00 AM 3:00 AM 8:00 AM
DRX 2 – 1 Afreeca Freecs 3:00 AM 6:00 AM 11:00 AM
January 15 Fredit BRION 0 – 2 Gen.G 12:00 AM 3:00 AM 8:00 AM
DWG Kia 2 – 1 T1 3:00 AM 6:00 AM 11:00 AM
January 16 Liiv SANDBOX 0-2 KT Rolster 12:00 AM 3:00 AM 8:00 AM
Hanwha Life Esports 2-1 DRX 3:00 AM 6:00 AM 11:00 AM
January 17 Nongshim RedForce 0-2 DWG Kia 12:00 AM 3:00 AM 8:00 AM
Afreeca Freecs 2-0 Fredit BRION 3:00 AM 6:00 AM 11:00 AM

Week 2 schedule (January 20 – January 24)

Date Match PT ET GMT
January 20 Liiv SANDBOX 2-0 Afreeca Freecs 12:00 AM 3:00 AM 8:00 AM
DRX 2-1 Nongshim RedForce 3:00 AM 6:00 AM 11:00 AM
January 21 T1 vs Gen.G 12:00 AM 3:00 AM 8:00 AM
DWG Kia vs Fredit BRION 3:00 AM 6:00 AM 11:00 AM
January 22 KT Rolster vs Hanwha Life Esports 12:00 AM 3:00 AM 8:00 AM
DRX vs Liiv SANDBOX 3:00 AM 6:00 AM 11:00 AM
January 23 Afreeca Freecs vs DWG Kia 12:00 AM 3:00 AM 8:00 AM
Fredit BRION vs Nongshim RedForce 3:00 AM 6:00 AM 11:00 AM
January 24 KT Rolster vs T1 12:00 AM 3:00 AM 8:00 AM
Gen.G vs Hanwha Life Esports 3:00 AM 6:00 AM 11:00 AM

LCK 2021 Spring Split: Standings

Below are how each team places in the current standings, as Gen.G Esports lead the pack with a flawless record.

Placements Team Series  Games
1 Gen.G Esports 2-0 4-0
2 DWG Kia 2-0 4-1
3 DRX 1-1 3-3
Hanwha Life Esports 1-1 3-3
T1 1-1 3-3
6 KT Rolster 1-1 2-2
7 Nongshim RedForce 1-1 2-3
8 Liiv SANDBOX 1-2 3-4
9 Afreeca Freecs 1-2 3-4
10 Fredit BRION 0-2 0-4

LCK 2021 Spring Split: Teams

Team Top Jungle Mid AD Carry Support
Afreeca Freecs Kiin Dread Fly Bang Lehends
DWG Kia Khan Canyon ShowMaker Ghost BeryL
DRX Kingen Pyosik SOLKA Bao Becca
Fredit BRION Hoya UmTi Lava Hena Delight
Gen.G Rascal Clid Bdd Ruler Life
Hanwha Life Esports Morgan Arthur Chovy Deft Vsta
KT Rolster Doran Bonnie Ucal HyBriD Zzus
Liiv SANDBOX Summit Croco FATE Route Effort
Nongshim RedForce Rich Peanut Bay deokdam Kellin
T1 Canna Ellim Faker, Clozer Gumayusi Keria