Team Liquid Smash pro Juan ‘Hungrybox’ Debiedma has linked up with New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell to present “The Box” – an 8,192 person Smash Ultimate tournament that features a prize pool of $10,000.
Earlier in April, the three-time Pro-Bowler posted on Instagram that he wanted to host an online tournament with a top prize of $1,500. However, when the idea generated a substantial amount of online buzz, the proposed first place winnings were raised to $2,500.
The Jets star is known to be a fan of the Smash Bros. franchise, as he even appeared at a local tournament in Ohio back in January.
LETS GOOOOOOO!!! this will be the tourney of the year!! 🙌🏾🔥 https://t.co/fLIAUtnH1O
— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) April 26, 2020
When announcing the tournament on Twitter, Bell predicted that the event would be “the tourney of the year,” while Hungrybox is already calling the Team Liquid-sponsored event “the sickest online event the Smash world has seen.”
Registration for The Box is currently open on smash.gg for North American players only. The tournament is completely free to enter.
The event is slated to begin on May 8 and last until May 10, modeling the tradition of Smash tournaments being held throughout the course of a given weekend.
And while the process of transitioning the Smash community into a fully online environment might come with its challenges, the most obvious upside to this unprecedented period is the fact the game is becoming more and more accessible to any prospective player.
And if there’s any one byproduct to emerge as a positive step in the right direction for the Smash scene as of late, it’s that prize money for the professional scene is getting a bit more respectable.
The Box and its $10,000 prize pool come in wake of “The Quarantine Series” – an in-progress online tourney circuit run by Jacob 'Alpharad' Rabon and Charlie 'Critikal' White, where the prize pool sits at $50,000.
3,500 people signed up for The Box and it hasn't even been 24 hours.
I'm actually speechless. 🙌 https://t.co/LNWr8VfXfx
On a separate note, today is my Melee Top 8 Run at Pound Online.
Watch live here: https://t.co/bwcwFIln01 pic.twitter.com/j132peVpcu
— hungrybox (@LiquidHbox) April 26, 2020
If anything, this trend of online tournaments for the Smash community is not only making the game more accessible, it’s making the scene more lucrative.
If Bell sticks to the idea of a $2,500 top prize for The Box, payouts could rival those of a national supermajor. With recent online prize pools boasting higher marks compared to some of 2019's biggest tournaments, it’s possible that an economic turn of events could be on the horizon for professional Smash.