Nintendo president doubles down on lack of Smash esports prize pools - Dexerto

Nintendo president doubles down on lack of Smash esports prize pools

Published: 9/Jan/2020 3:08 Updated: 9/Jan/2020 3:56

by Dustin Steiner


Nintendo has ruffled the feathers of its competitive communities, especially Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players, thanks to a new comment from Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa that dismisses the concept of paid esports tournaments as a whole.

Nintendo has never been known for their support of the Smash scene in particular. While this has changed in recent years, to an extent, one thing that pros consistently ask for is a developer-supported circuit. It doesn’t look like this will be happening any time soon, if Nintendo’s president has their way.

“Esports is where players compete on stages while revolving around prize money, and spectators enjoy watching that,” Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa told Nikkei.  “It launches one of the amazing appeals of video games.”

Despite his acknowledgment of esports’ wide appeal, he was not willing to commit that Nintendo would offer esports programs of their own, especially not one with a developer-funded prize pot.

“But there is no sense of antagonism,” he continued.  “In order to make our company’s games be played by a broad range of people, regardless of experience, gender, or generation, we also want to make our events joinable by a broad range of people. Being able to have a different world view from other companies – without a large sum of prize money – is our strength.”

Javi Leyvas for 2GGamingSmash pros like Tweek continue to rely on team sponsorship rather than tournament winnings to get by.

Of course, the Super Smash Bros. community has not taken these comments well, as one of the longest-standing complaints from them has been the lack of prize pool payouts in Nintendo’s esports programs.

Typically, the support that Nintendo is able to offer tournaments is more in logistics than straight prizing, often providing consoles, copies of the game, and promotional efforts through their Twitter account NintendoVS.

While this is still invaluable, it’s a far cry even from what other fighting game developers do for their programs, let alone traditional esports titles.

Despite this, many Smash Bros. players still continue with their careers, using streaming as a way to supplement their incomes, or instead relying on lucrative sponsorship deals from esports teams who wish to extend their influence into the greater fighting game community.

The best example of a player who has extended his brand far beyond his tournament winnings is Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios, who has decided to mostly retire from competing to focus instead on community building and streaming.

He occasionally even makes an appearance on the mic at events around the country. He’s previously gone on record to reflect these comments from Nintendo, saying that their support is purely in logistics, rather than following the Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, or even the Valve model.

NintendoSmash and its DLC have become the best selling fighting game of all time, but still doesn’t have a developer funded circuit.

Many pros have gone on record in interviews with Dexerto on how Nintendo can better support these events, and the overwhelming sentiment was through increasing prizing at events.

The way things stand, if a player doesn’t win the event, even placing 7th at Evo is hardly enough to pay travel to and from the event, let alone food for the weekend. This makes an enormous disadvantage for players who aren’t sponsored and makes it hard for those that are to recoup costs on attending events.

These are problems Nintendo, at least for now, doesn’t seem interested in solving.


How to watch Smash Ultimate Sakurai presents Pyra & Mythra: start time, release, more

Published: 24/Feb/2021 17:48

by Michael Gwilliam


Nintendo have announced the next Super Smash Bros Ultimate fighter presentation by series creator Masahiro Sakurai for the upcoming two-in-one character: Pyra and Mythra.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s Pyra and Mythra are the first-ever DLC to have a transformation mechanic, which harkens back to the days of Smash Melee when Zelda and Shiek shared a character slot.

The two were originally revealed during the opening segment of the long-awaited February Nintendo Direct which showed off some bits of gameplay for the new fighters.

At that point, all we had to go on was that they would be joining the roster next and they would be released in March, though no other information was available. All that will change, however, with this newly announced Sakurai presentation.

Pyra and Mythra attack with Rex and Shulk
Pyra and Mythra are a unique two-in-one fighter.

How to watch Mr. Sakurai presents Pyra/Mythra

The March 4 presentation will be streamed live on YouTube through Nintendo’s multiple channels, but if you miss it, don’t fret, because the video will be available for anyone to watch shortly after.

We don’t blame you for missing it either, as the presentation is beginning very early for folks in the Western United States.

The presentation is set to begin March 4 at 6:00 AM PST/9:00 AM EST/3:00 PM GST and will last roughly 35 minutes.

Pyra and Mythra pose in Smash
Pyra was revealed during the February 17 Nintendo Direct.

What will Sakurai be revealing?

As with these presentations, series creator Masahiro Sakurai will discuss the two characters’ histories and then showcase their moves, stage, mechanics, costumes, and all the music that will accompany their release.

Additionally, the official release date for Pyra/Mythra will also be revealed, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

We also expect to see the latest batch of Mii Fighters too, which are always a nice touch to expand the number of franchises seen in Smash.

Will yet another fighter be announced?

Sadly, Nintendo has gone out of their way to confirm that there won’t be another reveal during this presentation.

Once Pyra and Mythra are released, there will only be two slots remaining in Fighters Pass Volume 2, and it’s anyone’s guess who they will be or when we’ll find out who they are.

Until then, however, we’ll have a new two-in-one fighter to tide us over and master. We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds.