Smash Ultimate community furious at Nintendo’s new strict tournament guidelines

Michael Gwilliam
smash ultimate tournament with link and samus

Nintendo’s already rocky relationship with the competitive Smash scene took another massive blow after the company implemented new, more strict rules for tournaments.

The Smash Ultimate community is on edge following a new Nintendo announcement that could harm tournaments across the globe.

On October 24, Nintendo of Japan, America and Europe published new guidelines for tournaments that limit the size of in-person events to just 200 people and 300 for online, while also capping registration fees to no more than $20 per person.

While Nintendo’s rules do allow for larger tournaments if the participants are separated into “blocks,” the number of contestants per day still cannot exceed 200 and this could severely impact events across the country.

Although Japan is already prohibited from offering prize money, Nintendo is putting a cap on how much community events can offer, with the max being $5,000 USD for one event and $10K for a full year.

Kazuya vs Ryu and Terry
Nintendo’s new rules could harm Smash events.

Nintendo’s new tournament rules anger Smash players

After the new guidelines were announced for Japan, players began to fear that Nintendo might attempt to make these rules standard across other regions and sure enough, that’s exactly what happened with Europe and America following soon after.

“I don’t want to be doomer about this but uh… It’s over,” one said on Reddit.

“What everyone had feared had happened,” said another.

“It feels like it’s almost an annual thing for Nintendo to screw over the community,” someone else remarked.

Team Liquid star Michael ‘Riddles’ Kim also slammed Nintendo for “ruining his hopes and dreams” with the announcement.

Retired Smash Melee legend Adam ‘Armada’ Lindgren was one of the most livid of all, lashing out at the company on social media.

“F**k Nintendo, they are like a 5-year-old screaming for attention at all times when it comes to competitive Smash,” he blasted.

Nintendo has had a very controversial history with the Smash scene, notably shutting down Smash World Tour 2022 just ahead of its long-awaited final event along with countless other tournaments over the years.

Luckily, majors should be safe from these guidelines, as esports producer Doeboy explained, large for-profit events are fully permitted through licensing.

We’ll have to see how TOs respond, but with these rules taking effect November 15, a lot of events may be forced to apply for an official license to bypass the 200-player cap restrictions. Nintendo says an application form will be available in early November.

About The Author

Michael Gwilliam is a senior writer at Dexerto based in Ontario, Canada. He specializes in Overwatch, Smash, influencers, and Twitch culture. Gwilliam has written for sites across Canada including the Toronto Sun. You can contact him at or on Twitter @TheGwilliam