Smash Ultimate’s EVO Japan return sets up major clash with legacy event

Brad Norton

For the first time in the history of Super Smash Bros. it appears as though two S-Tier events could be hosted on the very same weekend in 2020.

With the first iteration of the Nintendo brawler released in 1999 on the Nintendo 64, Smash has been a staple in the Fighting Game Community (FGC) ever since.

Throughout 20 years of heated competition, no two S-Tier events have ever coincided on the same dates. The pinnacle of Smash tournaments, S-Tier events are labeled as such based on the number of registered players, collective prize pools and the prestige of the competition.

Now, however, it appears two premier events are about to collide, following an announcement at the Nintendo Live Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Challenge Cup Grand Finals that EVO Japan would be welcoming Ultimate back into the game line for their 2020 event, on the same weekend as North American tournament GENESIS 7.

Smash Ultimate will be featured on the Japanese main stage, and headline the event in Fukuoka, from January 24-26, which came as a surprise to much of the game’s community considering the title was excluded completely from EVO Japan 2019.

EVOAn enormous turnout at a recent EVO event.

While the news of Smash headlining a major international event, one with such renown as EVO Japan, seemed an all-around win, the announcement came as a shock to the FGC as the dates just so happened to clash with one of the most significant grassroots events around the globe.

GENESIS 7 will be taking place in California across the same weekend, meaning that professional players will have to weigh their options and select one of the major events to attend. GENESIS was established in 2009 and has contributed to the stardom of many professional players over the years with GENESIS 6 even boasting over $40,000 in total prize pools.

With over 800 attendees already registered for GENESIS 7, and Smash Ultimate being heralded as the headlining title at EVO Japan 2020, this could mark the very first time in Smash history that two S-Tier events have collided in such fashion.

Reddit user ‘ForgotPasswordNewAcc’ expressed the shock of the community: “Genesis is the biggest, most prestigious smash tournament of the year. This is terrible news.”

It remains to be seen which tournament the majority of professional players will choose to prioritize, however it certainly makes for a historic weekend in the Smash scene with two landmark events kicking off at the exact same time.

The calendar clash news comes just weeks after Nintendo turned a new leaf in regards to the competitive scene, and announced support for a new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate circuit that contains seven marquee tournaments from October 25 through to May 17 in 2020.