ZeRo explains why Nintendo doesn’t support Smash tournaments with money

Published: 26/Nov/2019 17:54 Updated: 26/Nov/2019 17:59

by Michael Gwilliam


Legendary Smash Bros icon Gonzalo ‘ZeRo’ Barrios addressed why Nintendo refuses to support the esports scene with money in a new YouTube video.

Since retiring from competitive Smash after a very successful career in Smash 4 on the Wii U, Zero has been vocal about how little money pros actually make in part due to Nintendo’s lack of monetary support.

Now, in his new video, ZeRo explained why this is. To assist with his explanation, the Twitch streamer pulled up a Reddit thread from 2016 where a user claimed to have spoken with a Nintendo employee about sponsorships. (4:55 for mobile viewers)

ZeRo noted that while the post may have been “straight BS,” he himself had interacted with a lot of different people from Nintendo and understands their mindset and it matched up with what was said in the thread.

In the thread, the Nintendo employee explained how Nintendo helped assist the Genesis 3 tournament by finding and paying for equipment, getting discounts on items, branding and working to bypass red tape.

According to the poster, the employee explained that Nintendo cares about growing the community. This was spot on with what ZeRo had heard himself.

The Chilean legend then added what he had heard through his own sources. “The way Nintendo wants to support Smash is they have no interest at all in providing prize money or any type of monetary support.”

NintendoIs Nintendo’s “support” really enough?

The Smash phenomenon then dropped a major bombshell and added that monetary support was something Nintendo doesn’t believe in. “For them, they want to support the tournament in general.”

While he doesn’t know if Nintendo views this as a company philosophy, Barrios explained they feel logistical support is a much more “worthwhile investment” to support a tournament as a whole behind the scenes as opposed to giving the top players more money.

“They don’t provide the support that people need to make a living off the game, but they do want to support the events that make the competitive scene happen,” he added.

Nintendo’s lack of monetary support may have actually hurt the scene more than it has helped. Notably, ZeRo himself has stated in the past that the year he won a whopping 56 tournaments, he ended with a total of only around $45,000.

However, there is one bright side to Nintendo keeping the Smash community mostly grassroots. Late into the video at 19:27, the retired pro explained that he heard that Nintendo doesn’t want to take the reigns because it would create too much of a “controlled” environment.

“People won’t be allowed to curse, commentary would have to be controlled, people would have a lot more rules. You would literally have a rule book,” he continued.

YouTube/ZeroZero is a very vocal member of the community.

Considering the success that Ultimate has had, even attracting some of the top Melee stars in Leffen, Armada and Hungrybox, hopefully Nintendo decides to change how they approach supporting tournaments in the future while still allowing the grassroots side of things to flourish.

Unfortunately, according to ZeRo, it’s unlikely Nintendo adds support to Smash similar to that which Riot does for League of Legends any time soon.

League of Legends

Dardoch has faith in young DIG roster: “We can beat everybody, if we play our best”

Published: 20/Jan/2021 6:51 Updated: 20/Jan/2021 6:37

by Alan Bernal


Dignitas is young this year. There’s a lot of new faces, even for the most dedicated LCS fans. That hasn’t phased star jungler Joshua ‘Dardoch’ Hartnett, however: he’s still confident this team can make an impact in a highly competitive field in 2021.

Dardoch, 22, has been around the league for five years now. Alongside the semi-veteran jungler, Dignitas is fielding 28-year-old mastermind Zaqueri ‘aphromoo’ Black. So, as far as experience goes, they’re going to be the louder voices in the room.

They’ll be mentoring and shotcalling for Aaron ‘FakeGod’ Lee, Toàn ‘Neo’ Trần and 23-year-old Max ‘Soligo’ Soong who’s had a brief appearance in the LCS before. There’s talent on this team, but a lot of fresh faces with not much experience.

That means for DIG, this year, it’s all about unlocking that rising talent.

“It’s just about finding consistency in practice and putting it forth on stage,” Dardoch told Dexerto after the first week of the LCS Lock In.

“I think if we have showings similar to what we had playing FlyQuest, then I think there’s not many teams that will be able to handle that kind of play.”

dardoch lcs
Dardoch will be leading Dignitas in the LCS alongside veteran aphromoo.

Dardoch was candid about the standard expectations for Dignitas as an org of winning the split and going to Worlds, something every LCS team rep abides by every season.

What he was more focused on were the realistic expectations his team can carry going into every match. Based on what he saw early in the first Lock In weekend, there was a refreshingly optimistic view from the jungler’s perspective.

“We obviously want to win the split and make Worlds; it is what it is,” Dardoch said, “Even though that’s not, maybe, the expectation of the community or whatever. We don’t care. We only look at ourselves and we compare ourselves to who we see playing.

“There’s no way, with what we see right now, that we can reasonably say we can’t beat everybody in the league if we’re playing our best.”

dignitas lcs 2021 team
The 2021 Dignitas LCS Roster with a mix of talent.

Now, there’s scary teams in the LCS. Cloud9 seems to have won the offseason picking up Luka ‘Perkz’ Perkovic and Ibrahim ‘Fudge’ Allami; Evil Geniuses seems to have cracked the Jizuke conundrum and looked fantastic in Week 1; 100 Thieves are finally forming an identity and it’s working; and Team Liquid are bankrolled to succeed.

So what’s got Dardoch so confident?

Well on an individual level, LCS fans know Dardoch is never short of confidence. But Dignitas are openly leaning on him like few others have before.

“I think [Dardoch] hit that point of maturity where he’s ready to become an exponentially better player,” Dignitas and New Meta Entertainment CEO Michael Prindiville said. “Dardoch, the way his mind thinks, the way he’s articulate and honest, that’s the reason Dardoch is going to be in a leadership position going into next year.”

It’s hard to ignore Dardoch’s troubled past, and it shouldn’t be. Prindiville even said they “took a chance” on the jungler even in light of the TSM debacle in 2020, but it sounds like the player is slipping in nicely to his newfound position.

“I just try my best to keep everybody focused on what options there are left in the game, if there are any,” the NA jungler said. “If we make some mistakes, then obviously we’re not going to have as many options in the game. But there’s still some way to come back.”

He was talking about his team and how he looks to empower them in the face of defeat. But that outlook could double as an allegory for where Dardoch’s personal career is now.

The jungler is still looking to be a part of a successful LCS team. The mistakes he’s made in his career has left him with the options he has left in the game, and he’s still looking for a way to make a comeback. And he could be worse off.

FakeGod has already shown brilliant signs of Top lane dominance with solid fundamentals against lane and draft pressure; Soligo looked stellar in his Lock In debut; and ADC Neo looked good – the exact kind of player that we’ve seen Aphromoo make into something great.

Dardoch sees more in his team. He loves how inquisitive his laners are, particularly FakeGod, who has no problem asking about more insights into the next play during a Lock in match – as the game is playing out.

He described the goal for the team environment as a “family” where it feels “like a cohesive unit.” It sounds like Dignitas is setting itself up for success.

dardoch tsm lcs
Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games
Dardoch’s career has highs and lows, what happens next with Dignitas is up to him.

This is where some might expect this LCS project to implode with enough time and poor results. But also, maybe this is where the game turns for Dardoch. Or at least he has faith in as much.

“I think that’s the most important part of being a leader,” Dardoch said.

“It’s showing your teammates that you can back up what you say. So I try my best to be the best guy on the Rift… I hope that [mentality is] infectious to my younger guys who need to find that individual confidence to perform at a higher level.

“I think as long as we keep the mentality that we’ll be able to play whatever style is necessary for the meta and not one person is going to be the star or focal point in the team at all times, is what’s going to make a difference later in the season.”