Since the launch of the first Super Smash Bros. game on the Nintendo 64 in 1999, the franchise has grown to become one of the most popular fighting games in the competitive fighting games circuit, with many of its top players becoming known throughout the gaming community. While the fighting game franchise has mostly flourished on the independent tournament scene, Nintendo announced a new partnership with esports organization Panda Global last year as the developer took its first major step towards an officially licensed tournament circuit. Now, Nintendo has recently announced an online tournament to be held through Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
While many fans of the franchise have debated between the GameCube’s Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the newest Smash title has seen plenty of success in the professional scene. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate appeared as a title at 2019’s EVO and was planned for the 2020 tournament before being pulled by Nintendo and missing the past two years. With Nintendo’s partnership with Panda, many fans are hopeful for the future of the game and now, Nintendo has announced the next edition of its Challenge Cup tournaments.
Nintendo officially revealed that the May 2022 edition of its NintendoVS Challenge Cup series featuring Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be taking place in just over a week, with the online tournament set for Saturday, May 7th. Players can enter the tournament for free on the day of the event through Ultimate‘s online modes, and the grand prize winner will receive a Challenge Cup trophy and commemorative memorabilia, including a jacket, backpack, and Switch carrying case, along with 10,000 My Nintendo Gold points. Entry will be free to all participants competing in the tournament.
The event also includes further prizing for players who finish within the tournaments’ Top 4 and Top 8. Both Top 4 and Top 8 finishing players will win a Nintendo Switch carrying case like the grand prize winner, with each position also seeing lower sums of My Nintendo Gold points, 7,500 points for a Top 4 finish and 5,000 for Top 8. The tournament is set to run from 3 PM to 6 PM on May 7th, and the tournament is notably only open to North American residents living in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
While Nintendo’s Challenge Cup will give a chance for players of all skill levels to compete, many fans have been anxiously waiting for news on the future of Super Smash Bros. at a professional level. Both Nintendo and Panda Global have yet to give any specific details on a Panda-organized tournament series for the game, and the absence of Smash from recent years’ EVO tournaments has seen the franchise skip one of the highest-profile tournaments in the fighting game community. While Smash‘s professional future may be up in the air, its passionate fanbase is likely to continue to sustain the game for years to come.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now for Nintendo Switch.