Without notice, Nintendo is shutting down the Smash World Tour (SWT), according to the organizers. The grassroots tournament circuit began in 2020, and in its short life span, grew to become one of the most successful of its kind. It included many events around the world, where players and fans shared their appreciation for one of Nintendo’s most successful franchises.
The original Super Smash Bros. ranks among the most influential of Nintendo games, and the franchise has enjoyed consistent success over the years. So it’s no surprise that a passionate fan community has sprung up around it, along with many competitive events and organizations, such as the Smash World Tour. The SWT became the largest tour in the history of esports this year, connecting “over 6,400 live events worldwide, with over 325,000 in-person entrants.” Organizers planned to have the biggest prize in the franchise’s history this year and hoped to raise it even higher in 2023.
Unfortunately, the Smash World Tour announced that it was being forced to cancel the 2022 world championship event, as well as shut down all future events. The statement explains that, the night before Thanksgiving, Nintendo informed SWT that it would no longer be allowed to operate. This reportedly came with no warning, and the blindsided organizers were forced to scramble as they reached out to partners, competitors, and fans. The organization says it will be out “hundreds of thousands of dollars due to Nintendo’s actions.”
The team describes a history of frustration with Nintendo since SWT’s inception, but was under the impression that the relationship had significantly improved recently. And although it proved difficult to get in touch with the gaming giant in recent months, poor communication being common for Nintendo, confidence remained high based on the many positive conversations between the two parties over the past year. Awaiting news as to whether the Smash World Tournament would be granted an official license for its upcoming championships, the organizers received word that not only had they failed to acquire the license, but the whole organization must be shut down as well.
This is not the first time Nintendo has forced a tournament to shut down, and there’s been a long-standing divide between the company and the tournament community. Judging by SWT’s experiences, it appeared that Nintendo was finally bridging that gap. But now, due to the company’s actions, it may only get wider.
Through Nintendo’s partnership with Panda Global, a company which SWT claims played a part in its downfall, fans have been hopeful that the tournament scene would continue to flourish. But in light of this news, trust in the company and it’s ability to foster healthy community relationships is likely low.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available for Switch.
Source: Smash World Tour