Smash World Tour organizers have it today announce that they would be shutting down after Nintendo told them “without any warning” that they “could no longer operate”.
a tourthat Run by a third party (since Nintendo has traditionally been bad at this), it has grown over the years into one One of the largest games in the field of electronic sports and fighting. As the SWT Team says:
In 2022 alone, we’ve connected over 6,400 live events worldwide, with over 325,000 in-person participants, making the Smash World Tour (SWT, or Tour) the largest esports tour in history, for any game title. The tournaments would also have had the largest prize pool in Smash history at over $250,000. The 2023 Smash World Tour has planned prize pools of over $350,000.
That’s all there is to it, because now the organizers are saying “Without any warning, we received notice the night before Thanksgiving from Nintendo that we were no longer able to operate.” While Nintendo has not yet commented – we have reached out to the company –Nintendo recently teamed up with Panda to run a competing and officially licensed series Smashing events.
While this would come as a disappointment to the SWT organizers, fans, and players, it also put the team into a huge financial hole, as many bookings and plans for events had already been made. As they say in the cancellation announcement:
We don’t know where everything is going to land yet with contracts, sponsorship obligations, etc. – in short, we’re going to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars because of Nintendo’s actions. However, we are taking steps to address several issues that have arisen from the cancellation of the upcoming Smash World Tour – particularly for players. Please be aware in the coming days to help with travel arrangements. Due to the timeline forced upon us, we had to post this statement before we could settle all the details. Full refunds will be issued to all attendees.
The move startled the SWT team who, after years of friction, thought they were beginning to make some headway with Nintendo:
In November 2021, after the Panda Cup was first announced, Nintendo reached out to us to put in a call with a few people on their team, including a representative from their legal team. We really thought we might be closed due to the fact that they now have a licensed competition circuit and partner in Panda.
Once we joined the call, we were very surprised to hear quite the opposite.
Nintendo reached out to us to let us know that they’ve been watching us build over the years, and wanted to know if we’d be interested in working. with them and seek a license as well. They made it clear that the Panda partnership wasn’t exclusive, and said it “didn’t go unnoticed” because we didn’t violate their IP regarding game modifications and it represented Nintendo’s values well. They made it clear that game mods were their primary concern in terms of “going down on events,” which also made sense to us given their enforcement over the past few years in this regard.
That extended conversation changed our view of Nintendo on a macro level. It was incredibly refreshing to talk to so many senior members of the team and cleared the air of so many misunderstandings and suspicions in previous years. We explained why so many in the community were hesitant to reach out to Nintendo to work together, and we really thought Nintendo was taking a hard look at their relationship with the community, and ways to get involved in a positive way.
I think not! Plus Nintendo now stating that tournaments can only be played with an official license – a SW thingT wasn’t successful in applying — the team also alleged that Panda went around undermining individual event organizers (the World Tour served as an umbrella tying these events together), and that while Nintendo continued to say nice things to their faces, Panda told these grassroots organizers that The Smash World Tour would definitely close, which made them hesitate to join.
You can read the full announcement over herewhich goes into great detail, and concludes with an appeal that “Nintendo is reconsidering how it currently proceeds its relationship with the Smash community, as well as its partners”.
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