LONDON — Nintendo UK has announced a partnership with National Student Esports (NSE). The new partnership will officially launch the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate University Championship. NSE is also partnered with British Universities and Colleges Sport, the governing body for university sports in the UK, and supports the growth of esports throughout higher education.
“There have been many requests from students for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so we are delighted to be able to add such a prestigious, sought-after title to the roster,” says NSE Executive Director Jonathan Tilbury as he points out over the partnership.
Tilbury also went on to say that Nintendo UK and NSE will be working closely to make sure that the Championship circuit “exceeds all expectations.”
The new Smash Bros. Championship circuit will become part of the British University Esports Championship. The circuit allows competitors the ability to earn points toward helping their university be crowned “Esports University of the Year” by playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in addition to a host of other games.
The Championship circuit will consist of eight weeks of online competition. The first four weeks will consist of three versus three team tournaments and the final four weeks will pit competitors against each other one on one.
NSE intends to hold one tournament each week until the finals, which will be a part of the British University Esports Championship taking place in December. Competitors will be able to sign up for the Championship circuit as soon as this week.
In addition to the new flagship Championship circuit, NSE also plans to include Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as part of their regional university tournaments. Nintendo UK and NSE plan to release more information about their partnership in the coming week.
Nintendo typically takes a passive stance regarding esports and only occasionally hosts official tournaments. In an interview with ESPN earlier this year, Bill Trinen, the Director and Product Marketing Manager for Nintendo of America, said that Nintendo is not focused on esports.
“We don’t necessarily view ourselves as being in the esports space,” Trinen specifically states. Instead of directly holding tournaments, Nintendo focuses on, “keeping players engaged and helping more players find a path to sort of exploring that competitive play and playing in competitive tournaments.”
The statements make the partnership with NSE even more substantial as it is different than a normal venture into esports for Nintendo.
Find out more about the partnership between Nintendo UK and National Student Esports in the Press Release from Gamasutra.
Written by Efren Hurtado