There has been a large number of online Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments lately and it has been fueling the competitive scene in these unfortunate times.
The spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic hit the Smash Ultimate community hard. 2020 was supposed to be the year that the Smash World Tour took place. Smash tournaments don’t usually have much infrastructure and are usually just individual tournaments taking place. The World Tour could fix that but will no longer happen in the massive capacity it once hoped it would.
Smash World Tour statement regarding COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/poqyS2ccGo
— Smash World Tour (@SmashWorldTour) March 12, 2020
But Smash players still have the desire to compete and thankfully, online tournaments are taking place. Although Smash Ultimate’s online capabilities are questionable at best, these events still give players the competitive outlet that they need. Many local Smash Ultimate groups are taking to online play to satisfy that competitive itch.
It is not just local Ultimate weeklies moving online. Massive online tournaments will soon occur too. Just this past weekend, the Quarantine Series had its invitational take place with a prize pool of $10 thousand.
Today was the first of many tournaments in the #QuarantineSeries ☢️
Thank you to the viewers who made this possible!! ?
We have many more tournaments coming up and we’ll be reaching out to many more community heads for the next ones.
— Jacob ? (@Alpharad) March 30, 2020
Thanks to online tournaments, previously unknown competitors can now step into the spotlight. The winner of the Quarantine Series invitational was Kolawole “Kola” Aideyan. Although he was a relatively unknown player, he beat the likes of NRG’s Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada and Spacestation Gaming’s Enrique “Maister” Hernandez Solis, both who are top six players in competitive Smash Ultimate.
Perks of Online Smash
Even though playing online is completely different from playing LAN, Kola accomplished something that most top players cannot do. If major tournaments continued being played offline at LANs, it’s likely that most would never hear of Kola. Online events open up the field of who can actually participate in these tournaments, proving beneficial for so-called online warriors.
If esports organizations pay careful attention to online tournaments, it’s possible that players like Kola could end up with a tier 1 sponsor. Whether that will happen or not has yet to be seen. And it’s not just these players who will benefit. Top players such as Nairo will retain their competitive spirit thanks to online tournaments and will be better prepared to compete in offline tournaments when they make their eventual return.
For now, nearly all Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments will be played online. There are many online tournaments available for sign up on smash.gg and the number is only increasing. From no prize pot to a pot as big as $10 thousand, multiple tournaments are available for sign-ups. Smash Bros. Ultimate players who have always wanted a taste of the real competitive scene now have the ability to do try their hand.
Although Smash Ultimate does not have the best online play, it allows for the competitive scene to continue. That in itself is important to the Smash Bros. community. Expect more major online tournaments to continue in the future and more major upsets from players like Kola to take place.
Written by Daniel Borjas