Nintendo Addresses Controversial Smash World Tour Fan Competition Shutdown in Lengthy Statement

Nintendo Addresses Controversial Smash World Tour Fan Competition Shutdown in Lengthy Statement

Nintendo has shared a lengthy statement in response to recent claims that it told unofficial Smash World Tour organizers that popular fan competition, including this month’s final Smash World Tour Championships, could “no longer function”.

The Smash World Tour, an “international tournament circuit in which Ultimate and Melee competitors can qualify for the Smash World Tour championships”, is described by organizers as “the largest esports circuit in the world. story, for any game title”. This year’s event, which took place between March and November, integrated 6,400 live events around the world, attracting 325,000 in-person attendees.

With the tour now over, this year’s Smash World Championships were scheduled to take place December 9-11, but organizers announced on Tuesday (as reported by Kotaku) that they had “received notice the day before Thanksgiving from Nintendo that we could no longer operate”. As such, the December Championships and next year’s entire Smash World Tour have been cancelled.

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At the time of its announcement, organizers said Nintendo’s actions meant it would “lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.” He added that the move was also somewhat surprising, given that Nintendo had reached out last year “to see if [it was] interested in working with them and pursuing a license as well”.

To complicate matters further, Smash World Tour organizers have accused the CEO of esports company Panda Global, which has an official license to run Smash Bros. competitions. as demanded by Nintendo, of attempting to “sabotage” its World Tour efforts in 2022. can be found in the full SWT statement.

In response to the organizers’ initial claims, Nintendo issued a statement acknowledging that it was “unable to reach an agreement with SWT for a full circuit in 2023”. However, he denied requesting the cancellation of all remaining events in 2022, including the December Championship event, “given the negative impact on players who were already planning to participate”.

Organizers later dismissed Nintendo’s version of events, citing a written document in which the company said it “would not be able to license the Smash World Tour Championship 2022 or any Smash World Tour activities in 2023”. However, Nintendo provided Eurogamer with a much longer second statement, further emphasizing that it was pleased that this year’s championship was going as planned.

“When we informed the SWT that we would not be allowing their 2022 or 2023 activities,” the company wrote, “we also verbally informed them that we were not requiring them to cancel the 2022 Finals due to the impact it would have on players. Thus, the decision to cancel SWT 2022 was, and still is, their own choice.”

As expected, the organizers have now issued another follow-up statement, writing: “We find it difficult to understand why Nintendo reached out to us last week if they really wanted us to continue operating. We find it difficult to understand why they would not just contact us after our event, rather than rushing to meet us before the Thanksgiving holiday, just two weeks before our championship event.”

The statement is less clear in disputing Nintendo’s claims that a verbal agreement has been reached to specifically allow December’s Smash World Tour Championship to go ahead, instead referring to a previously mentioned appeal in which organizers say they asked the company “if we could continue to manage the upcoming Championships and the 2023 Tour with the ‘unofficial’ mutual understanding that we would not be closed.” To which it is claimed: “We were told directly that ‘those times are over’.”

SWT’s full statement once again highlights concerns about Panda Global’s behavior and questions “what Nintendo’s statement means for tournament organizers in general, and the potential implications of unlicensed events.” It ends with organizers insisting that they “stand by [their] initial conclusion of our initial statement” and “urge Nintendo to reconsider how they approach the Smash community, and reevaluate their relationship with the key partners who are causing so much damage.”

It’s clearly a complicated and difficult situation, but I hope that Nintendo having twice given public approval for this year’s Smash World Tour championship to go ahead, the organizers can still find a way to organize the event. and to close the 2022 competition.

Here is Nintendo’s latest statement in full:

Nintendo would like to explain to all Super Smash Bros. fans. and to interested parties the background and rationale for our decision not to license the Smash World Tour (SWT) for their future activities.

Nintendo’s decision was based solely on our assessment of the proposals submitted by the SWT and our assessment of their unlicensed activities. This decision was not influenced by any external party such as Panda Global. Any partner we license must meet the high standards we demand for the health and safety of our fans. It is also important that a partner adheres to brand and intellectual property guidelines and conducts itself in accordance with professional and organizational best practices. We use this same approach to independently assess all partners. If we discover that a partner is doing something inappropriate, we will work to correct it.

When we informed the SWT that we would not be allowing their 2022 or 2023 activities, we also verbally let them know that we did not require them to cancel the 2022 finals due to the impact it would have on the players. So, the decision to cancel SWT 2022 was, and still is, their own choice.

We are open to partnerships with other organizations and will continue to offer licenses for major tournaments outside of the Panda Cup. Panda Global will continue to be a key partner and we look forward to receiving proposals from other groups for tournament licenses. In the meantime, Panda continues to advocate for the Super Smash Bros. community, even to the point where Panda has advocated for other organizations and tournaments to work with Nintendo, such as The Big House and SWT organizers to benefit the largest Super Smash Bros. community.

Nintendo cares a lot about Super Smash Bros. fans. and its community, and we hope to continue to hear their passionate comments. We are committed to working hard to bring joy and fun to the community through tournaments while ensuring that we and our partners operate in a positive and responsible manner.

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