You're not logged in | Login / Register | News Filter | Submit News

Nintendo and Panda Global announce first officially licensed Super Smash Bros. Melee and Ultimate tournament circuit

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • November 18, 2021 at 11:07 a.m. PST • Comments: 15

For years now, competitive Super Smash Bros. fans have asked for a full-on tournament circuit that is backed by Nintendo. While other major fighting titles saw representation in circuits such as Capcom Cup, the Tekken World Tour, and the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour, unfortunately, Smash Bros. just did not get the same treatment from its parent company.

Well, Nintendo has now partnered up with Panda Global and has announced the first officially licensed tournament circuit for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Smash Bros. Melee.

"We are proud to announce our partnership with @NintendoAmerica," wrote Panda Global on their official Twitter account. "In 2022 Panda will bring the first officially licensed circuit for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Smash Bros. Melee to North America."

Details about the circuit are scarce at the moment, but Panda Global's tweet does mention that this will be a "short series of events". This seems to imply that there won't be too many tournaments included in this first go, but we'll have to wait and see the full line up.

The existence of this tournament circuit is a major step forward for Super Smash Bros. and eSports. There have been so many complaints over the years and cries for acknowledgement from all kinds of players — especially pros — and now it's looking like Nintendo is finally throwing their hat in the ring.

According to a press release, players from across the U.S. will compete online in qualifying rounds for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. There will also be in-person qualifying rounds for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Smash Bros. Melee when "large scale events return" — with the caveat that these are subject to being cancelled at any time due to COVID-19.

The winners of the in-person and online qualifying rounds will earn a spot in the tournament circuit's grand finals. We will also see players from Mexico and Canada allowed to compete "once Panda Global and Nintendo have deemed international travel and attendance at in-person events to be permissible."

Juan "Liquid|Hungrybox" Debiedma, one of the most accomplished Melee players in the world, has probably been the most vocal about Nintendo's lack of support of the competitive scene throughout his career. He chimed in on Twitter in response to the announcement noting just how big of a deal this tournament circuit really is.

Both Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Smash Bros. Melee (obviously) are all said and done in terms of content. With both games in their finished state — sans potential balance updates for Ultimate — it will be interesting to see if Nintendo continues on with this circuit for several years until the next Smash game is announced or if this is just a one-off experiment for the company.

Load comments (15)