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Update: Nintendo responds to the decision to cancel the Smash World Tour 2022 Championship and 2023 series

Glitch: Duel of Fates and Double Down 2023 also canceled

Posted by 'EventHubs' • November 30, 2022 at 4:55 a.m. PST • Comments: 26

Update (November 30, 2022 at 4:56 a.m. PT): A Nintendo spokesperson has followed up with Kotaku, offering a response to the cancellation of the Smash World Tour 2022 Championship and the Smash World Tour 2023 series. The Smash World Tour team has since responded to what was said by the Nintendo representative over a new Twitter statement.

The competitive Super Smash Bros. scene has shared a tumultuous relationship with Nintendo for well over a decade, and while the situation appeared to largely be improving, a great blow was dealt today.

Organizers for the Smash World Tour announced the Smash World Tour Championships are now canceled just weeks away from the event as well as the entire 2023 season with more Smash majors now doing the same.

They claim Nintendo informed the SWT on Wednesday, November 23, their planned events can no longer operate and formally denied a pending licensing agreement between the companies.

This piece of communication is said to have come as a complete surprise to those who'd been working on their partnership for over a year.

"Our Nintendo rep opened by letting us know that they are being asked to deliver the news that going forward, Nintendo expects us to only operate with a commercial license, and that we would not be granted one for the upcoming Championships, or any activity in 2023," reads the SWT statement in part.

Now, VGBC has also announced they too must cancel their upcoming Smash majors Glitch: Duel of Fates and Double Down 2023 with further uncertainty as to whether they'll be allowed to run future events.

The Smash World Tour ran successfully in 2021 as an unofficial and unlicensed circuit, and both parties pursued making their relationship official in 2022 and beyond.

Organizers in the statement claim they submitted their proposal to Nintendo for the SWT Finals and 2023 season in early April 2022, but Nintendo's response was delayed multiple times until November.

This leaves dozens of the best Smash players around the world suddenly without the largest event the series had ever seen that competitors spent their whole year traveling and preparing for — as well as the hundreds / thousands of more staff members and spectators who would have been present.

The SWT states Nintendo's actions here is going to cost the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars due to existing contracts and sponsor obligations.

"That being said, we are taking steps to remedy many issues that have arisen from canceling the upcoming Smash World Tour Championships — Especially for the players. Please keep an eye out in the coming days for help with travel arrangements. Given the timeline that we were forced into, we had to publish this statement before we could iron out all of the details. All attendees will be issued full refunds."

The statement also accuses Panda Global and its CEO Alan Bunney of improper conduct for how the organization approached and communicated with tournament organizers for their own Panda Cup, which is officially licensed by Nintendo.

Neither Panda or Bunney have released a response at this time.

Some fans and players who were qualified for the SWT Finals are hopeful Nintendo may reverse course after such a short notice, which the company has done before.

Nintendo previously attempted to block Super Smash Bros. Melee from being streamed at Evo 2013, but public backlash led the developer to change its position.

As things stand right now, however, the future of the competitive Smash community is suddenly up in the air with no one quite sure how to proceed from here.

This cancellation and apparent reversal from Nintendo threatens to undo years of hard work and progress in growing the Smash scene with attendance and viewership for skyrocketing since last year.

The Smash World Tour Championships was scheduled to take place December 9–11 where 32 of the best Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Melee players were to compete for their share of the $250,000 prize pool.

You can read the full, lengthy statement from the Smash World Tour organizers on Medium.

(November 29, 2022 at 9:16 p.m. PT) Since this statement has been published, a Nintendo representative has responded to the entire situation citing that Nintendo was "unable to come to an agreement with SWT for a full circuit in 2023," but claims that Nintendo did not push for any changes or cancellations for any events in 2022.

Unfortunately after continuous conversations with Smash World Tour, and after giving the same deep consideration we apply to any potential partner, we were unable to come to an agreement with SWT for a full circuit in 2023. Nintendo did not request any changes to or cancellation of remaining events in 2022, including the 2022 Championship event, considering the negative impact on the players who were already planning to participate.

(November 29, 2022 at 10:40 p.m. PT) The Smash World Tour team has disputed what the Nintendo spokesperson said regarding the cancellation of the Smash World Tour 2022 Championship stating that it was communicated verbally in a call and in writing after the call that both the Smash World 2022 Championship and Smash World Tour 2023 series were not to be operated without a commercial license, in which the team would not be provided with.

You can read the Smash World Tour team's response to what Nintendo has stated in this Google doc.

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