There is only one real title that deserves the label esports from Nintendo, and that is ofcourse Super Smash Bros. On the E3 they revealed the latest offspring called Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. As a promotion, Nintendo invited some of the best Melee and Smash Wii U players from around the world. They battled each other in a exciting invitational tournament.
There are some peculiarities to Smash Bros that make the esports so interesting. For instance, the controllers were made in different factories and in different periods of time. There is a significant difference in functionality, with the controllers made in the early 2000’s being the best by far. Professional players go wild on their hunt to find these. It gives Nintendo a headache, since players are modifying their controllers and even the hardware to get an edge. Something Nintendo is trying to prevent, and has to prevent, to ever become a serious contender in esports. Players want a leveled playing field.
Looking at you Capcom
Capcom wasn’t to proud to partner with established tournaments when they started their Pro Tour. With many Nintendo Games being popular in the amateur circuit and potential esports candidates, could this be the road the Japanese developer decides to take as well? Think of games like Splatoon, Arms and Mario Tennis Aces. Nintendo is looking at multiple angles to really kick-start these games, from sponsoring amateur circuits to setting up a solely online competition. But Nintendo wouldn’t be Nintendo if they didn’t push their games in their own unique way.
It’s 2018, time to make a move already
Nintendo is in secrecy about their strategy to launch their esports titles. All good and all, but Nintendo; it’s 2018!! You should already have been investing a lot! Reserve some prize money already, set up an competitive scene with franchise already, give players like Hungrybox the podium that they deserve already! 2024 is the year esports will make their entrance on the Olympics, if Nintendo wants their titles to compete there, they have to act now. Currently, based on hours viewed, Super Smash Bros hangs around 11th/12th on Twitch, that is just not gonna be enough.
Hopefully, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Is gonna be the title that brings the community together and that will get the support it needs from a publisher that sometimes might be a bit to stubborn. Then again, that is one of the reasons we love Nintendo.