Nintendo has a long, nasty history of somewhat arbitrarily shutting down unofficial Super Smash Bros tournaments, which really puts a damper on the fun for some of the franchise’s most passionate and engaged fans. However, Nintendo has taken a big, official step forward in embracing its own esports scene today, as it has announced a partnership with Panda Global to hold the first ever officially licensed Super Smash Bros Championship Circuit tournaments in 2022 in North America, which will include both Melee on GameCube and Ultimate on Nintendo Switch. Further details, like schedule and prizes, will come at a later date.
Pending complications due to COVID, (That is what the asterisk denotes in the text below.) here is how qualifying for the official Super Smash Bros Championship Circuit tournaments will work in North America:
Players from across the U.S. will compete online in qualifying rounds for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In-person qualifiers for both Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Smash Bros. Melee will also take place once large-scale events return, with the winners of the virtual and in-person qualifying rounds* moving on to compete in the grand finals for the championship. Players from Canada and Mexico will also be able to enter and compete, once Panda Global and Nintendo have deemed international travel and attendance at in-person events to be permissible. Players will be able to stay up-to-date on the in-person qualifiers* and grand finals when they are announced at panda.gg.
Bill Trinen, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Nintendo of America, believes that partnering with Panda Global will enable “a more consistent, fun and welcoming competitive environment” for the Super Smash Bros Melee and Ultimate scenes with the official Championship Circuit tournaments. We certainly hope that is the case too, but Smash fans are likely still feeling sore about years of mistreatment.
We are proud to announce our partnership with @NintendoAmerica
In 2022 Panda will bring the first officially licensed circuit for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Smash Bros. Melee to North America.
More details for this short series of events with cash prizes coming later. pic.twitter.com/9PdW9ntfd6
— Panda (@PandaGlobal) November 18, 2021