Nintendo addresses the controversial closing of the Smash World Tour in a lengthy statement
Nintendo has shared a lengthy statement in response to recent allegations informing unofficial Smash World Tour organizers that popular fan competitions, including the Smash World Tour that concluded this month, are “no longer operational.”
The Smash World Tour, an “international tournament circuit in which competitors for both Ultimate and Melee can qualify for Smash World Tour tournaments”, has been described by the organizers as “the largest esports tour in history, for any game title”. This year’s event, which ran between March and November, featured 6,400 live events around the world, drawing 325,000 in-person participants.
With the tour now over, this year’s Smash World Tour was originally scheduled to take place from December 9-11, but on Tuesday organizers announced (as reported by Kotaku) that they “received notice the night before Thanksgiving from Nintendo that we will no longer be able to the work. “. As such, the December tournaments and the entirety of next year’s Smash World Tour have been cancelled.
At the time of its announcement, regulators said Nintendo’s actions meant it would “lose hundreds of thousands of dollars”. She added that the move was also a surprise, given that Nintendo reached out last year “to see if it would [it was] Interested in working with them and seeking a license as well.”
Complicating matters, the organizers of the Smash World Tour accused the CEO of esports company Panda Global, which has an official license to run Smash Bros. As requested by Nintendo, they attempt to “sabotage” their world tour efforts in 2022. More on that can be found in the full SWT statement.
In response to the regulators’ initial claims, Nintendo released a statement acknowledging that it was “unable to come to an agreement with SWT to run full circle in 2023”. However, it denied requesting that any remaining events in 2022, including the December Championship event, be cancelled, “given the negative impact on players who were already planning to participate”.
Organizers continued to deny Nintendo’s version of the events, citing a written document in which the company said it “will not be able to grant a license to Smash World Tour 2022 or any Smash World Tour activity in 2023”. However, Nintendo provided Eurogamer with a second, much longer statement, emphasizing that they are happy to move forward with this year’s tournament as planned.
The company wrote: “When we notified the SWT team that we would not license their activities in 2022 or 2023, we also told them verbally that we were not asking them to cancel the 2022 Finals event due to the impact on the players. Thus, the decision to cancel SWT 2022 was and remains their own choice.”
Expectedly, organizers have now issued another follow-up statement, writing, “We struggle to understand why Nintendo contacted us at all last week if they really wanted us to continue. We struggle to understand why they simply didn’t arrive until after this event, rather than rushing to meet us before.” Thanksgiving weekend, just two weeks before the Championships event.”
The statement is less explicitly contesting Nintendo’s claims that a verbal agreement was reached to specifically allow December’s Smash World Tour tournament to go ahead, instead referring to the previously mentioned call in which organizers say they asked the company “if we can continue to run upcoming tournaments.” And the 2023 Tour with the ‘informal’ mutual understanding that we’re not going to stop working.” who claimed that “we are told directly that those times are over”.
SWT’s full statement once again highlights concerns about Panda Global’s conduct and goes on to ask “what does Nintendo’s statement mean to tournament organizers in general, and the potential implications of unauthorized events”. It ends with the organizers insisting that they “stand by”. [their] The initial conclusion of our original statement “and” urged Nintendo to reconsider how they go about their approach to the Smash community, and to please re-evaluate their relationship with key partners who have caused so much damage. ”
It’s obviously a messy and difficult situation, but hopefully, with Nintendo now getting general approval twice for this year’s Smash World Tour tournament, organizers can still find a way to hold the event and close the 2022 competition.
Here’s Nintendo’s latest statement in full:
Nintendo would like to explain to all Super Smash Bros. fans and interested parties the background and rationale regarding our decision not to license the Smash World Tour (SWT) for their upcoming activities.
Nintendo’s decision was based solely on our assessment of the proposals made by SWT and our assessment of its unauthorized activities. This decision was not affected by any third parties such as Panda Global. Any partner we license must meet the high standards that we demand when it comes to the health and safety of our fans. It is also important that the Partner adhere to brand and intellectual property guidelines and act in accordance with professional and organizational best practices. We use the same approach to independently evaluate all partners. If we discover that a partner is doing something inappropriate, we will work to correct it.
When we notified SWT that we would not license their activities in 2022 or 2023, we also told them verbally that we did not ask them to cancel the 2022 Finals event due to its impact on players. Thus, the decision to cancel SWT 2022 was and remains their own choice.
We are open to partnering with other organizations and will continue to license 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 licensing. Meanwhile, Panda continues to advocate on behalf of the Super Smash Bros. community. , even to the point that Panda has invited other organizations and leagues to work with Nintendo, such as The Big House and organizers of SWT for the benefit of the largest Super Smash Bros. community.
Nintendo cares about Super Smash Bros. fans. and her community very much, 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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