Get ready to prove your skills in the hit Nintendo Switch game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! If you're in North America. (You can also prove them in Splatoon 2 for the same prize, but this article ain't about that.) Nintendo of America is teaming up with Battlefy (after previously teaming up with them for the Splatoon tournament in 2017 and the Splatoon 2 tournament in 2018), an eSports platform, to bring you twelve massive tournaments across four regions, with the prize being a trip to PAX East to compete in the Final Event for a worth-$500 “collectible item.” The PAX East trip alone is pretty worth it.
The tournaments are all online-based (up until the PAX East trip), with 2048 players in each tournament. The first 9 matches of bracket are 7-minute Time best-of-1 battles with Items on low, and the last 2 matches are 7-minute 3-stock best-of-3 matches with Items on low.. The whole tournament is single elimination. PAX East has its own rules, but I highly doubt anyone reading this is actually going to win a qualifier, so I don't have to give details on that. If you want them, read the official rules. I already did. Not many people have.
The registration is filling up quickly, and not many people seem to know how to sign up for the second or third qualifier in their region—you're allowed to sign up for all three. I know I did. Here's what you do:
|Ta-da! Go to Battlefy and scroll down to the map. Go to the dates you want (using the red arrows) and click Join Tournament!|
(Then fill out forms. Have your Nintendo Switch nearby.)
So you understand when these are and how fast they're filling up, these are supposed to cap at 2048 players. Here is a table of what the registration is as of writing. Try registering for what's not in red:
Clearly, it's pretty obvious what the most populated region is. ...I wonder if the Northwest will even get to capacity.
They also have a curious definition of what each region is, thanks to Mexico and Canada adding to it.
All of those dates are on Saturday.
You might have a decent chance of at least getting past round 1 and having fun. No purchase necessary (no venue fee, unlike most tournaments) — you just need a Nintendo Switch (or someone's Nintendo Switch who is willing to lend you it for a Saturday), Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a “reliable high-speed Internet connection” (hopefully people without one of those don't join), and a Nintendo Switch Online membership. There's also a hidden requirement not listed by Nintendo but it's in the rules: you need to have a Discord account, because there's a Discord server you need to be in hosted by Battlefy.
(You also need to be over 13 years old in Canada/USA or over 18 in Mexico, and I'm pretty sure everyone who reads KoopaTV qualifies.)
If you're wondering why Nintendo is sponsoring a tournament at all, I'm going to guess it's to indirectly drive more value for a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Nintendo's Doug Bowser, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, referred to the tournament as “inclusive” and “a unique combination of social competitive fun.” Meant for “fans of all skill levels.”
Well, I fit under all skill levels. I'm in.
One tip if you register: Don't try and be “honourable” and not use items. Items are important. Use them. If you don't use them, your opponent might. That said, you can also use items spawning to your advantage by baiting your opponent into trying to go for an item, so they'd make unnatural plays that you can take advantage of. Smash Balls are the best example of this. While you're at it, please know the difference between a Smash Ball and a Fake (News) Smash Ball.
Ludwig registered for all three qualifiers in the region that his Koopa Kingdom-based Internet connection is closest to. He'll let you know in the comments section after each tournament how well he did. As for you, you can do whatever you want in the comments section. He finds it a miracle that he didn't make a “Battlefly” typo.
The Southeast region won the whole thing.
Next up? There's a June 2019 Open, too! Join that also.
There's an August 2019 Open, and that one... doesn't have any items!