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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Check out the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open May 2020!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - The majority of it doesn't actually occur in May...

It seems like Nintendo is being defiant. Defiant of people's expectations. Defiant of life's situations. And defiant of their own communications.

They are once again teaming up with eSports tournament platform Battlefy to bring you the latest in the North American Online Open series... The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open May 2020! (Register there. It's free, but there are prizes.)

They just announced a May tournament? Today? Ah hah, well, you see, here are the dates: 

(Essentially, the East Coast goes on May 30, and then as you go further west, it's pushed out throughout June.)

It's not much of a May 2020 tournament then if 3/4 of the dates are in June, even if Regions 7 and 8 are the biggest regions. You may remember the previous tournament, the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open Spring 2020, was named such because it occurred on February 29 and March 1, so it wouldn't be fitting to name it after one month. ...At least, those were the standards three months ago. Those have changed.

You may note the bit about Sunday finals and livestreaming. This contradicts what I wrote just last week about how Nintendo no longer livestreams their Online Open tournaments because the last time they did, during the February–March 2019 season, it was a visibly laggy disaster. (Receipts are in the hyperlink in this paragraph.)

People have been complaining about the quality of the online play, and Nintendo can't fix it right now. ...Yet this tournament is happening anyway. According to a Battlefy representative, Nintendo was set to have tournaments prior to this point, but the Chinese Communist Party Virus shutting down most of North America stopped that.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open May 2020 logo Nintendo Battlefy
This logo is pretty much the one from August 2019.
(They were recolouring it for the past several.)

So what's different now? Nintendo changed the ruleset slightly, as well as the prize structure. The prize will no longer be a round-trip flight with lodging and a Visa card with hundreds of dollars on it. Instead, the Approximate Retail Value has been reduced by over 90% to offer a prize package of:

  1. A download code for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass Volume 2
  2. A download code for Splatoon 2
  3. A download code for ARMS  
I pledge to you, tonight, that if I win, I'll be using those download codes as prizes for the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program. Between me already owning Splatoon 2 (and I'm playing it this weekend) and me hating ARMS and not wanting an ARMS character on my character selection screen, the July to August KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program round would feature the above as prizes. I just need to train and win it. Difficult? ...Yeah, but I'm just one or three really good training montages away from success.

(The round from May to June still has a good prize in a $10 Amazon gift card code, too.)

Ah, I mentioned a ruleset change. Alright, listen up. It's still the same set of stages as before, with no items, best-of-three games. It's a ladder format. That means you get three hours to play as many matches as you can (as assigned by the Battlefy platform's match-maker when you click a red search for match button). Every win gets you +1 point. Every loss gets you -1 point. The top 32 people with the most points by the end of the three-hour period advance to a single-elimination bracket.

Here's where it differs from months past. The top four from those Top 32 get to move on to the next day (Sunday)'s Finals Round. Since two regions are going per day, that means the Finals Round is between eight total people, four from each paired region. This is a double-elimination best-of-three games bracket. The top one person gets the prize, and these matches are apparently livestreamed.

That means four total people will get a prize, one for each region pairing.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments section. I'll be posting my tournament journey in the comments section as well, as it happens. I'll also be publishing usage stats, but... I'll consider them June 2020 usage stats. I don't have to play by Nintendo's inconsistent nomenclature. Just by their rulesets and through their lag.

Which I'm really looking forward to seeing livestreamed, because I guess they haven't learned their lesson. If you want to contradict KoopaTV, you better be prepared for FAILURE!

By the way, even if you're on the west part of North America and you're not playing until later in June, you have until the morning of May 30 to register for the tournament, so I suggest doing that. You need to have your Nintendo customer support number ready, so have your Switch nearby.

Ludwig better be prepared for failure too, since Pichu players are still his bracket bane, along with several others like Snake, Sonic, Mr. Game & Watch, Mario, and lots more. ...If you're interested in helping Ludwig be better at poor match-ups, let him know that in the comments section, too. He can help you with the Bowser, Ludwig, and Jigglypuff match-ups that you... probably don't actually struggle with.

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