Search KoopaTV!


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Nintendo Hasn't Paid Out Gold Points to Online Open October 2020 Prize Winners Yet

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I consider this to be a scandal. You should care.

Remember when I was introducing the (complicated, at least to most participants I've talked with) prize structure of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Online Open October 2020 a month ago? That was the major Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online tournament that Nintendo was sponsoring, meaning they'd pay out the prize money (and trophies). 48 people across North America are supposed to get 2500 My Nintendo Gold Points, equivalent to $25 in spending money on the Nintendo eShop. 16 are supposed to get some form of trophy (gold trophies for the people name-dropped in paragraph two). No one has gotten any prize yet.

While I might cut some slack on the trophy bit (I imagine shipping trophies around the continent to be a slightly difficult task, though we don't know the actual size or designs of these things), the Gold Points not being distributed is unacceptable. Here's Nintendo's own terms and conditions on prize distribution:
Winner Notification for Tournament prize: The potential winners will be notified via email approximately ten (10) days following Tournament using the contact information provided upon registration. To claim a prize, a potential winner (or if a Minor, his or her parent or legal guardian) must follow the instructions contained in the notification and respond within ten (10) days. If a potential prize winner does not claim the prize or return the Release Forms specified below within such period of time, such winner’s prize may be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner (e.g., the Tournament player with the next highest score), at Sponsor’s discretion, provided sufficient time remains to verify an alternate winner; otherwise, prize will not be awarded.”

Half of the prize winners had their tournament end on October 25, while the other half had their tournament end on November 1. Let's give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt and say that the tournament is defined as one big event ending November 1. According to people who are supposed to win the Gold Points (I cannot personally verify this since, alas, I wasn't good enough to win a prize), they have received no notification from Nintendo from the contact information provided upon registration. It has been ten days (November 11) since the afternoon of November 1 when the tournament ended.

Nintendo has provided no transparency or message on why the prize notification is delayed. This is unacceptable. It instead appears that Nintendo has moved on to promoting their next tournament, which has exclusively varying amounts of Gold Points for prizes, the Mario Tennis Aces North American Open November 2020 occurring November 14, 2020.

The Super Smash Bros. community has long since relied on community-run grassroots tournaments and events, with tournament organisers distributing prizes. There have been times in competitive Super Smash Bros. history where tournament organisers have not paid out money, and have disappeared or have given endless excuses, such as POUND V. Of course, if you do that, you probably won't get to be a tournament organiser ever again.

But what happens when a big corporation, THE big corporation, Nintendo, isn't paying up when they say they will? It's obvious that Nintendo hasn't spent the prize money on drugs and prostitutes or anything like that. It should be very simple to send emails out and do the digital transactions on the timeline that Nintendo themselves established. Even if you're not one of the prize winners here, you should be upset at a corporation sweeping their own contractual obligations under the rug with no transparency or accountability. People really think the scene will be clean and great if Nintendo ran it instead of the community? Not if you'll run into these same, unprofessional issues.

Well, KoopaTV likes shedding light on these kinds of situations. I recommend you share this article until Nintendo pays up. We'll update this when (...if?) they ever do.

Update, November 16 2020: Today, Nintendo has sent out the notification to would-be prize winners and have asked them to fill out an informational survey, so Nintendo knows where to direct the prize money to.

Update, December 10 2020: On November 26, Nintendo told the winners to expect that they would obtain their prize three to five business days after December 2, which puts the range of when one would expect receiving the money between December 7 and December 9. You can see from the date of this update that this has passed and no one has received their prize. There hasn't been a communication explaining this subsequent delay. The winners I've spoken to have expressed doubts they'll ever get paid.

Update, January 8 2021: Today, the winners finally got paid their gold points, notified via e-mail communication.

You could claim that waiting 10 days is improper because Nintendo said “approximately”, but they should really be doing things in a much more timely manner. Besides, Regions 1, 2, 7, and 8 have been waiting for over half a month now. There's some Nintendo eShop deals that might've ended by now that they could've spent those Gold Points on. By the way, KoopaTV runs its own contest series, the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program, and pays out its prizes (in the form of Nintendo eShop gift card codes and/or Amazon gift card codes in the current November to December round) in a very timely manner and is very transparent about it. If KoopaTV can do it, so can Nintendo. If Nintendo can't, they shouldn't be running these tournaments.

Nintendo is committing to a tighter schedule for prize distributions for future tournaments in 2021.


  1. Do we know for sure Nintendo isn't using the prize money for unusual activities? But seriously, release the points!

    1. Wow, you were... quick on this.

      Anyway, KoopaTV, as a force of good in the world, will share this article until Nintendo pays up as they've promised. People shouldn't enter their tournaments again until they do. That's how blacklists work!


We embrace your comments.
Expect a reply between 1 minute to 24 hours from your comment. We advise you to receive an e-mail notification for when we do reply.
Also, see our Disclaimers.

Spamming is bad, so don't spam. Spam includes random advertisements and obviously being a robot. Our vendor may subject you to CAPTCHAs.

If you comment on an article that is older than 60 days, you will have to wait for a staffer to approve your comment. It will get approved and replied to, don't worry. Unless you're a spambot.