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Tuesday, June 20, 2023

The NintendoVS Challenge Cup June 2023 is a Siren's Song

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Alternatively, it's a devil's deal, and it's far from guaranteed.

I will start by proclaiming that Nintendo obviously reads KoopaTV. First, I complained about the methods of entering Nintendo Live FOR SURE (and not by lottery) involved two Splatoon 3 competitive tournaments and a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe event... to the exclusion of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In response, Nintendo revealed the four tournaments to take place at Nintendo Live (as opposed to enter Nintendo Live). Two of them were for Splatoon 3 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but the other two were for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Though it's still a problem that getting into Nintendo Live is a luck-based mission, and only one day is available. Those Splatoon 3 tournaments and the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe event are over, after all.

Well, if you want a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate event to guarantee your entry to Nintendo Live, check out...

NintendoVS Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Challenge Cup June 2023 logo key art banner
I really like this key art. It's great for the start of summer.

The NintendoVS Challenge Cup June 2023! ...Sounds fancy and cool, right? Well, you're going to want to look closely at the ruleset, because it's a very raw deal. Even worse, it's a NintendoVS Challenge Cup. And unlike the Challenge Cup mode in Pokémon Stadium 2 (coming to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack this year), this Challenge Cup is a horror. So much that I've been consistently recommending people DO NOT PARTICIPATE. Here's why, once again.

The format of the NintendoVS Challenge Cups is that it's an in-game event lasting for three hours. You access it by going to Online and then Smash in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and accessing the Official Tourney Qualifiers in the top right corner when the time comes. You select your character and are match-made according to a Tourney Score stat that exists just for this event. Winning the match will increase Tourney Score. Losing will decrease Tourney Score. Your Tourney Score is tied to you, not to your character, so you can change characters between matches. You can't rematch the person you fought. Sets are best-of-one two-stock matches. Final Smash metre is on. The stages are random, and certain Items are on (as Low). Here is the list of stages and items. Note the exact same lists also applies to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Squad Strike Challenge 2023 tournament at Nintendo Live 2023, so it'll prepare you for what's in store.

Random Items and Stage Selection List for NintendoVS Challenge Cup June 2023 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Spring Stadium is also an available and potential stage, but I never bought Min Min's DLC and never will.
Stage Hazards are ON, so Brinstar has lots of lava or acid to deal with!
Nabbit is an active threat in Mushroom Kingdom U!

I don't know why Nintendo insists on structuring their events like this. Two stocks with Final Smashes basically means one stock of real fighting, and then the second stock gets deleted by the Final Smash, because both players will be practically guaranteed a Final Smash with the FS Meter on. Outcomes are highly variable. The best player won't always win. The addition of items also makes gameplay sometimes dependent on those. Low item rate doesn't mean much if one of the items is a Party Ball dumping a whole lot more items at once. The items are also impactful enough where just one or two could end a stock. Some very scary items include the Boomerang, the Screw Attack, the Star Rod, the Home Run Bat, the Smash Ball, the Bob-omb, and the Drill.

Here is a montage of me trying to practice for the NintendoVS Challenge Cup June 2023 in a Battle Arena with the same ruleset. Note that Nintendo disabled saving matches as Replays within the actual Challenge Cup itself, so this will have to do to give you a sense of what it's like. Imagine three hours of matches being determined by jank like this and you can figure out how exhausting things become:

Besides practicing with item play (you'll definitely want to learn the timing of pressing A or air-dodge to catch items thrown at you, especially Boomerangs), you'll want to understand the intricacies of the Smash Ball and Final Smash Meter. If you break open a Smash Ball before your Meter is filled, it'll override your Meter. If you lose the Smash Ball by getting hit or by losing your stock, your Meter will reset to zero. If you get your Final Smash via the Meter, your opponent can't hit the Smash Ball out of you, so the only way you can lose it is if you lose your stock or if the Meter's generous timer runs out. If you lose your stock without a full Meter, your second stock will carry over all of the Meter you built in your previous stock. If you lose your stock with the full Meter, your second stock will only carry over most, but not all, of your Meter.

Depending on who you're up against, it may be viable to try to stall out your opponent's Meter timing by evading them. Some Final Smashes have narrow hitbox activations. Some Final Smashes are huge AND almost OHKOs. You cannot time-stall a Smash Ball-obtained Final Smash because it'll never go away. In that case, you might want to accept you're going to get hit and increase your chances of survival by remaining in the centre of the stage. You can try your best to dodge your opponent's Final Smash activation, though. Might work. Might not. You basically have to pre-emptively spot-dodge or air-dodge or roll, since if you try to dodge after they press the B button, that isn't gonna work.

Let's say you play on June 25. You keep queueing for matches and you keep winning for a high Tourney Score. The top twenty players will be emailed by Nintendo around July 5. If you were in 11th to 20th place, you'll get 2,500 My Nintendo Gold Points. If you're in 5th to 10th place, you'll get 3,000 My Nintendo Gold Points and two tickets to Nintendo Live 2023. 2nd to 4th place gets 4,000 My Nintendo Gold Points and two tickets to Nintendo Live 2023, while the highest-scoring player gets 10,000 My Nintendo Gold Points are two tickets to Nintendo Live 2023. It is unclear if one ticket gives you access to all four days or for only one day, but probably the latter.

It is crucial to understand that you will merely win two tickets. Unlike the winners of the Splatoon 3 or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe qualifiers, you will not win any airfare, lodging, or transportation to Nintendo Live 2023. That's on you. Is that worth it? Probably not! The value of what you'd be spending to redeem your prize is significantly greater than the value of the prize itself. Not to mention how not-fun getting to a position where you can win the prize is.

Ludwig can't stress enough how not fun the ruleset is. He is afraid that he'd actually win if he participated in this, and then he'd be on the hook for buying a hotel stay and airfare. That's also why he never tried to enter the Nintendo Live 2023 free ticket lottery, which ends on June 22. Though if he got the non-ticket prize of 11th to 20th place, that'd be a pretty good deal. This is KoopaTV's 2,700th published article.

There will also be July 2023 and August 2023 events as well.


  1. Do the gold points expire like the silver ones do? Wouldn’t it suck to win all that cash, not use it all and lose it because you thought you had more time. Hehehe, that’d be bad!

    1. Per Nintendo's FAQ:

      Do My Nintendo points expire?

      Yes. Different types of points are valid for different lengths of time:

      Gold Points are valid until the last day of the month 12 months after you earn them. (For example, points earned on April 15, 2017 would expire on April 30, 2018.)
      Platinum Points (all types) are valid until the last day of the month 6 months after you earn them. (For example, points earned on April 15, 2017 would expire on October 30, 2017.)

    2. That’s stupid. But I think I said before, if you’re going that long without using your gold points anyway, then I guess it’s fair. It’s an incentive to buy digital, but not everyone wants to do that. Although I think they can be used on the Nintendo website so maybe you could use them to ship or preorder a physical game too. Or some merch!

    3. All of the merch is actually Platinum Points!

      You cannot use Gold Points for purchasing physical titles. They are an eShop-only construct. The FAQ/documentation also mentions this.
      "Gold Points can be used toward purchase of eligible Nintendo Switch digital games, DLC, Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers, and Nintendo Switch Online memberships, excluding certain passes, automatic renewals for passes and Nintendo Switch Online memberships, in-game items, and virtual currency."

      Like, the My Nintendo Store? That takes only dollars.

  2. NintendoVS Challenge Cup June 2023 result:

    NintendoVS Challenge Cup July 2023 result:

    NintendoVS Challenge Cup August 2023 result:


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