Super Smash Bros. Ultimate support is coming to an end, yet fans of the game and the series at large have hope following a recent announcement. While Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and its predecessors have been some of the most popular games in the industry, and this is especially true within the confines of the fighting game genre, Nintendo has done very little to foster a competitive Super Smash Bros. scene that, despite the lack of support, has thrived. That said, it sounds like this is finally changing, with Nintendo announcing that it's teaming up with Panda Global for an officially licensed Super Smash Bros. circuit across all of North America, with the competition set to begin in 2022 with not just Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but the long-ignored Super Smash Bros. Melee as well.
For now, due to the pandemic, the qualifying rounds for the competition will be limited to online, However, in-person qualifies are in the plans and will begin once large-scale events are possible again. Meanwhile, winners from these qualifying rounds will compete in the grand finals, which will presumably be in-person, if possible, though right now there are no details on this.
Confirmed. Ready your A-game, Super #SmashBros competitors. We've partnered with @PandaGlobal to launch the first officially licensed Super Smash Bros. championship circuit in North America, coming 2022! #SmashBrosUltimate #SmashBrosMelee https://t.co/3WKbEYrMH2— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) November 18, 2021
As you would expect, many fans of the series were caught off guard by this announcement, not only because Nintendo has done very little to foster and support the competitve scene for Super Smash Bros., but because we are so deep into the cycle of the most recently released installment. And of course, nobody ever expected for Nintendo to awknowledge Super Smash Bros. Melee and its competitve scene after actively trying to hinder it for so many years.
"Today is the first day of a beautiful future," writes prominent pro Hungrybox, of the news, over on Twitter. "Thank you for acknowledging competitive Melee and for providing support to both scenes. I'm looking forward to what can be accomplished with both parties working together. This is gonna be something very special."
"In a week where we've gotten Naruto characters in Fortnite, a Spiderman trailer, Sonic Unleashed 60FPS, a new DB game announced and a Warner Bros Smash game,somehow Nintendo Partnering with an actual E-sports organization and mentioning Melee is the craziest," adds GamesCage.
For now, it remains to be seen if Panda Global and Nintendo will be able to deliver on the promise, but there's no denying that today's new came as a huge surprise for many.
As always, feel free to leave a comment or two letting us know what you think or, alternatively, hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ to talk all things gaming.