Saving 'Super Smash': Why Nintendo's Fighting Game Scene Struggles

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    • Saving 'Super Smash': Why Nintendo's Fighting Game Scene Struggles

      “The scene doesn’t really invest in itself anymore,” says Wynton ‘prog’ Smith, a retired Super Smash Brothers Melee commentator and competitor. “And the most difficult thing is that since we don’t have that kind of first-party support from Nintendo, we have to make do on our own.”
      Pot bonuses serve one primary function, attracting top players like Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma and Joseph "Mango" Marquez to tournaments. They bring higher viewership and attendance to the venue and streams, leading to more revenue. Currently, those numbers are the biggest indication of a successful event. Although, “event expenses are so high that most tournaments can only break even,” says Luis Suarez, the director of Panda Global’s statistic team. “If they offer a pot bonus to attract top players, they are sacrificing everything else.”
      “Pot bonuses pay the top eight, sometimes the top sixteen [players],” says Daniel “tafokints” Lee, a Melee coach for Team Cloud9. “It doesn’t help the hundreds of other players that attend the event and don’t win, or anyone else who comes to watch.”
      Reforming the pot bonus structure won’t solve all of competitive Smash’s funding problems, but that money could be used in a way that benefits the entire community. “We need to cater to the masses and not just the top players,” Lee says. “Having more reasons for people and players to come back is going to be important. We’re never going to reach new markets and bring in more money unless we make a change.”

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