Home Esports Why Are the Latest Nintendo Esports Guidelines Controversial?

Why Are the Latest Nintendo Esports Guidelines Controversial?

by David Manyun
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Super Smash Bros Ultimate

The Smash Ultimate community is experiencing heightened anxiety in response to a recent revelation made by Nintendo, which has the potential to negatively impact tournaments and esports betting on a global scale.

New rules were recently released by Nintendo of Japan, America, and Europe on October 24th. These guidelines impose restrictions on the scale of in-person tournaments, allowing a maximum of 200 participants and 300 participants for online tournaments. Additionally, the guidelines limit registration costs, stipulating that they should not exceed $20 per person.

Although Nintendo’s regulations permit larger tournaments by dividing competitors into “blocks,” the daily limit of 200 entrants remains in place, potentially causing significant disruptions to events nationwide.

In Japan, the provision of prize money is already illegal, and Nintendo has implemented a restriction on the maximum amount that community events may award. Specifically, the limit for a single event is $5,000 USD, while for an entire year, the maximum limit is $10,000 USD.

Why So Mad?

Following the announcement of the new restrictions in Japan, concerns arose among gamers over the potential for Nintendo to adopt these policies as a norm throughout other territories. Indeed, Europe and America saw a similar sequence of events in close succession.

Players and organizers have expressed their dissatisfaction with these restrictions through various social media sites. The prevailing emotion among a significant number of individuals is characterized by a combination of frustration and tension, with a subset of individuals expressing apprehension over the potential threat faced by the competitive scene. Prominent community members, such as highly rated gamers Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby and Adam “Armada” Lindgren, have voiced their significant discontent with Nintendo’s approach.


The restrictions provide a specific risk to the Super Smash Bros. Melee community, as it heavily depends on community-driven tournaments and user-generated modifications. The prohibition of altered software, shown by Project M, and the limitation imposed on internet gameplay for Melee competitions have placed this cherished version of the game in a vulnerable predicament.

Although there has been a predominantly negative response to Nintendo’s rules, some within the community maintain a sense of optimism for the future. It is posited that this dispute might present an additional challenge to surmount rather than serving as an ultimate demise for the professional Smash community. Several community members expressed optimism over the potential for Nintendo to reassess or alleviate these limits in light of the widespread public protest.

On The Brightside

Nintendo has been involved in a series of contentious incidents within the competitive Super Smash Bros. community, most notably the abrupt cancellation of the highly anticipated final event of the Smash World Tour 2022 and the termination of several other tournaments throughout the years.

Fortunately, it has been elucidated by Doeboy, an esports producer, that majors are exempt from these criteria. This exemption is because huge for-profit events are authorized and regulated by acquiring proper licenses.

Furthermore, government agencies like the Norwegian Consumer Council are already breathing down Nintendo’s neck. This former foe of Nintendo has already defeated the company in court twice.

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David Manyun
Hailing from the West Midlands, David is a freelance sports journalist with a focus on both written and visual sports content. Building a reputation for precise pre-fight predictions, he gains recognition for his thorough fight analysis and extensive knowledge of contenders and fight history in his rapidly evolving field.

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