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Nintendo on why it allowed Smash Balls and items for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North American Open 2019

Posted on April 20, 2019 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News, Switch

At PAX East 2019, Nintendo concluded two tournaments – one for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and another for Splatoon 2. The Smash Bros. tournament was particularly noteworthy since it strayed a bit from community-organized events. Smash Balls were turned on, and items in general were allowed. Not all top players were happy about that, since they believe it goes against fair competition.

In an interview with Polygon, Nintendo of America senior director of product marketing Bill Trinen explained the decision. Trinen said that Nintendo was “trying to attract as many people who don’t normally play in tournaments.”

He said:

“Certainly with Smash Bros., you’ve got a very clearly established competitive rule set that all of the pros are using. But the game is designed in a way that there’s a lot of different ways to play. And with the number of people that play online, we know that people play with a lot of different rule sets, [with] items on and things like that. So one of the things we wanted to do with the North American Open was to really make this about trying to attract as many people who don’t normally play in tournaments.”

“With over 10,000 people having been a part of the online tournament, we really think that that approach is drawing in new players. Some of them are people that play competitively but don’t really make it into those top tiers of at some of those larger tournaments. And so it’s both giving them an opportunity to shine. But you’re also seeing some people who are really just kind of new to the competitive scene as well.”

Trinen also confirmed that Nintendo will work with Evo once again this year. However, Trinen said it isn’t discussing the full details just yet.

“We’ve worked with Evo in the past through a partnership perspective and plan to do the same as well this year. Obviously with that being a little bit further out, we don’t have any detailed plans right now but we are going to look at what opportunities we have to work with them.”

“For us, one of the main things that we want to try to do is broaden the audience as much as possible and also try to support where we can in terms of growing the number of people that are going to tournaments and growing the number of people that are watching tournaments. [We’ll] be focused a bit in those areas. But hopefully we’ll have some other opportunities to work together with Evo in a variety of different ways.”

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