Another Big Smash Bros Tournament Has Been Canceled
Social distancing measures enacted as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have led to events like the Game Developers Conference going completely digital this year. America continues to fluctuate with outbreak cases, leading to California Governor Gavin Newsom shutting down indoor venues like restaurants a second time this week, and as a result of the coronavirus, a prominent Super Smash Bros. tournament has also been canceled.
The Big House Super Smash Bros. tournament, an annual event hosted in Detroit, Michigan since 2011, announced via Twitter today that staff members have been monitoring the ongoing situation and decided to cancel the event “due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community.” Traditionally held in October, the tournament already had an unannounced gathering period in a previous tweet from May about its team watching the situation.
By all accounts the popular Midwestern convention, which runs exhibitions for multiple Smash Bros. games released throughout the series’ life on top of other events, is planning to return in 2021. Today’s tweet also indicates there are ideas being planned “in the coming months” to “keep the Big House spirit strong throughout 2020,” which should give fans something to look forward to as they wait for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s next DLC fighter.
Though the coronavirus continues to be a concern for large public gatherings in the United States, the Super Smash Bros. competitive scene has recently been under fire for other reasons. Multiple members of the Smash Bros. community have been accused of sexual misconduct and pedophilia, with even Nintendo coming out and expressing its disappointment at the situation despite typically being disconnected from fan-driven events.
The situation has extended beyond just the Smash Bros. community. EVO Online 2020 was canceled due to misconduct allegations against its co-founder, and larger video game companies such as Ubisoft and Electronic Arts have been conducting investigation into reports against their upper-management staff in particular. In fact, Ubisoft’s Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoet recently resigned after being implicated.
Despite these concerns, the popularity of Super Smash Bros. and its fan-driven tournaments are unlikely to die down provided events like The Big House shore up their precautions before the next gathering in 2021. Japanese fans of the series can even get their own Super Smash Bros. Ultimate invitation letter stationery, which has left many asking for the same thing in other regions.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now on Nintendo Switch.