The competitive community reacts to surprising new tournament guidelines from Nintendo

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Kirby in the opening of Super Smash Bros Ultimate contemplating Nintendo and the company's new tournament guidelines

Nintendo recently got competitive fans of its various franchises riled up after releasing a list of strict guidelines for community tournaments.

The gaming giant posted their new tournament guidelines on their respective websites in Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. on Tuesday. Since the announcement on October 24, fans have taken to the streets (of Twitter) to express their dismay.

The guidelines in question

After looking over the guidelines, it is clear that several facilitate fiscal policy. Some of the other guidelines put emphasis on the number of players who were allowed to participate.

Here are a few of the guidelines that stood out to fans:

  • Community tournaments may not “generate commercial revenue except as permitted by these guidelines”
  • Only 200 players can participate for in-person events while 300 are allowed for online events
  • No use of game consoles, accessories and software not licensed by Nintendo
  • No viewership fees for tournaments held online
  • No third party compensation for organizers allowed. This includes the selling of food, drinks, and merchandise

According to Nintendo, these guidelines regulate “not-for-profit, small scale community tournaments involving games for which Nintendo owns the copyright.” For larger scale tournaments, organizers would require a license from Nintendo. Otherwise, organizers would need to follow the newly implemented guidelines.

For organizers who already have a license from Nintendo, the guidelines do not apply. Those tournaments may continue and be for-profit events.

What organizers and fans have to say

Amid the release of the guidelines, several tournament organizers and players have taken to Twitter to express their concerns for the future of Nintendo competition.

Alex Jebailey, tournament director of CEO which hosts Smash competitions, released a response. Jebailey urged the Smash community to apply for licenses in November, in hopes of ensuring smoother sailing. Via Twitter, Jebailey said, “I’m confident all established events are fine,” while acknowledging the current state of the Smash community saying that he knows they’re “up in a flux right now.”

TempoAxe, one of the top Super Smash Bros. Melee players in the world, expressed his displeasure and major concerns after seeing the new guidelines. He took to Twitter on Tuesday, saying “I’m scared for my life” and that these new guidelines are “extremely concerning, especially for Melee events.”

Arevya, an advocate for disabled gamers and popular content creator, also took to Twitter the day of the guideline announcement over notes about Nintendo accessories. In a long series of threads, Arevya discussed the importance of accessible gaming gear for gamers with disabilities like herself. “I have NEVER been more disappointed in Nintendo than I am today,” Arevya said. “This is a huge step back for accessibility in gaming…”

The relationship between Nintendo and its competitive community has never been top notch. Due to a wide range of confusion and uncertainty, a notable rift has formed. Nintendo’s rocky relationship with these competitive players is most evident within the Super Smash Bros. community. Last year the Smash World Tour Championships, a licensed and large scale tournament, was canceled by leaders at the company despite the organizers meeting the qualifications.

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Saniah Bates
Freelance Reporter/Writer - Saniah has been enjoying Destructoid's content since 2019. In 2023 she decided to join the Destructoid team! She's an avid reporter and journalist who has been working diligently on her craft since 2020. Saniah enjoys an array of Sega and Nintendo games just as much as she loves reporting on them!
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