Smash Bros Ultimate is currently the 3rd best selling game on the Nintendo Switch and the best selling game in the Super Smash Bros. series. Every console has some competitive esports Game but Nintendo never really never had a game made a serious attempt, until Smash Ultimate.
The Super Smash Bros community isn’t as large as it used to be. But thanks to the release of Smash Bros Ultimate, the number of people playing Smash have been rising slowly. At Evo 2019, the world’s biggest fighting-game tournament event, Smash Ultimate far surpassed Street Fighter V to lead with the most registrations–3492 registrations over Street Fighter V’s 1929. Smash Ultimate has garnered a more competitive feeling to it with the new edition having more stages to play, with 81 playable characters (including clone fighters) and monthly patches.
The Melee community, a Smash community that is solely based on the Super Smash Bros Melee Game, wasn’t pleased with the previous Smash release, Smash 4 as Melee gamers often say it is too slow for their liking. The Melee Community likes the fast mechanics and techniques that are in Smash Melee, but none of those apply to Smash 4 which instead rewards you for thinking three moves ahead and outplaying your opponent.
Nintendo has stayed away from the esports scene for years, focusing on making Smash a fun party game that doesn’t require skill to win all the time. But as time passes, Nintendo has been trying to entice the competitive Melee community back within the modern community with Smash Ultimate. To achieve this, they have brought all of the characters back from previous games and adding more movement options. The pacing in Smash Ultimate is much like in Melee as it is faster paced with fewer bugs.
Professional Smash Melee player, Joseph “Mango” Marquez, said in a tweet above that Nintendo is “making the right steps” with Smash Ultimate as the game bring back mechanics that were in Melee but removed in later games, like directional air-dodges and dash-dancing and also some new mechanics like perfect shielding (perfectly timed shield blocks and gives you a chance to counterattack) and the stage hazards toggle feature which makes more stages viable in competitive play. It also removed mechanics from other games such as the ice climber’s “Wobble” Mechanic (A move that allows you to win a stock if pulled off correctly). The game is faster paced than the previous game, Smash 4 with characters not floating in the air as long as well as dealing damage in a one-on-one situations. This gives more room to punish mistakes which is crucial for fighting games. The game has also been provided with other game modes that could potentially come to the Esports community in the future.
Nintendo still wants Super Smash Bros Ultimate to be a party game but they are also supporting its development as a competitive game. It is easy to pick up and have fun but also a game where it has that competition. The Smash franchise is obviously Nintendo’s shot for the esports scene, but of course they’re not as big as League of Legends or Overwatch, Nintendo still has a lot to catch up on, but as “Mango” said, “Nintendo is making the right steps for a game everyone can love.”