Champion of Nintendo’s crossover hit will walk away with a prize worth less than one percent of the purse for some other games.

Pretty much for as long as Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. franchise has existed, which is 21 years and counting now, it’s been stuck with the question “Is Smash a fighting game?”

On the “yes” side of the debate are those who say it’s a competitive, side-view game where players control a single character with a variety of offensive and defensive techniques and the contest taking place within the confines of an arena. The “no” side counters by asserting that fighting games are supposed to be strictly one-on-one, not an up-to-four-person battle royale, like Smash is, and also that Smash lacks the traditional decline-to-knock-out life bars of Street Fighter, King of Fighters, Virtual Fighter, and other universally accepted fighting games with a variation of “fight” right there in the title.

But these days team “Smash IS a fighting game” can fire back with a very big gun: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the newest game in the series, is going to be one of the featured games at the Japan 2020 iteration of the Evolution Championship Series, a.k.a. Evo, the highest-profile and most popular fighting game tournament organization in e-sports. That’s got to be worth some serious fighting-game cred, right?

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate trailer

Maybe, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the prize that Evo Japan 2020’s Smash champion is going to walk away with. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is one of six main tournament games at Evo Japan 2020, with the others being Capcom’s Street Fighter V, SNK’s Samurai Shodown, Bandai Namco’s Tekken 7 and Soulcaliber 7, and Arc System Works’ Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle. So what does the best player for each of those game receive?

Street Fighter V: 1 million yen (US$9,090)
Tekken 7: 1 million yen
Samurai Shodown: 500,000 yen (US$3,450)
Soulcaliber 7: 500,000 yen (US$3,450)
Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle: 500,000 yen (US$3,450)
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

▼ Congratulations…?

As you can see, one of those prizes is not at all like the others. Champions for the non-Nintendo games walk away with huge cash prizes, whereas the Smash champion gets a Switch Pro Controller, a peripheral that anyone can order off of Amazon Japan for 6,785 yen (US$62). Granted, the Evo Japan 2020 website says that the controller contains a “gold Smash Brothers emblem,” but unless they mean “gold” as in the precious medal, not the color, that still doesn’t make it very special.

Adding to the prize gap is that all of the other games will also be awarding monetary prizes to their second through seventh-place finishers, with the purses ranging from 30,000 to 400,000 yen. For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, though, there’re no consolation prizes. It’s winner-take-all, even though in this case “all” isn’t very much.

Source: Evo Japan 2020 via Jin via Reset Era
Top image: YouTube/Super Smash Bros.
Insert image: Nintendo

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