Smash Bros. Breaks All Viewership Records at EVO 2019

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Evo 2019 official logo in the year when Super Smash Bros gathered the highest viewership.
  • Super Smash Bros. posts nearly 280,000 concurrent viewership
  • Breslau calls out Nintendo on failing to provide funding
  • Smash series fans continue to demand better competitive treatment of the game

Super Smash Bros. breaks Evo viewership record, posting some 279,000 concurrent viewers for the game’s finals on Sunday, August 4.

Super Bros. Smashes Evo Viewership All-Time Record

Super Smash Bros. has achieved a new height, completely dominating the viewership numbers at the The Evolution Championship Series 2019 (EVO), the world’s longest-running fighting game event to date.

A fairly new entrant in the competitive segment, interest for the game peaked and marked a record-high engagement from the audience. Nintendo’s latest Ultimate chapter wasn’t necessarily met with much excitement when it arrived in December, 2018, as the company had been trying to balance between a casual and professional experience too much.

Yet, interest in the event took Evo by storm, with the viewership driven by none other than Super Smash Bros. Hosted between August 2 and August 4 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the game’s finals peaked at 279,000 concurrent viewers, which is the largest number that any Evo finals have managed to draw.

British daily The Guardian had boots on the ground helping readers live through those glorious moments on Sunday.

The news that Smash Bros. achieved an important milestone were broken by Rod “Slasher” Breslau, an industry observer who is intimately familiar with the entire competitive gaming scene and posts insightful opinions on daily basis.

The Biggest Esports Name in Attendance at Evo 2019

Some of the largest organizations in the history of competitive video gaming had their people join the event with Team SoloMid’s Gavin ‘Tweek’ Dempsey and Echo Fox’s Leonardo ‘MkLeo’ Lopez Perez meeting in the closing round of the event.

MkLeo had a tough run with the player climbing to the finals with his PGRU rank well deserved indeed. He did lose two rounds outright, crumbling before Tweek’s offensive plays, which promised an early finish. Yet, MkLeo found a way to counter TSM’s member and reversed the entire game for a bracket reset.

Once there, MkLeo seemed to have no trouble claiming the next three games and leaving Tweek baffled at the pure skill of his opponents. As a result, Echo Fox’s star left the scene with over $21,000 to his name, having established his dominance.

Taking a Slash at Nintendo

As is his custom, Breslau called out Nintendo for offering no compensation for their game in terms of prize money and leaving it all up to Evo’s organizers to foot the bill. Breslau was quite outspoken about the issue, addressing Nintendo directly in a Tweet:

Nintendo’s failure to provide prize money and stability for the competitive community is the only thing keeping Smash Ultimate and Melee from being a top tier esport.”

It didn’t get much better from there on, as Breslau expressed his incredulity at the fact that Nintendo didn’t at least offer to cover some of the expenses some of the players had incurred, not even for their stay at the hotel:

Breslau’s accusation sounds very reasonable when given the fact that the game was the fifth most selling game in the United States in 2018, even though it was released in 2018.

Meanwhile, some have not been happy to describe the Smash Bros. series as a member of the fighting games community, both the Ultimate and Melee chapters have well-established fan based that have been showing a strong support for the game and pressing Nintendo to do more.

Polygon has offered an insight into why Nintendo structures its official Smash Bros. tournaments the way it does, but even then – fans need more. Nintendo will have to do much better in future.

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