Esport News – Smash Bros. Ultimate sets Evo viewership record
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate took the Super Crown as they set a new Evo viewership record, with the highest peak viewership at an Evo event.
Nintendo’s latest Ultimate installment in the legendary Super Smash Bros. franchise was released Dec. 2018, and made its debut appearance at an Evo event this year. The Evo 2019 tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada ended with a bang on Sunday as Smash Ultimate closed out the event, drawing in over 200,000 viewers and a peak of 279,000, setting a record for the highest peak viewership in Evo history, regardless of the game.
Rod “Slasher” Breslau confirmed that while Dragon Ball FighterZ retains the main Evo stream record at 258,000, Smash Ultimate has the overall record for all streams.
While Smash was initially met with disdain when first announced as the closing game to Championship Sunday, Smashers seem to have turned out in full force to watch the grand finals between TSM’s Gavin ‘Tweek’ Dempsey and Echo Fox’s Leonardo ‘MkLeo’ Lopez Perez.
MkLeo battled from the losers bracket with his signature Joker to meet up with Tweek’s proficient Pokémon Trainer in the grand finals. While Tweek threatened to end the grand finals early with a 2-0 lead against MkLeo, MkLeo showed that his PGRU rank one was not for show, completing a reverse sweep for a bracket reset.
MkLeo then rattled off a clean sweep, meaning that he took six consecutive games against Tweek to win the championship, earning over $21,000 in the process.
Given the record-breaking success of Smash Ultimate at Evo, Slasher called out Nintendo for the “failure to provide prize money and stability for the competitive community”, meaning that Smash Ultimate and Melee remains a fledgling esport. Slasher also singled out Bandai Namco’s treatment of Tekken for criticism.
While Smash routinely faces challenges as to whether it’s a fighting game or not, it cannot be doubted that both Ultimate and Melee have feverish fanbases and ultra-passionate community support. Pros and Smash enthusiasts alike have called for Nintendo to take a more active role in promoting the esports scene, yet Nintendo has preferred a hands-off approach.
In the meantime, Nintendo will have to consider Smash Ultimate’s record Evo debut a resounding success. It seems likely that we will see more Smash Ultimate rather than less in the future.
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