ESL - Electronic Sports League - is undoubtedly a big deal in the world of eSports, serving as a major global hub for online and venue events. Its most popular events are typically based around franchises such as Call of Duty and League of Legends, but it's now dipping its toes into Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
We are talking about baby steps, however - initially there'll be two online Community Tournaments in Europe, with the top four from each of those progressing to a grand final. The schedule is below, with some useful hyperlinks.
Super Smash Bros. Community Cup #1 Europe - 26th July 15:00 CEST
Super Smash Bros. Community Cup #2 Europe - 16th August 15:00 CEST
Super Smash Bros. Community Cup Final Europe - 22th August 15:00 CEST
Naturally any Smash Bros. competition brings up the sticky topic of rules. Below are the rules in place for these competitions, which notably rule out custom moves (which were allowed in Evo):
- Single Elimination
- Set length: Best of 3 / Finals: Best of 5
- Game length: 2 Stocks 6 Minutes (Timeout = the player with most Stock and Least % wins)
- Handicap, Damage Ratio and Damage Display remain the same!
- Items: off
- Equipment: off
- Custom Moves: off
- Amiibos: Illegal
- DLC Chars: Legal
- Mii Chars: Banned
- Suicide Clause: Bowser-Suicide counts as lose.
- Pause/Homebutton clause: player who uses one of those buttons without mutual agreement will lose 1 Stock
The prizes are very modest, with the top three in the final scooping eShop funds of €50, €25 and €15 respectively, along with a choice of Splatoon, Yoshi's Woolly World or Super Mario Maker. So far 63 players have signed up - at the time of writing - for this weekend's first Community Cup.
There are plenty of limitations, then, but ESL has been clear that this is to gauge early interest in the game for its events; hopefully the European tournament will attract good numbers and prompt a trial run in North America, too.
Of course, this is far from being a first for the game, but is certainly a useful step in the right direction in the continuing quest to expand the presence of Smash Bros. in eSports. Should it get some momentum with ESL it'll definitely be a notable boost for its cause.
Hit up the link below if you're in Europe and want to sign up. As for everyone else, are you excited by the potential for Super Smash Bros. on Wii U having an impact in the ESL?