There will be a one team less at the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate European Smash Ball Team Cup — and it’s just because of a paperwork. Nintendo of Europe has announced that, due to “visa issues”, Ye Old Guard team from Russia will stay at home during the Amsterdam finals on June 4th and 5th.
The Russian branch, Nintendo RU, released an expanded statement on its web site:
Due to bureaucratic reasons Nintendo has no control over, it takes longer than usual to issue visas in the run-up to the Russian national holidays. Due to that, Russian team won’t be able to attend the event in Amsterdam. The scope of the event and logistical issues do not allow postponing the event or letting Ye Olde Guard play online with teams in Amsterdam.
The holidays in question will begin on May 1st and will leave Russia with only three work days till May 13th, so it’s only reasonable to expect the visa offices to be under a heavy load. The smart move was to prepare documents in advance, and that’s exactly what wasn’t done — reportedly, because of Nintendo RU.
In a mean-tempered post on GameMag forums, Ye Olde Guard’s David Oganesyan describes Nintendo’s local office as a “bunch of incompetent folks” and describes details of the situation:
They decided to process visas by themselves. Eventually, they decided to file an application at the very latest moment before the May holidays. Before that, we’ve been sending them all required documents and forms almost daily. As a result, it’s no longer reasonable to visit the embassy, and the closest time one can book an appointment to the visa office is April 26th.
Later, he followed by saying Nintendo RU and Ye Olde Guard have settled on compensation prizes: a Nintendo Switch for each member of a team. Talking to Nintendo Life, David said his second Switch will go to his brother, and the team is on good terms with Nintendo RU despite “the huge blunder on their part.”
It’s sad to see a contender missing the finals for a reason as mundane as documents not filed at the right time — and by the organizer of a regional event, too. We hope Nintendo RU won’t have to negotiate with disgruntled champions in the future.