DLC for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate may have come to an end, but that doesn't mean Nintendo is done with its all-star brawler.
In 2022, it's partnering with the Esports team 'Panda Global' to launch the "first-ever" officially licensed championship circuit in North America for Smash Ultimate and the GameCube classic, Super Smash Bros. Melee. More details about the events, schedule and prizes will be revealed in the future.
The circuit will be open to eligible players who think they "have what it takes" to compete against the best-of-the-best. Players across the US will compete in online qualifying rounds in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as well as in-person qualifiers for both Ultimate and Melee - when large-scale events return. Winners from these virtual rounds will go on to compete in the grand finals for the championship.
Players located in Canada and Mexico will also be able to enter and compete when international travel and attendance to in-person events is permissible. Players can stay up-to-date at panda.gg and Nintendo has noted in-person qualifiers may be cancelled at any time due to the pandemic.
NoA's senior director of product marketing, Bill Trinen, labelled this announcement as the "next step" in Nintendo's efforts to create a fun and welcoming competitive environment for its playerbase:
“This partnership with Panda Global is the next step in Nintendo’s efforts to create a more consistent, fun and welcoming competitive environment for our players and fans. We are proud to stand with an organization like Panda Global to celebrate and support the ever-growing competitive Super Smash Bros. community and create a space where all players can test and hone their competitive skills.”
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