In the wake of Super Smash Con and EVO 2016, we’ve seen a lot of different moves being made in regards to Super Smash Bros. – specifically, the Wii U iteration (a.k.a. Smash 4). While the game itself has a well-rounded cast and a generally thriving tournament scene, it’s still a very uneasy game to stick with if you’re looking for profitable sponsorships. In just the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen some of the biggest names in Smash 4 leave established teams, generally shrouded in secrecy.
Recently, Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada left prominent eSports organization Team Liquid. While Top players Jason “ANTi” Bates and Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby have left the DreamTeam organization, with the organization noting how they’re waiting on the Smash 4 circuits and for the scene, in general, to get bigger. It’s been reported that Bates and Buzby failed to receive adequate payment for their performance in recent tournaments and that without this nebulous circuit DreamTeam has been whispering about, they aren’t in the business of Super Smash Bros. anymore.
However, with all these departures fresh in our minds, that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of arrivals. Quezada didn’t stay without a sponsor for long – recent organization NRG eSports, primarily known for League of Legends and Counter-Strike teams, signed Quezada as their first Super Smash Bros. player (technically their first fighting game player). eSports organization C9 recently picked up Elliot Bastien “Ally” Carroza-Oyarce, who recently won the EVO 2016 Smash 4 tournament. Featuring over 2,000 entrants, it was the biggest tournament the game’s seen up to this point.
With tournament season slowing down in the wake of EVO 2016, it’ll be interesting to see where prolific eSports teams go from here. Prominent Smash players like Abadango are still without sponsors, and if the trend of newer teams picking up unsigned players keeps up, it could keep the game in a healthy space.