Looks like Nintendo is making waves. Your older relatives who still watch cable might just be exposed to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate this November on TBS. Granted, it’s essentially just edited footage from the June E3 Invitational. But the more casual audience doesn’t watch E3. So this will be a great chance for them to see the game in a more accepted capacity.

Eleague And Nintendo?

Eleague Esports Sports ESPN2 EVO Fighting Game Tournament Super Smash bros Ultimate Melee Brothers Nintendo TBSEleague has partnered with Nintendo to bring us what seems to be a three-episode series following the events of the invitational at E3. From the looks of it, I’m guessing they’re using this as a test to see if future Smash tournaments will nab them higher ratings.

Past Cable Exposure For The Fighting Game Scene

Eleague Esports Sports ESPN2 EVO Fighting Game Tournament Super Smash bros Ultimate Melee Brothers Nintendo TBS

Super Smash Bros. is one of the most internationally known fighting game franchises. We’ve already seen EVO coverage on ESPN2 in the past where games like Street Fighter V are broadcasted around the globe. But that’s EVO – it’s the biggest fighting game event. It was also broadcasted on ESPN2, they most well-known hub for esports events on cable. No offense, but TBS isn’t exactly where I’d expect a month-long fighting game focused program to be aired.

A Look At Smash’s Past

Apparently, the full name of the show is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Invitational 2018 Presented By Eleague. It’s honest and to the point, but also quite a mouthful. They aren’t hiding that this is edited footage of a past event, and I appreciate that. It’ll be aired all through November and will surely look into Smash‘s past in the fighting tournament scene. Melee on the GameCube still has one of the most dedicated crowds. And Smash for Wii U still manages a massive number of entrants at EVO.

Eleague Esports Sports ESPN2 EVO Fighting Game Tournament Super Smash bros Ultimate Melee Brothers Nintendo TBS

Nintendo Finally Seeing Smash As A Fighting Game

It’s odd to see the full progression of Nintendo’s backpedaling on the Smash franchise. Until recently they left the esports scene alone. Director Masahiro Sakurai himself even called his games “party games” and not at all intended for professional play. But over time there has been a slow acceptance from Sakurai, with things like Omega Mode or the ability to turn off stage hazards. Now we’re at a point where Nintendo is actively putting out programming showcasing the game in a competitive capacity. It finally seems like Nintendo decided to get with the times.

Obviously A Marketing Campaign

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases just a week into December. Spreading this out through all of November was an intentional move on their part, especially since the newcomer announcements have slowed down. It’ll be interesting to see if Nintendo can make a profit from esports marketing. I guess we’ll see just how well this footage is edited, and how accurately it’ll represent the final product

Jacob Buchalter
Writer, Illustrator, Graphic Designer, and "geek culture" aficionado. Jake B is an avid art lover based in San Francisco, California who has been hooked on video games and animation since he was just a wee lad.  As one of those so-called "creative types" Jake obsesses over art in any medium, whether it's video games, cartoons, or anime. Ask him about any artist, they're probably already in his bookmarks. Gaming is one of his biggest passions, and an industry he takes seriously.

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