EVO Japan 2020 has confirmed to GINX TV the Smash Ultimate winner will receive a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.
Yusuke Gawazawa, spokesperson for EVO Japan 2020, said: "The prize for the winner of the Smash Bros. will be the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller with the golden symbol of Smash Bros."
EVO Japan 2020 kicks off this weekend, with players from around the world gathering to compete across Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Samurai Shodown and more.
While winners from these titles will be rewarded with cash prizes, a post on the official EVO Japan website states the Smash Ultimate winner won’t walk away with money but a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller instead.
According to the prize listings on the Japanese website, the winner of the Smash Ultimate tournament will receive a “Nintendo Switch Pro controller (with gold smash mark)”.
Weirdly, the English version of the website states the prize is yet to be confirmed – although this could simply be waiting to be updated.
Evo Japan first place prize (converted to USD):— Andrew Nestico 🐼🌎📊 (@PracticalTAS) January 21, 2020
Street Fighter V: $9000
Tekken 7: $9000
Samurai Spirits: $4500
Soul Calibur VI: $4500
Smash Ultimate: a pro controller
Are you kidding me LOLhttps://t.co/mPOqtpozLjpic.twitter.com/Jqutio8UZp
In comparison, the first place winners of Street Fighter V and Tekken 7 will receive 500,000 Japanese yen (£6,980) - which is the equivalent of 116 Pro Controllers.
It’s also unclear if the second or third place winners in Smash Ultimate will receive anything at all – with the website not stating anything below the top prize.
The reason behind the low prize largely falls to Nintendo itself, who are not partnered with the Japan Esports Union (JESU) and continually show little support to esports events.
Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa recently addressed the issue with Japanese business journal Nikkei (via Kotaku), explaining why they don’t support Smash tournaments with prize money.
“Esports, in which players compete on stage for prize money as an audience watches, demonstrates one of the wonderful charms of video games,” Furukawa said.
“It’s not that we’re opposed to it. So that our games can be widely enjoyed by anyone regardless of experience, gender, or age, we want to be able to participate in a wide range of different events.
“Our strength, what differentiates us from other companies, is this different worldview, not an amount of prize money.”
Many competitive players will likely see differently, especially considering the number of players in the community (there’s 2,987 entrants for Smash at EVO Japan 2020, with Street Fighter V in second with 1,471).
It’s important to note Nintendo has slowly become more involved with esports and hosted official tournaments in recent years – a small improvement from the days of Melee and Brawl.
EVO Japan takes place from Friday 24 January to Sunday 26 January.