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Smash Bros. Ultimate winner at EVO Japan receives no cash prize – will get Switch Pro Controller instead

Nintendo isn’t exactly known for supporting Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s competitive scene, but the prize for EVO Japan 2020’s winner is borderline insulting.
Smash Bros. Ultimate winner at EVO Japan receives no cash prize – will get Switch Pro Controller instead

Update:

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."

Original story: 

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.

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.