Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has officially set a new viewership record for EVO, with the highest peak viewership at an EVO event ever.
The game has faced its fair share of criticism in recent months, especially within the esports community. Then, when it took the place of Super Smash Bros. Melee at EVO, there was outcry. Fans simply couldn't believe that a stalwart of esports and of fighting games would be replaced by its younger, arguably "less-competitive" brother. Now, though, I imagine they see why.
Esports consultant and journalist Rod "Slasher" Breslau tweeted the fact initially, posting a screenshot of 278,000 people tuned in to Smash content.
He included an important addendum in a follow-up tweet, clarifying his statement.
"Note that DBFZ from last year still has the peak for EVO's main stream at 258,000, but Smash Ultimate at this EVO has the overall game peak with all streams combined".
This viewership record proves that Smash is not only one of the most popular fighting games in the world of esports, but that the Smash franchise does not have to solely rely on Melee; that it can garner interest and respect without it, and that just maybe Ultimate is set to be bigger than Melee ever was.
The grand final saw Team SoloMid's Gavin "Tweek" Dempsey face off against Echo Fox's Leonardo "MkLeo" Lopez Perez, the latter of whom fought through the loser's bracket with Joker, completing the tournament win with a reverse sweep in the grand final resetting the bracket.
With composure out the window, Tweek ended up being swept 3-0 by MkLeo, marking himself as the best Smash Ultimate player in the world.
As the winner of the event, MkLeo is walking away with $21,180 – almost laughable when you look at how popular Smash and Smash esports is, especially when you compare it to other tournaments such as the record-breaking Fortnite World Cup. Maybe with more developer support from Nintendo, Smash could really look to become a top-tier esport.