While this is largely down to Nintendo’s reluctance to offer tournaments with financial funding, game director Masahiro Sakurai made a rare appearance at the event to hand out medals and show his personal support to the top eight.
As he presented winner Shuto “Shuton” Moriya with the Pro Controller emblazoned with the Smash logo, it was handed to someone off-stage who dropped it to shocked, quite possibly sarcastic, gasps from the crowd.
OH DAMN IT'S THE LEGENDARY CONTROLLER— Tylor (@theSirToasty) January 26, 2020
AND THEY DROPPED IT............. pic.twitter.com/fjyzzLFB2H
The Pro Controller was thankfully intact though, with Shuton giving everyone a closer look at his prize on social media.
Shuton came out top in the Ultimate tournament at EVO Japan playing as Captain Olimar, beating Shulk player Seisuke “Kome” Komeda with a clean 3-0 sweep.
While Smash Ultimate had the highest number of entrants across all tournaments at the event, many didn’t show up to compete - with 1,169 of the registered 2,988 failing to attend the pool matches (via Smash.gg).
There’s a number of factors, including it being a free entry tournament, but it was also taking place on the same weekend as Genesis 7 in California, US - which many of the top players like MkLeo and Nairo attended instead.
Smash Ultimate’s dominating presence in fighting game tournaments looks set to only get bigger, with Nintendo recently announcing there’ll be six new DLC characters to come in the second Fighter’s Pass.
The final character in the first Fighter’s Pass is Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, who will be released in the UK on 29th January.
You can check out the top eight ranking from EVO Japan below.
1.Shuto “Shuton” Moriya
2. Seisuke “Kome” Komeda
3. Takuma “Tea” Hirooka
5. Ishiguro “Raito” Tetsuya
5. Sota “Zackray” Okada