Written By: Steve Vegvari
As Nintendo revealed their plans to bring Super Smash Bros. to the Switch in some capacity, the internet caught fire. Thousands of theories based on whether or not this would be a port or a brand new iteration of Nintendo’s premier fighting game hatched.
Either way, a new Smash Bros. title on the Switch opens the door for new features the eSports scene can really sink their teeth into. While Super Smash Bros. Melee has long been touted as the go-to competitive Nintendo title, Smash 4 is arguably on the same level. If Nintendo decided to bring a port to the Switch with a few new bells and whistles we are in for a treat. On the flip side, if Smash 5 is currently being developed, there is a lot Nintendo can do to keep the momentum going for pro players.
A glaring omission from Smash 4 was the ability to host online tournaments straight within the game. Many eSports titles have adopted a model of letting players create their own tournament brackets. League of Legends, Rocket League, Pokken Tournament and recently Hearthstone being a few. A taxing effort must be made by the host of tournament events in order to unlock each character on each console being used during the tournament.
An online tournament mode would not only rid venues of this effort, but also allow players the ability to use the mode to hone their skills in a more casual setting. Setting up mini-tournaments could often be used as a way the mirrors a major tournament. However, it does not require the same amount of stress and focus.
Working off a dedicated Tournament Mode, online ranking as a must for competitive players. If you’re not playing at a major event with online qualifiers, more often than not, your placement in the brackets comes down to rankings. Currently, Smash 4 has the Global Smash Power ranking system. GSP is a helpful way to distinguish how many players you may be better then. GSP is not as organized as a dedicated ranking system would prove.
Smash 4 pros have often leaned on third-party websites such as SmashLadder. SnakeLadder helps create online ranks and tournaments for the Smash community. If Smash on Switch had a built in rankings, it would be an immense advantage to both event organizers and players.
This one is short and sweet. Smash has become synonymous with the Gamecube controller. Any pro player out their will argue that the Gamecube controller is the key, with the pro-controller coming in second. Players have been playing Smash competitively with a Gamecube controller since the inception of Super Smash Bros. Melee. It goes without saying that because the Switch does have USB support for the Gamecube controller, support in some capacity will be included. However, it would be great to see Nintendo fully commit to the cause and release a wireless controller.
The Gamecube controller is a piece of tech stuck in the early 2000s. Many controllers have begun to add textured thumbsticks and give players the ability to map buttons. Nintendo doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to their controller. But I hope with a new Smash title on the way, a more modernized take of the beloved controller is in the works.
For over a decade, Super Smash Bros. has been a part of the rising eSports movement. Nintendo bringing the title to the hottest selling console on the market will do wonders to put an eSports title in the hands of millions. Some additional features could really make an impact. Pro players could use these as leverage. While aspiring enthusiasts may see them as openings to help dip their toes in competitive play.
Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His enthusiasm and adoration of the video game industry go back to the days of SNES. Find him on Twitter and join in on the escapades.