How not to esports

Sometimes you look at a game and think to yourself ‘yeah, this could be big’. Some titles have everything required to be competitive successes, and there are many more that exist in the middle ground, not the perfect game, but good enough to have a sizable following. Super Smash 4 WiiU is one such game, but sadly the communities around it are not exactly conducive to commercial growth.

A great example of this can be found in this clip from a recent Michigan Smash event, where Tournament Organisers Raichu4u and Waddle were facing off in the loser’s quarter finals at GGSW, a Smashfest held at Gamers Gauntlet in Clinton, MI. After the set, which Waddle lost, a brief conversation occurred, after which Raichu4u struck Waddle across the face for having the temerity to beat him, apparently.

These sort of events can often be covered over, especially when the people involved are powerful in their scene, or top players, with the scene often more interested in picking sides than presenting a united front. Likewise, some aspects of the way Smash has evolved have made professionalism almost a dirty word, meaning that people who simply expect others to act with the best interests of the game at heart are sometimes called sellouts.

According to sources around the incident, Raichu4u is already banned from all local events. Luckbox reached out to commentators from the event, who confirmed the ban, but have not released any more detail as to the people involved to this point. While we must praise the speed of action taking, the same closing of ranks that protects those involved shows a lack of desire to really clean up a scene that in fairness won’t be around much longer.

With Smash 5 around the corner, and Melee still the competitive game of choice for those who want to play at the most technical level, the lifeline of Smash 4 has come to an end, but the same names will continue along to be part of the next scene. For it to catch the wave of growth esports has enjoyed, these kinks must be ironed out, starting with the removal of pathetic manchildren incapable of dealing with a loss in a child’s fighting game.

Remember too, this is a game that appeals to children, and parents of children who want to make sure their precious apple doesn’t get exposed to the violent reality of the world, via computer games. The potential of Smash is massive, and the passion the fans have for the game is clear, even in the clip, but it’s on the community to make it into the giant it can become, through their own actions.