Another week, another Smash breakdown. This week, we dive into the impact of COVID-19 on Smash tournaments big & small.

17:00, 13 Mar 2020

Welcome to the twelfth edition of GGRecon’s weekly Super Smash Bros. breakdown! Tune in every Friday for a quick-and-dirty recap of all the news worth knowing in the competitive Smash scene. (By the way, apologies for missing last week’s update—I was on vacation.)

Corona-palooza

Unless you’re currently living under a rock, you’ve probably been swept up in the deluge of warnings and jokes about the 2019 novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Concerns over the spread of COVID-19 have led to the shutting down or delaying of many leagues and circuits in the worlds of both traditional sports and esports—including the NBA, MLB, NHL, CDL, and LCS—and Smash is no exception. Here’s a list of Smash events and circuits that have been cancelled, or postponed, because of the virus:
 

Regional or major tournaments:

  • Full Bloom 6, originally scheduled for the weekend of March 28

  • Emerald City 9, a Pacific Northwest regional scheduled for last weekend

  • Pound 2020, along with all other Smash World Tour events scheduled for March and April (see below for more details about this)
  • Although Alex Jebailey was unable to cancel CEO Dreamland, a Florida major, for economic reasons, many players pulled out of the event due to COVID-19. In order to avoid serious losses, Jebailey opened up a fundraiser for players who want to support the event without attending:

Weekly events or locals:

  • Hax’s Nightclub, the New York City weekly

  • Nimbus, a Southern California local
  • All Boston-area locals are also suspending activity after this week, with local events around the country sure to follow suit as COVID-19 reaches previously untouched areas in the United States

Circuits:

  • The Smash World Tour announced yesterday that it would be suspending all Platinum and Gold events during the months of March and April in order to fight the spread of COVID-19—though Silver opt-in events will still be occurring at their organisers’ discretion

Additionally, the Panda Global Rankings have officially frozen so as not to incentivise top players to travel during the pandemic.

As the pandemic continues to spread, it’s all but guaranteed that more tournaments organisers will make the decision to delay or cancel their events. The good news is that this gives regions an opportunity to experiment with netplay locals!

ZeRo has his own team now

Don’t worry, ZeRo fans—the Chilean streamer is still a member of Tempo Storm. But this week he announced a new venture: the formation of Team ZeRo, an organisation that the former pro will use to help underrepresented players travel to major events and show off their skills to larger sponsors.

The team will fund its sponsorships through the production of merchandise and content. Its first sponsee is WaDi:

The UK (well, most of it) bans wobbling

The suspension of the Smash World Tour may have taken some wind out of the sails of the wobbling-ban movement, but the movement scored another victory last week, with the tournament organisers of Britain voting to ban the Ice Climbers’ infinite technique.

Citing the standard ruleset of the Smash World Tour, 13 of the 18 organizers who voted on the poll did so in favour of a wobbling ban. Technically, no TOs from Scotland or Northern Ireland were involved in the vote—but wobbling was already banned in Scotland, and it’s likely that all tournaments in the UK will comply with this ruling going forward.

Roster moves

Believe it or not, there was only one roster change this week, with Hackoru leaving Mazer Gaming for free agency on Saturday.

Clips of the week

To round out this wrap-up, here are a few of the funniest and flashiest clips of the week for both Melee and Ultimate. Enjoy ‘em—and be sure to check in next week for the third edition of GGRecon’s weekly Smash breakdown!

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