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Nintendo is officially sponsoring a Smash Bros tournament series

In a somewhat historic first, Nintendo is partnering with Panda Global on an officially licensed series of Super Smash Bros. esports tournaments. There will be official tournaments for Super Smash Bros Ultimate and, shockingly, GameCube classic Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Confirmed. Ready your A-game, Super #SmashBros competitors. We've partnered with @PandaGlobal to launch the first officially licensed Super Smash Bros. championship circuit in North America, coming 2022! #SmashBrosUltimate #SmashBrosMelee

— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) November 18, 2021

The relationship between Nintendo and the Smash Bros competitive community has never been a smooth one. Throughout the years, the company has called for many cease and desist orders against various community events, giving it a bad image in the eyes of the tournament faithful. That rocky past makes this inaugural licensed tournament circuit even more monumental.

A press release from Nintendo provides some additional context on the surprise announcement. “This partnership with Panda Global is the next step in Nintendo’s efforts to create a more consistent, fun and, welcoming competitive environment for our players and fans,” says Bill Trinen, senior director of product marketing at Nintendo of America. “We are proud to stand with an organization like Panda Global to celebrate and support the ever-growing competitive Super Smash Bros. community and create a space where all players can test and hone their competitive skills.”

Panda Global also notes in the email that the tournament circuit is an open series, meaning anyone who thinks they have the skills to compete is welcome to join in on the competition. The festivities are set to begin in 2022, with more details to be revealed on Panda Global’s official website. Currently, there are no exact dates, locations, or sign-up details available on the website.

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