When it comes to the Nintendo Switch, many of the advertisements for the console depict players engaging in esports tournaments for Splatoon 2. Nintendo seemingly held upon their word when it came time for Splatoon to enter the esports world, hosting tournaments for not only the game but also for their mascot fighter Smash Ultimate. Now, Nintendo aims to bring that same love for competitive gaming into High Schools with their announcement of their partnership with PlayVS.
Announced on their Twitter page, Nintendo revealed that they were partnering with the Company PlayVS. PlayVS goal is to bring Esports into the world of Collegiate sports and High School Varsity athletics, meaning that their new partnership is not only going to help Nintendo get their foot in the door for young esports athletes, but also recognize Smash Ultimate and Splatoon 2 as an official high school varsity sport. This means a lot for young players who want to get into playing both of these titles as an esport, as Nintendo is partnering with PlayVS, both Splatoon 2 and Smash Ultimate are now officially recognized as Varsity sports in Highschool.
Any school that wishes to participate in either game can reach out to both PlayVS and Nintendo about the program, in which the school will receive one Switch console and a Copy of either game. This Partnership proves to be a good start for young esports players to get their foot in the door and compete competitively for their school or college. With the next generation coming, it’s no surprise that Nintendo wants to get on the ground floor.
Although Nintendo’s change of heart for esports gaming seems to have brought with their partnership, the lingering effects of the #freemelee fiasco still rings in the older smash community. As Nintendo shut down one of Smash’s biggest tournaments The Big House, for using a modified version of the dolphin emulator to bring Smash Brothers Melee to a proper online format during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This shutdown caused the community to split against Nintendo, and ended in more shutdowns for tournaments organized by the big N. Players in Nintendo’s online Splatoon 2 tournament changed their names to #FreeMelee, and were promptly removed from the tournament, this in turn caused more ire from the fans to Nintendo, and the live stream of the finals were ultimately shut down.
Now, with Nintendo backing PlayVS to bring both Smash Ultimate and Splatoon 2 to high school esports, players of the high school demographic were thrilled to find out that they’re going to be able to compete, and while this is a massive step forward for esports as a whole, schools that are willing to participate will have to contact PlayVS to be brought into the program. However, only 3000 can be chosen. Hopefully, with this partnership, Nintendo’s Continued foray into esports as a company will be more considerate of how tournaments are being held, or will Nintendo make a mistake similar to what ended up being made when #FreeMelee was trending online.