The market for eSports has been growing at an incredible rate, with time spent watching them almost tripling in the past 3 full years. When you think about the most prominent games in the genre, League of Legends, Dota II and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive immediately come to mind. Nintendo might be trying to shake up that dynamic in Japan, as they have paired up with Tokaigi Game Show to announce a major Splatoon tournament series (in addition to Puzzle & Dragons) with over $1 million in prize money up for grabs.
As noted by Gameranx, “Splatoon Koshien” will be hosted by Kadokawa and Dwango, starting off on September 13 in Fukuoka. The tournament sets up to host 4v4 Turf War matches, with no limitations as to what weapons you can use. The scope of the tournament series, which sees stops in Sapporo, Osaka, Hiroshima and caps off in Tokyo, is said to mirror that of the Capcom Cup for Street Fighter.
Hopefully, Nintendo’s acceptance of Splatoon as a viable tournament option (shown both here and at the Nintendo World Championships back at E3 2015) is the beginning of a much larger implementation worldwide. Nintendo is typically a conservative company, where they even pulled the plug on Super Smash Bros. Melee’s inclusion at fighting game tournament Evo 2013 (before reluctantly accepting its re-entry). Their acceptance of their game properties being used in a promotional setting in a venue outside their control of jurisdiction is a welcoming sign, one that is hopefully of things to come.
Splatoon is available exclusively for the Nintendo Wii U, with a recent update bringing changes to the game’s content.
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