Pro Smash Players Banned For Match Fixing

Professional Super Smash Bros. is serious business. Top players compete for sizeable prize pots and the competition is fierce. With Pro Gaming hurtling rapidly towards the mainstream, the Super Smash Bros. Brawl competitive scene has grown exponentially - but now it has to contend with serious allegations of match fixing within the highest levels of play.

A recent alert from Major League Gaming, the highest profile pro console league in the US, has revealed that two of the top Super Smash Bros. Brawl players, Mew2King and rising star ADHD, have both been banned for what has been called "intentional forfeiting or conspiring to manipulate Rankings or Brackets".

Among top Smash Bros. Brawl players, matching the correct player is paramount. Someone proficient with certain characters may not be able to compete on an even keel with a top user of another character, mainly because of balancing - so there have been cases where players have been accused of deliberately losing to specific players to give themselves a better chance of progressing through the tournament via different brackets.

Which is all a bit shady of course, but in this case there was reportedly an exchange of money involved, which makes the situation more serious.

Apparently, Mew2King, arguably the best Smash player in the world today, deliberately lost to friend and rival ADHD, and was given $300 by ADHD to do so. After having a supposed off day, he decided he might not have a chance of beating rival player Rich Brown in the final, and saw the $300 offer as the safer bet.

But that's just one side of the story. ADHD, currently seething at being banned from Major League Gaming tournaments for the near future, believes he has done nothing wrong, that his match between Mew2King was legit. Apparently giving Mew2King the $300 was merely a gesture of friendship.

"It was not an intentional forfeit," claimed ADHD, posting in forums early today.

"Jason [Mew2King]informed me that he was not playing well," claims ADHD, "and he did not care about the result of the match. I said: 'alright, fine, let's just play it out.'

"So we did, and afterwards he asked me if I could split with him. I responded by saying 'I'll give you 200-300 dollars, is that alright? I don't want a full split.' Jason nodded and confirmed this was acceptable in agreement."

Apparently the two players, competing in smaller underground tournaments, have a pre-arranged agreement to split prize money, since it's usually inevitable that one or the other will come out on top. Mew2King, being an established player actually lives day-to-day on competitive gaming prize money, while ADHD still lives at home, so both are happy with the arrangement. ADHD maintains that he has broken no rules whatsover.

Professional gaming has had problems with match fixing before, mainly with Starcraft, but we find it almost funny that a game as seemingly frivolous as Super Smash Bros. can become embroiled in similar scandals. And while it may seem strangely hilarious to take a game like Super Smash Bros. so seriously, it's almost testament to the growth of professional gaming that such an incident has occured.

Professional Smash Bros., it seems, is serious business - serious enough for money to exchange hands during matches, serious enough for players to be banned for misconduct, serious enough for it to be a major incident in the Smash Bros. community at large.

UPDATE: Mew2King posted a response to the allegations. It can be read here.


    I can honestly see nothing wrong with what they did.

    My mate and I once entered a Street Fighter tournament with $1k prize money. We agreed to split it whomsoever won because we believed we were the best. And we were...
    well, he was...
    I still got $500 for coming 3rd though :D

    The point is, it isn't any of the MLG's problem whether friend's split prize money, though perhaps there could be more legitimate ways of doing it, such as contracts witnessed by MLG staff?

    Still, this is a bit ridiculous (if they truly weren't fixing the matches)...

      what Australian SF tournaments have $1k prize money...?

        Oh man, I completely forgot the name of the tournament (it was about 3 years ago), but I'm pretty sure it's still running anually. I'll link back if I find it, I'll probably end up asking my mate.

        It was sponsored by a local game store if I remember correctly...

        I'll dig around for you.

    It has been brought to attention that the "match fixing" was blown out of proportion. A quote from ADHD's blog on

    "When I entered the ring (or stage if you must), Jason informed me that he was not playing well and he did not care of the result of the match. I said: "Alright, fine, let's just play it out."

    So we did, and afterwards he asked me if I could split with him."

    Other players are backing what ADHD said, as well as providing insight as to why ADHD "split" the prize with Mew2King. Mew2King lives off of his earnings, while ADHD is a minor and therefore uses the payouts as a surplus, nothing more than spending/saving money. As ADHD and Mew2King are good friends, they commonly "split" winnings for the both of them.

    There's nothing wrong with splitting, and there's nothing wrong with Mew2King having a bad day and admittedly not playing to his potential on that day.

      If you read the article you would see that I already referred to his blog.

    It still does seem suss though, if Mew2King didn't care about the result of the match, then he should have properly pulled out.

    In anything competitive, you should still be trying your best and it seems like he really wasn't into it, especially for someone who uses it as a day job, unlike the other guy.

    With the agreement they have of splitting prize money, that is something that would someday blowup in their faces.

    As much as I kinda see where they're coming from (if they're not lying), it's still shitty. If Daigo started doing this sort of stuff at EVO tournaments, people would be up in arms about it. But because it's Smash Bros, I think the reaction is kind of "meh, who cares, its Smash Bros." Maybe I'm wrong but I can't see people being cool with it if started happening elsewhere.

    If it did, why have tournaments in the first place? It just paves the way for even shadier stuff, especially since there's money involved.

    You really dwell on the fact that the game is "frivolous" and "silly". The Smash community competitively pre-Brawl has been around for more than 10 years. And it's predecessor Melee, has been on the MLG circuit for at least three years. Just an FYI, it's no more unbelievable than any video game being taken seriously, period.

      Yeah that might have been a bit unfair. I'm aware of the smash community, was just writing this with a view to people reading it who might have no knowledge that such a large community exists.

        So, because most of your target audience has no knowledge of the community, it is okay to insult that community?

        I'm not saying you committed war crimes or anything, but it was still needlessly petty of you to describe it that way.

          I don't think I insulted the community. I merely suggested that a huge controversy over a game of Smash Bros. was indicative of how far competitive gaming has come.

            You're right. You did implicitly insult the game, but that's a lot different from insulting the community. I still think it was kind of petty, but I apologize for saying you insulted the community. I guess I was kind of annoyed by the tone of the article and mentally made your small error into a slightly larger error.

            Personally, I've never attended any fighting game tournament, or played any of them competitively. I just think it's kind of silly to characterize one of them frivolous and hilarious to take seriously when there's really nothing any less frivolous or more important about a game like Starcraft or Street Fighter.

              Point taken. I think I was just getting at the fact that you wouldn't expect a game like Super Smash Bros. to be such a strong competitive game. It undoubtedly is, but somehow you wouldn't expect it.

                I have to agree with Badgermole, your last comments were very unneeded. Yes, Smash in general is not taken as seriously as its counterparts, particularly since it generally has a younger player appeal, but as a writer you should not perpetuate that with side commentary.

                [SOME OF COMMENT DELETED: If you're going to get rude, we reserve the right to kill your comment if you refuse to use legit name/email details. If you want to attack us, you need to stand by your comments. -SB]

              Smash players also have the fact that no other fighting game communities take them seriously. As illustrated, they get a little defensive because of this.

                I don't think the author of this article really understands the situation. There would have been no incentive to come in 3rd rather than 2nd. 2nd place received $1500 and 3rd received $1000, so why would it be a 'safer bet' to just take the $300?

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