UPDATE (12:57pm): Apex 2015 has found a new venue and will still be on for this weekend. https://twitter.com/Twitch
Original story follows:
This morning at Apex 2015 — a major Smash tournament held at a hotel just outside of New York City — the fire alarm went off. There was no fire, but when the marshals came to investigate, they discovered a different problem: the hotel's ballrooms weren't up to safety code standards and would have to be evacuated.
Turns out the snowstorm that hit the northeast earlier this week had a major impact on the Clarion Hotel, where Smash fans and tournament participants are all gathered right now. Earlier in the week, the hotel's garage collapsed, as Apex 2015's folks discovered (photo via Alex Jebailey):
But according to folks who are there, the hotel had bigger problems than that — apparently there was structural damage to the ballrooms where various Smash events were slated to take place. And some Apex people are reporting that the hotel might face legal trouble for not doing due diligence and informing people before the event, which began this morning.
The pictures coming out of the Clarion are crazy. Check out this hotel room, for example: https://twitter.com/hashtag/APEX2015?src=hash
Right now, the tournament is on hold as everyone waits to see what will happen next. Participants have been asked to go to their rooms, and the event organisers are meeting to try and figure out possible solutions. https://twitter.com/hashtag/apex2015?src=hash
Problem is, finding another venue that can support thousands of people for the next three days isn't so easy. Some top fighting game folks believe that they might have to cancel some events and hold others tomorrow, possibly even in people's hotel rooms.
Switching venues this late in the game imo won't work. Best is to hope for main ballroom access tomorrow and run though tournaments.
— Alex Jebailey (@CEOJebailey) January 30, 2015
The craziest part? This was going to be the first-ever Smash community event co-sponsored by Nintendo, which flew out representatives and even set up a lounge where people could come and play the upcoming Wii U game Splatoon. Even that lounge has now been closed:
Fire marshalls just closed the Splatoon room and said the entire event is going to be canceled. Is this actually happening?
— CLASH Tournaments (@CLASHTournament) January 30, 2015
Some attendees are talking about running unofficial streams and Smash matches in their rooms, but at least for now, it appears that Apex 2015 isn't happening. Hopefully they can come up with an alternative solution. We'll keep updating this post as we learn more about what's going on.