Lively Florida Smash Tournament Results In $26,000 Loss For Organisers

A big fighting games tournament organiser says his company lost $US20,000 ($26,753) throwing its first Super Smash Bros.-centric tournament earlier this month. As a result, Florida-based CEO Gaming does not have plans for a future CEO Dreamland event.

Smash 4

"Dreamland came about as a way to show the Smash community that our team cares and appreciates their huge support of our flagship CEO event over the years," CEO Gaming director Alex Jebailey wrote in an email. Jebailey, along with his team, organised a ballroom space, security, staffing, hotel rooms, commentary and, most importantly, a handmade "whispy tree" from Kirby's Dreamland stage for CEO Dreamland. They needed 2000 attendees for it to be considered a "success".

There was plenty of support and excitement for the event. But unfortunately, it took place over Easter weekend, which Jebailey says explains its lower-than-expected turnout of 1100 attendees. Hotel rates were cheapest that weekend, but of course, several potential attendees were tied up with family obligations.

"There's so much that goes into an event," Jebailey told me. "A lot of dedicated tournament organisers pour their heart and souls into these events and take major risks that can cripple them financially."

Along these lines, last week, Smash's longstanding Apex Tournament organisers announced they would not host an event this year, citing insufficient resources. In 2015, when Nintendo helped sponsor it, Apex was Super Smash Bros. Melee's largest tournament ever.

Every year, Smash events gain popularity, if not break attendance records. But unlike many other fighting games, Nintendo takes a hands-off approach to Smash's competitive scene, sponsoring few tournaments. They prefer the game to appear accessible, and not stake its name on its hyper-competitive players, as Smash creator Masahiro Sakurai famously told Nintendo Life in an interview. So the burden of hyping the game, and its talented fans, falls on organisers like Jebailey. "In the end," he said, "I think everything will balance itself out and Smash will continue to thrive run by the community."


    I would love, out of genuine curiosity, to see the numbers involved in putting together a large scale event such as this.

      A tournament like The Big House, one of the largest grassroots Smash Bros tournaments, costs about $50,000 per day for venue hire, over 3 days. So with about 2000 attendants and each attendant paying about $75 entry fee, that just about covers it.

      edit: tried to find a blog post the organiser made about this but it might have been a video instead that I watched; in the mean time take all these numbers with a grain of salt

      edit again: this video quotes $30-60K for venue hire, which is lower than the $150K figure I stated above but it's still big money for a "grassroots" esport.

      Last edited 28/04/17 12:48 am

    Casual gaming scene holds tournament on the biggest family holiday of the year, noone attends. And we're supposed to be shocked because...? Seriously, whoever was responsible for planning it needs a kick in the head. Just poor planning to expect people to choose a tournament like this over spending time with their family when they're not one of the major esport communities. Something like LoL, SC2 or DOTA I can definitely see being able to pull it off, but Smash? Nope. Rule one of running a tournament/convention - Know your community.

      Depends on your family really, I mean do you like them enough to hang out with them.

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