Does Sakurai REALLY care about competitive Smash?

Raemonded

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#1
Does Sakurai really care about competitive Smash?

I look at how he's made balance patches to Smash 4 and made some changes to nerf characters in Smash Ultimate, but I look at overall events, such as Bayonetta still having her potential true combo kill confirms from Smash 4, and, personally, believe that Sakurai actually does not care.

He and Nintendo hardly sponsor events for competitive Smash events, and barely make any attempts to balance the game at all. Yes, they both have recently been changing their attitudes and say that they will now start considering the competitive Smasher's point of view. However, it still may not be enough. What if their future attention to the competitive scene is just like their attention to balancing characters in Smash 4, where they made some changes to a character and called it "balancing", but it actually changed almost nothing for the character (look at the balance patches for Little Mac and Charizard, who were both buffed, yet are essentially in their same spot on the tier list; look at Sheik and Bayonetta, who were both nerfed, yet are still in the same spot on the tier list, with Sheik still being considered one of the best characters in the game, and Bayonetta STILL remaining the best character)?

TL;DR: What if Sakurai's new outlook on the competitive scene is just like his old outlook, where he cares for a little while, then proceeds to not care at all, going back to alienating the community and not sponsoring any events?

For a solution, I believe it would be helpful to both the competitive scene and to Nintendo itself if Sakurai hired a team, or at least one person, to help him in developing the Smash Bros. series competitively, because it's clear that Sakurai himself either doesn't know how to balance a game/support a competitive scene, or doesn't care enough to do it himself.

What do YOU think?
 
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|RK|

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#2
I think you missed out on a number of events.

First, Namco Bandai has been doing balancing since the start of Smash 4.

Second, the meta of Smash 4 has changed drastically since the beginning. Diddy isn't the best anymore, not is Sheik. This implies the patches worked.

Third, Bayonetta was HEAVILY nerfed in Ultimate, and I personally think Leo & ZeRo overrated her a bit. The only thing she really kept was the ability to ladder opponents who don't know how to DI or SDI.

Fourth, most of the features the competitive community has asked for have made it in, plus they're asking for feedback from the invitational guests.

So I'm not sure where these conclusions come from. Or even most of the premises, if I'm being honest.
 

Nah

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#3
I think that in regards to Smash 4 it's certainly possible and reasonable to make the claim that Sakurai/Bamco/Nintendo/whoever didn't really care much about competitive Smash Bros. This is not to say that they didn't care at all, just not very much. They cared enough to bother to give us 16 patches that largely made changes more relevant to competitive play than anything else (though something to note is that this being the first game being patched is also partly due to the fact that Smash 4 is the first one where it was really just even possible to do so, as well as a normal part of video games in the current world). But if they really cared about competitive Smash 4, more would've been done. There are some really basic things that they never did that would've showed they cared, such as holding their own regularly-occurring tournament series and giving us patch notes. The competitive scenes for all the Smash games so far have been 100% held up by the community, and no one else. Like, ffs, competitive Pokemon gets more company support than this series does.

also training mode is basically useless

Smash Ultimate though? I think that one can make a case there that they might care/have come to care about competitive Smash. For now I think that we should not be using character changes from an unfinished (demo) version of the game that nearly all of us can't readily play, but there's a number of other things that indicate that it's possible that they have come to care about it (or care about it more) Stuff like:

  • Supposedly the other day Reggie said that Nintendo is interested in/is considering holding tournaments for Smash Ultimate
  • stage hazards toggle
  • dodge and (perfect) shield changes
  • some other **** I'm probably forgetting or not aware of
We'll see what ends up happening though, release day is still ~6 months away, stuff could change in that time.
 
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|RK|

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#4
They sponsored multiple tournaments. They don't have to make their own tournament series in order to care about the competitive scene, nor is something like that very simple.

I believe people often expect Nintendo to run things for us. They provided patches that made important meta changes, typically addressing our concerns. All the way up until they started working on Ultimate, in fact.

And correct me if I'm wrong... doesn't The Pokemon Company deal with Pokemon tournaments?
 
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#5
No. They don’t even balance for the meta we play. The rules we’ve developed over the years? **** that ****, they just made up their own. We still don’t even have a legitimate stock tie rule.

Sakurai does not care about competitive play one bit. Nintendo is feigning some acknowledgement but it doesn’t mean anything when the core game is being built as a party game.
 

Nah

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#6
They sponsored multiple tournaments. They don't have to make their own tournament series in order to care about the competitive scene, nor is something like that very simple.
They have? Which ones exactly?

Or are you talking about their invitationals (like the recent Smash Ultimate one).....which I'm not sure if a lot of people would say "count".

And correct me if I'm wrong... doesn't The Pokemon Company deal with Pokemon tournaments?
It's The Pokemon Company and not Game Freak or Nintendo that does it, yes.
 
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#8
They have? Which ones exactly?

Or are you talking about their invitationals (like the recent Smash Ultimate one).....which I'm not sure if a lot of people would say "count".


It's The Pokemon Company and not Game Freak or Nintendo that does it, yes.
There have been several tournaments hosted not by Nintendo, but with support (presumably funding) by Nintendo. These include, but are not limited to:
2GG: Hyrule Saga (this week)
Combo Breaker 2018
Shine 2018 (upcoming)
Get On My Level 2018
Frostbite 2018
All those just this year, and Nintendo has been sponsoring other tournament series like Genesis since Genesis 3. (I'm sure there are also probably more that I missed).
EDIT: Probably worth noting that this support is from Nintendo of America, not the Japanese headquarters or Sakurai. Nintendo of America and Reggie seem a lot more open to pushing the idea of Smash as an e-sport.
 
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|RK|

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#9
They have? Which ones exactly?

Or are you talking about their invitationals (like the recent Smash Ultimate one).....which I'm not sure if a lot of people would say "count".


It's The Pokemon Company and not Game Freak or Nintendo that does it, yes.
The ones MarioMan said, which is also a recent ramp up of support.

And yeah, then Nintendo has little to do with the Pokemon tournaments. Also can't forget that esports just became viable in Japan due to legal changes.
 
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