Smashboards Year End Update - 2014 had over $500,000 in Tournament Prizes


Smashboards Owner
Jul 6, 2003
Bellevue, Washington

AlphaZealot here, Smashboards owner. As 2014 comes to a close, now seems like a good chance to reflect on the past year and what we have in store for 2015. Much of this was covered in an update on September 6, when Smashboards crossed 150,000 member threshold. Today, the Smash community hub is 167,000 members strong with between 5,000 and 10,000 posts every single day. Some vitals:
  • 167,000 members - adding about 150-200 new members daily
  • 16,300,000 post database - top 10 largest forum on Xenforo forum software, the second largest gaming-oriented behind only IGN
  • Current record for posts in a day: 17,476 (about 1 post every 5 seconds)
  • Smashboards Facebook: 46,000 Likes
  • Smashboards Twitter: 24,000 Followers
  • Smashboards Twitch: 100 Followers (just getting started...)
Smashboards Rankings and Listings
For this update, I think it would be helpful to dive a bit deeper into the rankings and listings projects. These are important aspects of the site, and the Smash community, and I think it would be helpful that new members and organizers understand their purpose within the community.

Smashboards now has a plethora of features that support and catalog the Smash community. Two of the most important are the tournament listings and tournament rankings systems. If you or your organizer are not posting to the tournament listings (or rankings), they are missing out on reaching new players and cataloging their results. Posting only to Facebook means missing out on a big portion of interested players and ultimately not supporting the Smash community. There are four reasons every organizer should be posting to the tournament listings:
  • The listing is streamlined, it only take about 10 minutes to create a good listing thread, once the thread is created, it is part of the listing forum and part of the event tab in the navigation header.
  • Each listing is tweeted about at least once to the Smashboards Twitter account (24k followers) and some are selected for additional tweets. That's free advertising.
  • Smashboards is currently an Alexa Top 20,000 global website, top 5,000 US, and sees hundreds of thousands of unique visitors every month. The bulk of these visitors are coming from Google and are new players simply interested in Smash. A tournament doesn't tap into this traffic unless the event is posted to Smashboards.
  • Lastly, the listings are a historical, searchable record - Smashboards is the database and history of the Smash community - all in one, single, place.
Aside from the listings, the ranking project, launched earlier this year, is gaining steam. This archive not only allows Smashboards to rank every player in the Smash community in a single place, but it also provides, for the first time ever, a historical record of prizes and tournament activity. Widely cited sites like eSports Earnings don't accurately catalog Smash because the system is only designed for huge prize, well sponsored, often developer supported, often online and easily recorded, events. The Smash tournament community is offline and grassroots, and for the first time ever, we can tell you about these events.

Within the last 11 months, our Smashboards ranking project has archived and reported the following:
Total Events: 3,242*
Total Events (2014): 2,762*

Total Results: 92,953
Unique Usernames: 33,766
Unique (Claimed) Results: 7,789

Entry Fee Events (>$0): 2,678
Entry Fee Events (Ranked): 2,472
Entry Fee 2014 (Ranked): 2,057

Total Prize Money: $873,650
Total Prize Money 2014: $525,618
*Data pulled early December, 2014
**Not complete, and events = tournaments, an event could have 3 tournaments (Brawl, Melee, Wii U)

Based on our data, and the historical record that there have been over 7,000 tournaments listed since 2007, a decent projection is that there have been more than $3,500,000 in cash prizes at different Smash tournaments over the lifetime of the grassroots community. If you are looking to help make the rankings and data better, you can do so by doing three things:
  1. Read the "how to" on rankings and results
  2. If your an organizer, submit your event, or a past event, to the ranking system
  3. If you are a player, make sure your organizer does #1, and also look through and claim results that are your own
Smashboards Sponsorships
In 2014 we were fortunate to be able to sponsor a lot of different activities and ventures within the community. These sponsorships are not possible without some of the advertisements you may have seen around the site. While these can be intrusive at times (Sept-Dec is the worst time), they allow for us to expand and to support more activities that Smashers are engaged in. In 2014, Smashboards provided more than $5,000 in sponsorships across the below activities:

2014 Sponsorships
  • Apex 2014
  • CEO 2014
  • Smash the Record
  • The Big House 4
  • PAX Prime 2014 Panel: The Smash Community - Past, Present, and Future with Alphazealot, Samox, Hungrybox, and D1
  • Even Match Up Gaming (video content)
  • Clash Tournaments (video content)
  • Video Game Bootcamp (video content)
In 2015, we have already announced two sponsorships:
  • BEAST 5 (first European venture)
  • Apex 2015
We'll also be looking to sponsor other activities as the year goes on. One note on sponsorships - I am sometimes approached to sponsor an activity, tournament, or other venture and the pitch is a loose email with a link to Facebook. This doesn't bode well for receiving funds if your activity doesn't even have a place on Smashboards (such as a tournament listing). If you wish to have a Smash related venture sponsored, in particular tournaments, get the conversation started here on Smashboards by sending a message to @ AlphaZealot AlphaZealot and be prepared to share a sponsorship "deck".

Forum Improvements
Earlier this month, @Warchamp7 detailed improvements for the forums. In 2014 we were able to do the following:
  • Launched forum frontpage
  • Launched activity widget to easily see where activity is occuring
  • Launched ranking system
  • Launched guide system with a guide contest
  • Improved Smashboards Premium - including adding raffles for awesome prizes like Super Smash Brothers for Wii U
  • Improved forum up-time (>99% uptime in 2014)
  • Adjusted the forum interface to make it more easily navigable
  • Adjusted look and feel of the forums to make it more "Smash-like"
Many of the upgrades and updates in 2014 will be tweaks and improved for functionality in 2015. Stay tuned for details on other new features that we are working on.

Final Thoughts
This update is a bit all over the place. 2014 was an exciting year with the release of Super Smash Brothers for 3DS and Super Smash Brothers for Wii U. We are hopeful that the momentum will carry forward through 2015 with Apex, EVO, and other big events like the release of DLC content for Super Smash Brothers for Wii U. Most everyone, including the Smashboards staff, is also holding their breath wondering whether Nintendo will become more involved. Much of the next year will be focused on refining Smashboards after the release of so many new features in 2014.

At this point, I'd also like to take a moment to publicly thank all of the staff of Smashboards - the moderators, the super moderators, the administrators, the writers, the content creators, and everyone in between who helps with the site. Special shoutouts to @Gtown_Tom for his work with the rankings project. Most of all, I want to thank everyone in the Smash community for continuing to keep Smashboards the hub and home of the community.

Enjoy the holidays and have a happy new year!
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Smash Apprentice
Sep 24, 2014
Ypsilanti, MI
This is Awesome! Smash Boards has quickly became my most frequented site. I'm a new user, but I've already made tons of posts, threads and learned so much from the other users. SmashBoards has a great community behind it, and I hope it gets bigger and better!


Smash Journeyman
May 24, 2014
Clayton, CA
This site and community has quickly brought me back together and has made me into a much happier person. I hope to dive a little deeper into this enjoyable community in 2015. #SmashRules!!!


Smash Master
Sep 20, 2005
I put my full support behind grassroot organizations like Smashboards. Sometimes it just takes one step to say "I'll help, what can I do?", start small and see where each step takes you.
The future is bright for the Smash Community.