Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros are an esports phenomenon. This series of 2D console fighting games was never designed to be competitive. On the contrary, Super Smash Bros were meant to be party games—something your friends and family members could play on a casual Sunday evening while having fun with iconic Nintendo characters like Mario or Donkey Kong.
At first, Super Smash Bros certainly followed this narrative. The gameplay was so fluid and intuitive that players could even make up their own combos on the fly to get an edge over their opponents. But as more and more players took an interested in the series, it started growing into something bigger.
Nowadays, Super Smash Bros is a flurry of non-stop action, intricate mind games, and jaw-dropping outplays. It’s the definition of a lightning in a bottle. And you can find countless Super Smash Bros tournaments and betting opportunities all over the globe.
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How Super Smash Bros is Played
The first thing you need to know about Super Smash Bros is that it isn’t your average fighting game. Sure, the series follows some rules of the genre like pitting players against each other in a 2D arena and allowing them to use a multitude of complex moves and combos to get an edge over their opponents. However, Super Smash Bros esports betting would be a walk in the park if that was all there was to it.
The first notable difference is that Smash has no health bars. With that, your goal isn’t to straight-up kill your opponent, but to launch them off the stage and past the edge of the map. On top of that, each player has a percentage that rises whenever they take damage. The higher your percentage, the farther you will fly when you get hit by an enemy attack, so there are heavy incentives to landing blows onto your opponent. Still, it’s entirely possible to win a match of Smash at 0% if you approach the game from the right angle.
Falling off the stage isn’t necessarily a death sentence either, and there are many ways to “recover” with jumping moves and other abilities that let you get back to the arena. Another thing to note is that player characters differ in weight and strength, so some of them will naturally knock their enemies farther than others. The most competitive Super Smash Bros tournaments require players to have razor-sharp mechanics, split-second reaction times, and depths of detailed game knowledge.
Super Smash Bros Esports Tournaments and Events
If you want to get into Super Smash Bros esports betting, you have to understand the competitive scene surrounding it. For starters, the series includes several titles: Super Smash Bros (1999), Super Smash Bros Melee (2001), Super Smash Bros Brawl (2008), Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (2014), and Super Smash Bros Ultimate (2018). The original game was a local hit in Japan, and it wasn’t until Super Smash Bros Melee was released that the pro circuit took off.
It had a very grass-roots feel at first, as the initial Super Smash Bros esports tournaments were held in basements and video game stores. The first major competition was the Tournament Go series that took place in Northern California in 2002, and its organizer—Matt Deezie—is often viewed as the founding father of the game’s competitive scene. The Tournament Go series came to its conclusion in 2004, at which point Matt Deezie has hosted a massive 100-man event, effectively facilitating a surge of competitions like MELEE-FC, Game Over, and even Major League Gaming.
Fast-forward to the present day, and the scene is going stronger than ever. In fact, this is widely regarded as the Chaos Era of Super Smash Bros tournaments—a time when old legends and legacy players fall one after another to rising stars like Zain, Leffen, and Swedish Delight. The circuit is filled with large-scale tournaments like Evolution Championship Series (EVO), Super Smash Con, GENESIS, Shine, and Frostbite. Every single one of these events acts as a battleground to the best pros from all over the world, so the level of competition is ridiculously high.
Unlike most major esports, the Super Smash Bros scene didn’t forget its grass-roots origins either. With that, smaller tournaments take place every day, and you can often run into countless local competitions on smash.gg, which is the go-to platform for players and tournament organizers.
Betting on Super Smash Bros
Super Smash Bros isn’t as big as powerhouses like Dota 2, League of Legends, or even CS:GO. However, it has a loyal community that’s very invested in the competitive side of the game. Just in 2017, the total prize pool for Super Smash Bros tournaments was approximately $3,930,230, and this figure is likely to get bigger in the nearest future. Keep in mind that most professional matches are 1v1s, which is the perfect format to decide who’s the better player, so naturally, this is a great environment for anyone interested in Super Smash Bros esports betting.
So, what kind of bets can you make on Smash tournaments?
Well, the most common category of Super Smash Bros bets is match winner wagers, i.e., you put your money on one of the two players fighting against each other, and if your players take the W, you get your payout. It’s not as simple as it sounds, though.
A high-level Super Smash Bros match isn’t just two players outmuscling each other with raw mechanical skill, and there’s an element of strategy to it. And if a weaker player discovers a new combo or gets a good read onto his opponent, he can easily pull off an upset. To make things more complex, there’s a huge cast of playable characters, so, for example, you need to be able to tell who’s going to win between Fox and Captain Falco to make an accurate prediction. Also, remember that no player has the time to master every character in the game, so try to analyze the characters they play and their place in the current meta game.
Another staple of Super Smash Bros is tournament winner bets. This would be a very risky prospect in most competitive games, but since Smash matches take the shape of 1v1s, the best pro usually have a significant edge over the rest of the playing field. With that, you can often tell who’s going to win a Super Smash Bros event well in advance.
Get an Edge Betting on Super Smash Bros
If you want to be good at Super Smash Bros esports betting, you need to understand the action. Most professional games are so fast that they seem like a blur to an untrained eye, so the first step of your journey to becoming a winning Smash punter is to get familiar with the game. There are plenty of guides and tutorials on YouTube and other platforms that will help you shore up the holes in your game knowledge.
Once you feel like you’re ready, try tuning into a Super Smash Bros competition on Twitch. Pay attention to the way players trade, zone, and pressure their opponents, and use this information to guess who’s going to come out on top. Also, keep track of things like tier lists and character stats to get a good grasp of the current meta game.
Another thing you can do to give yourself an edge is staying up to date with the news. Things like player signings and tournament announcements have a huge influence on the entire scene. Even interviews with pros and personalities can disclose vital information that will make it easier to make a correct prediction, so consider following the most recent news on sites like ESPN and theScore Esports.
In the end, Super Smash Bros is a very dynamic franchise. Its players, tournaments, and even gameplay fundamentals are constantly changing. And if you want to be good at Super Smash Bros esports betting, you need to stay on top of everything going on in the scene.