Once again, the Super Smash Bros. community is wondering if tournament registration should be raised to create a bigger prize pool for participants.
Led by a frustrated Enrique "Maister" Hernandez Solís, top players took to Twitter to voice frustration with the low prize pools at even the biggest Smash events. A simple solution, Maister added, would be increasing the entry fee for events to $20.
Maister pointed out that he took home $1,200 at a regional with 100 players, which may sound low but was actually more than the Game & Watch master collected for his third-place finish at Super Smash Con Fall Fest, a major with more than 750 participants.
Maister's initial frustration was met with mixed feelings from the Smash community. While many agreed that the entry fee being just $10 more wouldn't be a big change for most people, others noted that top players are a very small percentage of players — why pay more, some reasoned, to give the same big names more money over and over?
"The amount of people taking this wrong is absurd. Didn’t expect it to be different as this topic is always complicated, but just to make it clear, even though I shouldn’t need to say it, this is not for benefiting only ME, but the ENTIRE community. Stop it with those comments, seriously," Maister tweeted soon after the discussion exploded.
But it wasn't only Smash fans arguing under Maister's tweet. Other top players took notice of the discourse and made some statements themselves.
Juan "Hungrybox" DeBiedma tweeted that a $20 entry fee wasn't such a bad idea, showing a screenshot of his payout for getting second in a heavily viewed Grand Finals match at Pound, an important Smash major. Despite the hype surrounding the event and the match, Hungrybox only received $888 for getting second — and this is a respected Smash event.
The top Ultimate player also chimed in, agreeing with Maister. Leonardo "MKLeo" Perez tweeted that it wasn't a big difference to pay $10 more. In fact, he felt there wasn't "an excuse not to make it $20." MKLeo quickly added after his initial tweet that an extra $10 on top of hotel, food, and flight isn't going to have a major impact, even for people strapped for cash.
MKLeo said that he used to have limited money himself, but felt that there wouldn't be as many struggling Smash players to begin with if there was a bigger incentive to compete.
"I didn't wanna say this way but it’s literally entertainment. This player getting 7th getting $35 could be your favorite player and/or a friend. Wouldn’t you like this person to succeed?" MKLeo questioned.
Even though MKLeo is one of the most respected names in Smash, he still received some negativity from the community. While some agreed that $20 is fine for a major tournament, many didn't want to pay $20 for a local. MKLeo clarified after a while that he wasn't talking about locals and was discussing larger events. Still, many felt that MKLeo had no right to complain, joking that he would "obviously" fight for a bigger prize pool since he will win it despite not needing the extra cash.
"MKLeo trying to get a raise," someone tweeted.
The conversation carried over onto Reddit, where almost everyone was in agreement that locals should stay cheap while big events and majors should have the registration raised to $20, even $30. A few tournament organizers have weighed in as well, saying that the small registration price bump would be good for the community overall, hoping that larger TOs would follow their lead.