Almost 40 percent of the entrants for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at Evo Japan 2020 didn’t show up

Open tournaments might not be the way to run a Super Major.

Image via Nintendo

Evo Japan 2020 was set to be the second biggest Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament in the game’s short history with just under 3,000 people signed up to play. But that number dropped drastically when it came to who actually showed up for pool play. 

Around 1,169 of the initial 2,988 players didn’t show up to compete in their pool matches, according to both Smash.gg and Smash statistician juddy96. This led to a massive amount of disqualifications that left most of the 256 day one brackets with four players getting first-round byes due to a lack of competitors. 

Based on the usual PGR Tournament Tier System, the remaining 1,819 players—around 60 percent of the original number—who did show up and several top-ranked players also competing are enough to keep Evo Japan as an S-Tier event. But the tournament’s weight in the next PGRU rankings will be significantly reduced due to the disqualifications. 

There are several factors that played into the high number of disqualifications that are popping up not just for Smash Ultimate, but for every game at Evo Japan. 

Related: Arslan Ash made it out of his Tekken 7 pools at Evo Japan after no one showed up

The first and most prominent reason is that unlike its North American counterpart, Evo Japan was a free entry tournament, meaning that players didn’t have to put down any money to sign up and reserve a spot in pools. That means not showing up doesn’t affect some people at all since they had no monetary investment in the event from the start. 

Screengrab via Smash.gg

Another factor is registration for the event closed earlier than expected because the tournament organizer needed to put a cap on Smash due to how large the initial wave of signups was. It did almost hit the emergency cap of 3,072 players, but the lack of investment needed to register led to it looking like a Wi-Fi tournament where half the players either disconnect or can’t get into the room. 

Smash Ultimate is the game that had the most disqualifications just based on the fact that it also had the most entries, but it’ll also be affected the least because most players still had to play in matches to get out of round one. Now that day two is underway, things will smooth out and there will be a full stream of quality matches with some of the top-ranked players in Japan set to play against each other later in the bracket. 

Matches pick back up at 7pm CT on Jan. 24, so be sure to tune in and see who qualifies for Championship Sunday.