One of the most anticipated fighting game tournaments of the year is fighting for its life after fire marshals evacuated the venue hosting the event.
Apex 2015 was set to play host to the finest players in Super Smash Bros. Melee and WiiU communities. But now it’s scrambling to keep competition moving after part of the venue collapsed earlier this week. The tournament, which was to play host to the return of legend Kevin “PPMD” Nanney and the first major bracket for the new Smash Bros. WiiU, was shut down by fire marshals some time around 9:30am ET. Around the same time, scenes like this one began to circulate Twitter:
— 犬ー執事 (@Saikyo_Husky) January 30, 2015
The roof of the venue’s two-story garage collapsed on Jan. 24, causing a minor injury to one person, according to local news reports. Hotel staff allowed the event to take place in damaged building, despite the venue being partially located under the garage. Then a fire alarm went off earlier today, which brought the fire marshal, who ordered the evacuation as soon as he saw the still-damaged roof.
— Tai (no, not the M2) (@TeeAyEye) January 30, 2015
The tournament’s online stream showed eerily abandoned conference halls.
In the meantime, the Smash community is pulling out all the stops to keep the competition moving. That includes holding the crowded pool play portion of the event in individual hotel rooms.
Someone just came into our room asking if we can support pools. Looks like tourney will happen in rooms today
— We #Reslivin (@reslived) January 30, 2015
Adam Apicella of Major League Gaming, one of the biggest esports event organizers in North America, has also jumped in to help keep the tournament alive.
The situation is yet another hurdle for the tournament. Just 10 days prior, Apex’s organizer stepped down amid allegations of inappropriate behavior toward transgender and underage women.
Despite yet another painful blow to the Smash community’s second most important event, no one’s counting them out. The scene has survived for 15 years, and it’s expectantly defiant in the face of disaster.
We’re used to this kind of bullshit. We are grassroots. This is just another bump in the road. I have absolute faith in the Apex staff.
— William Hjelte (@TSM_Leffen) January 30, 2015
Update 11:57am CT: Apex has a new home, thanks to Twitch.
— Roger DiLuigi III (@RogersBase) January 30, 2015