Splatoon is laready one of Nintendo’s most successful new franchises. Is it about to become an esport? A prize pool of $1 million says “yes.”
A new Splatoon competitive tournament starts next month with a series of events across Japan. Media company Kadokawa and Dwango, the parent company of the major Japanese game video site Nicovideo, will run the series, which concludes in Tokyo on Jan. 30.
Splatoon is a team-based, third-person shooter along the lines of Team Fortress 2. The player characters shoot ink to try and “splat” opposing players and have the ability to switch between a squid and a human form. In squid form, players can move through ink of their team’s color, including up walls.
The events will also feature a $1 million tournament series for mobile puzzle game, Puzzle & Dragons.
Prize money alone doesn’t indicate where a game stands in the esports hierarchy. But the $1 million prize pool is about what’s up for grabs in the Capcom Cup for Street Fighter, and four times what’s available at the Hearthstone World Championships.
This tournament is the first major prize pool for the game. Splatoon communities like Squidboards, however, have long whole sections of their forums dedicated to amateur tournaments in the game, and these boast little or no prize money. There’s clearly an appetite for competitive Splatoon.
Image via Nintendo