In the past couple of months, a plethora of online gaming tournaments involving athletes have been announced, many involving titles such as Call of Duty, Fortnite, Madden and NBA 2K. Now, the Super Smash Bros. community has one of its own.
New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell is teaming with world's No. 1 ranked Smash Melee competitor Juan "Hungrybox" DeBiedma to present THE BOX, a $10,000 free-to-enter online Smash Ultimate tournament. The three-day tourney will take place May 8-10, with a cap of 8,192 entrants.
"We are teaming up to give you a three-day Smash event that should be the biggest ever done," the tagline says. The largest number of entrants for a single Smash tournament was 3,534 at the 2019 Evolution Championship Series that was won by Leonardo "MkLeo" Lopez Perez.
"During this isolation, tons of [Smash] events were cancelled and so we had to take our competitions online," Hungrybox told ESPN. "As someone who frequents and hosts tournaments, I wanted to make the best of the situation. When I saw that Le'Veon wanted to run a tournament series soon, I got into contact with him and made a plan to have a huge-scale event with Team Liquid as soon as possible. May 9 weekend was the nearest available date that worked for Le'Veon and Liquid, and so we got to work."
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On April 15, Bell posted the following on his Instagram story: "I'm thinking about doing a battle arena tournament...& having a nice prize for the winner? what u think?" then reposted it on Twitter adding "winner gets $1000."
Bell quickly upped the prize pool to $2,500 in a follow-up tweet, intimating that tournament plans were already underway. Bell is no stranger to Smash Ultimate. In January, Bell attended his first tournament, "Ultimate Pizza 30" in Ohio. Bell secured two victories before bowing out in Round 3.
�� @LeVeonBell showed up at his first Smash tournament last night.
He crushed his first opponent 2-0��
- ESPN Esports (@ESPN_Esports) January 24, 2020
More recently, Bell played online with Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios in a video posted by ZeRo to YouTube last week.