Heading into this year's EVO event, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was set to be the largest Super Smash Bros. tournament in franchise history, yet questions remained as to the scale of the viewership that the tournament would hold. This question has finally been answered, as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch broke the all-time viewership record at this year's EVO event.
For those unaware, the Evolution Championship Series (EVO) is a fighting game tournament in which multiple fighting and competitive games are played by gamers registered for the tournament. Like any competitive sport, these tournaments go on until the single winner is determined by a sheer test of skill and fortitude. These events are widely-watched and have made competitive gaming more viable as a "sport" in recent years.
This year, among the likes of Mortal Kombat 11, Soulcalibur 6, and Dragon Ball FighterZ, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate one of the games players competed in at the EVO 2019 tournament. While the game's successful 2018 release was nearly bound to secure it a spot at EVO 2019, it did set multiple records. However, the greatest takeaway was that it set the record for all-time highest viewership of any EVO game.
As displayed above, Twitter user Rod Breslau tweeted that the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate competition's peak viewership reached over 279,000 viewers. The picture shows its peak in comparison to other games featured in the tournament at the time. This includes the popular Fortnite, which sat at 97,000 viewers at the time. League of Legends was also behind Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's viewership as well, at about 53,000 viewers.
This fact is not entirely surprising. Aside from the Super Smash Bros. series being as incredibly popular as it is, with its latest iteration having broken sales series records, the game's aforementioned EVO registration record set the game up to be a huge draw for fans of Super Smash Bros. tournaments. Moreover, it has been a staple in less professional fighting game championships for years, so its growing and superior viewership in the esports realm does follow. Whether it will garner even greater viewership at next year's EVO has yet to be seen, but it will show the game's timeless appeal if it does.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is currently available on Nintendo Switch.