With over 8,000 entrants, NFL star Le’Veon Bell of the New York Jets and professional Super Smash Brothers player Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma hosted one of the biggest online Super Smash Brothers tournaments of the year. Having entrants from across the globe, the tournament lasted throughout the entire weekend of May 8th, having staggered pools so that the bracket would run as efficiently as possible. Proving itself to be one of the biggest tournaments of the year for the Super Smash Brothers community, Bell and DeBiedma’s tournament “The Box” crushed entrant records compared to other tournaments like the Evolution tournament series (3,534 entrants) in Las Vegas. The tournament was hosted on the online tournament website smash.gg website and streamed on multiple Twitch.tv streams from the hosts of the tournament as well as by individual competitors streaming their tournament runs.
The idea for a tournament ran by Le’Veon Bell came into fruition when Bell posted on his Instagram account that he wanted to host a one-on-one arena tournament for the game, and conversations with the Super Smash Brothers pro “Hungrybox” began. The NFL star initially also put up a $1,000 prize for the tournament but increased the amount as he saw the interest grow and tournament entrants explode in numbers (a recently common trend for free-entry online smash tournaments).
Due to the community’s lack of available tournaments because of LAN events being canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many tournament organizers have looked towards creating large-scale events online. Tournaments like this are beginning to spark in popularity as the Super Smash Brothers community migrates to a primarily-online environment of competition, as more large-scale Twitch.tv streamers have begun to host and stream their own tournament series. Tournaments like “The Box” and the “Quarantine Series” are just a few of the free-entry online tournaments with prize pools over $5,000 that have been created due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The next major online Super Smash Brothers tournament “Collision Online” is slated for May 23rd with a prize pool of $500 and entrants already over 1,000.