Maister still looking for a sponsor; who should sign him? - Upcomer

Maister still looking for a sponsor; who should sign him?

"There must be an [organization] out there"

After placing second at Super Smash Con 2022, Enrique “Maister” Solís continued to wonder aloud why he wasn’t sponsored by an esports organization.

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Super Smash Con 2022 was the largest Smash event of the year thus far, a super major on the path to the Smash World Tour finals in December. As the best Mr Game & Watch in the world and ranked sixth overall in Ultimate, Maister felt it was just another event where he proved his worth yet again — but still found himself with no support from a team.

Team Liquid recently signed Riddles thanks to advice from Melee God Hungrybox; Mexican player MkLeo is currently with T1; Sparg0 made waves when he signed with FaZe Clan, and Light is part of the iconic Moist Esports squad. Almost all of the top Ultimate players have signed with an organization at this point. That is, all except Maister.

Maister has been sponsored in the past. He joined KillJoystick in 2018 followed by Sinai Village and then Anahuac Esports and Nevermore in 2019. Maister was starting to make waves at this point and joined Spacestation Gaming at the start of 2020. Maister left Spacestation Gaming two years later in 2022 due to some internal disagreements.

When Maister left Spacestation Gaming, he immediately started advertising his free agency. Then Maister announced that he was being sponsored by Moist Esports but only for GENESIS 8. Some wondered if he would become a permanent Moist Boy at this point but he soon was advertising his free agency once again.

He even made a tongue-in-cheek video about his skills with Sora and Mr Game & Watch that was meant to inspire an organization to sponsor him. While it got a lot of laughs from the competitive Smash community, at the end of it, Maister was still left without anyone backing him.

Despite the ongoing struggle, Maister trained hard for Super Smash Con and seemed to be streaming more than usual. He was also making a lot of YouTube videos in an attempt to expand his content creation career. After Super Smash Con, Maister noted that it was “unbelievable” that he’s a free agent after such an amazing season thus far.

While nobody can deny Maister’s talent, some questioned his continued behavior on social media, saying that these kinds of tweets would not win him any sponsors or fans. Others said it was becoming his “personality” to ask for a sponsorship or express how tired he was of playing Smash without support.

But it’s easy to see why Maister is feeling so exasperated at this point. He has gone to almost every major tournament in North America for the past few years without a team behind him to pay for his flights or hotel. He doesn’t have a steady salary from an esports org to make the Smash struggle more consistent and reliable. Smash doesn’t have big prizes, especially if you don’t place first; Hungrybox showed as much in this tweet. It’s easy to see why Maister wants a sponsorship.

But is it worth it for teams to sponsor him?

Super Smash Bros isn’t as grassroots as it used to be, but none can deny that there is far less money up for grabs in Smash than in other esports. Even MultiVersus has been showing Smash up, as far as prize pools go; despite barely being out of beta, the MultiVersus prize pool EVO 2022 hit $100,000. But it’s not just prize pools that make those other games more lucrative. It’s the sponsorships, the organized franchises, and all of the investors. Smash has none of that.

But esports organizations have still been signing Smash players. Why?

Smash has a passionate fanbase that’s continuing to grow. There may not be flashy production or millions on the line like other eposrts, but Smash has heart; it has dedicated fans who are loyal to the players they follow. Adding a Smash player to your roster puts you on the fighting game community’s radar; that comes with fans, merch purchases, and social media engagement. On top of that, most Smash players at that level also create content and stream, which means sponsors, ad revenue, and even more exposure to the esports org behind them.

Maister has expressed trouble growing his fanbase in the past due to the hate people have for Mr. Game & Watch, but his persistence has paid off. He now has 37.6K followers on Twitch and 9.14K on YouTube. As he continues to place all over the world and grow his fanbase, it would definitely be a plus for any esports organization to offer him a sponsorship. The question is: Will the salary or deal be enough?

For now, Maister will continue grinding the Smash circuit in the hopes of qualifying for the Smash World Tour with or without the support of an esports organization. The man is clearly dedicated to the game and a second place at Super Smash Con isn’t enough.