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Josh Fabian, chief executive officer of esports coaching platform Metafy, announced a new tournament organization platform called Sumo on Monday. The announcement came on the same day as competitor smash.gg’s rebrand to start.gg.
“We’re starting something of our own at @TryMetafy,” Fabian tweeted. “It’s my pleasure to announce Sumo (@trysumoGG), a rethinking of what a tournament platform could and should be. Built with our community in mind. We won’t forget the mobile app, of course.”
We're starting something of our own at @TryMetafy
It's my pleasure to announce Sumo (@trysumoGG), a rethinking of what a tournament platform could and should be. Built with our community in mind.
We won't forget the mobile app, of course.https://t.co/RXmPgiSTzp
— Josh (@JoshFabian) May 16, 2022
Metafy is advertising Sumo as “a tournament platform that doesn’t suck.” In particular, it has aimed much of its marketing so far at distinguishing Sumo from start.gg. For example, the Sumo website notes that it is “not Microsoft,” a jab at start.gg, which Microsoft acquired in December of 2020.
Likewise, Fabian highlighted that Sumo will have a mobile app and its website says it will be “mobile first.” Start.gg, which was founded in 2015, has long been criticized for its lack of an official app and its limited mobile functionality.
More about Sumo from Metafy
Sumo will launch in late 2022 at no cost for users and without advertisements. Though start.gg has also been ad-free and free-to-use up to this point, the website does intend to start incorporating ads in the future.
The Sumo announcement was met with positive reception from prominent Super Smash Bros. players like Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, Aaron “Aaron” Wilhite (both of whom are Metafy coaches) and Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma.
potentially the smashGG alternative we’ve all been waiting for.
clean interface, mobile app, and lots of other features.
— hungrybox (@LiquidHbox) May 16, 2022
Meanwhile, start.gg support team member Connor “contra” Kelly expressed doubts that Sumo will actually be more useful for TOs than start.gg. In addition, others have criticized Metafy’s decision to market Sumo as the antithesis to start.gg while claiming to be “community driven.” As its former name suggests, start.gg was initially created by and for members of the Smash community.
“Not a fan of marketing via attacking other platforms that have worked for us for free and served our community well for years, run by community members,” heartswapTV creative producer Trin “meleesadposts” Schaeffer tweeted.
not a fan of marketing via attacking other platforms that have worked for us for free and served our community well for years, run by community members https://t.co/WWO5dlu1Mi
— trin (@meleesadposts) May 16, 2022
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.