PGR Smash Bros. season frozen due to coronavirus pandemic
PGR coronavirus Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Melee season frozen due to coronavirus pandemic

PGR Smash Bros. season frozen due to coronavirus pandemic

PGStats announced an immediate freeze to the PGR season because of the coronavirus pandemic on March 12. This freeze applies to both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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The competitive Super Smash Bros. scene is on an indefinite offseason. This means that any tournament in the foreseeable future will not officially count toward the summer or year-end rankings. However, both Melee and Ultimate have panel-based ranking systems, and it is unclear if panelists will completely ignore offseason events.

PGStats instituted the PGR freeze in order to discourage players from contributing to the spread of the coronavirus disease. “We do not wish any members of the Smash community or otherwise to risk their health in pursuit of their ranking,” the official statement concluded.

PGStats may forgo this year’s summer rankings, depending on the length of its official hiatus. In this case, there would only be one MPGR list and one PGRU list, published at the end of 2020.

PGR freeze and other effects of the coronavirus on competitive Super Smash Bros.

The PGR freeze is only one of many disruptions the coronavirus pandemic has created for the Super Smash Bros. community. Multiple tournaments have been canceled, including iterations in long-standing series like Emerald City 9 and Full Bloom 6.

President Donald Trump’s month-long travel ban will prevent European top players from coming to Smash events in the United States. William “Leffen” Hjelte, Adam “Armada” Lindgren, and William “Glutonny” Belaid noted on Twitter that they can’t attend Pound 2020 anymore. However, European Smashers may be able to travel through the United Kingdom or Canada, which aren’t subject to Trump’s restrictions.

CEO Dreamland 2020 is scheduled to proceed this weekend as the first event in the Smash World Tour. However, some have dropped out of the tournament due to coronavirus concerns and because it no longer counts for PGR. Among them are Enrique “Maister” Hernández Solís and Paris “Light” Ramirez.

CEO tournament organizer Alex Jebailey set up a PayPal account in order to crowdfund support for CEO Dreamland. Due to increasing requests for refunds, Jebailey has turned to the community to help ensure the CEO staff gets paid. Financial concerns have even raised the possibility that Jebailey won’t be able to host another CEO event in the future.

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Dylan Tate
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.