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The tournament organizers behind Riptide have announced that their debut in-person Super Smash Bros. major will happen this fall. The water park tournament will take place from Sept. 10-12 at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio.
Riptide has become one of the first Super Smash Bros. majors outside of the Smash World Tour to announce its return to offline competition. While Smash Ultimate and Smash Melee will be its primary draws, it will also feature brackets for other games. These include Splatoon 2, Rivals of Aether and the Super Smash Bros. Brawl mod Project+.
🌊 Project +
🌊 Splatoon 2
🌊 Rivals of Aether
🌊 50,000 sq ft of event space
🌊 Midwest's Largest Indoor Waterpark
— Riptide (@RiptideSSB) June 2, 2021
Alongside the tournament announcement, the event organizers revealed many of the COVID-19 safety precautions that will be in place. These include mask and social distancing mandates, hand sanitizer throughout the venue and frequent cleaning of areas with high traffic. In addition, there will be limits on the total number of possible entrants. However, all of these guidelines are subject to change based on updated state and local guidance closer to the event.
Familiar TOs debut a new event at Riptide
The Riptide team largely consists of former tournament organizers for another water park series, Smash’N’Splash. The majority of the tournament series’ head organizers departed after Smash’N’Splash 5 due to disagreements over how the series was being run.
“We felt it important to share this publicly, especially as the conditions of our work at the event have only gotten more dire over the years,” a statement from the departing Smash’N’Splash tournament organizers said. “This, alongside the firing of former head floor TO and Melee TO Aaron Tollerud, has led us to lose confidence in the event’s capacity to deliver a strong, enjoyable experience to its attendees.”
The Head TOs for nearly every game at Smash'N'Splash 5 are not returning next year for Smash'N'Splash 6, myself included. Here is our statement, with a text transcript to follow. pic.twitter.com/kBuO3lJQU4
— Panda | Jaaahsh (@Jaaahsh) November 26, 2019
After confirming they wouldn’t return for Smash’N’Splash 6, these tournament organizers planned on debuting their own water park tournament in September 2020. However, they canceled that tournament as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, Riptide will have its inaugural event later this year.
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.