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After teasing its name change on April 27, tournament organization platform smash.gg officially announced its rebrand to start.gg on Monday. The new branding will take effect on May 16.

“We believe that the most basic concept in the gaming community is the concept of starting,” program manager Kelly “kupo!” Goodchild wrote in a blog post about the rebrand. “Everyone has that moment [when] you start playing a game, when you start entering tournaments, when you start streaming, when you start organizing tournaments, when you start a pro career, or when you start to make gaming your way of life and start making money supporting the community that you love.”

To celebrate the rebrand, start.gg will team up with various organizations and content creators to host the Launch League. From May 16 through June 30, the Launch League will feature online tournaments for the following games:

  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Pokémon UNITE
  • Rocket League
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Fighting games
  • Age of Empires IV

The Launch League will also work in conjunction with the Xbox Game Pass to host tournaments for Microsoft-owned titles like Gears, Halo and Forza. Microsoft previously acquired smash.gg in December of 2020 and registered the start.gg trademark in March of this year.

More about the start.gg rebrand

Although the start.gg team has confirmed that they will continue to focus on supporting the fighting game community, the rebrand reflects their increasing support of gaming communities outside of Smash. The diverse array of tournaments featured in the Launch League similarly reflects this.

Alongside the rebrand, the blog post from kupo! confirmed that the developers of the website are working on an enhanced search function. In addition, the new site will include aggregated esports news content and VODs from Twitch, YouTube and Facebook Gaming.

Even as start.gg becomes a revenue source for Microsoft, it will remain a free resource for tournament organizers and entrants alike. In her blog post, kupo! stated that the website would eventually include advertisements, but that it likely would not be monetized in any other way.