Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby defeated a host of challengers last night to win the $20,000 first place prize of the inaugural Thunder Smash event. But despite its sky-high prize pool, the event quickly drew the ire of the Super Smash Bros. community for its notably low production value.
Criticism of the event’s viewer experience began during the pools stage on Sunday morning, when capture card issues forced the event’s streaming staff to improvise and stream the event’s early matches using a hand-operated camera trained on the in-venue projector screen.
Even after the stream returned to normal, viewers noted its washed-out lighting and relatively simple layout. As matches progressed, scores were often misreported, while viewers claimed that some of the casters seemed inexperienced in Smash commentary and unsure of the event’s schedule.
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The technical issues continued during the tournament’s finals, as the pre-filmed interviews broadcast before the top eight had problems with white noise and audio balance.
Despite these streaming issues, Thunder Smash has its high points as well, with the massive differential between first and second place raising the stakes to create some truly entertaining matches. And though the results did not count towards the Panda Global Rankings, Dabuz is unlikely to complain—both the players and the broadcasting talent purportedly received their payments immediately after the event.