Splatoon 3 has invigorated its competitive community
Splatoon 3 spawn point

Splatoon 3 has invigorated its competitive community

Players are counting the days until the new game comes out in 2022

No one knew what game Nintendo was teasing when the camera opened on a barren desert during a Nintendo Direct in February. The screen showed a blue sky over a sand-covered junkyard with train cars scatter around. The tension was building.

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“Guys it’s not Splatoon, I’m sorry,” said Kadeem “ThatSrb2DUDE” Carrington-McKenzie on stream as he watched the Direct with his viewers. “I don’t know what the hell this game is.”

The camera cut to a familiar hooded character, sitting under the shadow of a decrepit train car.

“Wait,” he said, before getting so excited that he could barely catch his breath.

He couldn’t get a word out once he realized what he was looking at, slapping his knees in excitement as he watched Nintendo announce the third installment of his favorite franchise. The hooded figure was an inkling and the game was Splatoon 3.

ThatSrb2DUDE, who goes by DUDE in the Splatoon community, is one of the best Splatoon players of all time. He and many others were pleasantly surprised by the announcement. Activity in the Splatoon 2 scene had been slowly dwindling after Nintendo announced they would no longer support the game with regular updates. Splatoon 3 has brought many who had left back to the scene.

Community didn’t see Splatoon 3 coming

Fans of Splatoon didn’t expect another sequel to come out the Nintendo Switch after Splatoon 2 launched in July of 2017. They thought the scene in the desert had to be something else.

“It was the first real Nintendo Direct in a year. I gathered a bunch of Splatoon comp friends in a voice chat, ” EndGameTV tournament organizer Didier “BeTa” van der Valk said. “We saw the desert and thought it was Metroid Prime, but once we realized what it was, the pop off was unreal.”

Online Splatoon communities on Reddit, Discord and elsewhere had similar explosions of excitement, with fans hyper analyzing the new weapons, maps, mechanics and other tidbits shown off during the brief trailer. The wait until Splatoon 3’s release window in 2022 is going to be a long one for them, but they said they’ll fill that time by playing Splatoon 2.

“I used to host a monthy tournament, Saturday Morning Coffee,” BeTa said. “But now there is always something conflicting with the time it was usually held. So many people want to host tournaments now. It’s oversaturated.”

Splatoon inkzooka
The inkzooka was a special in the original Splatoon that wasn’t included in Splatoon 2. It did appear in the trailer for Splatoon 3. | Image provided by Nintendo
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Aron Garst
A guy who likes Fortnite and Animal Crossing.