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Smash Community Concerned and Heartbroken Over SHINE Ending

The competitive Super Smash Bros. community has been left shaken after SHINE announced it’s coming to an end.
  • SHINE is officially closing its doors, signaling the end to the largest major in New England
  • The Melee community in particular is concerned that this may be the beginning of the end for their competitive space, as grassroots tournament shift towards Ultimate and away from Smash in general.

SHINE describes itself as the “New England grassroots Smash Major,” which is quite accurate. At 20 years old, Melee has continued to have a competitive scene thanks to the community’s ongoing passion for the game. Even without Nintendo’s support, dedicated tournament organizers have kept Melee’s esports scene alive with majors that have become the ultimate proving ground for Smash pros.

One of those ongoing majors was SHINE. Since 2016, it has been the biggest major in New England (held in Boston specifically). It currently has a Melee and Ultimate double elimination tournament. Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma and Zain Naghmi have been dominating SHINE’s Melee tournaments the last few years, making it a popular major where top players fight to dethrone them.

But it looks like this may be their last chance.

On Twitter, SHINE TO’s announced that this year is going to be the last one. SHINE will be heading to Worcester, Massachusetts on August 25 to the 27th this year. Then SHINE is saying goodbye to the Smash community, leaving the competitive scene feeling quite uneasy.

“It's a bittersweet moment as we announce the final SHINE. Due to economic circumstances surrounding esports in general and TO's wishing to move onto the next chapter of their lives, this will be the last time we run SHINE,” the tweet read.

The TO’s admitted that the event leaves them $10,000 in debt every year as they try to pay costs, staff, and winners. This time around, SHINE will be announcing some merch to help with the costs. The Smash community can also expect a “complete fiscal roadmap” in the future to better understand what it takes to run a Smash tournament.

“Thank you for the many fun years. It’s been a journey of a lifetime and we’re all humbled to have served in this chapter on Smash Bros. esports,” SHINE wrote.

SHINE Ending Has Smash Community Scared

The Smash community responded to SHINE’s announcement with sadness. Seeing such an iconic and well-respected tournament come to an end is never good news, especially since it has become such a big part of Smash’s esports scene. Many fans wrote that SHINE changed many people’s lives and defined Smash’s pro scene in New England.

But it also shined a light on a bigger problem — is the Smash esports scene in trouble?

It’s been said for a while now that Smash isn’t a profitable esport, with organizations often refusing to sign players because even top pros don’t bring a lot of money to esports teams. The tournaments have no backing from Nintendo or other major companies, often completely funded by the community.

With Beyond the Summit and other tournaments also coming to an end, the Melee community was alarmed with SHINE’s announcement. Some wondered how long Smash would even be allowed anymore. Many fans urged players to continue going to locals to support the grassroots community and keep the game alive.

“Melee isn’t going to die, but esports is in a slump right now for sure,” said one gamer. “Melee being a grassroots scene at its heart will rebound, even while other larger games may fail long-term.”