Smash World Tour delayed, Pound 2020 canceled due to coronavirus
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The start of the Smash World Tour’s Gold and Platinum events has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, Pound 2020 has been canceled. The announcement came from the Smash World Tour Twitter account on March 12.

The new plan removes from the circuit all major tournaments that rank as Platinum or Gold events in March and April. This includes Pound 2020, which would have been the first Platinum event for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. VGBootCamp, the creators of the Smash World Tour, are notably behind the Pound tournament series.

HFLAN Melee Edition, which would have been the first Platinum event for Super Smash Bros. Melee, has been postponed. HFLAN organizers plan to reschedule this French Melee major to November. As it stands, the first Smash World Tour Platinum tournament will be Umebura Japan Major 2020. Assuming the current plan remains intact, Umebura Japan Major will take place in Tokyo from May 4 – 6.

Despite the Smash World Tour’s response to coronavirus, CEO Dreamland 2020 will still take place this weekend. However, the event will no longer contribute any points to the Smash World Tour standings. Originally, CEO Dreamland was going to kick off the circuit as a Gold event. CEO organizer Alex Jebailey noted that canceling isn’t a feasible option due to the extreme financial burden it would create.

Any smaller tournaments that opt in to achieve Silver status during March or April will still contribute to the Smash World Tour standings. Nevertheless, the official statement encourages players to consider their own health and the health of others as a top priority.

Effects of coronavirus beyond the Smash World Tour

The Smash World Tour’s delay is part of a series of disruptions to the Smash scene caused by the coronavirus. Earlier today, PGStats announced that the PGR season would be frozen indefinitely. CEO Dreamland 2020 has undoubtedly suffered, having lost its PGR and Smash World Tour status within 12 hours. Now, its attendees are competing for money, fun, and nothing more.

Prominent Smash personalities are responding to the coronavirus pandemic as well. Phil “EE” Visu and Victoria “VikkiKitty” Perez, who were both going to commentate at CEO Dreamland, will no longer attend. In addition, Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada has canceled all of his tournament appearances for the foreseeable future.

Though the coronavirus has frustrated the plans of the Smash World Tour, its organizers plan to keep the circuit alive. “We are remaining hopeful and optimistic that with aggressive measures now, we will still be able to have a successful 2020 Smash World Tour, with the remaining calendar operating on schedule!” the official statement reads. “We are also working on solutions to make up those missed points opportunities later in the 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.