Thunder Gaming hopes to bring international players to Thunder Smash 3
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Thunder Gaming has announced its newest initiative to bring international challengers to Thunder Smash 3: Clash of the Pandas. The official announcement came on Aug 19 in a post from the organization’s Twitter page.

Whenever someone registers for Thunder Smash 3, they will pick one of 12 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players to support. For every 100 people that register, the international challenger with the most votes will be flown out to Thunder Smash 3.

These international challengers will presumably be funded solely by Thunder Gaming, without any monetary support from the voters. This would separate Thunder Smash from events like Smash Summit, which requires voters to pay to get players into the event.

In its official graphic, Thunder Gaming noted how unique this format is for bringing players to the event. The graphic reads: “No compendium. No manipulable Twitter polls. You choose who you want to fight alongside. You’ve never seen an event like this before.”

Here is the full list of international challengers that are hoping to attend Thunder Smash 3:

  • Ben Gold, formerly known as “Mr. L” (Australia)
  • William “Glutonny” Belaid (France)
  • Takuto “Kameme” Ono (Japan)
  • “Lea” (Japan)
  • Enrique “Maister” Solís (Mexico)
  • Mehrdad “Meru” Mehrafar (Netherlands)
  • Isami “T” Ikeda (Japan)
  • Takuma “Tea” Hirooka (Japan)
  • Tsubasa “Tsu” Takuma (Japan)
  • Shimizu “Umeki” Masaki (Japan)
  • Yves “Young Eevey” du Long (Netherlands)
  • Sota “Zackray” Okada (Japan)

International challengers at Thunder Smash 3: Clash of the Pandas

Perhaps unsurprisingly, over half of the international challengers for Thunder Smash 3 come from Japan. However, the pool of international players also features three of the most notable players in Europe. Maister and Ben Gold round out the list of players. Maister recently placed 5th at Super Smash Con 2019, while Ben Gold notably won Battle Arena Melbourne 11 in May.

Thunder Gaming’s previous two events were plagued by low attendance. With the international challenger incentive, Thunder Gaming may look to make Thunder Smash 3 its biggest event yet. For all of the international players to attend the event, it would have to attract 1200 unique registrants.

Thunder Gaming has also recently announced an initiative to support local Smash talent in Southern California. The organization started by signing Shawn “K9sbruce” Bruce on Aug 19. Thunder Gaming has suggested that more SoCal talent will join the team eventually.

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.