The Smash World Tour will return in 2021 with a hybrid format including online qualifiers and offline invitational tournaments.
VGBootCamp first announced the Smash World Tour last March. However, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the Super Smash Bros. circuit from getting off the ground in 2020.
Now, the Smash World Tour will begin with online qualifier tournaments throughout the spring of 2021. The circuit intends to transition to in-person regional finals with limited attendance beginning in the summer. However, these events will be subject to postponement depending on the state of the pandemic later this year.
Circuits for both Smash Ultimate and Smash Melee will culminate in the Smash World Tour Finals at the end of the year. The Finals will include a $75,000 prize pool for each game. In addition, there will be $60,000 in prizes during the various Regional Finals events.
— Smash World Tour (@SmashWorldTour) February 20, 2021
More about the Smash World Tour 2021 format
This year’s Smash World Tour will predominantly consist of region-locked tournaments. Players from around the globe will be sorted into one of seven regions: NA East, NA West, Central America, South America, Europe, East Asia and Oceania.
For Smash Ultimate, 16 players from each region will qualify for their respective regional finals by competing in online tournaments. A set number of competitors from each region will then qualify for the 32-person global championship based on their regional finals results.
Conversely, the Smash Melee circuit will not feature any online qualifiers. Instead, a panel headed by Daniel “Tafokints” Lee will select 16 players from each region to instantly qualify for their regional finals. These players will then compete at in-person invitationals to determine who will compete in the Melee global championship.
This will be considered a “bridge year” for the Smash World Tour. As a result, the circuit is tentatively slated to return to its original format beginning in 2022.
The Smash World Tour 2021 will begin with Mexico’s online Smash Ultimate qualifier tournament on March 13.