2016 will be a challenging year in the Smash Bros. community. Today, professional Smash Bros. 4 player Vinnie announced that he would be stepping down from competitive play. Vinnie explained that he has made great sacrifices to dedicate his time to the game, but has become disheartened by how the community continues to berate him despite his success and good social standing.
ESAM responded to this announcement with a post of his own and a video titled “Why Top Smash Players are Quitting.” expressing his disappointment at how hostile the Smash Bros. community has become. He asserts that gaming is supposed to be an escape from all the negativity people face in their day to day lives, but that the Smash 4 scene has become increasingly unwelcoming.
ESAM buries his hands in his face multiple times in frustration throughout the video as he addresses this growing problem in the Smash Bros. community. His solution is simple:
“We need to be aware that every single person in this community has a slew of their own problems, and their own heartbreak, and their own heartache.”
Watch the full video below, but maybe plug some headphones in if you’re at work.
The Smash Bros. community changed my life. I attended tournaments all throughout high school and can personally attest that the Smash scene is fairly immature compared to other gaming communities. However, it is a community that can be deeply compassionate and supportive in most circumstances.
It is hard to combat issues like this as they become more engrained in the culture, but top players like ESAM and Vinnie who shared his own story are helping to make the Smash Bros. community aware of these issues and hopefully curve them in the other direction.