Kamemushi, who came in second place at EVO 2016’s tournament for Super Smash Bros., blazed through the 25th Umebura tournament‘s competition in Tokyo Saturday thanks to his lightning speed and brutal combos.
His prize? One pair of headphones and a 66 pound bag of rice.
— SHI-G (@SHI_Gaming) September 10, 2016
“I played 25 matches against the best Smash 4 players in the world, and I’ll have to show for it is a pair of headphones and 66 pounds of rice.”
At least Kamemushi won’t be competing on an empty stomach for a while.
Of course, it’s not unusual for pro fighters to get paid scraps compared to other star athletes.
Lots of eSports tend to mirror this divide, with team-based games likeLeague of Legends and Dota 2 often garnering larger prize pools for tournaments. The entire pot for Smash 4 at EVO 2016 was south of $30,000. Kamemushi received $5,000 of that while Ally, who took first place, took home just under $16,000. The lifetime winnings accumulated by both players are pretty meager. Even Jason ‘Mew2King’ Zimmerman, considered the highest grossing Smash player having received an estimated$147,216 over the length of his career, never walked away from any tournament with more than $5,000.
It’s especially difficult for pro Smash players to make a life off competing since Nintendo does not support the competitive community. The company announced at the start of the month that the “Regular Tourneys” section in Smash 4 would be removed by the end of September. Players can still host custom events, but Nintendo’s intentions are clear.
Though Kamemushi may only be 66 pounds of rice and a pair of headphones richer after the tournament, his play was certainly much more impressive than the spoils he brought home.
You can watch his exploits in the Umebura grand finals below.