How can you top the excitement of E3 2014′s Smash Bros. Invitational tournament? Simple, you bring back the Nintendo World Championships after a 25 year hiatus at E3 2015. For three and a half hours, Nintendo provided the ultimate fan service to fans packed into LA’s Microsoft Theater (formally Nokia Theater) and hundreds of thousands more streaming online. We had the opportunity to witness it all first hand, from Reggie’s Smash Bros. throw down to Shigeru Miyamoto’s surprise appearance. Below, you’ll find our full report, plus a full photo gallery of the event.
As was the case last year, the event really begin in the wee hours of the morning as many fans, ourselves included, lined up at the crack of dawn to guarantee a seat. Some fans were even crazier with the first lining up at 8:45 PM the night before. As a thank you, Nintendo rewarded the first 50 people in line with free three-day passes to E3 – that certainly beats the popsicles they handed out last year! For everyone else, Nintendo also produced special NWC 2015 shirts that you could buy for $25. As evident by how quickly the shirts sold out, excitement was high among everyone in line. Unfortunately, from what we could tell, the line itself was actually shorter than last year’s. Don’t get us wrong, it still managed to wrap around two-thirds of the Microsoft Theater by as early as 10 AM, but it didn’t reach quite the insanity of the Smash Bros. Invitational.
Some of that craziness lived on inside the theater, though. Numerous moments whipped the crowd into a frenzy, including the sheer intensity of Super Mario Maker’s custom levels (who knew the Nintendo Treehouse could be so evil?) and the Smash Bros. battle between Reggie Fils-Aime and previous Invitational winner Hungrybox. Kevin Pereira did a great job hosting, even when some rounds of the tourney fell a bit flat like the unveiling of new 3DS title Blast Ball (it was met by many confused whispers of “isn’t that Metroid Prime Hunters?”). Luckily, when the crowd was into a part of the show, they were really into it. Look no further than the closing appearance by Shigeru Miyamoto. You couldn’t see it in the stream, but as soon as he appeared, fans began to swarm the foot of the stage. After the event ended, he attempted to shake a few fans’ hands and a tsunami of people rushed towards him. It was a true rockstar moment for Miyamoto.
In many ways, the Nintendo World Championships provided rockstar moments for everyone. For the competitors and champion John Numbers, it let them show off their skills in front of thousands of fellow gamers on the world stage. And for the fans, it provided the best kind of fan service thanks to the variety of games, the involvement of Nintendo’s top brass, and the pure passion of the event’s organizers. To get a taste of what it was like to be in the midst of all that fan service, check out the gallery below. Be sure to also stay tuned to Random Nintendo for more NWC and E3 2015 coverage throughout the week, including our special E3 podcast this Wednesday!