For all the critics who claim Smash is dead, Freshcut has something to say: the gaming platform is launching a $100,000 Smash Community Fund led by none other than legendary Smash Melee player Hungrybox.
The Freshcut gaming platform is just becoming a very important pillar in the Smash community. With a new community fund, Hungrybox wants to offer financial support for the scene. Is this a bright spot for the fighting game scene?
Hungrybox becomes Chief Smash Officer at Freshcut
Starting this week, Hungrybox will assume the position of Chief Smash Officer at Freshcut to pave the way for the Community Fund. The fund aims to provide financial support to players, tournament organizers and developers alike. The exact mechanics and qualifications to be able to participate in this program have not yet been announced, but Freshcut and Hungrybox have asked people to stay tuned for the next few weeks.
Programs like this are a big bright spot for the Smash community, especially considering that the long-time fan base is going through a dark time right now. Recent problems like the lack of funding from developer Nintendo and the closure of Beyond The Summit have left the scene with little money.
Smash needs all the help it can get right now.
That’s why I’ve been working to ensure everyone can keep on playing the game they love.
I’m joining the @FreshCut team as their Chief Smash Officer to provide $100,000 in funding towards the Smash Community.
Smash is here to stay. pic.twitter.com/rbfgc1Q22g
— hungrybox (@LiquidHbox) April 19, 2023
Dark Years of the Fighting Games
This “dark era” began with the resolution of Beyond The Summit. Shortly thereafter, Smash Ultimate Summit 6 was announced as the final Smash Summit. Then along came the online event character bans for Steve and Kazuya, both of whom are banned – and things get even grimmer.
One of the most popular event organizers in the esports industry has stopped after 11 years – or at least downsized massively. However, with this new program on the horizon, there is growing hope that Smash Esports will not go away. The game itself is definitely not going away, and that may attract even more sponsors to jump on the scene.
End of Beyond The Summit
This news came from BTS co-founder David “LD” Gorman, who had revealed that the company’s financial health has reached a point where it doesn’t make sense to continue as before given the people working behind the scenes work, could possibly harm.
According to LD, BTS leadership was aware that 2023 would be a difficult year and the team has been focused on closing business deals to ensure the company can survive going forward. But the “esports winter” has hit the legendary production team hard.
For now, interested Smash players, creators, and the wider community will have to wait and see more details on Freshcut’s grants program to see if they qualify.