Since when does the president of the world’s most beloved video game company play competitive video games on live television?
Back in the early 1990s, Nintendo held an annual competition known as the “Nintendo World Championships.” During the event — loosely based on the cult classic film/glorified Nintendo commercial “The Wizard” — game fans would compete in classic Nintendo franchises for glory (and prize money).
On Sunday in Los Angeles, Nintendo re-ignited this fan-favourite event, and on-hand to celebrate at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theatre was Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime. Here’s Fils-Aime, looking pumped:
More than just celebrate, Fils-Aime took on a fan in “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.” In doing so, he answered the question long on the minds of fans everywhere: are the people running video game companies any good at the games they make?
The answer, it turns out, is not so much (at least in this case). Fils-Aime was big on smack talk, but when the wheels met the road, he was left in the dust.
Things started out innocently enough, with fans reacting to Fils-Aime’s appearance with a standing ovation:
But excitement was quickly overtaken by competitive grandstanding. Just look at these guys:
The competition was a year in the making, with Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma returning to the stage to face Fils-Aime one year after winning the 2014 “Super Smash Bros. Invitational” — the competition Nintendo held in Los Angeles last year for Nintendo’s (at the time) new game “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.”
After winning last year’s tournament, Debiedma challenged Fils-Aime to a match “for glory.” Fils-Aime’s answer at the time: “I play all the Nintendo games. I suck at ‘Smash Bros.'” That didn’t deter him from boasting; Fils-Aime swore he’d get better, and this year’s battle was the fulfillment of that promise.
Or at least it was going to be a fulfillment of that promise. Until Fils-Aime lost. And he lost bad.
The video wasn’t just seen by the hundreds in attendance at Nintendo’s revamped World Championships, but also by thousands more watching live online. Win or lose, of course, it’s nice to see video game executives take time out of their normal lives — being executives — to actually enjoy the product they help create.