Kamemushi, who came in second place at EVO 2016’s tournament for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Smash 4 for short), swept through the 25th Umebura tournament in Tokyo yesterday thanks to his lightning speed and brutal combos.
One pair of headphones and a 66 pound bag of rice.
After some 25 matches against many of the best Smash 4 players in the world, Kamemushi can now take it easy for a bit and listen to some rad tunes on a full stomach.
Of course, it’s not unusual for pro fighters, whether in boxing or the UFC, to not get paid much either, at least compared to other star athletes. Most fighters would struggle to make as much as back-benchers can earn in a year on an NFL or MLB team.
Lots of eSports tend to mirror this divide, with team-based games like League 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.
Talk about a grind.
It’s especially difficult for pro Smash Bros. players to make a life out of competing given Nintendo’s lack of support. 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. Sure, players can still host custom events, but Nintendo’s intentions are clear.
However, while Kamemushi’s accomplishments might not have made him rich, we are certainly richer for everything he’s contributed to the rise of Mega Man in Smash 4's meta. Capcom might not be doing anything exciting or worthwhile with the little blue bomber, but Kamemushi certainly is.
You can watch his exploits in the Umebura grand finals below.