Though most attributed the stomach bug to the chicken sandwich sold at the tournament, others have suggested that the event might’ve been infected with norovirus, a very contagious virus that mirrors the stomach flu. With symptoms including diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting, among others, norovirus infections have surged over the last year. As reported by local American news and information platform Patch in February, New Jersey in particular has been hit hard with norovirus as of late. The disease is very common, spreads easily and quickly, and has multiple causes, including consuming contaminated food and water as well as touching your face after being in contact with an infected individual, object, or surface. Players tend to bring their own controllers to these events, but because everyone’s in close proximity to each other it seems inevitable that such an illness would find favorable conditions for spreading there.

Collision had health and safety guidelines in place

That’s not to say that the organizers didn’t have health and safety guidelines in place to keep folks as protected as possible. According to the event’s covid protocols, all participants had to show “proof of vaccination against covid-19 during the badge pickup process” or “a negative rapid/PCR-based covid test with a timestamp that’s no later than 48 hours before the event.” On top of providing acceptable documentation (physical vaccination card, digital images, information on an official state app, etc.), tournament goers were also required to wear masks inside the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel “at all times.” Anyone who felt sick in any way was asked to not attend the tournament. Sadly, maybe because norovirus is a surface-transmitted virus and not an airborne one, it appears the anti-covid measures were not enough to stop it from proliferating.


Kotaku reached out to Collision and the Sheraton Parsippany hotel for comment.

Read More: Nintendo Says It ‘Cares’ About Smash Bros. Fans As Tournament Dispute Continues [Update]


Thankfully, the presumable norovirus infection that’s decimating all these Super Smash Bros. players’ innards is temporary, as the illness lasts just one to three days. Hopefully, everyone affected recovers quickly and the next tourney, wherever that one takes place, won’t be rocked by a miserable stomach bug.

Correction: 3/16/23, 9:42 a.m. ET: This story previously included mention of and link to a tweet about a player’s experience of the illness that the player made in jest. That mention has been removed.