Update: Fnatic says the report suggesting they have been in talks with Nintendo is not true.
The organisation’s owner, Sam Mathews, told eSports News UK that the report by PVPLive is false, and that Fnatic has not been in talks with Nintendo around its strategy in eSports.
Nintendo revealed its new Switch console late last month and in a trailer (see below) hinted at a greater eSports focus.
Fnatic also said that our story suggesting they were in a bidding war with Manchester United was false. Our sources have since had their wrists slapped.
Original story (published October 26th 2016):
Nintendo has been talking with some of the world’s biggest eSports teams as far back as this summer, as it looks to crack competitive gaming with its new Switch console.
The platform holder revealed its upcoming machine – which can be played as a home console or on the go – in a video last week.
Towards the end of the trailer, Nintendo showed a stadium full of fans watching what appeared to be eSports pros playing Splatoon.
Nintendo has not always been very eSports savvy in the past, but has slowly adapted to the growing Smash Bros competitive scene over the years. Now, according to rumours, it’s looking to go after the eSports market more aggressively.
A report from PVPLive suggests that Nintendo is ready to go after the more competitive gaming crowd.
“I know Splatoon was a test run for a competitive game, so they’re either gonna flesh the current game out, or do something for the Switch,” a source ‘intimate with eSports team management.
eSports organisations around the world have apparently been talking to Nintendo since July, a claim allegedly backed by another source ‘close to Nintendo’.
Teams in talks with Nintendo reportedly include TSM, Team Liquid, Immortals, G2, SK, Fnatic and NaVi.
It will be interesting to see what Nintendo does with the Switch, but even if you take the trailer alone at face value, it’s clear that the gaming giant is at least recognising eSports as serious area.
For now it’s a case of watch this space – hopefully there will be some good, clearer news on the horizon.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.