Photos: Super Smash Con is back with an in-person event in 2022
August 11, 20223 min read
And it's still going strong
Following a cancellation in 2020 and a pivot to a "Fall Fest" in 2021, Super Smash Con has returned to Chantilly, VA to once again showcase some of the best competitors the Smash community has to offer. While Super Smash Con (or "SSC") is primarily a tournament-based event, there's some other activities on offer that people can enjoy separately, or while waiting for the next match to start. Here's a look at Super Smash Con 2022.
So one of my favorite elements of Smash Con (or any con really) is the dealer area, and that hasn't changed. It's row after row of merch from a combination of local and national stores and individual artists, with everything from retro video game and board game sales, to drawings and bead art. One station had a little sign that to signify that if you beat the shopkeep at Smash Ultimate BO3 (best of three) you get $5 off your order. People were pondering jumping in and challenging them as I walked by.
Then there's the arcade, which is what I'd call "medium-sized," but has a wide variety of stuff from all over the world. Two Pokken Tournament stations at the front are on-brand for Super Smash Con, and there's even racing (Initial D Arcade Stage 8 Infinity), rhythm, and light gun shooters available. Since I know the arcade gallery is pretty popular with readers over the years, I did a full sweep and you can find photos below.
An indie section doubles as an extra arcade of sorts, and the big showings in 2022 are from Rivals of Aether,King of the Hat, and Rushdown Revolt. The latter seems to be the crown jewel, as there was a crowd gathering around the rather large table of demos for it. A side tournament is going on for all three of these too. In another indie section (closer to the entrance), there were demo stations for a game called Check x Mate: a "fantasy visual novel set in the magical world of chess." Quite a few folks were stopping by, thanks to the chess set on the table catching their interest.
As a tournament, Smash Con is incredibly well organized from a navigational perspective. Each game has a massive area in the event space, from the original Smash 64, to Melee, to Brawl, to the Wii U era, to Ultimate, which has two whole tournament zones. Folks square off in tournaments with TOs (tournament organizers) on hand on the sides of the event, then duke it out in the middle of the con at the main stage for the bigger matches. MkLeo taking on...well...everyone in Ultimate is the major story for Smash Con.
When I entered there was even a live band warming up, and someone was tagging the main sign at the front of the convention center with various gaming icons. So far, Super Smash Con 2022 has had the same open and warm vibe it has in previous years, and it's great to see live events returning like this like nothing ever happened (masks are required inside, and they even made cute little Dr. Mario signs for it, which you can see in the gallery below). Tournament organizers have revealed that there are roughly 4,000 registered tournament players, with more foot traffic beyond that.