Super Smash Bros. Melee pro player Edgard “n0ne” Sheleby announced he will not be accepting his third-place share of the CEO Dreamland tournament prize pool in support of tournament organisers CEO Gaming, who have found themselves in financial struggles amid COVID-19 outbreak.
Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament at CEO Dreamland took place in Orlando, Florida, throughout the weekend, where Smash players competed in four tournaments, including Sumer Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros, for Wii U and Sumer Smash Bros. Ultimate. The Melee and Ultimate also had their own separate doubles tournament. In total, the event featured 811 players who competed against each other in a bid to secure the lion's share of the tournament winnings.
Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma won the Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament, with Colin "Colbol" Green placing second and n0ne third, yet it was the latter who took all the spotlight from his competitors with an announcement, claiming he will not be accepting his tournament winnings ($266.50) in support of CEO's Alex Jebailey, who unveiled the company is struggling financially amidst the coronavirus outbreak, which resulted in hundreds of players cancelling their participation at the event.
"Not gonna take the prize money to support Jebailey and CEOGaming with what happened in regards to COVID-19," said n0ne in his Tweet.
Although CEO decided to be one of very few organisers to host the event despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the tournament organisers not only failed to make any money from the event, but were forced to run the tournament in deficit, considering most of the money they made comes from entry fees.
That, however, is nothing new, considering most fighting games organisers make very little to no money when hosting the event. In the case of CEO Dreamland, however, the problem was much greater, as many players and fans decided to cancel their participation, thus issued ticket refounds.
Because of the unfortunate circumstances, Jebailey had to ask the community for financial support via Twitter.
"In Eleven years of event hosting I've never had to do this," said Jebailey.
"Since everything for CEODreamland was ordered to make the event great already before a ton of COVID-19 refunds started to come in."
"Any donations will ensure I can pay all the staff, streamers, catering, hotel attrition charges from so many hotel cancellations hurting my contract & more that was already planned."
His request rallied the fighting game community, who decided to not only help Jebailey and his event, but also other events that have found themselves in a similar situation. Genuine Gaming Managing Director and co-founder Royce An made quite a generous contribution to the cause himself, as he contributed $100, while claiming he is happy to help CEO in those dark times.
"I've never met you but my players have attended your events. Running a business myself, I also feel the effects of Covid-19," said Royce.
Even Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada, who is one of the best Smash players in the world came forward and ushered everyone to help Jebailey with donations.
"Jebailey ran CEO Dreamland 2017 for the smash community at a big loss years ago," said Nairo
"And now this is happening with the next Dreamland. This sucks so bad, so please consider donating anything you can, even if it's a dollar, because it can really add up with our numbers. Help out!"
Whether Jebailey will receive the needed money to break even remains to be seen, however, with his tweet reaching almost 5k likes and over 2k retweets in four days, it's safe to assume the financial concerns were surely mitigated by a considerable margin.