Splatoon 2 North America Inkling Open 2019 Preview

by in General | Jan, 24th 2019

Nintendo started 2019 with a bang with the announcement of two tournaments, including the Splatoon 2 North America Inkling Open 2019. Other than Super Smash Bros., Splatoon 2 is one of Nintendo’s most promising esports titles and has a burgeoning competitive scene.

Nintendo’s Splatoon 2 North America Inkling Open 2019 is a showcase for the unique squad-based shooter, as its Grand Finals will occur at the PAX East video game conference in Boston. The tournament is open to those who meet the standard age requirement (13+ for US/Canada, 18+ for Mexico) and is a resident of the US, Canada, or Mexico.

According to Battlefy, the company organizing the tournament, over 600 teams participated in 2018’s US/Canada Open. This year’s Open has a chance to be even bigger.

Let’s take a closer look at the structure of the Splatoon 2 North America Inkling Open 2019 as well as the prizes for those select few who rise above the rest.

Splatoon 2 North America Inkling Open 2019 | Interesting Facts

Nintendo-sponsored tournaments are run much differently than high-level professional tournaments, and the Splatoon 2 North America Inkling Open 2019 has a few interesting distinctions.

  • Anything a player has unlocked may be worn except for Splatfest Tees. Wearing a Splatfest Tee may result in an automatic loss for that team.
  • Secondary abilities will be allowed.
  • Players may use Amiibo gear.
  • The tournament’s sponsors will determine the playable stages.
  • Teams may have one alternate, but the alternate must be identified during the registration period. The alternate can enter between games but must be in at the start of the game.

Now that you know the key distinctions, here is an in-depth breakdown of the tournament’s structure.

Tournament Format

Online Ink Pools (February 10, 2019)

Teams of four (plus one alternate) will face each other in a single elimination bracket in the Turf War game mode. Each match will be best-of-five sets with only one team advancing. Seeding, which is determined by player rank and/or player history, along with the creation of the brackets will both be organized by Battlefy.

The Ink Pools will continue until eight teams remain. These eight teams will be eligible for the Qualifier Finals in March.

Online Qualifier Finals (March 2, 2019)

The circumstances for teams change to a more traditional competitive Splatoon tournament format when they enter the Qualifier Finals. Teams will now engage in the Ranked Battle modes (Tower Control, Splat Zones, Clam Blitz, Rainmaker, etc.) as opposed to the Turf War mode.

Matches will now be a best-of-seven with seeding still handled by Battlefy. Teams will battle it out until only four teams remain. The four teams left standing will have punched their ticket to the Grand Finals occurring at the PAX East video game conference in Boston.

Final Event (March 30, 2019)

The Final Event once again mixes it up for the four remaining teams, as a round robin will now determine seeding. In the round robin, teams will be competing in a single elimination, Bo1 matches in Turf War mode.

Once seeding is decided, teams will now battle in single elimination, Bo5 matches, but with a reversal back to the Ranked Battle modes.

The final two teams will participate in the Grand Finals. Like the Qualifier Finals, this will be a best-of-seven format. The first team to four wins will be the champion of the Splatoon 2 North America Inkling Open 2019.

Below are the prizes rewarded throughout the tourney.


Qualifier Finals Prizes

  • A slot to compete in the final event on March 30, 2019, at PAX Arena.
  • Single-Day PAX Badges for every day of the event (Thursday – Sunday)
  • One round-trip ticket from a major airport to the metro Boston area (if the participant is in driving range, he/she may receive round-trip ground transportation).
  • If the participant is a minor, one round-trip airline ticket for a “Travel Guest,” which must be a parent or legal guardian.
  • Three night stay at a hotel of the tournament sponsor’s choosing.
  • $75 per diem per day for the winner only.

Final Event Prize

  • Each member of the winning team will receive a collectible item valued at around $500.

Splatoon 2 North American Inkling Open 2019 Schedule (PT)

  • The Online Ink Pools begin on Sunday, February 10 at 11:00 AM.
  • The Qualifier Finals begin on Saturday, March 2 at 9:00 AM.
  • The Final Event at PAX East begins on Saturday, March 30 at 11:00 AM.

The Splatoon 2 North American Inkling Open 2019 has the potential to be the biggest tournament in the game’s history. The PAX East platform will be great for the growth of Splatoon and its dedicated competitive community. For those interested in viewing the tournament, live streams will be available for both the Qualifier Finals and the Final Event (Sites are TBD). Don’t miss the high-paced action of Nintendo’s 2nd most popular esport.

You can find the full tournament rules here


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