The tournament, which boasts a $10,000 (£8,100) prize pool, is taking place on November 3-6 in Los Angeles.
Weedmaps allows medical marijuana license-holders to search for dispensaries in weed-legal states such as California and numerous others in the US. This partnership could lead to friction however particularly as Smash is a popular title in Japan, a country in which marijuana possession is a severe crime and punishable by a stint in a cell.
Many will look back to the decision by ESL to ban Team YP due to its sponsorship by YouPorn as reason for Weedmaps to tread carefully but, despite similar traditional societal viewpoints on each industry, weed and pornography are not one and the same.
That said ESL’s reasoning was that Youporn is “widely known for pornographic . . . or other adult/mature themes and products”, and whilst marijuana certainly isn’t the former it is the latter.
Of course this isn’t Weedmaps’ first foray into esports sponsorship; the company sponsored Halo: CE Beach LAN this year and even created a ‘Weedmaps Gaming House’ to allow Halo players to train in California. The sponsorship of Smash Summit 3 however should draw more attention. The company has some deep pockets; back in 2014 co-founder Justin Hartfield said that he expected revenues to exceed the $30m mark that year.
Esports Insider says: Weedmaps could be a major benefactor to various esports communities so long as the bodies in charge don’t deem it unacceptable for whatever ‘moral’ stance they may take. There has been no suggestion that they will of course, but as ever, only time will tell.