On Wednesday, March 22, the Sacramento Kings tried something different for its halftime show.
Since the team’s co-owners, Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov, are also co-owners of esports team NRG, the duo found a unique opportunity for cross-promotion. That’s why they flew Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada, who was already heading to Southern California’s 2GGC: Civil War tournament, into the Golden 1 Center for a special Super Smash Bros. for Wii U exhibition.
The halftime show saw Nairo face off against Caleb “8BIT Roc” Patton, who won a local tournament series called the “Road to Golden 1 Center.” Unlike the typical Smash 4 two-stock “Survival” format, the two competed in a five-minute timed exhibition, with the competitor getting the most KOs declared the winner. Nairo brought his best for the mainstream spectators, using Zero Suit Samus to win the exhibition 7-3.
The exhibition was aired in full on the local Sacramento Kings affiliate station, Comcast SportsNet California. NRG also broadcast the match live via Periscope.
The setup was unique in that both the Kings and the visiting Milwaukee Bucks (no strangers to the esports realm themselves) continued to warm up for the second half like normal, only with a Smash 4 station placed at half court. Though it seems like a bit of a strange crossover, according to Nairo, the Kings’ audience appeared receptive to it.
It all went well btw, many people enjoyed it/said good job to me when I was walking back to my seat! NO BOOS EITHER ????
— NRG Nairo (@NairoMK) March 23, 2017
Follow Ozzie Mejia on Twitter @Ozz_Mejia.