Well, it looks like playing Mario is an esport now. At the end of Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker 2 Direct, the company announced a tournament will be held on June 8.
The 2019 Super Mario Maker 2 Invitational falls on the same day of some of Nintendo’s other E3 2019 plans. Already, Nintendo is hosting the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate World Championship 2019 3v3 tournament and the Splatoon 2 World Championship 2019 tournament on June 8. In a press release, Nintendo said the Super Mario Maker 2 Invitation will have “four members of the Super Mario Maker community [compete] in a variety of wild and unpredictable Super Mario Maker 2 courses designed by Nintendo’s Treehouse team.”
Super Mario Maker 2 launches as a Nintendo Switch exclusive on June 28. Though the game plays similarly to its predecessor, its inclusion of new modes and items makes for a much more varied experience.
The rest of Nintendo’s E3 2019 plans are more traditional. The company plans on airing a pre-recorded Nintendo Direct on Tuesday, June 11 at 9:00 AM PT / 12:00 PM ET / 5:00 PM BST. Nintendo hasn’t announced what exactly will be discussed during the Direct, only that it will cover some of the Switch games coming out in 2019. After the Direct, Nintendo will also air its traditional Treehouse livestream, which will most likely reveal a few more announcements. Nintendo plans on continuing with Treehouse livestreams throughout E3 week.
Given what we already know, we can hazard a guess as to what Nintendo plans on talking about during E3. As both Super Mario Maker 2 and Fire Emblem: Three Houses are scheduled to release in the weeks following E3, there’s a chance Nintendo might reveal one more trailer for each. At the very least, Nintendo will most likely have both on hand for attendees to play. It’s very likely Nintendo’s E3 Direct will focus on Pokémon Sword / Shield or Animal Crossing (or both), as both games are a part of Nintendo’s major Switch line-up for 2019. Given Retro Studios’ announcement that development on Metroid Prime 4 has restarted completely, the game is unlikely to be a focus of Nintendo’s E3 Direct this year.