Nintendo Switch Summer of Sports - Event Highlights

Nintendo Switch Summer of Sports

By Paul Hunter

Recently Nintendo of Canada threw me an invite to their thrilling Nintendo Switch Summer of Sports event at The Hangar in Downsview Park, Toronto, to celebrate the newly launched Nintendo Switch Sports and Mario Strikers: Battle League. At the event was none other than the legendary Toronto Football Club player Jonathan Osorio!

Before I get into all the fun things I experienced at the event, I want to mention how exciting this moment was for me. It's been over two years since Nintendo of Canada has held a live event due to the pandemic, so not only was it so exciting to finally be back but it was an amazing chance to reconnect with members of the industry. This includes media colleagues, the wonderful team at CraftPR and Andrew Collins, Marketing Manager at Nintendo of Canada. These folks are like friends you haven't seen in years and it was a special moment to reconnect after Covid throwing our lives for a loop.

Alright, let's kickstart the event coverage!

Meeting Jonathan Osorio

The highlight of the event, of course, we meeting famous Toronto FC player Jonathan Osorio. Attendees had the privilege of playing a one-on-one match of Nintendo Switch Sports' Soccer Shoot-Out, an event where you strap a Joy-Con controller to your leg and attempt to kick the ball into the goal. To add excitement and challenge to each shootout, the goal area shrinks every time you score a point, plus the final round features a 'golden' ball worth double points.

I was so delighted and impressed by how well Jonathan Osorio gelled with the kids that lined up to play Soccer Shoot-Out with him—he's such a fantastic coach and so patient with the little ones. It was also nice to see him go easier on the youngest participants to make each match an exciting rally to the finish. Osorio is so great with kids, from his words of encouragement during the matches to his final high-fives as the kids wrapped up their special one-on-one moment!

Playing the Nintendo Sports Games

Nintendo gave everyone at the event two hours to wander around the many video game stations setup, including a super-cool red painted Nintendo truck parked right in the middle of the pitch. That was where I went to play Nintendo Switch Sports with my family! Nintendo had reps on hand that gave us a rundown of all six sports, which includes Soccer, Volleyball, Bowling, Tennis, Badminton and Chambara (competitive sword fighting).

I've played Wii Sports extensively, plus had a chance to play Nintendo Switch Sports' pre-release Online Play Test, so I had a good idea of what to expect. But it was the first time my family's tried Nintendo's motion-controlled sports series and it was so good seeing their excitement and smiles. Bowling is a classic and my favourite returning sport, but it was the all-new Chambara that was the major highlight. In this sport can you choose from a variety of swords, including dual swords, and then you battle one-on-one on a suspended platform. The goal? To slash your opponent back until they fall off the platform and into the water. My family was full of laughs playing this sport, definitely our favourite. But I have to give a shoutout to Badminton as well, while it controls similar to Tennis, we found it was easier to strike the birdie—perfect for younger kids!

We also had a bit of time with Mario Strikers: Battle League and what a thrilling 'super-charged' experience it is. I like the changes in this latest iteration, such as the split pitches with each half themed after different characters. It certainly gives matches a fresh visual flair. I also like that your team is comprised entirely of main characters (instead of generic sidekicks) including Yoshi, Luigi, Wario, Mario, Peach, Toad, Bowser, Donkey Kong and Rosalina. Battle League is the perfect game to kick back with fam for some competitive fun, or to go online for cleat-to-cleat multiplayer action.

Kicking Around Gigantic Soccer Balls

Nintendo rented out a huge soccer pitch at The Hangar and for the little ones they filled the space with gigantic soccer balls as tall as the kids! It was hilarious fun kicking the oversized soccer balls and seeing the kids having such a great time. Nintendo even made sure to include a goal, so the children took turns being goalkeeper and being the kicker. Such fun!

There were also massive soccer balls at least a good five feet tall used as decorates throughout the event. I've never seen sports balls that huge in my life, and neither have the kids that lined up for photos with them (and some even tried kicking them, but we had to tell them to stop!).

I had such a wonderful time at the event and a big thanks to Nintendo for the invite. I'm glad to see in-person events are back, it's about time!

Here are a couple of additional photos I took at the event. Such a great event!