As millions of us are huddled away in our homes, it seems entertainment is coming out of the briny depths to reinvigorate the masses.

Splatoon 2, as of September 30th 2019, sold 9.28 Million copies. Although player base statistics remain undisclosed, it’s arguable that numbers have fluctuated through the multiplayer’s three years of active matchmaking. Naturally, like its predecessor, Splatoon 2‘s development began to wind down in June 2019. Over the years, squids and kids alike have enjoyed monthly Splatfest festivities. Essentially, special avatar colors, stages, and music would be introduced one weekend nearly every month since the game’s release, sometimes region-specific such as Japan’s Sanrio partnerships or North America’s Cake vs Ice Cream. Once in awhile, the competition between rival factions would become a worldwide event; for example, in honor of the June 2018 Octo Expansion release, the international event celebrated a face off between players’ love of Squids and Octopi.

But all good things must come to an end.

The Splatpocalypse came and went, leading to tearful reactions from players like Steph Szulbroski, who’s played since Splatoon 2 launched. “Playing the last Splatfest was really special.” she told me.

“The developers really made the last one feel like the ultimate celebration of all the previous fests, as well as celebrating the community that made playing the game so fun. I remember getting a little emotional when playing my last match and hearing the end of the ‘one-minute left’ tune, because at the time we were told that was it, this was where the story was supposed to be done. It had a ‘Thank You for joining in on this adventure’ vibe from the development team, and really showed just how much love was put into the game. Splatoon 2 will always be special to me because of that.”

These days, Splatfest is but a distant memory… or so we thought! On April 21st, Nintendo Versus, a verified twitter subsidiary of Nintendo of America, shared news of Splatfest coming back, at least temporarily!

Historically, western Splatfests were centered around things like favorite foods, monsters, animals, other times preferred superpowers or fashion. Europe’s themes were often the same as those held in North American & Oceania, with some notable deviations.
Every once in awhile, however, the event would be branded. Most of the Japanese competitions were in that category: Sanrio, meiji, McDonalds, Uniqlo, and Nike. Back in November 2018, the mayo-ketchup colors were used for a Pocky licensed event, wherein the new teams were classic chocolate versus Pocky Gokuboso (thinner sticks.) 

After teams are picked, there’s 3 categories to compete in. Popularity, unsurprisingly, will show which team had the most applicants. Even though the sheer scope of players severely limits the possibilities of a tie, the best of three challenge is then divided up by Solo and Team battles, the difference being whether or not you’ve joined the game and comprised a team of strangers or selected friends.

Mayo may have won back in 2017, but only time will tell if the eggy, oily, sometimes lemony topping will hold claim another victory or if the equally-processed tomato sauce will execute salty, crimson revenge. Currently, at least in the North American servers, fans are rushing back to Inktapolis Square and polishing their skills, eagerly awaiting the chance to choose their banners and fight for condiment supremacy. The measure of this excitement is found in the Splatverse posts littered throughout the plaza. Some users draw adorable self-portraits praising their preferred savory spread, others make memes. All is as it once was before: artistic, hilarious, and occasionally concerning.

The 2020 Mayo vs Ketchup Splatfest is set to begin on May 22nd at 3PM PT/6PM EST and conclude on May 24th same hour. At the time of writing, no reports on whether this condiment revival will extend to other regions have been found.


  1. Wait, Splatfest redux is next month?? I thought it was this month and that I had missed it! I love Splatoon but my world is like 99% Animal Crossing these days. ^^

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