Stale Sandbech. Photo: Sami Tuoriniemi

ESPN are pulling the plug on their Winter X Games Tignes event, and are also ditching the Summer X Games legs in Barcelona, Munich and Brazil.

Last year's Winter X Games in Tignes will be the last on European soil for the foreseeable future and the expanded summer X Games program, which saw additional stops go down in Barcelona, Munich and Brazil for the first time this year have also been pulled (well that lasted a while didn't it...?). We won't particularly miss the summer stops although we have mixed feelings about seeing the back of the Tignes leg.

Some have always questioned the event's relevancy in the overall scheme of things, and being a massive TV production, covering the thing was always pretty challenging. But at the end of the day, we think it was another good opportunity to get world class snowboarding out to the European masses - even if to actually watch the thing you had to either be in France, pay for an official stream or try and find some dodgy online livestream...

Here's the official word from ESPN:

"ESPN today announced it will not continue with X Games events in Barcelona, Munich, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil and Tignes, France. We are proud to have run world-class competitions for both the athletes and spectators; however the overall economics of these events do not provide a sustainable future path. The company remains fully committed to the X Games brand and its full-scale competitions in Aspen, Colorado and Austin, Texas – its newest host city – and we will continue to distribute these premier events around the world."

Louie Vito. Photo: Sami Tuoriniemi

With the O'Neill Evolution not going down in Davos this year after 8 long years, the X Games in Tignes is the second 6 Star World Snowboard Tour event to bite the dust this season. We sincerely hope that this isn't a sign of things to come.

Whatever your standpoint on contests is, the fact remains that they have become an important part of snowboarding in 2013. Let's all hope that the other long-standing events (think Air & Style, Burton European Open and The Arctic Challenge) can continue to be the cornerstones of the European competitive scene.

While we're talking events, here are 20 that you should look out for this season. Good job we didn't include X Games Tignes in the first place...