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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Melee's New Round of Approval

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Nintendo allows Super Smash Bros. Melee at EVO 2014 and MLG Anaheim 2014.

Hopefully you remember EVO 2013. That's the fighting game tournament that... happened in 2013. We briefly covered it here because of a controversy relating to Nintendo allegedly not allowing Super Smash Bros. Melee to be streamed. Their decision was reversed after outcry. To this day, EVO organizers never provided an official statement from Nintendo stating their position, and so to this day I believe EVO organizers made the whole thing up to attract publicity. And publicity it certainly attracted.

So now it's 2014, and Nintendo has just allowed Melee to be streamed at EVO 2014 and MLG Anaheim 2014. According to an MLG organizer, Nintendo is actually going to be involved somehow in how Melee is presented, which is something unprecedented in the competitive game's history. What does that mean? 

Other game developers sometimes actually make announcements or bring demos of upcoming games to these competitive events. Could Nintendo bunk tradition and do something like that for Super Smash Bros. 4? That'd be fantastic, wouldn't it? For instance, Capcom did that with Ultra Street Fighter IV at EVO 2013. And the guy who came to Capcom to introduce Street Fighter X Mega Man was at EVO 2012 to do that.

With full-fledged Nintendo support, these competitive venues can be more than just a place where diehard Smash fans meet: It can become a beneficial PR opportunity for Nintendo. It's a very welcome change of pace for the company, but it can only happen if Nintendo is willing. Hopefully they are.

Far from the perception that Super Smash Bros. Melee diehards are ungrateful creepy losers, they made a #ThankYouNintendo hashtag on Twitter that has quite a bit of momentum. Obviously, they're thanking Nintendo for their support. Competitive Smash players are absolutely still big Nintendo fans. They helped drive GameCube sales and popularity back when it was going through a Wii U-like state. And they stuck with Nintendo systems through the Wii and now they will go for a Wii U and/or 3DS. There should absolutely not be any schism between competitive Melee players and the rest of the Nintendo fanbase. That's the same lesson I gave in an earlier article between Donkey Kong Country and Metroid fans. It's an important lesson to learn.

Go learn it.

Ludwig doesn't have a SmashBoards account, but he does have an NNID and he frequents the Super Smash Bros. community on Miiverse. Follow him at PrinceOfKoopas.

Continuing new approval, Nintendo has sponsored APEX 2015.
Nintendo has even approved the possibility for a game that hasn't been released yet to be played at EVO 2017.

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