Bad news for Melee fans as the organizers of The Big House were forced to cancel their event after Nintendo sent out a cease and desist. A big blow to the Melee scene that already saw most of their tournaments cancelled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
With the cancellation of almost all fighting games events, the Melee scene already had little to look forward to. Thanks to the use of third-party software mod in Slippi Online, players are able to take each other on in online battles, which led to online Smash tournaments being announced. Nintendo has now spoken out against the use of Slippi as the Smash Bros. Melee scene suffers yet another big blow.
— The Big House (@TheBigHouseSSB) November 19, 2020
The Big House released a statement on their Twitter page, talking about the cancellation of the event. “The Big House is heartbroken to share we’ve received a cease and desist from Nintendo of America Inc. to cancel our upcoming online event. We were informed we do not have permission to host or broadcast the event, primarily due to the usage of Slippi. Sadly, all our competitions are affected.”
Due to the cease and desist coming out from Nintendo, The Big House was forced to shut down the online event for Smash Bros. Melee as well as Ultimate. “We are forced to comply with the order and cancel The Big House Online”. The organizers promise to release information regarding refunds and apologize for the situation.
Nintendo will use the player brands built through our own grassroot efforts to promote their new games. Then, not only do they not help us grow, they actively prevent us from growing on our own.
So tired of this company. #freemelee
— HugS (@HugS86) November 19, 2020
The Big House has been a mainstay in the competitive Smash community with the event being organized and played for nine consecutive years. Due to the current pandemic, they were forced to call off the IRL event but recently announced their intention to go through with an online variant of The Big House, which has now also been cancelled.
Nintendo themselves put out a statement regarding the situation through news website Polygon. In the statement they first talked about their efforts to support the Super Smash Brothers esports scene by partnering with tournament organizers in the past and them organizing offline and online events as well.
Nintendo’s statement on the Big House event cancelation: pic.twitter.com/GCyHeeWpcy
— Patrick Shanley (@pshanley88) November 19, 2020
Nintendo goes on to explain their reasoning behind the cease and desist. “Unfortunately, the upcoming Big House tournament announced plans to host an online tournament for Super Smash Bros. Melee that requires use of illegally copied versions of the game in conjunction with a mod called “Slippi” during their online event. Nintendo therefore contacted the tournament organizers to ask them to stop. They refused, leaving Nintendo no choice but to step in to protect its intellectual property and brands. Nintendo cannot condone or allow piracy of its intellectual property.”
The decision divided fans of the Super Smash Brothers Esports scene. While some understand the reasoning Nintendo gave for their actions, others accuse Nintendo of not being involved and supportive enough in the Smash Brothers esports scene.
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