EVO hopeful Nintendo will eventually let Smash return to the biggest FGC tournament

Michael Gwilliam
super smash bros ultimate at evo

Super Smash Bros Ultimate has been absent from EVO for a few years now, but the fighting game tournament’s organizers say they’d welcome the game back with open arms.

EVO is returning this July with Street Fighter, Tekken and Mortal Kombat taking center stage, but don’t expect to see Nintendo’s platform fighter at the event.

The last time Smash was at EVO was back in 2019, when Super Smash Bros Ultimate headlined the show. It had the most competitors in a stacked bracket, and was eventually won by the GOAT himself, MkLeo.

Unfortunately, Nintendo infamously pulled Smash out of EVO 2022 and hasn’t returned since. However, EVO General Manager Rick Thiher remains hopeful that we haven’t seen the last of Smash.

EVO GM praises Nintendo licensing program for Smash

In an exclusive interview with Dexerto, we asked Thiher about a possible comeback for Smash at EVO and he seemed enthusiastic about the future.

“Always happy to host Smash. Always happy to engage with that community,” he said.

Winning EVO is one of MkLeo’s defining moments.

Thiher, who also runs the Combo Breaker event, is no stranger to working with Nintendo and brought up the company’s new guidelines that all tournaments without a license must adhere to.

At first, Nintendo’s tournament guidelines were met with backlash from the Smash community because it limited tournament sizes and prize money. Since then, many events have been able to successfully acquire licenses that allow them to bypass the rules.

“I was really excited to see parts of the Nintendo licensing program that has kind of stabilized in the last few months,” he added. “We’re seeing more and more licensed events out in the market for those titles. Don’t know what the future holds today and we will find out whenever it arrives.”

So, while we may not see Ultimate at EVO right away, there is definitely some hope, perhaps even for the next Smash game in development to make its way to the world’s biggest FGC spectacle.

About The Author

Michael Gwilliam is a senior writer at Dexerto based in Ontario, Canada. He specializes in Overwatch, Smash, influencers, and Twitch culture. Gwilliam has written for sites across Canada including the Toronto Sun. You can contact him at michael.gwilliam@dexerto.com or on Twitter @TheGwilliam