Smash Melee God Juan ‘Hungrybox’ Debiedma warned of an “impending disaster” for the esports if fans didn’t step up and fight Nintendo after the company effectively killed The Big House online tournament.
On November 19 it was revealed that Nintendo sent The Big House a cease and desist for organizing a Smash Melee tournament that would be using Slippi – a program used with emulators to create a seamless online experience.
As a result, both of the Melee and Ultimate tournaments were canceled resulting in fans voicing their frustration at Nintendo using the hashtag #FreeMelee on Twitter.
However, according to Hungrybox, fans are going to have to go to war against the video game juggernaut after their recent actions.
— The Big House (@TheBigHouseSSB) November 19, 2020
“This was the only chance Melee had to live during a pandemic,” the 27-year-old Team Liquid star explained.
In addition to TBH being canceled, all of the Beyond the Summit Slippi Champions League VODs had been removed from the Twitch channel.
“This is a massive, massive sign of an impending disaster,” Hungrybox warned. “Nintendo has now gone out of their way to remove the only chance that Melee had to remain competitive during a pandemic for the sole fact that it’s using a modification necessary for the game to even exist.”
“Why are you taking away the one thing this community has left?” he asked. “What is to be gained?”
Nintendo does have a very problematic history with the Melee scene, which reached a boiling point in 2013 when the company didn’t want Melee to be played at EVO. After fans rallied against Nintendo, the Japanese company finally let up.
Now, according to Debiedma, fans are going to need to fight a second war.
“Everyone right now in a time where we don’t know what’s going to happen needs this game. They need that sort of escape. And for this to happen, to take away just one last glimmer of hope that we had right now, it’s not just wrong,” he said with a pause. “It’s evil.”
“I hope everyone watching this reaches out to Nintendo the same way we did during EVO. The second war we have to fight now to make sure they do the right thing for everyone,” he concluded.
Only time will tell what the future will hold for Smash Melee, especially with Nintendo adamant against Slippi being used to even make tournaments happen.