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Nintendo has canceled the livestream for the Splatoon 2 North American Open December 2020 finals, originally scheduled for December 6. This is reportedly because several teams entered the Splatoon tournament with names inspired by Super Smash Bros. Melee.

“SlimyQuagsire” shared a screenshot of the announcement from the tournament’s official Discord on Twitter. According to that statement, Nintendo canceled the broadcast because of “unexpected executional challenges.” SlimyQuagsire speculated this unexpected challenge was the sheer volume of team names based off of Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Of the top qualifying teams at the Splatoon 2 North American Open, 30% named themselves in support of Melee. This includes Melee Nation, who placed 2nd in the initial ladder round with a 13-0 record. In addition, the team InC #FreeMelee finished 7th in the ladder round, with an 11-2 record.

Splatoon 2 livestream canceled due to Melee-based team names

The Splatoon News Twitter account inspired people to enter Nintendo’s official Splatoon 2 tournament with Melee-based names. This account encouraged attendees to show their support for the #FreeMelee movement in a tweet on November 24. Furthermore, the account owner pledged to donate $5 to Slippi for every team with a Melee-based name.

Slippi is a fanmade software that allows competitors to play Super Smash Bros. Melee online. Nintendo previously shut down The Big House Online with a cease and desist order over its intention to use Slippi. In response, several Splatoon 2 players showed solidarity with the Melee community.

Slippi developer Jas “Fizzi” Laferriere responded to the news that Nintendo had shut down the Splatoon 2 tournament stream. He offered his support to the community, and also closed his tweet with two hashtags: #FreeMelee and #FreeSplatoon. The Splatoon 2 North American Open December 2020 will continue on December 6, albeit without a livestream.