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Super Smash Bros. Melee fans raised about $28,000 in honor of George Floyd during two charity tournaments on June 1. Nico “Ryobeat” Rodriguez organized the events and streamed them along with Scott “SaveAsUntitled” Schroeder.
The Minneapolis Charity Netplay Event featured two tournaments: one for the East Coast and one for the West Coast. Participants in the tournaments paid a $10 entry fee, all of which went to charity. In addition, many viewers donated money throughout the course of the stream. About $22,000 came from these donations alone. As Ryobeat noted, the final $28,000 tally does not account for players who raised money while restreaming the events on their own channels.
Multiple charities will benefit from these Melee tournaments, including the memorial funds for George Floyd and Tony McDade. These funds support the families of Floyd and McDade, both of whom were killed during recent encounters with local police. In addition, money will go towards organizations like Reclaim the Block and Black Visions Collective. Both of these charities specifically support black communities in and around Minneapolis, Minnesota, where George Floyd lived. Further information about each organization is available on the Minneapolis Charity Netplay Event Smash.gg pages.
Results from the George Floyd memorial Melee tournaments
Forrest Griffin won the East Coast version of the George Floyd memorial Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament. He swept through pools without dropping a game, beating Anees “Free Palestine” Assaf and “bobby big ballz” in the process. From there, Forrest defeated Alfred “Icy” Mingrone and Matt “Polish” Warshaw, in addition to double-eliminating Albert Luu.
On the other side of the country, Johnny “S2J” Kim won the Minneapolis Charity Netplay Event: West Coast Edition. He defeated Nick “blargh257” Green, Randy “QuickScopeKid” Mock, and Cary “Vro” Zhang before losing to Cody “iBDW” Schwab. In the losers bracket, S2J eliminated Steven “FatGoku” Callopy, Zaid “Spark” Ali, and Oliver “Zeo” Pei. S2J closed out the George Floyd memorial Melee bracket by overcoming iBDW in both sets of Grand Finals.
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.