Super Smash Bros. Melee will not be a featured title at Evolution Championship Series 2019, its first absence from the tournament series since its return in 2013. The news came in the form of a “Melee eulogy” video aired on EVO’s Twitch channel last night alongside the announcement of the nine games to be included in this year’s lineup.
Smash will still be represented at EVO in the form of Smash Ultimate. The event’s lineup also includes BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Mortal Kombat 11, Samurai Shodown, Soulcalibur VI, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Tekken 7, and Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st]. Many outraged fans tweeted about the announcement, either expressing their grief or directly flaming the tournament. Here are some tweets from noteworthy personalities in the Melee scene on the topic.
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The announcement sparked an outpouring of mournful comments from individuals both inside and outside the Smash community. The popular GameCube game remains one of the biggest fighting games in the world. Last year, it drew hundreds of unique entrants and tens of thousands of viewers for EVO. At Genesis 6 earlier this year, Melee boasted a peak viewership of over 174,000.
EVO’s choice to drop Melee comes amid a fervent debate over the legality of wobbling within the Melee scene. The controversial infinite was widely banned until it was legalized in the EVO 2013 ruleset, and this announcement removes a potential roadblock in the path towards a community-wide ban.