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Nintendo of America has issued a cease and desist order forcing the cancellation of The Big House Online. This decision came because of the tournament’s intention to use Slippi, a fanmade software used to play Super Smash Bros. Melee online. Interestingly, The Big House has canceled both its Melee and Ultimate tournaments, even though Slippi is unrelated to Smash Ultimate.
— The Big House (@TheBigHouseSSB) November 19, 2020
Multiple event organizers may be impacted by Nintendo’s legal actions, though this is currently unconfirmed. Recently, Beyond the Summit deleted all tweets and videos related to the Slippi Champions League. However, the company is currently streaming Smash Summit 10 Online and has not announced any sort of cancellation.
According to @PushDustIn on Twitter, Nintendo’s decision comes from its relation to The Big House brand. He noted that Nintendo has sponsored the tournament series for the past five years. As a result, Nintendo may not shut down Slippi events that it does not sponsor, like Smash Summit.
Many fans have compared Nintendo’s current actions to its perceived attack on Evo 2013. Melee earned a spot in the Evo line-up after fans raised nearly $95,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Nintendo attempted to stop the Melee bracket from happening, but reversed its decision before the event took place.
Melee community responds to Nintendo shutting down The Big House Online
Nintendo has faced overwhelming criticism from the Smash community for its decision to stop The Big House Online. Nearly every prominent community member has weighed in on the issue, including Slippi developer Jas “Fizzi” Laferriere. Additionally, former competitor Adam “Armada” Lindgren criticized Nintendo for targeting the only way to play Melee tournaments during the pandemic. Currently, #FreeMelee is the top Twitter trend, with Nintendo trending at number three.
— Jas | FIZZI#36 (@Fizzi36) November 19, 2020
Of all the shit from Nintendo this takes the prize.
It's a global pandemic going on and Nintendo once again want the competitive scene to suffer
— Adam Lindgren (@ArmadaUGS) November 19, 2020
Nintendo’s apparent disdain for Slippi extends beyond tournament organizers like The Big House. Recently, Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto revealed that he is not allowed to stream Slippi because of his relationship with Nintendo. Multiple top Japanese Smash players, including aMSa, helped with the development of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. As a result, aMSa is unable to play Melee online for his livestream, despite being among the best players in the world.
Below is Nintendo’s official statement on the matter.
Nintendo's statement on the Big House event cancelation: pic.twitter.com/GCyHeeWpcy
— Patrick Shanley (@pshanley88) November 19, 2020
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.