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The Evolution Championships Series (Evo) is one of the biggest events on the fighting-game calender. Players from all over the world compete for prize money and bragging rights in games like Street Fighter, Tekken and Soul Calibur. This year a donation drive was held to select one of the games at the tournament and Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Melee won by raising a staggering $94,000 and beating off sixteen other fighting games including its successor Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The games had been chosen, the competitors were ready and it looked like everything was set for one of the biggest eSport events of the year. This was not the case.
On July 9th, just three days before Evo was set to begin, it emerged that Nintendo of America Inc. was not going to allow the Super Smash Bros. Melee matches to be streamed. After the news was announced and fans and gaming sites raised their voices Nintendo decided to reverse the decision and allow the stream to happen. As the decision came just three and a half hours after the news was announced it seemed like a simple case of crossed wires somewhere in the Nintendo chain of command. Later, though, in an interview with OneMoreGameTV, Evo co-founder Joey Cuellar revealed that Nintendo originally tried to shut down the entire Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament. Nintendo have already been getting bad press in the last couple of months for not allowing YouTube “Let’s Play” creators to earn ad revenue from videos featuring first-party Nintendo titles and this latest series of events isn’t going to help their image.
The worst part is that this could have been a great opportunity for Nintendo to get some good publicity. Many feel that Nintendo have all but abandoned hardcore gamers with the Wii and Wii U consoles being heavily aimed at the casual markets and Evo 2013 would have given Nintendo a chance to show they still supported hardcore gaming. Also, with the new Super Smash Bros. coming out next year it would have been the perfect place to reveal some more information about the game, similar to how NetherRealm Studios are revealing a new DLC character for Injustice: Gods Among Us at the event. Alas, Nintendo squandered this opportunity and showed once again that they they are somewhat out of touch with the modern world of gaming. The $94,000 donated by fans proves that the hardcore market loves Super Smash Bros., and it’s about time Nintendo showed the fans some love back.
Evo 2013 will run from 12th to 14th July. Information can be found on the official site.