Nintendo Files Cease-And-Desist Against The Big House, Sparking Massive Uproar

The Smash community is speaking up against the actions Nintendo has taken against the tournament The Big House

November 20, 2020

The Big House, a massive event in the Super Smash Bros tournament season, has been canceled due to a cease-and-desist order filed by Nintendo.

This is the second time The Big House has been canceled this year; it was previously canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Slippi, an unofficial rollback netcode version of Super Smash Bros. Melee‘s multiplayer, allowed the tournament to go on. This same program is the reason behind Nintendo’s legal action against the tournament.

Registration for the online version of this tournament began on November 10, with the actual tournament for Super Smash Bros. Melee and Ultimate set to begin on December 4. The Big House is currently refunding registration costs to players.

This marks the second time Nintendo has taken action against a major Super Smash Bros. tournament. The company previously attempted to shut down Super Smash Bros. Melee‘s presence at EVO, one of the world’s largest fighting game tournament events, in 2013. For The Big House, 2020 will be the first time the tournament will not be able to go on since the series began in 2011.

Nintendo provided the following statement to Polygon regarding its action against The Big House:

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Nintendo appreciates the love and dedication the fighting game community has for the Super Smash Bros. series. We have partnered with numerous Super Smash Bros. tournaments in the past and have hosted our own online and offline tournaments for the game, and we plan to continue that support in the future. Unfortunately, the upcoming Big House tournament announced plans to host an online tournament for Super Smash Bros. Melee that requires use of illegally copied versions of the game in conjunction with a mod called “Slippi” during their online event. Nintendo therefore contacted the tournament organizers to ask them to stop. They refused, leaving Nintendo no choice but to step in to protect its intellectual property and brands. Nintendo cannot condone or allow piracy of its intellectual property.

Nintendo’s action against a beloved, major tournament has sparked outrage across the competitive Smash community, with multiple prominent figures inside the scene taking to Twitter and YouTube to voice their disapproval. Hugo “HugS86” Gonzales, a professional Smash player and streamer criticized Nintendo on Twitter for using “the player brands built through our own grassroots efforts to promote their new games” only to then prevent those efforts from “growing on our own.”

Ludwig Ahgren, another Smash personality that has found fame on Twitch and YouTube posted a video decrying the company for its actions against the Super Smash Bros. community and has announced his own online tournament powered by Slippi. ESports brands have also rallied with the Smash community, with the official Twitter account for Tempo Storm tweeting out “#freemelee,” a rallying call for those against Nintendo’s recent actions.

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