The Big House, known for its Smash Bros. tournaments, was set to host an event on December 4-6 where Smash pro players would compete across GameCube classic Super Smash Bros. Melee and the Switch’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Due to social distancing, the event was due to happen online, with online Melee play happening through a mod called “Slippi”. However, Nintendo of America has put a stop to these plans with a cease and desist order.

In a statement on Twitter, The Big House said that the organization is “heartbroken” by the cancelation, which has been necessitated by Nintendo. “We were informed we do not have permission to host or broadcast the event, primarily due to the usage of Slippi,” the statement reads. “Sadly, all our competitions are affected.”

Participants and ticket holders will be contacted about refunds shortly.

Venn’s Patrick Shanley shared a statement from Nintendo, explaining why they called for an end to this tournament, despite having partnered with numerous similar events in the past. “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,” their statement reads. Nintendo says that they contacted the organizers requesting that they stop, but that they “refused”.

The cease and desist seemingly covers the whole event, which is why the Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament is also canceled.

Jas, the creator of the Slippi mod, shared his own statement following the news. “I am disappointed that Nintendo is restricting our ability to power through these hard times,” he writes, suggesting the hashtag “#FreeMelee” if fans want to express their own disappointment.

While Nintendo has been known to re-release older games, sometimes with updated features, Super Smash Bros. Melee has never made its way off of the GameCube, despite an enduring competitive scene.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate continues to grow, with four new fighters set to join the game before the end of 2021 as DLC.

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