Nintendo of America have cancelled the Splatoon 2 North America Open, after teams changed their names in support of the cancelled Super Smash Bros. Melee The Big House tournament.
We previously reported how Nintendo of America issued a cease and desist order to Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament The Big House. This was due to them using an emulator with netplay to play the game, honoring the COVID-19 quarantine orders.
After requesting tournament organizers not use “illegally copied versions of the game in conjunction with a mod called ‘Slippi’ during their online event” they refused. This is when Nintendo of America issued the cease and deist. The cancellation of the tournament led to outcry, and the #FreeMelee hashtag on Twitter.
Now, Dot Esports report that Nintendo of America cancelled the livestream for what would have been the Splatoon 2 North America Open. The reason was reportedly due to over 30% of the teams supporting #FreeMelee. No public statement has been made by Nintendo of America via Twitter or Battlefy as of this time of writing.
Dot Esports cite a tweet by the tournament’s organizer (“SlimyQuagsire”) showing a message on the tournament’s official Discord server. Therein, a user (presumably also helping organize the tournament) stated the cancellation was due to “unexpected executional challenges.”
Other alleged messages show tournament organizers being unable to answer if others will be able to unofficially steam the finals of the tournament.
However, many believe the reason was due to many teams changing their names to mention #FreeMelee, or reference Super Smash Bros. Melee. Out of 261 teams, 12 of the top 66 teams had used names directly referencing this, while a few others made more vague references to that game’s mechanics. 8 of them were in the top 23.
The tournament would have begun on December 5th, featuring a Ladder Round and Bracket Round. The Top 4 and Finals would have taken place on December 6th. The top two teams from the initial standings have the names FTWaveDash (a reference to Melee‘s unintentional wave dashing mechanic used in competitive games), and Melee Nation. The other two were Resistance and Cookie Dough 2.0.
“To be clear this is Nintendo’s call,” tweeted SlimyQuagsire, “not any of the TOs or broadcasters they’ve enlisted for the weekend. This is damage control and an outright spit in the face of all of their dedicated competitive scenes. But we ain’t surprised lol #NintendoHatesYou #FuckNintendo #FreeMelee.”
Players with access to the Discord server have also shown their dissatisfaction by spamming a message before leaving. That satirical message reads as follows.
“The year is 20XX. Every official stream online has zero views because grassroots organizations have usurped all Esports streams. Nintendo is destitute and broke, their only source of income is through taxing sold copies of Melee, CRTs, and gamecubes. Society has evolved to the point that with a cybernetic implant, you can connect directly to netplay and shine on your opponent while broadcasting free of a DMCA complaint and a C&D letter from Nintendo. Doug Bowser is the last living human without an implant, and is found cold and naked, wondering why everyone is constantly talking about wavedashes.