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'Nintendo just killed Super Smash Bros. Melee' - top Smash player Hungrybox expresses issue with recent Big House cease and desist

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • November 20, 2020 at 2:03 p.m. PST • Comments: 43

The big news in the world of Super Smash Bros. currently came to light just yesterday when Nintendo sent a cease and desist order to The Big House, effectively stopping the online Super Smash Bros. Melee and Ultimate event from taking place.

The makers of Mario did offer a reason for this citing the use of Slippi.gg, a program that facilitates online Melee play with rollback netcode and matchmaking features, as the main issue. The Smash community has been responding on social media to express much distaste for this move, and the top Melee player in the world, Juan "Liquid|Hungrybox" DeBiedma, has offered his voice and opinion.

As a 2001 GameCube title, Super Smash Bros. Melee has never had any developer supported online play. Fan enthusiasm over the last 20 years has kept the second Smash entry thriving over the last two decades, and has evolved to require this kind of tech to keep up with today's standards (especially with COVID-19).

From a legal point of view, Nintendo does seem to be holding all of the cards here and thus the prerogative to allow or disallow an event like The Big House to run with a modded version of their game is ultimately theirs. Many of the retorts posted to Twitter by fans are in step with DeBiedma's, though, which approaches the situation with the restrictions of COVID-19 in mind.

"Slippi is the only form of Melee we have right now during a pandemic... For a game like Melee, whose life blood and life source as a competitive scene is based around tournaments that happen in person... [Slippi] was the only chance Melee had to live during the pandemic," he says in his video.

Hbox acknowledges the fact that players are essentially navigating away from Nintendo hardware to appreciate this particular game, but the emotion then starts to flow as he raises his voice to ask, "WHAT IS THE ACTUAL POINT OF DOING THIS?! WHY ARE YOU TAKING AWAY THE ONE THING THIS COMMUNITY HAS LEFT? WHAT IS TO BE GAINED?"

You'll hear his full rant via the embed below. Smash Bros. action is still going on this weekend as Smash Summit (which is featuring Melee played on Slippi) kicked off today.

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