The Big House, a fall Smash Brothers event series, had to cancel its 2020 event today after receiving a cease and desist letter from Nintendo Of America. Meaning neither Smash Brothers Melee nor Smash Brothers Ultimate tournaments will go forward at this point.
Nintendo’s reason for halting the event’s progress is due to the usage of Slippi, an online module for the Dolphin emulator, by Big House. Organizers recently learned they no longer have permission to broadcast the event on twitch, effectively killing any competitions before they could begin.
“We are forced to comply with the order and cancel The Big House Online for both Melee and Ultimate,” states The Big House on Twitter. “Refund information will be sent shortly. We apologize to all those impacted.”
You can read the full statement from Big House below.
For those unfamiliar with Slippi, it’s a third party application that allows Smash Brothers Melee to have online play, complete with rollback netcode—an essential feature for playing fighting games online. The thing is, Slippi is a plugin for Dolphin, the popular Gamecube and Wii emulator. So Nintendo likely didn’t want to promote that.
“We have partnered with numerous Super Smash Brothers tournaments in the past and have hosted our own online and offline tournaments for the game,” reads Nintendo’s statement on the Big House cancellation. “Unfortunately, the upcoming Big House tournament announced plans to host an online tournament for Super Smash Brothers Melee that requires the 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.”
It’s a huge bummer. The Big House is the biggest Super Smash Brothers event series every fall and has been going on since its inception in 2011. Nintendo themselves have even sponsored the event in the past, so it’s wild to see things play out like this, especially since the tournament was only a couple of weeks out from its December 4-6 air date.
The Big House has yet to offer additional comments on the situation, but it’s a shame either way. With COVID-19 ravaging the world, esports tournaments are getting hit hard, and Big House is the latest casualty. Hopefully, Big House will survive until it’s safe for everyone to attend events like these again in the future.
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