Super Smash Bros Melee left out of Evo 2019

Tyler Smith, North Campus Editor

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The popular competitive fighting game, ‘Super Smash Bros. Melee’, has been left out of the largest annual fighting game tournament Evo for the first time since 2013.

The decision was revealed during the EVO lineup announcement stream on Feb 26, with the upcoming game ‘Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st]’ taking the final spot in the tournament.

The announcement has left multiple top-level Melee players in disarray. Despite the huge player base that the game has, many players have contemplated leaving melee for other competitive fighting games.

However, amongst these reactions some players still remain optimistic for Melee’s future. ‘Hungrybox’, a top-level player and considered the best player in the world currently, is amongst these players who believe that Melee will remain alive.

On Feb 27, three days after the announcement, Hungrybox tweeted “you know, when I think about it: Full Bloom, Pound 2019, Smash n Splash 5, CEO 2019, Low Tier City 7, Smash Summit 8 (and 9?), GOML 2019, Momocon, Upcoming DreamHacks, Big House 9? All happening for Melee this year. And that’s not even including the ones not yet announced. I’m hype.” It is clear to see that, despite being left out of EVO 2019, that Melee appears live and well.

One of the main reasons that Melee was most likely left out of EVO 2019 was the release of the latest installment in the ‘Super Smash Bros.’ series, ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’. Despite the game being released only three months ago, the competitive scene for the game is in a major boom with already over 3,500 tournaments being listed and attended since its release.

Melee first arrived onto the EVO scene in 2013 after the Melee community raised over $95,000 for cancer research for the EVO donation drive. Due to this, the EVO committee decided to give Melee a spot at EVO 2013.

The Melee tournament at EVO 2013 was the largest of its kind and remains the largest Melee tournament yet with over 700 entrants in the tournament. After 9 years as a competitive game, Melee finally made it to the highest level.

Many players seem to question if EVO 2018 was the last year for Melee at EVO and currently the future is unclear for the Melee competitive scene. Notable players such as Hungrybox, Armada, ZeRo, and Mew2king are already practicing for and participating in high level ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ tournaments.

The impact of this decision has already been felt amongst the Melee community, but Melee is far from being dead. Despite the future being unclear, Melee has persevered through worse shake ups in its history as a competitive fighting game.