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Smash Bros. tournament The Big House 10 canceled over netcode

Nintendo sent organizers a C&D, and they will comply

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - all the characters Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The Big House, one of the premier events in competitive Super Smash Bros., must cancel the tournaments organizers had scheduled for early December after receiving a cease-and-desist demand from Nintendo of America.

The Big House has been held with no problem every year since 2011. Nintendo’s issue this year is related to Big House organizers’ plans to use Slippi, an unapproved rollback netcode that makes Super Smash Bros. Melee playable online — a tool necessary for the online event.

The Big House 2020 announced back in July that its in-person event would be canceled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The previous four tournaments were held at TCF Center in downtown Detroit.

On Nov. 10, Big House organizers announced that they would move the tournament online, set Dec. 4-6 as the dates, and began taking registrations. Now, with Nintendo’s cease-and-desist, the event has been canceled.

The Big House is the longest running annual tournament in major Smash competition, held every year since 2011. Last year’s prize pool delivered $3,636 to Melee singles winner Joseph “Mango” Marquez, and $4,068 to Ultimate singles champion Okada “Zackray” Sota.

Update: Nintendo has responded with the following statement:

Nintendo appreciates the love and dedication the fighting game community has for the Super Smash Bros. series. We have partnered with numerous Super Smash Bros. tournaments in the past and have hosted our own online and offline tournaments for the game, and we plan to continue that support in the future. 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 in conjunction with a mod called “Slippi” during their online event. Nintendo therefore contacted the tournament organizers to ask them to stop. They refused, leaving Nintendo no choice but to step in to protect its intellectual property and brands. Nintendo cannot condone or allow piracy of its intellectual property.

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