Ninja Says He Wanted To Gift Evo $500,000 For Smash, But Nintendo Ghosted Him
More recently, Nintendo kept Super Smash Bros. from being included in the Evo 2022 lineup after consistent appearances by the series over the last decade.
“While I’m unaware of what did or didn’t transpire in the past, Evo would love to work with Ninja, Nintendo, and anyone else interested in developing Super Smash Bros. tournaments,” Evo general manager Rick Thiher told Kotaku. “Having helped create Ninja’s Halo Throwback tournaments for Twitch Rivals, I’ve seen firsthand the positive vibes Ninja can create when he gives back to classic gaming communities.”
One possible reason Nintendo turned Blevins down (apart from its weird relationship with the competitive Smash community) may have had to do with the contentious comments the streamer made about keeping his streams men-only around the same time.
A few months prior to his Smash tweet in 2018, Blevins courted controversy by saying he avoided playing games with women out of respect for his wife. He reasoned that this hard rule prevented the possibility of the internet turning any minor moment of perceived flirtation into a controversy, but many saw it as harmful to the advancement of female streamers. Blevins has since collaborated with women and it wasn’t the end of the world.
Speculation aside, Nintendo’s inexplicable approach to Super Smash Bros. competition has been front-and-center within the community. Some believe official support is the only way for a game to survive in the hectic esports ecosystem, while others worry about the added oversight Nintendo’s money would bring. Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma, long considered one of the “gods” of Super Smash Bros. Melee competition, brought these issues to light at last month’s Streamer Awards, calling out Nintendo for its inaction while also pointing to the company’s official 2022 circuit as a step in the right direction.
“Smash is a beautiful game,” DeBiedma said. “It deserves to shine.”