The fighting game championship tournament EVO will be making its return in 2022 but it appears a mainstay will not be making a return.
As announced on EVO’s official Twitter account, EVO will be hosting an announcement show for the upcoming lineup of fighting games set to appear for EVO 2022. At the same time, they acknowledged to its fans that “Super Smash Bros. will not be making a return appearance.”
An iteration of Super Smash Bros. has been featured at EVO since 2007 and continues to draw large viewership numbers at the tournament. However, “Nintendo has chosen not to continue that legacy with us this year,” meaning that Nintendo directly had a hand in withdrawing the Super Smash Bros. franchise from the fighting game tournament.
There are perhaps several potential reasons for this decision. First, Sony in recent years has acquired EVO, meaning the Nintendo product would be played at a tournament owned by one of the company’s top competitors. At the same time, Nintendo has long tried to keep its games away from competitive scene. This happened most notably when tournaments were forced online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Nintendo served a cease and desist order to The Big House as they were using a modification to allow for Super Smash Bros. Melee online play.
While it is regrettable that Super Smash Bros. will not be making a return to EVO, the rest of the lineup will be revealed during an announcement show set on March 8th at 5pm PST.