Although it’s one of the most important franchises for the fighting game crowd, Super Smash Bros. won’t make an appearance at the community’s biggest event of the year. “Since 2007, we’ve seen historic Super Smash Bros. moments created at Evo’s events,” Evo, which Sony bought last year, said. “We are saddened that Nintendo has chosen not to continue that legacy with us this year.”
Evo 2022 will be the first full edition of the event since 2019, which featured a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament in place of Super Smash Bros. Melee. The 2020 event was canceled following accusations of abuse that were leveled against Evo co-founder and then-CEO Joey Cuellar. Evo 2021 took place as an online-only affair due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evo has a long history with the Super Smash Bros. series. Super Smash Bros. Melee, in particular, was a popular part of the event for several years. As Kotaku notes, Nintendo (which tries to control how other organizations use its games) failed in its attempt to prevent Evo organizers from livestreaming the 2013 Melee tournament. Melee was added to that year’s event following a charity drive.
This doesn’t exactly mean the end of Nintendo-backed Super Smash Bros. esports, though. In November, Nintendo and Panda Global announced plans to run their own competitive Smash series. The company also has a partnership with PlayVS, which runs Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2 high school varsity esports leagues.
As for what games will actually be present at Evo 2022, we won’t need to wait long to find out. Evo will host a Twitch livestream on March 8th to reveal more details about this year’s event, which will take place in Las Vegas in August.