The Evolution Championship Series (EVO) has seen Super Smash Bros games at the event since 2007, with 2022 being the first year since then not to include any games from the franchise.
In a statement yesterday (February 26), the official EVO Twitter account said, “we are saddened that Nintendo has chosen not to continue that legacy with us this year. In the future, we hope to once again celebrate the Super Smash Bros community alongside them.”
No reason has been given publicly for why the Smash Bros series won’t be returning to EVO this year, but in November of last year, it was announced that Panda Global was partnering with Nintendo of America for the “first officially licensed circuit” of Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Melee.
— EVO (@EVO) February 26, 2022
Sony also purchased EVO in August of last year, and Nintendo provided IGN with a statement at the time saying that it will “continue to assess EVO,” and it now looks like a decision has been made.
Back in July 2020, the competitive Smash Bros community saw over 50 sexual misconduct allegations, as significant players were hit with stories and claims of their behaviour both in and out of events. This led to that year’s EVO Online event being cancelled.
As highlighted in a BBC report at the time, EVO president Joey Cueller was also accused of inappropriate behaviour and later left EVO entirely. Whilst Nintendo doesn’t get involved with organising EVO, the company made this statement:
“We are deeply disturbed by the allegations raised against certain members of the competitive gaming community. They are absolutely impermissible.
“We want to make it clear that we condemn all acts of violence, harassment, and exploitation against anyone and that we stand with the victims.”
In other news, Hidetaka Miyazaki has talked about how he wants to make dying in video games more enjoyable, following the release of Elden Ring.