Earlier this week, Nintendo tried to deny the organizers of the Evolution Fighting Game Championships the rights to broadcast the Super Smash Bros. Melee, a decision that was later reversed after community backlash. EVO founder Joey Cuellar told competitive gaming and eSports show Live On Three, hosted by GameSpot’s Rod Breslau and Twitch’s Marcus Graham, that Nintendo also tried to shut down tournament itself.
"They were trying to not only shut down the stream, but shut down the event, the Smash portion," Cuellar said on the show. "It's their IP, they can do what they want. They didn't present us any option to keep it open. We tried to wig-wam our way through it, and they were fine with just shutting down the streaming portion of the event."
Fans were upset about Super Smash Bros. Melee's removal from the stream schedule earlier today, particularly after supporters helped raise almost $95,000 for charity earlier this year to see the game included in the tournament.
Within hours of Nintendo’s decision to shut down the stream, fans worldwide of the fighting game community and competitive gaming community made their voices heard, trending “#FreeMelee” on Twitter and earning the #1 story overall on Reddit. Cuellar says that the community alone is what got the Smash Bros. stream back on.
"We did nothing on our end. It had to been the bad PR they were getting in conjunction with the power of the Internet. We're grateful to everyone that contributed to making Nintendo make a great decision for the fans worldwide."
EVO 2013 is this weekend at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and can be watched live on TwitchTV. GameSpot will be at the show and providing live coverage on the GameSpot's eSports portal.