EVO 2019 is fast approaching, and it would seem that everyone is about ready. The lineup features a lot of returning series such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, as well as some new faces, like Samurai Shodown and UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe. However, this year is a bit different. For the first time in 5 years, Super Smash Bros Melee will not be a main feature at EVO 2019. Rather, it will take the role of a side tournament this year. This makes Smash Ultimate the only Smash title as part of the main 9 titles.
Why was Melee passed up this time?
Melee has had issues with being at EVO for years. After 2007, Nintendo banned the game from being featured at tournaments, and it wouldn’t be seen again until 2013. However, this time it seems that corporate interference has nothing to do with it. It would seem that the game was dropped for other reasons. It could be inferred that Melee was replaced with Ultimate this year. Both games are fast and combo-heavy, but Melee is still drastically different. Perhaps the community favors Ultimate more than Melee, however online reception to the news from pro-Melee players say otherwise.
It’s possible that the decision was made to allow other fighters to have their time to shine. Every other major series at EVO had always used the newest installment of that series since most of its community would move to that newer game. However, Melee has been around for almost 20-years within the FGC. It has a very large player-base and can easily stand on its own without EVO. Compare that to UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe, which is a relatively unknown title. The community seems to be very devoted to the game, so it seems fitting that it would earn a spot over Melee this year.
Will Melee comeback to EVO?
Let’s be real here, Melee has been an FGC mainstay for nearly 20-years. Even with newer installments in the Smash series coming out, Melee has remained for years. Chances are we’ll see it return as one of the main 9 next year. With that being said, what would be dropped in favor of Melee (assuming Melee comes back)? Given the numbers of registered fighters for each game, it may be between Soul Calibur 6 and Street Fighter 5, which has the two lowest registration numbers.
Regardless, it doesn’t change Melee’s place within the FGC. It still will have a presence at EVO, just not as huge of a presence like it has in previous years.
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