It wasn’t too long ago that Nintendo was hated by the fighting game community. Super Smash Bros. Melee was almost removed from the Evolution Championship Series (EVO) 2013 fighting game tournament lineup, only to be prevented by an outcry from fans and tournament players alike to keep the game in. PR-wise, it was probably in Nintendo’s best interest to not stir the pot after the hit they took from their YouTube monetization strategy around the same time.
Now, it appears that Nintendo and Smash creator Sakurai may be more tolerant of what the series has become to the fighting game demographic. With the Smash Bros Invitational during E3 2014, Nintendo sponsored their first tournament, and it was a great success.
To add to the support Nintendo is now listed as an official sponsor for EVO 2014 on the official tournament website. They join the ranks of companies like Atlus, Xbox, and SNK in sponsoring a variety of fighting games like Ultra Street Fighter IV, Killer Instinct, and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
The tourney will be held from July 11-13 at the Westgate Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will most likely be livestreamed, so if you want to see some professional fighting game players have at it, you’ll get the chance to through Twitch and IGN.