Tyler “Ninja” Blevins may be most associated with his time playing Fortnite, but it seems he is also a fan of the Super Smash Bros. competitive scene. Back in 2020, the famous Twitch streamer was added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate via a mod, and while Ninja didn’t have the reskin of Solid Snake commissioned himself, he did praise the creator on Twitter. Ninja’s public history with Super Smash Bros. goes back further than 2020, though, and in 2018 the streamer had plans for a competitive community event for the game.
At that time, Ninja stated on Twitter that he had something big planned for the Smash Bros. community, but didn’t give fans any more details than that. Now Ninja is unveiling the reasons behind his cryptic tweet, stating that he had initially wanted to gift $500,000 to the Super Smash Bros. prize pool at 2018’s Evolution Championship Series, or EVO. EVO is perhaps the most well-known fighting game tournament around, combining multiple famous games of the genre and letting the top players duke it out for thousands of dollars in prize money.
Back in 2018, both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. 4 were available in the competition. The prize pools for the games were around $13,000 each, meaning that Ninja’s proposed gift of $500,000 would have massively boosted the money top players would take home. The increased prize pool may have even improved the atmosphere of 2018’s Super Smash Bros. 4 finals, which were notably plagued by angry crowds and unprofessional players. However, Ninja was unable to deliver his gift due to problems apparently caused by Nintendo.
More specifically, at 5:45:35 on the YouTube video above, Ninja claims that the Super Smash Bros. developer “ghosted” him. Speaking with another popular streamer Ludwig, who has a close relationship with the Super Smash Bros. community, Ninja stated that he “literally wanted to juice Evo [by] $500k, and [Nintendo] just ghosted us.” Ninja went on to say that the gaming giant was interested in his offer for a moment, but after his tweet, Nintendo had no further interest.
Nintendo has not had the best relationship with EVO over the past couple of years. After the aforementioned controversy at 2018’s tournament, Super Smash Bros. relegated Melee to a side event at 2019’s tournament and again in the canceled 2020 series. By 2021, Super Smash Bros. was not featured in the main lineup after EVO was bought by Sony. The popular fighting game was again not announced to be on the main lineup for 2022’s tournament, as despite Sony’s claims that its acquisition wouldn’t prevent non-PlayStation titles from being played, Nintendo appears to have little interest in the championship now.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now for Nintendo Switch.