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Super Smash Bros. Melee has been cut from the Evo 2019 gaming tournament line-up, and die hard fans are tweeting jokes about this particular “Top 10 Saddest Anime Death.”
In an announcement stream on Wednesday, Evo organizer Joey Cuellar (aka Mr. Wizard) revealed the full line-up for 2019’s Super Bowl of fighting games. Super Smash Bros. Melee, a usual mainstay, is not scheduled to appear on the main stage for this year’s tournament.
Super Smash Bros. Melee was added as the eighth bonus game to Evo 2013 after the game raised the most donations for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation with an impressive $94,683. At the time, Melee’s fanbase was somewhat waning, and a featured spot at the premier fighting game tournament was a much-needed boost. From 2013 until now, the game had headlined Evo.
This year, the stalwart Melee will be replaced by the new iteration in the franchise, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch. Melee top players tweeted their reactions to the news.
The thing to do now is to support all the other great grassroots Melee events that will take place this year, like CEO, Big House, Shine, SmashCon, & others!— HugS #TeamSobble (@HugS86) February 27, 2019
It's more important than ever. We gotta continue to show the world why Melee is one of the greatest scenes of all time.
Really tho, can we all just appreciate how die hard and invested everyone is in Melee?`— Leffen (@TSM_Leffen) February 27, 2019
I feel like regardless of what happens, good or bad, theres no community as tight knit and caring as the melee community. As long as that doesn't change the game will never die.
Sad that Melee did not make it in.— Adam Lindgren (@ArmadaUGS) February 27, 2019
I know every game can't be at EVO and I'm happy for the people that got their game/games there
Just feels weird after many years and Melee still have such great numbers.
To add insult to injury, the Evo announcement stream was capped off by a tribute video to Melee showcasing the game’s great moments throughout the years.
EVO's thank you video for Super Smash Bros. Melee pic.twitter.com/OG8DzW7R8c— Wario64 (@Wario64) February 27, 2019
Fighting game personality Andrew “Jiyuna” Fidelis summarized the odd feeling of showing this video after revealing that Melee would not be included in the tournament’s main lineup.
Even as an outsider, that Melee video was pretty painful to watch.— J I Y U N A (@jiyunaJP) February 27, 2019
Could you imagine getting dumped by your girlfriend, but before she kicks you out she shows you a quick recap video of the time you spent together then says "Thanks, bye!" 😩 #EVO2019 pic.twitter.com/MBz8wg6AHu
Other followers of Evo, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and the fighting game scene are making memes to find sense of the situation. The current dominant narrative is that “anime killed Melee.” The anime-inspired fighting game Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] is a newcomer in the lineup—and taking up a slot that could have gone to Melee.
An animated recreation of the EVO lineup reveal. pic.twitter.com/LyOV2eqo2c— Ramon. (@RamEsRock) February 27, 2019
Rest in Peace Melee at EVO pic.twitter.com/6o1CfGHlId— Shiki (@EX_Shiki_) February 27, 2019
One particularly elaborate reaction video meme plays on the unfortunate stereotype that competitive players of the Super Smash Bros. franchise are less likely to take regular showers than the rest of the fighting game community.
Evo 2019 will take place Aug. 2-4 in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino.
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Ignacio Martinez is a journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin and an intern at the Daily Dot. His work has appeared in the Texas Observer and on the airwaves at KVRX 91.7 FM.