The Smash scene has had a rough year following the cancellation of all major tournaments due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the multiple accusations of sexual harassment and assault that followed, and Nintendo issuing a cease and desist to The Big House closing out the year, kick-starting the #FreeMelee movement looking to support the competitive scene.
Amid all of this, a light-hearted moment could be in the works, as up-and-comer boxer Ryan Garcia has issued a challenge of a different kind, one involving Smash Ultimate and Leonardo "MkLeo" López, the best player in the world.
Ryan Garcia is currently undefeated in his boxing career (Photo: Golden Boy Promotions)
The 22-year-old athlete who's set to fight Luke Campbell for the WBC interim lightweight championship this upcoming 2nd January has been very vocal about his love for Smash (particularly Melee, but more on that later) as of late, showing his incredible confidence by issuing a challenge to the rank #1 player in last PGRu standings before COVID-19 struck.
I challenge mkleo to 30,000$ smash match 2 sets someone let him know— Ryan Garcia (@KingRyanG) November 24, 2020
"I challenge mkleo to 30,000$ smash match 2 sets someone let him know," he tweeted out.
It didn't take long for the man himself to respond, saying he's "down to make this happen," with Garcia replying
It didn't take long for the man himself to respond, saying he's "down to make this happen," with Garcia replying to the Mexican ace that he "should set the date," for their bout.
Ryan Garcia joins the #FreeMelee movement
Over the weekend, Nintendo decided to issue a cease and desist to The Big House tournament, making the organisers cancel both the Melee and Ultimate events in the process. The reason was the use of what they described as "illegal and modified copies" of Melee that run via PC and use a third-party tool called Slippi, which allows for the 20-year-old game to be played online.
Ryan revealed that Melee sparked his love for the franchise and that the company should back down on their restrictions that could potentially kill the competitive scene for good.
"My love for smash started with melee, I watched the documentary and been playing ever since please NintendoAmerica the people love this game #freemelee."
- Read more: Nintendo had "no choice but to step in" after The Big House Melee tournament revealed to use Slippi
Will Nintendo pay attention now or will they turn a blind eye once again? It remains to be seen.