Update: A representative of PlayVS has issued the following statement in response to the situation:
"In the past 24 hours, a screenshot of a communication from a PlayVS employee on our Discord server has been widely shared around the internet. We want to clarify that statement was not approved by PlayVS leadership and it contained a misrepresentation of the facts. PlayVS and Nintendo have been engaged in discussions about how to best support the competitive gaming community and help it grow. At no time has Nintendo expressed any desire to stifle this community.
We deeply regret that this statement has unfairly put Nintendo in a negative light. Nintendo has been an excellent partner to us and all of our conversations have revolved around adding to an already passionate community and never about taking anything away from the competitive Smash scene. We look forward to continued, fruitful discussions and collaborations in the future that elevate the esports space."
It seems Nintendo can't help but anger the Smash Bros. community, as the esports team at St. Clair College, has shared that the company is preventing PlayVS from hosting Ultimate tournaments during the spring of 2021.
"So this is kind of interesting. Nintendo not allowing PlayVS to run competition because they claim to be working on collegiate esports themselves?" Shaun Byrne, St. Clair's esports professor posted on Twitter alongside screenshots of the announcement made by PlayVS staff via Discord.
(Picture: Shaun Byrne)
"Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer Nintendo Super Smash Bros Ultimate at the request of the publisher, who want to restart their college initiatives at a later date," the PlayVS staff mentioned.
PlayVersus, is a platform that helps colleges and universities in North America organize their esport teams and provides the tools, as well as runs, esport tournaments in games such as Fortnite, Rocket League, and League of Legends among others.
Stripping Smash from these kinds of opportunities is not unheard of, with well-documented cases involving interested third-parties left hanging by Nintendo, including Twitch, who was willing to fully finance a Smash 4 circuit before Nintendo pulled the plug.
Due to this, plenty of community members have been sceptical regarding Nintendo's plans of revitalizing their collegiate support, one that's never been present according to tournament organisers.
"Restart their College Initiatives"— Matt (@DotZeb) December 19, 2020
That should say "start"
Ran the largest college league in Smash from 2014-2017 and Nintendo didn't do jack to help us https://t.co/86NtjYdAoL
"Ran the largest college league in Smash from 2014-2017 and Nintendo didn't do jack to help us," current Competitions Operations for the Call of Duty League and co-founder of the Shine series of tournaments in Smash, MattDotZeb, tweeted out, referencing The Melee Games, a national collegiate Smash Melee league.
The entire Smash community has rallied against Nintendo (Picture: Nintendo)
It remains to be seen if Nintendo will address this situation, as the company has remained silent for most of these controversies, only commenting on The Big House's cancellation, claiming they "had no choice but to step in" after they accused the tournament organizer of using an illegal build of Smash to run their event.