However, in recent months, the situation has grown tenser amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with Smash fans seeking alternatives to play their favourite platform fighter, including mods to Melee, allowing the 20-year-old game to feature rollback netcode or continuing to promote fanmade creations like Project M.
In response, the Big N has constantly issued cease and desist notices to multiple events, such as The Big House, Low Tide City, and Riptide, impacting community growth and in some cases, the livelihoods of tournament organisers, making an already damaged relationship that much worse.
While the entire community is aware they're facing an uphill battle when against one of gaming's juggernauts, many believe that maintaining a firm stance against Nintendo might eventually give them some leverage, which is why Smash casters Victoria "VikkiKitty" Perez and Kelsy "SuperGirlKels" Medeiros have come under criticism for helping broadcast the NintendoVS Fall Open.
The casting duo could be heard on 16th October on the official Nintendo broadcast for their online event, which also happened to coincide with Smash Con, an Ultimate major held offline. Popular tournament organiser Arian "The Crimson Blur" Fathieh tweeted out a take that sparked debate within the community.
Hope the Nintendo money was worth it— The Crimson Blur (@OXY_Crimson) October 16, 2021
Vikki quickly responded to his criticism, calling Blur's statement "unprofessional" and "hypocritical," using their previous past together, when Blur signed Vikki to work Smash partnered events for Twitch, as an example.
NintendoDude hired ME for the Twitch partnered Nintendo events, this seems hypocritical.— SORA IN SMASH (@VikkiKitty) October 17, 2021
Blur replied that the landscape was very different in 2017 when these events took place and that the Twitch partnership was an effort in "good faith" to make amends with Nintendo. "They repayed (sic) that by shutting down Big House & more. You may want to go back to business as usual, but I certainly don't," he added.
Melee pro player and content creator for Dignitas Hugo "HugS" Gonzalez also had some strong words for the casters deciding to help promote Nintendo ran tournaments after their tumultuous past.
In a response to SGK after she admitted to being "disappointed" by his initial reaction, HugS implied the casters were betraying the scene by accepting their money.
"You know what they’ve been about, you know they’re not anywhere in the realm of wanting to help the scene legitimately, and they’ve actively hurt the people around you. If you feel they have good intentions, you’re buying into the same lies they’ve been pushing for years."
Not everyone was against VikkiKitty and SGK, during the Smash Con Top 8 stream, colleagues Terrence "TKBreezy" Kershaw and Phil "EE" Visu, mocked the negative reactions derived from this drama.
It remains to be seen of both Vikki and SGK will be working with Nintendo in the near future.
For more on all things Smash, check out our dedicated section filled with news, tournament results, and more.
Featured image courtesy of VikkiKitty.