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Journalist mocks #FreeMelee after Nintendo cease and desist: "You love your Melee? Make your tournaments for free"

Densho called out the Super Smash Bros. Melee community, mocking #FreeMelee.
Journalist mocks #FreeMelee after Nintendo cease and desist: "You love your Melee? Make your tournaments for free"

Renowned Mexican journalist Daniel "Densho" Avilás, sent the Latin American Smash community into a rage after he belittled the #FreeMelee movement in a post on Twitter.

“Free Melee is a very tacky and petty thing. You love your f****** Melee? Make your tournaments for free, without charging anyone”, he said.

Densho, who has decades of experience in the industry,  has a long relationship with Nintendo having been the editor for Club Nintendo, the official Nintendo magazine that became extremely popular in the region during the late '90s and early '00s.

Working for Electronic Gaming Monthly, becoming the head of Xbox Magazine Mexico, and currently anchoring for TV channel BitMe, he's is one of the most respected names in Latin American gaming journalism, which makes his decision to antagonize such a big community that more baffling. 

In a follow-up tweet, Densho claimed that tournament organisers "brainwash" impressionable young players with the promise of fame, only to take their money away.

"Those who make money organizing tournaments brainwash the fame-hungry so richly that they end up using words like 'entry fee' instead of 'cuota de inscripción.' Ridiculous, more interesting from an anthropological point of view," referencing events in Latin America and Mexico that use anglicisms to promote themselves, as it's believed to make the organizers look more professional. Or at least, that's Densho's implication.

the big house cancelled
The Big House's cancellation had nothing to do with money issues (Photo: The Big House)

It is worth noting that, while it's true the Smash community has pleaded with Nintendo to support the scene previously, the #FreeMelee (and later #SaveSmash) initiative didn't stem from a monetary dispute -- it was the company's decision to issue a cease and desist letter to The Big House tournament organisers, forcing them to shut down the event, that gave birth to it.

According to Nintendo, they had "no choice but to step in" as using third-party tools is prohibited. Slippi, the modded version of Smash that the tournament would run on, was key to its success aiding as it does, with connection, gameplay, and matchmaking in general by adding rollback functionality to the Dolphin emulator.

Densho also commented that he "didn't know Nintendo was OBLIGED to please fans," painting said supporters as "30-years-old incapable of letting the past go," multiple people presented reasons as to why there's the outrage against Nintendo, points that Densho dismissed in a follow-up tweet.

"There's a difference between pleasing and busting their balls at every opportunity," user Brandonmoca replied, with Densho replying: "You mean legally requesting the cancellation of a for-profit competition that used their altered software illegally? Or do you mean games made by fans that use their intellectual property without authorization? Or the YouTubers who profit from their IPs?"

Important members of the Mexican Smash community criticized Densho's stance, implying there's a lack of knowledge around the topic at hand. One of them was Ultimate prodigy Edgar "Sparg0" Valdez, who mocked the journalist publicly.

"Me when I have no idea what I'm doing," he tweeted out.

Enrique "Maister" Hernandez, one of the best Smash Ultimate players in the world, placed 6th in the last Panga Global rankings, also chimed in.

"Oh friend, better look elsewhere. You're only ridiculing yourself."

In the weeks following The Big House's cancellation, Nintendo has taken even more damaging choices against the communities that support their games. Deciding to shut down the official stream for the Splatoon 2 North American Open December finals due to teams showing support for Melee.

nintendo splatoon
Nintendo has targetted the Splatoon community too (Picture: Nintendo)

Later, they decided to shut down the selling of modified Switch Joy-Cons, named EtikaCons, serving as a tribute to the late Desmond "Etika" Amofah, as it infringed with their trademark of the word "Joy-Con".

Nintendo was reached for comment following the Splatoon debacle and but has yet to make a statement.