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Ninja Throws Nintendo Under The Bus Over Tournament Promises

Nintendo is notorious for its non-support and sometimes active shutdown of "Super Smash Bros." esports community tournaments and causes. Just recently, one of Twitch's top stars, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, revealed that even he couldn't get them to budge on supporting the community.


He opened up about the "Nintendeal" during a livestream poker event with Ludwig, MrBeast, and other big-name streamers. Ludwig jokingly asked Ninja "when the f*** are you helping out the Smash community," which led his blue-haired companion to answer with his defense. Ninja once teased that he had "something cooking" for the "Smash" and fighting games community early in 2018. Nothing ever came from the claim, and fans still sometimes joke about what seemed like a false promise. Four years later, Ninja revealed the truth behind why the plan fell apart. 

"Listen bro, I've been waiting. That was on Nintendo, not me," Ninja said. "All I wanted to do was create a massive tournament, and I literally wanted to juice Evo with like $500k."


Ninja apparently offered to help sponsor the "Smash" prize pool for EVO 2019 but Nintendo "ghosted" him. That half a million could've significantly padded out "Smash" competitors' pockets and hyped coverage for the scene. Unfortunately, it amounted to nothing except commenters "memeing" Ninja for the fallout.

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Ludwig and the other streamers weren't surprised at the reveal. "The worst thing is, I believe you 100%," Ludwig said as Ninja continued with the story. 

Ninja claimed that he formally sat down with his team to discuss the pitch before seriously approaching Nintendo with the $500k offer, which they apparently replied to. According to Ninja, the company was briefly intrigued but eventually stopped responding to him. He admitted that he considered tweeting out that he didn't have anything "cooking up" anymore but wondered if it was worth it. It seems like he didn't need to, as fans finally know the reason why the "Smash" promise was left unfulfilled years later.


"I love the fighting community man, I think it's one of the most passionate communities out there," Ninja said. He didn't describe any follow-up plans to support the "Smash" community during the poker stream. It's unclear if he'll try again sometime down the road, but as of now, he might be more focused on his own content.  

Years later, Nintendo finally agreed to sponsor a "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" tournament series in collaboration with Panda Global, an esports organization dedicated to fighting games. Online issues plagued the first round of official "Smash" tournaments, but hopefully the next few competitions will see an improvement in the tournament's implementation.