Revival of Melee

By Eric Horton

Esports, professional competitive gaming, is on the rise. This rise is spearheaded by a select few games. The games include, League of legends, League is a game made in 2009 and receives patches every few weeks to update the game and make it better. Dota2, a game released in 2012, and gets the same patching system as League of Legends, and Lastly, Super Smash Bro’s Melee. A game released in 2001 and isn’t capable of being updated. So, Why is a game that cannot be patched or updated and is over 14 years old, at the forefront of competitive game? Well, it hasn’t always been this way.

In 2002 The first Tournaments were being held for Melee. They were held out of peoples houses, and the prizes for winning were only a few hundred dollars. No big organisations were willing to pick up the game for large tourneys. This changed in 2004. When the game was picked up by Major league gaming or MLG. A professional tournament organizer. All of the sudden Melee was one of the biggest competitive games. The game seemed destined to stay one of the top competitive games. But a powerful company didn’t want this. In 2007 this company got MLG to drop melee. How was a single company able to get this game pulled for MLG? Well, this is because the company owns melee… the company was Nintendo.

Without a home once again Melee seemed it would wither and die. In 2007 and 2008 there were a record low number of tourneys held. So, in 2009, the remaining pro players gathered all the money they had to spare, to hold one last tournament. The revival of melee, or RoM. The name was more of a hope than a goal. The purpose however, was as a funeral, a last homage. But the tournament went through, and in a turn of events no one saw coming, the tourney lived up to its name and not it’s purpose.

The matches of this tourney were uploaded to youtube and became widely popular. With its new popularity the fans looked for a home for the game, somewhere they wouldn’t have to worry about the game dying out once more. This possible home was found in EVO. A fighting game based tournament. But to get this spot, the fans of melee would have to out raise every other game that wanted to be at EVO in a fundraising competition, where the proceeds would go to breast cancer. At a total of 90,000 they did. Melee’s revival seemed set and stone. But, one day before EVO Nintendo once again snuffed out all hope. EVO would not be allowed to show any footage of melee. However, this time the fans wouldn’t allow it. Tens of thousands of phone calls and emails poured into Nintendo. Just 5 hours later Nintendo reversed its decision. So, to this day, a game that is over 14 years old remains on of the most popular in the world.