Ninja planned to add $500,000 to Super Smash Bros. prize pool at Evo before Nintendo ‘ghosted’ him

The streamer has opened up on that viral "Smash community" tweet.

Screengrab via Ninja on Twitch

Back in November 2018, Super Smash Bros. fans, and competitors in the wider Fighting Game Community (FGC) got pretty excited at the idea of additional support coming from one of the biggest streamers and content creators at the time—Ninja. However, nothing came from his initial tweet and apparent attempts to do something for Smash or any other FGC scene. 

Details about what may have happened behind the scenes after his infamous Smash tease were almost nonexistent until Ninja himself shared more information earlier today while participating in Ludwig’s $1 Million Poker Game stream. 

We already had some inkling the fault for Ninja’s lack of announcement fell on Nintendo, as he stated a year later he tried to work with the company on an event of some sorts, though talks “ended up fading away” and he was trying to get something going with Redbull, one of his sponsors at the time. 

During one of the several rounds of Poker played live on Ludwig’s stream during the event, the host called Ninja out in regards to the Smash community, backed by Slime as the trio bantered. 

According to Ninja, he claims other interactions were also foiled by Nintendo ghosting his requests to work on a large event and supporting other tournaments. This included plans to add around $500,000 to the Smash prize pool at an Evo event, likely Evo 2019, though he could have been intending to split it up across multiple titles too.

In Ninja’s exact wording, he wanted to get Nintendo’s approval, but the company “ghosted” him and his team after initially showing interest. This probably led to the decision not to move ahead with their plans, as it risked Nintendo potentially not being okay with Ninja “juicing” an event to that extent for a number of reasons. 

Ninja also added how he loves the FGC because it is one of the “most passionate communities out there” but he doesn’t really have anything in the works anymore. 

The trio continued to talk about various Smash and fighting game topics, including Nintendo adding the tripping mechanic in Brawl as a way to disincentivize players from Melee-style movement and more competitive gameplay, to which Slime speaks for most of the Smash community in saying “we never forgave them for that.”

About the author
Cale Michael

Lead Staff Writer for Dota 2, the FGC, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and more who has been writing for Dot Esports since 2018. Graduated with a degree in Journalism from Oklahoma Christian University and also previously covered the NBA. You can usually find him writing, reading, or watching an FGC tournament.