Story behind Ninja’s failed Smash Bros tournament finally revealed

Ninja has become synonymous with game streaming, and the player has expanded out to tournaments in the past. He’s been the organizer behind Fortnite events featuring some of the best Fortnite players, but what about getting involved in one of the best fighting games? A little while ago, it looked like that was exactly what was going to happen. A Ninja Smash Bros event was being teased.

Yet, it never materialized. We’ve just gotten some actual details on what exactly happened with Ninja’s Smash Bros tournament, and why the event completely vanished. It’s a common but still disappointing story in Smash, Nintendo ruined it.

Ninjas Smash

Casually sitting next to Phil Hellmuth explaining the plight of Smash events

Ninja’s Smash Bros Tournament

Ninja has long been known for his content creation. However, the player has branched out into running esports events a few times in the past. Most notable, when he worked with Epic games to run Fortnite events. Although, he hasn’t touched fighting games before. That’s why it originally came as a surprise that Ninja had something in the works for the popular Super Smash Bros series.

The initial tease for the event is pretty old at this point, taking place almost four years ago.


That was basically all we heard. Ninja made a vague promise about having something in the works for Smash Bros, back when Ultimate was still in its early days. But nothing ever happened. So, what exactly went down with the Ninja Smash Bros tournament? We’ve actually only just found out.

Why Was the Ninja Smash Bros Tournament Cancelled?

The news on what became of this event had only just gotten out after all this time. It came during a poker event hosted by Ludwig. During his poker game stream, Ninja was asked when exactly he was actually going to get this Smash Bros event finally done:

Talking about the event, Ninja said:

“I’ve been waiting. That was on Nintendo, not me… All I wanted to do was create a massive tournament, and all I wanted to do was juice EVO with like $500k. I wanted to get Nintendo’s permission and they ghosted us.”

Obviously, these plans are definitely not going to result in a tournament anymore, EVO has dropped Smash Bros and the experience doesn’t seem to have left Ninja wanting to work on the game again, although he did have some praise for the community.

“I love the fighting community man, I think it’s one of the most passionate out there.”

The Ninja Smash Bros tournament is a nice peek at what could have been, but why was an offer from the biggest streamer in the world wanting to throw a $5000K tournament just ignored?  The answer might shock those who only follow Ninja, but probably not Smash Bros fans.

Nintendo is known for this kind of thing. Any tournament that doesn’t have their control can get shut down quickly, even when the outcome seems unequivocally positive for the company. They have a habit of attempting to control all aspects of their IP’s public image. Something which others on the stream attested to.

Ludwig responded to Ninja by claiming that Nintendo has ‘done worse’. Slime also said that “There is ghosting and there is actively against”. It does seem like Nintendo’s attitude to a lot of Smash Bros community events comes down to the second. In a way, it’s possible Ninja got off easy with just being blanked and not threatened with legal action.

Ninja still seemed positive about trying to engage with the Smash Bros community. However, he might be better off looking at a different fighting game if he’s looking for a smooth ride in organizing a community tournament.