Super Smash Bros. Melee still makes regular appearances at gaming tournaments to this day, but it won't be present at one of the biggest competitions in the world, as the lineup for EVO 2019 has been revealed and Melee is nowhere to be seen.
Super Smash Bros. Melee was released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2001, but it's remained a staple of the fighting game community to this day, due to how technical the gameplay is and how it rewards those who are willing to devote themselves to abusing every exploit and trick that they can find. EVO is the name given to the Evolution Championship Series that hosts fighting game tournaments for the best players in the world, which has hosted Super Smash Bros. Melee events in the past.
It seems that Melee's days at EVO might be coming to an end, as the lineup for the 2019 event has been revealed and it's nowhere to be seen. The Gematsu Twitter page is reporting that the EVO 2019 lineup will consist of BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Mortal Kombat 11, Samurai Shodown, Soulcalibur VI, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Tekken 7, and Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st].
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been a tremendous success for the Nintendo Switch and is promising to be a mainstay at fighting game competitions for years to come, which has made the Melee fanbase paranoid that it may usurp the game's place on the tournament scene. The Melee fans have endured similar attempts to ignore the game at major tournaments in the past, but their devotion and passion have kept the game relevant and the lack of representation at EVO will only encourage other tournaments to support Melee more. The backlash against the lack of Super Smash Bros. Melee at EVO 2019 has already begun, with Alex Jebailey of the CEO fighting game tournament already declaring on Twitter that the registrations for Melee at CEO 2019 are open, even though the event won't be taking place until June.
Super Smash Bros. Melee was followed by Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U, yet those games were made redundant by their successors, while Melee has continued to remain relevant in an ever-changing gaming scene. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is different from the earlier entries in the series as it goes out of its way to make it easier for players to hold competitions, while the fact that it was released so early in the Nintendo Switch's lifespan means that it can be supported with DLC for the next several years, with characters like Joker from Persona 5 coming to the game in the future, which will help it to remain relevant for years to come in a way that Melee cannot match. The lack of a Super Smash Bros. Melee competition at EVO 2019 is troubling to be sure, but the game will still have a place at tournaments across the globe for as long as the fans demand it, which means that organizers will have to keep on carrying standard definition TV sets to events for the foreseeable future.