The Mango: Why Melee is great, but not lucrative

Last week, the world of Super Smash Bros Melee was up in arms about the fact a player could not get a sponsor, despite having won some major events and even making history in his field. This weekend just passed, there was a tournament that perfectly illustrated the reason so many organisations still think twice before moving into the game, celebrated by the majority of the community.

The event was known as The Mango, named after the legendary Melee player by the same name, and was the sort of event Smash players have come to love. Held in California, where there is never a shortage of good times anyway, there was drinking and fun aplenty, as well as the sort of language even your grandmother would definitely not approve of, let alone the old ladies who run Nintendo in 2019.

What made the tournament a little bit odd was the mix of fun and serious, as there was a decent prize pool and even a place at the Smash Bros Summit on the line, too. Players having fun and drinking were in the same bracket as the ones wanting to play their best and secure a place at arguably the best Melee event of the year, meaning there were a few interesting results along the way.

It’d just be awesome if Melee could find a middle ground

The juxtaposition of the FGC

Congratulations go out to the winners, and the audience were also treated to some great matches, but the event did highlight exactly where the juxtaposition in the game lies and how problematic that could be. Melee is child-friendly, expressive as can be and full of creativity, as well as being one of the most technical games ever made, but the community is very much 18+ and not interested in changing.


If there were to be a real resolution to change that attracted Nintendo back to the game, then Melee has the potential to be the biggest game in the fighting game scene, as it has already grabbed as many viewers at Evo as titles like Street Fighter even after the latter got a massive boost from the developers. As it is, today the developers would rather see Melee die so they can sell us all a Switch, and while it’s not going away entirely, the peak of the scene is definitely lower.

Still, that means we get moments like that from the Mango, and that’s not a bad thing. When esports is Pewdiepie playing with Ninja on a KEEMSTAR stream, there is plenty of space for a group of people getting drunk, doing incredible combos, and going home happy with their time spent, even if they aren’t Fortnite rich, and that is where it all started, too. It’d just be awesome if Melee could find a middle ground, to enable more money to enter the scene, and keep the future bright.


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