At 4 p.m. EDT on Aug. 27, 2021, the organizers for Riptide released a statement on Twitter, announcing that the event will no longer feature Project+ following a cease and desist order from Nintendo. Not only have the scheduled P+ tournaments been canceled, the event will not feature any P+ setups for friendlies either. Riptide's staff currently plans to contact all attendees registered for P+ events with information on how to request a refund.
Prior to this, Riptide was viewed as a potential landmark event for the P+ community even moreso than it was for Smash as a whole. On top of being set to be the first large-scale, in-person major since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the #FreeMelee and #SaveSmash movement of late 2020 had sparked a renewed interest in P+, particularly due to emerging information about Nintendo's stifling of the Project M community.
It's worth noting that Riptide was of particular significance to the P+ community beyond just the renewed interest in the mod or the event's status as the first in-person major since the start of the pandemic. The event is largely intended to be a spiritual successor to the now-defunct Smash N Splash, a tournament series that played a key role in the history of the PM and P+ community. At a time when many majors were dropping PM from their lineups, Smash N Splash kept it as part of its main lineup. Smash N Splash 4 was also the debut event for a new standardized ruleset for PM, one featuring a controversial custom build that would later become the foundation for P+.
Nintendo issuing demand letters like this to Smash tournament organizers isn't new. The aforementioned #SaveSmash movement was sparked by a cease and desist directed at The Big House Online, which had plans to host an online Melee bracket using Slippi. Even before that, Evo 2013's Melee bracket was also the target of a cease and desist order from Nintendo, though it was later rescinded following public outcry.
That said, the specific circumstances behind this are something of a break from their previous way of doing things. Prior to this, Nintendo had largely been more passive in discouraging tournament organizers from running Smash mods, often by making the ban on mods a stipulation behind a sponsorship. This is the first time Nintendo has been this direct and open about applying pressure to a tournament planning to feature a modded Smash title.
Writing & Editing: Scribe
Thumbnail Graphic: @Zerp