Ladies and gentlemen, the internet has a voice, and it will be heard.

In news that is sure to be met with cheers from all around the globe, multinational video game company Nintendo has reversed its earlier decision not to allow the streaming of footage of popular brawler Super Smash Bros. Melee at the upcoming Evo Championship Series fighting game tournament in Las Vegas. And it’s all thanks to the power of the people.

One of the biggest gaming tournaments in the world, the Evolution Championship Series (or just Evo for short) plays host to some of the world’s most skilled fighting game enthusiasts, and has attracted thousands of competitors and spectators since the event made Las Vegas its permanent home back in 2002. In the past, gamers have slugged it out on titles such as Street Fighter II, Tekken, Soulcalibur IV, Marvel vs Capcom 2, Dead or Alive and of course Virtua Fighter, with the final battles always providing moments of incredible tension, dismay and elation.

This year, however, the contest’s organisers asked fans to select one additional title for the world’s best players to compete at. Gamecube favourite Super Smash Bros. Melee eventually won out, voted in by way of donations made to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, with over US$94,000 raised by supporters of Nintendo’s game alone.

Despite the event potentially providing an unprecedented amount of free press for Nintendo’s brawler, the Japanese console giant informed Evo’s organisers just yesterday that they were forbidden from streaming video content of the Smash Bros. section of the tournament online.

The people were not happy.

Within minutes, video game sites picked up the infuriating news and gamers were mashing their keyboards and swearing oaths never to buy another Nintendo console again. Others, however, formed a different strategy, and the Twitter and Facebook hashtag #freemelee soon went viral, putting pressure on Nintendo to reconsider.

Just a couple of hours ago, word broke online that Nintendo had reversed its decision not to allow footage of their game to be streamed. Super Smash Bros. Melee will now be featured along with every other fighter in the tournament for gamers to watch for free online.

Was this a simple change of heart on Nintendo’s part, or did the house that made Mario quake at the sight of the virtual villagers’ flaming torches coming over the hill? Call us pessimists, but we have a feeling it was the latter.

Good luck to all of those taking part this year, especially those who will be competing in the Super Smash Bros. tournament — you’ve won the right to be watched by the internet masses, so you’d better believe that the people will be hoping for a good show!

The Evo 2013 tournament will be held this weekend, July 12-14, at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. You can find out more at the event’s official website.

Reference: Game Informer, Evo Championship Series