The Panda Cup Final is also in jeopardy with many competitors pulling out of the event
Competitive Super Smash Bros. the community is very different than it was a week ago, and now it includes one of the biggest eSports organizations on the scene.
Follows Panda Global’s first announcement He did in connection with the disputes that arose around him Cancellation of the Smash World Tour and behind-the-scenes operations, over 80% of Panda players and commentators from Smash and the wider fighting game community seem to have resigned from the team by now.
At the time of reporting, Melee’s top contenders Cody “iBDW” Schwab and Justin “Plup” McGrath, including Chris “WaDi” Boston, Ryan “Saint Cola” Collins, Zak “Coney” Zeeks, Terrence “TKbreezy” Kershaw, Marine and Victoria “VikkiKitty” Perez have all publicly announced their resignations or intentions to do so.
“I’m leaving Panda,” Plup wrote on Twitter. “I really enjoyed my time there and they treated me well. I know at some point they had the best interests of the community at heart. I just don’t think I can support them anymore. I have to go to bed now. 1000 years to prepare for the next tournament.”
It’s been almost 4 months and I’m happy with the work done in that time and the chance to learn more about the people I’ve worked with. I’m not sure what the future holds, but I know I’ll always find a way.
— TKbreezy 🎙 (@TKbreezy) December 3, 2022
The exodus from the company has already been confirmed by more than half of Panda’s on-screen talent roster, with the likes of Justin Wong, Victor “Punk” Woodley, Keenan “Kizzie Kay” Kizzie, Eduardo “HookGangGod” Deno and Little Z among others. Panda from their Twitter page – although they haven’t made an official announcement yet.
The monumental response comes after the Smash World Tour announced the 2022 championships, and the entire 2023 season must be canceled after Nintendo rejected the licensing agreement.
SWT’s organizers accused Panda and its CEO Alan Bunney of inappropriate behavior in their attempts to recruit major tournaments for their Panda Cup, officially licensed by Nintendo.
Panda’s response to the allegations came 3 days later, but did little to quell the backlash from the Smash community and beyond.
I will not participate in the Panda Cup.
Too little and too late. https://t.co/902CEl9VQe
— hungrybox 🏆🏆🏆 (@LiquidHbox) December 2, 2022
Many other top players not sponsored by Panda including Liquid|Hungrybox, CLG|SFAT, Tempo|Axe, LG|Maister, Liquid|Dabuz, BC|Magi, Furia| including announced their intention not to participate in the Panda Cup Final. Fatality, GG|Zain, VGBC|aMSa, C9|Mang0, Fiction, GG|n0ne, Wizzrobe, T1|MkLeo, CG|Medz, Pipsqueak, FLY|KoDoRiN, LUM|Ginger and CG|Eddy Mexico.
The Panda Cup Final has not been canceled and will still take place on December 16-18, although players are generally required to be available to participate in the tournament.
Likewise, it also puts the future of the Panda eSports organization in serious jeopardy, as their roster of talent outside of the FGC currently only consists of 1 chess player according to their website.
To try and make up for the cancellation of the Smash World Tour 2022 Championship, popular broadcaster Ludwig announced his intention to host “The Scuffed World Tour” on December 18th, inviting the top 8 SWT competitors in Smash Ultimate and Melee. Raising money to help VGBC and players.
These are the 8 games I’ll invite from each game – if everyone can’t make it, we’ll drop the next highest scoring player.
We are pleased to offer a total prize fund of $50,000 for the event
I hope this is worth the players time! pic.twitter.com/NF4psOMlMD
— Ludwig (@LudwigAhgren) December 2, 2022
Since its inception in 2015, Panda has grown rapidly to become one of the largest and most successful eSports organizations with a roster of players, commentators, content creators, streamers, stat trackers and influencers centered around Smash and FGC.
However, as it stands now, it will be difficult to recover from the mass resignation of staff and the damage to their community relations/broken trust.