The competitive Super Smash Bros. community. is vastly different than it was just a week ago, and that now includes one of the biggest esports organizations connected to the scene.
Following Panda Global’s first statement regarding the controversy surrounding the cancellation of the Smash World Tour and behind-the-scenes operations, over 80% of Panda players and commentators on Smash and the wider fighting game community seem have resigned from the team so far.
At the time of writing, Melee top competitors Cody “iBDW” Schwab and Justin “Plup” McGrath along with Chris “WaDi” Boston, Ryan “Saint Cola” Collins, Zak “Coney” Zeeks, Terrence “TKbreezy” Kershaw , Marine and Victoria “VikkiKitty” Perez have all publicly declared their resignation or their intention to do so.
“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 in mind. I just don’t think I can do them anymore. support. Now I have to sleep for 1,000 years in preparation for an upcoming tournament.”
It’s been about 4 months and I’m happy with the work that has been done during this time and the people I’ve worked with and had the chance to learn more about. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I will always find a way.
— TKbreezy 🎙 (@TKbreezy) December 3, 2022
This exodus from the company has already dropped Panda’s roster of on-screen talent confirmed by more than half with others including Justin Wong, Victor “Punk” Woodley, Keenan “Kizzie Kay” Kizzie, Eduardo “HookGangGod Deno and Little Z removing mentions of Panda from their Twitter pages – although they have yet to make an official announcement.
The monumental response comes the day after the Smash World Tour announcing the 2022 Championships and the entire 2023 season is set to be canceled after Nintendo refused its licensing deal.
SWT organizers have accused Panda and its CEO Alan Bunney of improper conduct in their attempts to recruit major tournaments for their own Panda Cup, which is 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 much too late. https://t.co/902CEl9VQe
– hungerbox 🏆🏆🏆 (@LiquidHbox) December 2, 2022
Many other top players who are not sponsored by Panda have announced their intention to no longer attend the Panda Cup Finals, including Liquid|Hungrybox, CLG|SFAT, Tempo|Axe, LG|Maister, Liquid|Dabuz , BC|Magi, Furia| 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 Finals has not been canceled and is still scheduled to take place from December 16-18 currently, although you generally need to have players to run a tournament.
Likewise, it also leaves the future of the Panda eSports organization in serious jeopardy, given that their roster of talent outside of the FGC currently consists of only one chess player.
To try and make up for the cancellation of the 2022 Smash World Tour Championships, popular streamer Ludwig has announced plans to host “The Scuffed World Tour” on December 18 with invites to the top 8 SWT competitors from Smash Ultimate and Melee in a bid to to raise funds to help VGBC and players.
These are the 8 I will invite to every game – if someone can’t attend we will send the next highest point earner
Also happy to provide a total prize pool of $50,000 for the event
Hopefully it will be worth it for players! pic.twitter.com/NF4psOMlMD
—Ludwig (@LudwigAhgren) December 2, 2022
Since its inception in 2015, Panda has quickly become one of the largest and most successful esports organizations with a growing list of players, commentators, content creators, streamers, stat trackers and influencers focused on Smash and the FGC.
As things stand, however, it will likely be difficult to recover from the mass resignation of staff and the perceived damage/broken trust to their relationships with the community.
#Panda #Global #Sponsored #Fighting #Game #Team #Quit