The Panda Cup final is also in jeopardy with several competitors pulling out of the event
The Super Smash Bros. community disagrees. is quite competitive than it was just a week ago, and that now largely includes one of the largest connected esports organizations on the scene.
Following the first statement from Panda Global regarding the controversy surrounding the Smash World Tour’s cancellation and behind-the-scenes operations, it appears that over 80% of Panda players, commentators from Smash, and the broader fighting game community have quit the team so far.
At the time of writing, Melee’s top competitors are Cody “iBDW” Schwab and Justin “Plup” McGrath as well as Chris “WaDi” Boston, Ryan “Saint Cola” Collins, Zak “Coney” Zeeks, Terrence “TKbreezy” Kershaw, Marine and Victoria “VikkiKitty” Perez has all but publicly stated her resignation or intention to do so.
“I am leaving Panda,” Blob wrote on Twitter. “I really enjoyed my time there, and they treated me well. I know that at a certain point, they had the best interests of the community in mind. I don’t think I can support them anymore. Now I have to sleep for 1,000 years in preparation for the next Da Tournament.”
It’s been about 4 months and I’m happy with the work done in that time and the people I’ve worked with and had the opportunity to learn more about them. I’m not sure 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 which more than half confirmed with others including Justin Wong, Victor “Punk” Woodley, Keenan “Kizzie Kay” Kizzie, Eduardo “HookGangGod” Deno, and Little Z omitted. The mentions are from Panda from their Twitter pages — though they haven’t made an official announcement yet.
The massive response comes on the heels of the Smash World Tour announcing a 2022 tournament and the entire 2023 season will have to be canceled after Nintendo rejected its licensing agreement.
The organizers of SWT Panda and its CEO Alan Bunney have been accused of inappropriate behavior in their attempts to recruit major leagues for their 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’m not going to get the panda cup.
Too little, way too late. https://t.co/902CEl9VQe
– Hungry Box 🏆🏆🏆 (LiquidHbox) December 2, 2022
Several other top players not sponsored by Panda have announced their intention not to attend the Panda Cup Finale including Liquid | Hungrybox, CLG | SFAT, Tempo | Ax, LG | Meister, Liquid | Dabuz, BC | Magi, Furia | Fatality, GG | Zain, VGBC | aMSa, C9 | Mang0, Fiction, GG | n0ne, Wizzrobe, T1 | McLeo, C.G. | Medz, Pipsqueak, FLY | KoDoRiN, LUM | Ginger and CG | Eddy Mexico.
The Panda Cup Final has not been canceled and is still scheduled for December 16-18 currently, although you generally need players to be present to participate in the tournament.
Likewise, this leaves the future of the Panda eSports organization in serious jeopardy as well, considering that their roster of talent outside of the FGC currently consists of only one chess player according to their website.
In an attempt to make up for the cancellation of the Smash World Tour 2022, popular streamer Ludwig announced his intention to host “The Scuffed World Tour” on December 18 with invites for the top 8 SWT competitors in Smash Ultimate and Melee with the aim of raising funds to help VGBC and players.
These are the eight I’ll invite from each game – if no one can come, we’ll take out the next highest scorer
We are also pleased to offer a $50,000 prize pool for this event
We hope this makes it worth the guys time! pic.twitter.com/NF4psOMlMD
– Ludwig (@LudwigAhgren) December 2, 2022
Since its inception in 2015, Panda has rapidly grown into one of the largest and most successful esports organizations with a growing roster of players, commentators, content creators, streamers, stat trackers, and influencers centered around Smash and FGC.
However, given the current situation, it will likely be difficult to recover from the widespread employee resignation and perceived damage/distrust in their societal relationships.
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