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In case you missed it, the international Smash World Tour championships for 2022 and the entire 2023 circuit got canned because Nintendo wouldn’t issue an official license for the organizers. Nintendo issued a statement attempting to clarify the situation, but it didn’t alleviate much. Part of the dramatic chain of events were allegations of actions taken by Panda Global and its CEO Alan that appeared to sabotage SWT’s attempt at a license. Panda put out their own statement late last week, but damage has been done and now players, commentators, and more are leaving Panda en masse. 





Leaving personalities include Plup, iBDW, Coney, TKBreezy, VikkiKitty, WaDi, and Saint Cola. Many others (including the legendary Justin Wong) have removed mentions of the company from their Twitter page. In addition, countless top Smash players unaffiliated with Panda announced they won’t be attending the Panda Cup Finale, including Hungrybox, SFAT, Axe, Mang0, aMSa, and more. In the wake of all this, the Finale has been postponed and Panda will be issuing refunds to all who registered. And the cherry on top? Alan the CEO has stepped down.




Lots of questions going on here. (Why didn’t he just stick those lines in the text of the tweet where they would fit if he wasn’t going to explain himself?) But it appears that the company built up meticulously over years and years of sponsorship and competition is crumbling to dust before our eyes. There will undoubtedly be more of this saga yet to unravel, but if anything, it’s clear that the grassroots organization of the Smash community is as strong as ever. We’ll have to wait for dust to settle before we see the direction the community takes, but surely it will be one of unity.


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.