Ex-Panda CEO admits he knew Nintendo planned to shut down Smash World Tour

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Former Panda CEO Alan Bunney has admitted to knowing that Nintendo would shut down the Smash World Tour before its finals could take place in December.

Nintendo angered the Smash Bros communities in late 2022 by ordering the Smash World Tour to shut down and refusing to give the event a license.

After the event’s cancelation, the SWT released a statement accusing Panda’s CEO of trying to sabotage its circuit in favor of its own officially licensed Panda Cup.

While Bunney stepped down following the backlash, he has since opened up about the ordeal and revealed that he knew from talking with Nintendo that the rival circuit was going to be canceled.

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Smash World Tour 2022 has been canceled after Nintendo's partnership with Panda.Smash World Tour/Nintendo
The Smash World Tour was canceled just before its finals.

Panda knew Nintendo was going to cancel Smash World Tour

In an interview with Jacob Wolf, Alan Bunney revealed that he was telling fellow organizers that Nintendo was “not fond” of the Smash World Tour and knew for quite some time.

“It came up in the past in conversations with Nintendo and the words ‘cease and desist’ were used multiple times,” he said. “I was under the full impression that the Smash World Tour was going to be the target for one of the few times Nintendo stopped something from happening.”

Nintendo’s relationship with the Smash community has been a controversial one. Unlike other game companies, Nintendo never offers any sort of monetary support or prize for tournaments and instead lends a hand with logistical elements.

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As Bunney referenced, Nintendo shut down a few events in the past including The Big House major for using a modded version of Melee that made online play possible during a pandemic.

However, the ex-Panda CEO reiterated that he had no part in Nintendo’s shutdown, and even says he told the company that doing so would only “harm” the community.

Since this controversy, the Panda Cup finale was postponed and there’s no news on a new date just yet. That said, many pros who had qualified dropped out and opted to go to an event hosted by YouTuber Ludwig scheduled for the same weekend.

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