Panda Global has distanced itself from the shutdown of Smash World Tour Championships 2022, responding to allegations that their CEO played a key role in Nintendo’s decision.
The Chief Executive Officer of Panda Global, Dr. Alan Bunney, has been heavily scrutinized ever since tournament organizers admitted their Smash World Tour could not go ahead. They had previously reached out to Nintendo about Panda Global’s alleged “attempted sabotage” of their tournament.
The decision was made to scrap planned competitive events just days before the finals, with a Smash World Tour statement suggesting Nintendo would not support it taking place. A high level of criticism has been leveled at the Japanese publishers since that time, as well as at Panda Global.
Twitch star Asmongold called out their CEO for what he described as a “horrible” decision, live on stream with over 90,000 people watching.
Panda Global responds to Smash World Tour Championships cancellation
“We were as surprised as the public to see the announcement of the Smash World Tour Championship’s cancellation as well as the accompanying statement which attacked the hard work and ethics of those behind the Panda Cup,” it reads.
“The team was not informed of any intention to cancel the Smash World Tour Championship 2022, nor has the team ever engaged in conversations that sought those ends.
“As Nintendo of America indicates in their own statement, the organizers of the Smash World Tour were not required to cancel their 2022 championship event, and any implication that the Panda Cup team had any influence in that regard is false.”
Beyond The Summit on Panda Global’s CEO
According to Beyond The Summit’s LDeeep, “Alan spent several months basically running a protection racket, telling TOs including BTS, ‘It’d be a shame if your event got shut down for being unlicensed’ in an effort to scare them into signing onto the cup.
“BTS will absolutely never participate in a circuit led by Alan.”
The company described the situation as “disappointing” and said their CEO, Dr. Alan, is a “vocal supporter” of the Smash community.
It also says that the company does regret an interaction between Bunney and Beyond The Summit, which they said was not reflective of its own standards.
Panda Global hosted the first officially licensed North American Smash circuit for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Melee in June 2022, the Panda Cup.
In a report from Kotaku, a Nintendo spokesperson said: “Unfortunately after continuous conversations with Smash World Tour, and after giving the same deep consideration we apply to any potential partner, we were unable to come to an agreement with SWT for a full circuit in 2023.
“Nintendo did not request any changes to or cancellation of remaining events in 2022, including the 2022 Championship event, considering the negative impact on the players who were already planning to participate.”