The Super Smash Bros. community has been caught up in a whirlwind of controversy after the cancelation of the Smash World Tour. Numerous conversations between Nintendo and the organizers of the Smash World Tour fell through, with Nintendo denying a license to host events with their game. Many within the community were upset, directing their ire towards Panda Global, the company that Nintendo was partnering up with for tournaments in the upcoming 2023 season. The blame was put onto Panda Global CEO Alan Bunney, who was accused of badmouthing the Smash World Tour and said to be responsible for its cancelation. But the fallout of everything appears to be even more drastic and impactful than just angry reactions on the internet.
Late Sunday night (early Monday morning), Alan announced that he was stepping down as CEO of Panda Global in a post on his Twitter account. This was followed up shortly after by an official statement from the Panda Global official account confirming Alan’s removal as CEO, effective immediately. Panda’s statement highlights their willingness to listen to the Smash Bros. community while stressing concern for their employees’ safety against doxing and harassment from fans.
The company also stated that their top priorities were to help employees who were looking to resign, as well as give assistance to those affected by recent events because of contractual obligations and displacement. A temporary interim management committee is also being formed within the company after Alan’s removal as CEO to address other concerns and responsibilities in the aftermath of everything going on. And finally, the Panda Cup Finale is postponed over concerns about safety for staff and contractors. The committee will also work with anyone who registered for the event in recent weeks to get a full refund.
The response to everything has been mixed. While most Smash Bros. fans are happy with the actions being taken, others feel indifferent. Panda Global’s response and the statement came after days of various pro players and large community members voicing their anger at the whole situation. Some players were open about boycotting Panda Global events, while various staff for Panda Global stated how they would be resigning from the company.
Many other Smash Bros. personalities and community figureheads were vocal about not covering future Panda events and not recommending people to attend or support them as well. A lot of people also continued to question the motivation behind Panda Global’s actions since their original statement was very different before removing Alan as CEO of the company. Other eSports commentators and players also chimed into the conversation as well.
As for Alan himself? His Twitter post alleges that organizers for the Smash World Tour lied about him and leadership for Beyond the Summit put the Smash Bros. community in jeopardy. Alan promised to reveal more details in the coming days, but responses to his tweet from the community were hostile. Many were quick to point out Alan’s silence for days after news about the Smash World Tour cancelation broke, as well as stories related to his behavior leading up to what happened. Whether his upcoming statements or the evidence he promised will reveal more insight into the truth is anybody’s guess.
What do you think about what is happening within the Super Smash Bros. Community? Do you think things will get better or worse for everyone involved? Post a comment down below and let your thoughts be known!