Panda Cup Circuit – Entire season of Smash Bros tournaments unveiled

The Super Smash Bros scene has been pretty busy lately, with a lot of majors like Smash Summit 13 and Low Tide City running. However, the tournament that’s just had its full details unveiled has the potential to be the biggest Smash Bros event ever.

The Panda Cup Circuit was announced late last year. It finally brought an official Nintendo affiliated event to Super Smash Bros esports. The initial announcement was short on details but we now know how the entire circuit is going to work.

Panda Cup 2022

Smash Bros Panda Cup Circuit

The Smash Bros Panda Cup Circuit will be the first attempt from Nintendo at hosting their own Smash Bros tournament series. This is going to be a series of events that go on through the entire year. It’s all building up to the Panda Cup Finale in December. The tournament is going to have a $100,000 prize pool in total. While Smash might not be at EVO this year, this is going some way to plug that gap.

The tournament is going to be running between June and the end of November for the qualifiers. Players will progress through various events until the top 32 are chosen for the finals. These are going to be a mix of online and in-person events. Alongside those who qualify through these tournaments, some players will also be invited to a last chance qualifier on December 15th for a second chance. The finals will be held in Los Angeles.

Smash Bros Panda Cup Circuit Events

The schedule of the Panda Cup Circuit is pretty expansive and it’s incorporating some tournaments that are already known in Smash Bros. These are the qualifying events in the schedule for this tournament:

  • CEO – Florida June 24-26
  • Get on My Level – Toronto July 1-3
  • Smash Factor 9 – July 29-31
  • Lost Tech City – Sept 30- Oct 2
  • The Big Hours 10 – Detroit October 7-9
  • Let’s Make Moves – Oct 28-30
  • Saving Mr. Lombardi 3 -Nov 12-13
  • Dreamhack Atlanta – Nov 18-20
  • Panda Cup Finale LCQ – LA Dec 15
  • Panda Cup Finale – Dec 16-18

This is a lengthy spread of events for the tournament and Smash fans will have plenty to watch over the year.

Panda Cup Ruleset

Smash Bros is a game that Nintendo would like you to play as a party game. Fans of the competitive side of things though have some different ideas though. While Fox only, Final Destination, No Items, is an exaggeration, a decent competitive ruleset is a must for Smash Bros.

The ruleset for Pana Cup Circuit is pretty simple. Players have 3 stocks, there’s a 7-minute timer and no items. This is all pretty solid for what people expect from an esports event. There are a number of maps approved too but they’re mainly in the Final Destination mode. Everything in the Panda Cup Circuit ruleset is pretty standard for esports Smash Bros.

Nintendo’s Involvement

What really makes the Panda Cup Circuit different is Nintendo’s official involvement in the event. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Nintendo is not a sponsor or administrator of the Panda Cup. Instead, this is an officially licensed event. This is still a big move forward, with Nintendo previously being outright obstructive to esports events taking place.

Fans have noted the difference for the Panda Cup Circuit. Even in the event being allowed to have an actual prize pool instead of Nintendo points as a prize, a difference that Nintendo has long been opposed to in events they’ve been linked to.

The tournament is going to be running with some Online Qualifiers. The details of how to compete in these qualifiers are going to be posted closer to the time. With just a few weeks till things start off, there’s plenty going on with Smash Bros at the moment. While there are still third-party tournaments on the horizon too, players are gearing up to enter this first official event.

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