Panda Cup postpones finals, CEO steps down and accuses SWT of lying
The triumvirate of Nintendo, Smash World Tour (SWT), and Panda Global have had a busy couple of days following Nintendo’s decision to cancel the SWT. The latest installment of this saga has seen Panda CEO Dr. Alan Bunney ousted as CEO of Panda, and the postponement of the Panda Cup Finale.
Dr. Bunney has since tweeted: “I’ve stepped down as CEO of Panda to protect the safety and wellbeing of the team. My statement (with evidence) is coming.”
The tweet was accompanied with a picture consisting of two bullet points suggesting that SWT lied, and that the BTS leadership had put the company in jeopardy.
Dr. Bunney wasn’t the only one leaving Panda, with quite a lot of players and staff also following suit. The backlash stemming from Nintendo’s cancellation, and Panda’s perceived betrayal from those who side with SWT’s position has been remarkable. It certainly doesn’t look like Nintendo had seen this coming.
Panda Seeking External Help
Panda are now consulting externally in order to form an Interim Management Committee that will help calm the waters during this period. Panda came out with a statement attempting to assure interested parties that their priority remains to the Smash community, and that they’re going to start by internally restructuring and rededicating their values to members of the community.
However, it’ll take a while for those who have a vested interest to believe these claims. For starters, there is no real clarity on who has taken the helm since Dr. Bunney’s departure. Those who are satisfied by his departure are also unsure if this means he’s going to be completely out of the loop as an owner.
Dr. Bunney, who is trying to become a bit of a martyr in this situation, hasn’t been afforded such a reception by most of his followers. One media personality, in particular, is not buying it.
Ludwig Ahgren Responds To Dr. Bunney’s Tweet
Ludwig Ahgren, the popular YouTuber, replied to Dr. Bunney’s tweet. “Genuinely looking forward to see your evidence,” Ahgren responded. Ahgren’s tweet was drenched in sarcasm, and he’s been seen as a bit of savior for the Smash community since tweeting this.
Ahgren is going to be hosting his own event around the time when the Panda Cup finale was supposed to take place. The event is going to be called the Scuffed World Tour, and the response from not just fans – but the best Smash players as well – has been overwhelmingly positive.
Genuinely looking forward to see your evidence
— ludwig (@LudwigAhgren) December 5, 2022
The event is set to include Melee and Ultimate brackets that includes the line-up that was expected at SWT. The money raised from the event will also be handed over to the SWT organizers.
It’s clear what Ahgren’s intentions are here – it’s a real statement of intent to Nintendo, and a poor look for Panda. The Smash community was always going to root for the SWT organizers, but with Ahgren’s support, there’s a feeling among the Smash community that SWT’s popularity among the Smash community was underestimated by Nintendo. There can be no event without the players. Nintendo and Panda had clearly not foreseen this.
Nintendo’s Statement Summed Up Their Approach To The SWT
Nintendo had made a statement a few days back regarding the cancellation of SWT, and it was quite vague with the health of the players, and standards being highlighted. There was absolutely no clarity on why the decision was made, and this has been the case for a long time with regards to these tours, and their attitude towards the Smash community.
Dr. Bunney’s cryptic tweets also didn’t garner him the support that he might’ve been hoping to get. Instead, Ahgren’s response and his tournament have only crystallized the feelings that the Smash community has towards these different parties.
Nintendo has already made their statement. It’s now up to Dr. Bunney to make his point, but it looks like that’s not really going to change fan opinion. In fact, it might just confirm fan suspicions.