Sonix Wins CEO 2022 While Players Blast Prize Pool

The first Panda Cup Circuit event has just finished up, with amazing runs in both Melee and Ultimate. However, one aspect of the tournament has come under fire in the time since. Smash Bros pros and fans have been blasting the organizers for what players actually received for winning.

The prize pools for Smash have never been record-breaking, but to many the prizes at CEO 2022 were shocking.

CEO 2022 Panda Gaming Smash Bros


CEO 2022 – Panda Circuit’s First Event

CEO 2022 ran over the weekend. This was the first part of the Panda Cup Circuit, the first official sanctioned Smash Bros tournament. The top three players in both Melee and Ultimate would qualify for the Panda Cup Finals here. This definitely put the stakes up.

Both Melee and Ultimate were being played as part of the circuit here. Although, Smash 64 was also present as a side event. Ultimate definitely grabbed most of the attention from the tournament. However, the Melee run had some interesting moments too.

Ultimate at CEO 2022

CEO 2022 Ultimate bracket started out with a lot of players, 651 in total. Most of these were whittled out as the bracket went through though. The finals bracket began with Toast up against Riddles. Riddles took this match up fairly easily, beating out Toast without dropping a set.

The eventual winner, Sonix, began in the losers’ bracket. Despite being something of an underdog he won against Dabuz and went through to the Loser’s Final. Here he also beat Toast without dropping a set. For a Sonic player, this kind of a run is basically unheard of.

Heading into the Grand Finals, Sonix was up against Riddles. This didn’t look like Sonix’s game heading in. While he’d had a great run across this entire tournament, this is his first shot at winning a major, and while playing Sonic?  It probably wasn’t the safest bet.

The Grand Finals match was impressive in the end. A bracket reset was forced, and Riddles switched up his character selection mid-way through. The player switched from Terry to Kayuza, and back to Terry across the game. Eventually, Sonix came out ahead in what was a pretty exciting match.

Sonix winning a Major while playing as Sonic the Hedgehog is impressive. It’s enough to make the entire community sit up and take notice of this player. Coming just after Sparg0’s retirement, this is definitely proof that Ultimate still has surprises left in it.


CEO 2022 didn’t just have Ultimate match-ups. There was Melee at the event too. This was one of the most anticipated brackets, with a Nintendo-sanctioned Melee event taking place. Melee’s bracket also saw a great run come from the losers’ bracket.

It started off with Magi beating Chem in the first round of Winners. Plup then began down in the losers bracket. This round saw both Plup and Panda play with Fox only, no items. Plup won without losing a set, before moving onto the losers’ final. This was another match that was entirely Fox! Plup once again took the match without losing a set.

The final was a match against Magi. While a bracket reset was forced, Plup has his third straight match without losing a set. This was an impressive run. Magi definitely deserves his slot at the Panda Cup Finals after this performance.

Smash Pros React to Prize Pools

That’s how the actual brackets went down at Smash Bros, but the prizes awaiting those winners weren’t that great. The winner of the Melee event took home $1,120. Further down the bracket though things got a bit depressing. Hungrybox and KJH both took home less than $100.

That’s not a good result for heading out to a tournament and still finishing at a decent result. Even Panda who hit fourth only took out $156.80 for the event. Things were better in Ultimate, but not by much. Marss and Tweek who came 5th and 6th finished up with $195 from the prize pool. The 7th and 8th placed players each only got $130.

For an officially sanctioned event, many people expected better. These are definitely disappointing numbers for Super Smash Bros tournaments. It’s what players have expected from Nintendo, but it’s a shame that even with bigger tournaments coming, Panda Cup Circuit doesn’t seem to be upping the ante at all when it comes to prizes.