- SWT organizers blame Panda Cup CEO for Nintendo’s decision
- Hbox and iBDW seem to agree that there is some foul play going on behind the scenes
- They both agree the sport will endure but the Smash Majors may be in danger
With Nintendo stirring up the Smash community by recently canceling the Smash World Tour, two of the most prominent players have given their prognosis on the sport.
Nintendo Cancels SWT
Video game companies are far from perfect and they often do things that confuse and even infuriate the fanbase. Nintendo is no exception to that and the company’s recent cancellation of the Smash World Tour Championship sent shockwaves amongst the Smash community. Many were left with questions and concerns about the future of the Smash scene with popular faces like Ludwig warning this could be the end of professional Smash.
Ludwig’s claims may seem a little too pessimistic but other prominent members of the Smash community also had a few negative words to say about Nintendo’s moves. Some of these include Hungrybox,and iBDW, two of Smash’s top players.
The former started his discussion on the topic with assurances that Nintendo’s decision will not impact the grassroots nature of Smash since tournaments can still be run. However, he worries that larger-scale events, like Majors, will be hurt because the publisher may be more willing than in previous years to step in and remove a tournament’s right to broadcast the event. This could even extend to impact larger online Smash events put on by creators like Hungrybox and Ludwig.
The Plot Thickens
In a statement regarding the cancellation of the SWT, the organizers blamed Panda Cup CEO Alan Bunney for Nintendo’s decision. “Panda Cup began heavily recruiting events for their circuit. The CEO continued to tell organizers we would be getting shut down shortly, and also added that any events that participated in the Panda Cup would not be allowed to be on the Smash World Tour,” the statement reads.
Unfortunately, as both Hbox and iBDW point out during their conversation, only Bunney and Nintendo know the real story. iBDW said he is waiting for Bunney to comment. However, the player added that he will most likely do what other big players have done and leave the organization.
The situation is getting even more complex and suspicious, considering that even other prominent members of the Smash community with ties to the Panda Cup don’t understand what is going on. One such member is Alpharad, who owns a minority stake in Panda but has been hands-off with the team for years. He said he is just as in the dark as everyone else while waiting for Panda’s statement.
How do the players plan to proceed?
The apparent malicious intent shown by the Panda CEO has shaken the Smash community and many players have warned about not attending the Panda Cup Finals later this month. iBDW and Hbox even joked about attending Panda Cup and deliberately dismantling the broadcast by playing to stall or taking long breaks between sets.
Both players eventually agreed that the Melee, and the Smash scene as a whole, will survive just like it has in the past, but might be in some sort of limbo state in 2023 until things are cleared up. It is unclear how events can function if Nintendo does decide that independent Majors with no licenses are in fact a thing of the past.Regardless of how Nintendo proceeds in the future, Hbox plans on running things until he is told directly to stop. “I’m still going to do it,” the player said. “I’m going to run my events until I get a f*cking knock banging on my door. Until they physically come and say I can’t do it.”