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Published: November 30, 2022

Written by: Isabella Aslam

  • VGBootCamp will not be able to run the Smash World Tour in 2023
  • The organizer points fingers at the Panda Cup CEO as the main reason for the cancelation
  • The Smash community responds with massive criticism

Nintendo is infamous for the strict licensing of its products, and the company’s sudden cancellation of the Smash World Tour is yet another proof of that.

Nintendo Cancels SWT

Perhaps the biggest unofficial Super Smash Bros. tournament in the world is the Smash World Tour Championship. For years, it has brought in tons of players and millions of viewers from around the world, but it seems this would not be the case anymore. This is because Nintendo recently canceled the 2022 Smash World Tour Championships and the entire 2023 Smash World Tour.

“Without any warning, we received notice the night before Thanksgiving from Nintendo that we could no longer operate. This was especially shocking given our discourse with Nintendo the past twelve months,” a statement from the circuit organizers reads. “Since then, we have been working around the clock to take the proper steps logistically, as well as to prepare this statement with proper legal guidance.”

The organizers explained that Nintendo contacted them in November of last year about giving them a license to stream Super Smash Bros tournaments like Panda Global’s newly-announced circuit. But since there were delays with the licensing, VGBootCamp, the circuit’s organizers, announced the 2022 Championships without first getting approved for a license.

Who Is to Blame for the Cancellation?

Naturally, the news came as a shock to many and VGBootCamp started pointing fingers at whom they think is to blame for Nintendo’s move. The organizer’s statement said that the Panda Cup CEO Alan Bunney attempted to recruit tournaments for the Panda Cup by telling organizers that the Smash World Tour would be shut down. 

“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.

VGBootCamp’s statement also says that Beyond the Summit was uninterested in adding its tournaments to the Panda Cup due to the streaming rule, along with other tournaments that were streamed by Beyond the Summit. Allegedly, Bunney then threatened to get Nintendo involved, potentially jeopardizing unlicensed tournament broadcasts. These claims were supported by multiple employees of Beyond the Summit.

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