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Published: January 19, 2023

Written by: Isabella Aslam

  • The two announced their resignation over the weekend
  • They were Panda’s last two prominent Smash players
  • Allegations against Panda Cup’s CEO Alan Bunney still continue

A month and a half after the drama with the Panda Cup being responsible for Nintendo canceling the SWT, prominent players are still leaving the organization.

Last Two Smash Stars Leave Panda

The last couple of months have been quite tough for professional Smash as the community has been plagued by scandals and drama. Ever since Nintendo canceled the entire 2023 Smash circuit, Panda Global seems to be taking most of the hits, and with good reason. Data surfaced not long after Nintendo’s decision that Panda Global’s CEO Alan Bunney had something to do with the cancellation

The wider Smash community boycotted Panda’s events, with many professional players leaving the organization. This last week marked yet another two big names to exit, Eric “ESAM” Lew and Tyler “Marss” Martins, both of whom announced their decisions on their personal Twitter. 

“Today is the end of my 7.5 years at @PandaGlobal. This was not my decision, but I am now a free agent looking for new esports and content teams,” wrote ESAM on his Twitter page, saying he will reveal further details soon, as he is currently focusing on Genesis. 

Meanwhile, Marss thanked everyone he met during his time spent with Panda and is sad to be leaving. However, he ended his tweet on a bright note, saying he is optimistic for the future. “it was a pleasure brother,” ESAM responded to him in the comment section. 

Things Don’t Look Very Bright for Smash’s Future

The departure of ESAM and Marss is a huge blow for Panda. Both players were the last holdouts on a Panda Global Smash Bros. stable that included the two of them. Some of their notable colleagues were Justin “Plup” McGrath, Cody “iBDW” Schwab, and Chris “WaDi” Boston. Plup, iBDW, and WaDi, all of whom had announced their exit from the organization in December. Their ranks were joined by many non-Smash players like Street Fighter star Punk, who left Panda on December 5

With ESAM and Marss exiting from Panda Global, the organization loses all of its active prominent players in the Smash Bros. competitive scene. Things aren’t looking great for Panda, despite Alan Bunney stepping down as CEO. Ever since that event, he has been vocal in refuting allegations against him, even going as far as to make claims that it was key players at the Smash World Tour, Beyond the Summit, and even Video Game Bootcamp that tried to sabotage Panda Global.

Despite that, both the Smash World Tour and the Panda Cup have been postponed indefinitely and at this moment we have no information on when or even if they will return.

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