- The player joins the so-called Pandexodus movement
- He is now looking for a new sponsor going into the 2023 Street Fighter competitive season
- This marks an end to his second stint with the esports organization
Another prominent player leaves Panda Global after the organization was slammed for Nintendo’s decision to cancel the Smash World Tour 2023.
Punk Leaves Panda
Panda Global has had a very turbulent week with many fans berating the organization and a number of prominent players leaving it. The reason for this mass exodus, aptly nicknamed Pandexodus, is Nintendo’s recent cancelation of the Smash World Tour 2023. Following the unexpected event, the organizers of the SWT Circuit issued a long statement, saying that a chief contributor to Nintendo’s decision was Panda Global CEO, Alan Bunney. Although the esports organization removed Bunney from his position, the damage has already been done.
Many players have already left the organization and star fighting game competitor Victor “Punk” Woodley is just the latest name to be added to the growing list. The player is somewhat of a controversial figure in the FGC, but regardless, he is one of the best players in multiple titles and arguably the best Street Fighter V player ever. With his departure from the organization, Punk joins other big names in the fighting game community like anime fighter extraordinaire Eduardo “HookGangGod” Deno as well as commentators Ryan “Saint Cola” Collins and Marine.
Panda Is In Trouble
Punk’s departure from the organization leaves Panda with a severe shortage of players. The biggest names that are currently left with Panda are Keenan “Kizzie Kay” Kizzie and Kyohei “MarlinPie” Lehr, but it won’t be surprising if they also leave the org soon.
The so-called Pandexodus started very soon after Nintendo’s announcement of the cancelation of the SWT Circuit last week. The decision was heavily criticized by big names in the Smash community like Hungrybox and iBDW, who talked about the future of the sport.
Punk’s announcement that he is leaving Panda Global came just after the player qualified for Capcom Cup 2022 through the NA East online qualifier—one of the most stacked to take place this season. Now that he is free, the player opened the door for a new sponsor amid all of the controversy with his previous organization. His decision to leave marks the end of his two-year-long stay with Panda Global. This was actually Punk’s second stint with the organization, the first one being from March 2017 to March 2018. In May 2020, Punk rejoined Panda, but he has now announced he is looking for an organization to sign a top talent heading into the first year of SF6, which will be released sometime around the Capcom Cup in 2023.