Last night's reponses to the news continue to pile up as players, commentators, and other Tournament Organizers raise their concerns
Yesterday's announcement of the cancellation of the Smash World Tour finals, as well as any potential SWT circuit in 2023, came as a complete surprise not just to the organizers and VGBootCamp but to most in the SSB community. In the hours since the announcement, various top players and organizers have expressed their opinions on the matter, mainly that Panda's founder and Co-CEO Alan Bunney, who was in charge of the Panda Cup circuit, is to blame for the fallout.
Nintendo, through Kotaku, provided a short statement on the matter:
Unfortunately after continuous conversations with Smash World Tour, and after giving the same deep consideration we apply to any potential partner, we were unable to come to an agreement with SWT for a full circuit in 2023. Nintendo did not request any changes to or cancellation of remaining events in 2022, including the 2022 Championship event, considering the negative impact on the players who were already planning to participate
To which the SWT team responded by pointing out that although Nintendo had not given them a cease as desist, as had been in the case in prior cases, specifically those dealing with emulator tournaments. This time, it was a denial of a commercial license based on the fact that the event applied for its license too late, well after it had been publically announced. Here SWT indicates that they had not even applied for a commercial license in 2023 and made no announcement to that effect. Yet, Nintendo has already, through a statement sent to them, stated they would not receive one for any activity in 2023.
Following this, a wide array of players have spoken up about the situation, and they are making it clear that Panda and Nintendo will be held responsible for the damages to the trust in the SSB competitive scene. Many of these players are in fact, Panda Cup players and would, emphasis on would, compete in the tournament later in December. But many are now choosing not to compete at the event.
Lastly, Beyond the Summit has changed its upcoming Mainstage event. They have re-opened their registrations, allowing players who would have otherwise gone to Panda Cup to instead participate at Mainstage. An initiative many of the aforementioned top players are taking part in to partially, or even wholly, boycott Panda Cup and Nintendo.
As information continues to come out about the situation and the resulting damage to the trust the Smash scene had in Panda and Nintendo, we will keep you updated.