Article by Dom Sacco with help from Wade White and MetalQueerSolid
The fighting game community (FGC) is up in arms over the sudden cancellation of the Smash World Tour following Nintendo’s decision to halt the circuit for 2023.
It’s a messy, complex situation involving both Nintendo and Panda Global, whom Nintendo partnered with this time last year as the organiser of the first licensed circuits in Smash Bros Ultimate and Super Smash Bros Melee in North America.
In a lengthy official statement, Smash World Tour said that “many organisers were concerned about joining up [with the Smash World Tour] in 2022”.
“They told us that they had been told by Alan, the CEO and co-founder of Panda, that we were going to get shut down and were not coming back in 2022,” Smash World Tour said. “This directly contradicted our conversations with Nintendo, who said that the Panda CEO does not represent Nintendo, and that they would have to have a conversation with him about his behavior. They reminded us and reassured us that Panda’s license is not exclusive, and that they can see the two circuits co-existing.
“Furthermore, organisers were told that their individual events would also be at risk if they were on the Smash World Tour. A few organisers told us this directly as the primary reason that they did not participate in the Tour this year, which we completely understood.
“…Finally, last Wednesday evening (November 23rd), we had our most recent call with Nintendo. Our Nintendo rep opened by letting us know that they are being asked to deliver the news that going forward, Nintendo expects us to only operate with a commercial license, and that we would not be granted one for the upcoming Championships, or any activity in 2023.
“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 12 months.”
There is more to it than this, so it’s worth reading the full statement, but it’s confirmed the Smash World Tour will not take place in 2023, leaving many upset about this, and angry towards the actions of Panda Global.
VGBootCamp also added a statement about how its future is uncertain here.
UK talent affected by Smash World Tour cancellation
By Wade White
There are three UK players affected by this as they had all qualified for the Smash World Tour finale: Frenzy (who played at Smash Summit 13 earlier this year) and Professor Pro for Melee, and Bloom4Eva (pictured above, who recently signed to French team BMS) for Ultimate.
Frenzy is with UK org Reason Gaming, Professor Pro is a free agent and Bloom4Eva is with BMS.
Frenzy said him and Professor Pro will be going to another Major event in Ontario – Mainstage – from December 2nd to 4th 2022:
The news may also affect DAT Team – Smash tournament organisers based in London – and bigger EU events. That’s because the team behind the Smash World Tour, VGBootCamp, has put out a statement saying they have cancelled all their major events for 2023 and are not sure what the future holds.
VGBootCamp would host the streams for these tournaments on their Twitch channel to bring in a bigger audience for the event. For DAT Team, they would host the weekly event we ran on their channel, increasing the viewership of the event from roughly 50 viewers to between 500 and 1,000 viewers.
Smash Bros community responds to Smash World Tour shutting down
Long-running UK esports organisation Reason Gaming, who have UK Melee player Frenzy, said they were “incredibly disappointed” by the news, describing it as heartbreaking and that the Smash scene deserves better:
Elsewhere, BeyondTheSummit’s co-founder LD said:
We’ll post some more Twitter comments from the community below:
— Winston (@odeio_milho) November 29, 2022
And finally, while Panda has not yet publicly commented on the situation, what did Nintendo have to say about it all?
Nintendo sent Kotaku the following statement: “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.”
Smash World Tour responded to Nintendo’s comments here.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.
This news is republished from another source. You can check the original article here