Update: Alan Bunney has now issued his first public statement since the Smash World Tour accusations, which you can find in the story below.
Panda Global has faced a lot of controversy lately due to the alleged actions of its CEO, Dr. Alan Bunney, who allegedly threatened to shut down tournaments and their organizers over the past year with multiple corroborations. After Panda’s first statement didn’t go down well with the Super Smash Bros. community, over 80% of the sponsored fighting game division has apparently since quit.
Earlier today, Panda Global issued a new statement indicating that Dr. Alan Bunney is no longer the CEO of Panda Global. Additionally, they announced that the 2022 Panda Cup final was postponed due to security concerns.
The Panda Cup Final was originally scheduled to take place from December 15, 2022 and last until December 17, 2022. The Panda Cup circuit was officially sponsored by Nintendo and was the first to be licensed for a competitive tour.
Panda Global was officially launched with Dr. Alan Bunney as co-founder and CEO in 2015. At this time, it is unknown how much Dr. Alan Bunney will be involved in Panda Global apart from his removal in as CEO.
In previous statements from the Smash World Tour team, it was stated that Nintendo has canceled this Smash World Tour 2022 Championship and the Smash World Tour 2023 circuit. However, Nintendo has released two statements that contradict what was said by the Smash World Tour team by stating that they were not just issuing the 2022 Championship and 2023 Tour licenses, and asserted that the decision to cancel was a decision that was and still is the Smash World Tour team .
— Panda (@PandaGlobal) December 5, 2022
Seemingly in response to these events, Ludwig recently announced that “The Scuffed World Tour” would take place on December 18, 2022. It was probably no coincidence that it was scheduled for the day of the original Panda Cup finals. 2022.
Alan Bunney has now made his first public comment since the publication of the Smash World Tour open letter on November 29, in which he claims to have evidence that SWT organizers lied and that Beyond the Summit executives “put community in danger”.
“I have stepped down as CEO of Panda to protect the safety and well-being of the team,” Bunney wrote on Twitter. “My statement (with evidence) is coming.”
I resigned as CEO of Panda to protect the safety and well-being of the team.
My statement (with evidence) arrives. pic.twitter.com/LkousPo183
— Pandas | Dr Alan (@DrAlanB) December 5, 2022
Smash World Tour organizers have accused Bunney of inappropriate conduct and mob-like behavior while attempting to recruit Panda Cup tournaments, which has been corroborated by multiple event runners, including Beyond the Summit.
Panda acknowledged Dr. Alan’s poor interaction with BTS and said in his first statement that a separate team was created afterward to handle event relations.
Most of the community didn’t respond well to Panda’s first statement, which came 3 days after the Smash World Tour open letter and seemingly downplayed their involvement in one of the Smash Bros. dramas. that was happening / was happening.
This extended to Panda’s own staff with 8 confirmed members of their sponsored eSports fighting game team publicly declaring their resignation from the company while most of the rest removed all or part of the team’s mentions from their sites. from social media – as well as more about the production and PGStats parts of the business.
These allegations also jeopardized the Panda Cup final with 19 invited competitors revealing their intention to withdraw from the tournament.
With less than 2 weeks to spare, the postponement of the Panda Cup final may have been the only recourse to ensure the event could continue, but at the moment there is a question mark as to to know when it will finally happen.
For years Panda has built itself to be one of the biggest eSports teams in Smash and FGC with progress being made in creating their own content and of course creating their own events.
What the future holds for Panda Global and the rest of the Smash community, as well as the entire relationship with Nintendo, is still up in the air, and Dr. Alan’s statement indicates that this adventure is not over yet.
You can read Panda’s full statement below.
Panda has heard the concerns of the Smash community and is taking immediate action. Alan is no longer CEO, effective immediately.
In the meantime, Panda employees are working with outside advisors to form a temporary Interim Management Committee (IMC) that will act as CEO to get through this critical time. The identities of IMC members will not be made public at this time due to harassment and safety concerns.
IMC’s immediate priorities are:
• Work with any team member who wishes to resign, including release from any contractual obligations.
• Help those who feel displaced by these events find accommodation – either with Panda or another organization.
Panda is committed to demonstrating its dedication to the community and to all who share our passion. Panda is committed to doing its part to evolve the competitive Smash community beyond the current situation, starting with an internal restructuring and a new dedication to our values as members of this community.
We call on the community to treat those affected by these events with grace and understanding, and to call and report any attempts at doxing or harassment.
Additionally, due to security concerns for our staff and contractors, the The Panda Cup final is postponed. The IMC will be working to issue refunds to all who have registered in the coming weeks.
Contributions to this story were made by Dakota ‘DarkHorse’ Hills and Justin ‘AdaptiveTrigger’ Gordon.
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