From ugly to uglier
Earlier this week, organizers of the fan-run Smash World Tour announced that this year’s event had been cancelled. This was due to Smash World Tour reps being contacted by Nintendo, who said the team “could no longer operate” due to the lack of an official license. This decision by Nintendo to squash the tournament apparently came without any warning.
After that, Nintendo shared a short statement saying they, “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.” That was followed by a lengthy statement from Smash World Tour, which claimed Nintendo was indeed the reason the event was cancelled.
Now Nintendo has released a rather lengthy response once again, and they make it very clear that the decision to call of Smash World Tour came from the event organizers, and not Nintendo. This is basically a much longer, more clearly-worded response claiming that Nintendo had nothing to do with the event being called off. The statement was provided to IGN, and you can read it in full below.
Nintendo would like to explain to all Super Smash Bros. fans and interested parties the background and rationale related to our decision to not grant a license to the Smash World Tour (SWT) for their upcoming activities.
Nintendo’s decision was solely based on our assessment of the proposals submitted by the SWT and our evaluation of their unlicensed activities. This decision was not influenced by any external parties such as Panda Global. Any partner that we grant a license to has to meet the high standards we require when it comes to the health and safety of our fans. It’s also important that a partner adheres to brand and IP guidelines and conducts itself according to professional and organizational best practices. We use this same approach to independently assess all partners. If we discover that a partner is doing something inappropriate, we will work to correct it.
When we notified the SWT that we would not license their 2022 or 2023 activities, we also let them know verbally that we were not requiring they cancel the 2022 finals event because of the impact it would have on players. Thus, the decision to cancel the SWT 2022 was, and still is, their own choice.
We are open to partnering with other organizations and will continue to offer licenses for major tournaments outside of the Panda Cup. Panda Global will continue to be a key partner and we look forward to receiving proposals from other groups for tournament licenses. In the meantime, Panda continues to advocate on behalf of the Super Smash Bros. community, even to the point that Panda has advocated for other organizations and tournaments to work with Nintendo, such as The Big House and the organizers of the SWT to benefit the larger Super Smash Bros. community.
Nintendo cares about Super Smash Bros. fans and its community very much, and we hope to continue to hear their passionate feedback. We are committed to working hard to bring joy and fun to the community through tournaments while also ensuring we and our partners are operating in a manner that is positive and responsible.
Finally, Panda Global has also chimed in on the matter. Nintendo and Panda are still working together on official Smash Bros. tournaments, but Smash World Tour organizers accused Panda of some shady behind-the-scenes activities to sway Nintendo in their favor. You can see what Panda has to say about the allegations below.
We were all as surprised as the public to see the announcement of the Smash World Tour Championship’s cancellation as well as the accompanying statement which attacked the hard work and ethics of those behind the Panda Cup. The team was not informed of any intention to cancel the Smash World Tour Championship 2022, nor has the team ever engaged in conversations that sought those ends. As Nintendo of America indicates in their own statement, the organizers of the Smash World Tour were not required to cancel their 2022 championship event, and any implication that the Panda Cup team had any influence in that regard is false.