For the first time in esports history, Panda Global is partnering with Nintendo to bring the first officially licensed Super Smash Bros. championship circuit in North America.
Panda announced on Thursday that it will be working with Nintendo of America to hold competitions for Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate starting in 2022. This series of tournaments will lead to a single championship with cash prizes for competitors who play in each Smash Bros. title.
Players in the U.S. will be able to participate in the qualifying rounds online for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate only, as well as in-person qualifying rounds for both that title and Super Smash Bros. Melee once pandemic restrictions are lifted on in-person events. Those in Canada and Mexico will also be able to enter the competition once Panda and Nintendo have deemed international travel and attendance at in-person events permissible. Players can visit panda.gg to stay updated on the status of in-person qualifying events and grand finals when they are announced.
Nintendo of America senior director of product marketing Bill Trinen said the partnership with Panda Global to sponsor official Super Smash Bros. tournaments was forged in an effort to cultivate a fun and welcoming environment for fans and players who previously played the games at other events, such as EVO. Last year, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was dropped from EVO Online due to the quality of the game’s online netcode.
Sony acquired EVO back in March, causing fans to question whether Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will still be a part of the tournament. While officials made it clear that it would remain open to all platforms, some doubted that the game would still be in it due to its poor online connectivity.
Details about how to qualify for the Super Smash Bros. championship circuit, cash prizes, and where fans can watch the tournament will be available soon.