Last week, the Super Smash Bros. community was rocked when Smash World Tour suddenly canceled its 2022 Finals, said 2023 events were in jeopardy, and put much of the blame on Panda Global for sabotage with its competing Panda Cup. Since then, further entities came out to corroborate the story, Panda Cup postponed its 2022 Finals as well, and its CEO, Dr. Alan Bunney, stepped down from the company. That’s not the end of it for Bunney, though. He just released an extremely long statement addressing and attempting to refute all allegations against him and his handling of Panda Cup affairs, as well as relations with Nintendo, Beyond the Summit, and the Smash World Tour organizers.
Dr. Bunney released his statement via Medium late on December 6, 2022. It takes aim at many of the allegations that have been lobbied against him and the Panda Global organization over the course of the last week. In his effort to refute claims against him, Bunney also makes some claims of his own against the Smash World Tour, Beyond the Summit, and Video Game Bootcamp.
Specifically, Bunney makes the claim that Smash World Tour knowingly kicked off without a commercial license and that it was to create a situation where the organizers come out ahead no matter what.
Bunney strongly seems to imply that he believes the Smash World Tour was built purposely to fail to garner publicity and support.
He also goes on to speak to interactions with Beyond the Summit staff, claiming that he didn’t know who BTS co-founder David "LD" Gorman was “nor [does he] care.” Nonetheless, Dr. Bunney alleges that he tried on several occasions to speak with the group about broadcast rights to various large-scale Smash Bros. events. According to Bunney, he was met with “stonewalling” at every turn in the discussions.
Dr. Bunney goes on to speak to further allegations such as that of strongarming and using Nintendo as a weapon in negotiations, all of which he refuted with selected screenshots of various conversations. Ultimately, Bunney claims that all of the allegations against him are lies perpetrated by bad actors in the Smash Bros. competitive scene.
Notable faces in the Smash community have looked over and picked at Dr. Bunney’s statement, including former BTS lead Ken Chen, who was called out as the person who stonewalled Bunney during negotiations. Chen posted extended screenshots he claims Bunney purposely cut off in his address of interactions with BTS. He also claims Gorman was there as part of the interactions in spite of Bunney claiming not to know the person. It's also of note that Panda Global itself shared in a statement that it acknowledged and regretted “an interaction between Dr. Alan and Beyond the Summit, in which he spoke in a manner that does not reflect either guidance from Nintendo or our own standards.”
While Dr. Alan Bunney’s statement on his actions with Panda Global, Smash World Tour, Panda Cup, Beyond the Summit, and Nintendo are extensive and seem to address all matters, there are arguably still holes in the statements made by Smash World Tour, Dr. Alan, Panda Global, and Nintendo. Nonetheless, Dr. Bunney is officially out as CEO of Panda Global and the Panda Cup and Smash World Tour Finals have been called off at this time. As we continue to follow this story for further information, stay tuned for more updates on the matter here at Shacknews.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Panda Global former CEO releases extended statement refuting allegations
To the surprise of no one he chose to use the tactic of "throw out so many blatantly false claims no one can possibly respond to all of them" which has become commonplace nowadays.