Panda Global drops multiple games and players in organizational shake-up
Super Smash Bros 64, Pokemon, and Mortal Kombat are among those the org is leaving behind.
North American esports organization Panda (Global) has announced it will be leaving six competitive scenes, dropping eleven players from its active roster in the process.
The org made the announcement public via the Panda Twitter account, saying "We have lots of big things coming in the future at Panda Global. Unfortunately, that also means making some difficult choices. Today we say goodbye to some of our players. We'll never forget the memories we made together and will always consider them Pandas."
GG, Panda. GG.
The scenes Panda Global will be leaving are as follows:
- Card Games (Hearthstone, Shadowverse, etc)
- Mortal Kombat
- Rivals of Aether
- Soul Calibur
- Super Smash Bros 64
Of the eleven players removed from the active Panda roster, two names--fighting game competitor Bryant "Kitana Prime" Benzing and Hearthstone pro Ray "RayC" Cipoletti--have accepted staff positions and will remain with the org for the foreseeable future.
The former Pandas
Below are the remaining nine players no longer with Panda Global:
-Joshua "FullStream" Thompson joined Panda in 2017 as a Rivals of Aether player, a game in which he is considered to be the best in the world. Thompson has multiple Rivals wins under his belt, most notably his victory at Genesis 6 in February 2019.
-"Prince" is a Smash 64 player that signed with the team in July 2019. He's won the Super Smash Con combo contest on three separate occasions before joining Panda. He also placed in multiple competitions including a second place finish at The Big House 9 in October 2019.
-Alexandre "Hayatei" Dubé-Bilodeau is a Mortal Kombat pro hailing from Canada who had signed with Panda in March 2017. The Erron Black main won his first and only competition as a part of Panda at Viennality in July 2019.
-Kei "BNBBN" Komada is a former Street Fighter IV pro who signed with the team in 2019 as a Dragon Ball FighterZ player. He scored multiple top 10 finishes for the org in his two years with them, including second place finishes at both the DBFZ World Tour Last Chance Qualifier 2 in January 2019 and the South East Asia Major in October of that year.
-Aaron "Cybertron" Zheng is a two-time Pokemon US National Champion and content creator who became part of Panda in July 2018. With the org he mainly created content, serving as a host and interviewer for Pokemon VGC events.
-"AkamaruRed" is a Portuguese card game player specializing in Shadowverse. He was the runner-up for the Shadowverse World Grand Prix in December 2017 before signing with Panda.
-Jachin "SKD" Harte is an American fighting game player with a focus in BlazBlue. He signed with Panda in March 2017, winning the BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle tournament at the Brussels Challenge Major Edition in April 2019 during his tenure.
-Jovian "Shen Chan" Chan is a Soul Calibur player from Singapore who signed on with the team in April 2019. He would record seven Top 10 finishes while with the team,. Highlights include a third place finish at CEO 2019 and a 5th place effort at EVO 2019.
-Wolfe "Wolfey" Glick signed with Panda in July 2018 as a Pokemon VGC player. He placed no worse than fourth in each tournament he played under the Panda banner. This includes his victory at the 2019 Pokémon North America International Championships.
For more on the fighting game community, check out our look at Justin Wong's pursuit of 100 online wins.
Jason "BigManFanelli" Fanelli
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Jason Fanelli is a freelance journalist hailing from Philadelphia, with bylines at GameSpot, IGN, The Hollywood Reporter, and more. He also hosts the Cheesesteaks and Controllers Podcast for Fox Sports Radio Philadelphia, one of the only esports/video games-focused podcasts airing on live radio in a major market.