FGC star Punk departs Panda Global amid team controversy
Hot off a Capcom Pro Tour victory, FGC star Punk announced his departure from a beleaguered and controversial Panda Global.
The rain won't stop falling for esports organization Panda Global as its prime FGC star Victor "Punk" Woodley announced his departure from the team. The announcement came hours removed from his victory in yesterday's North American East Capcom Pro Tour premier event, battling back from loser's side to defeat JXK Spaceboy in Grand Finals. The win qualifies Punk for Capcom Cup 9, which will take place in February of 2023.
This isn't the first FGC departure from Panda this week, as commentator and creator Saint Cola also announced he'd be parting ways with Panda days earlier. This mad rush to escape the orbit of Panda Global comes off the heels of the org's refusal to back down from recent controversy. Alleged accusations state the team's CEO Dr. Luke helped sabotage rival tournament organizers in the Super Smash Bros. community via their connections to Nintendo. The team initially issued an apology that was met with much apathy and derision from the Smash FGC at-large.
Dr. Luke announces his stepping down... Kinda
The story and controversy around Panda Global continues to grow each day as Dr. Luke doubles down. The beleaguered CEO announced his stepping down from Panda Global yesterday, but comes with an aura of disingenuity. There's no sign if the bleeding is going to stop any time soon for Panda Global. Meanwhile the Smash community seethes and members abandon ship at a rapid pace.
The loss of Punk from Panda cannot be understated, as the 24-year-old is one of the winningest young stars in the Street Fighter V era of the FGC. Known for playing and dominating in the mid-range, Punk's runback in yesterday's Capcom Pro Tour event seems to indicate that leaving Panda Global is in no way going to slow him down.
Stay tuned to esports.gg for all upcoming Panda Global and FGC news as it happens.
Editor | Twitter @Hammer_Barn
Will has over a decade of print and digital journalism experience, with bylines in Polygon, The Escapist, The Toledo Blade, The Austin American-Statesman, and more. He's also the host of the World of Warcraft lore podcast Essence of Azeroth, loves Murlocs just a bit too much, and owns too many cats.