Former Panda CEO Dr. Alan accuses Smash World Tour of lying in long rant
Dr. Alan finally released his statement, which was over 30 pages long. But the Smash community is not convinced of his innocence.
The Smash community was left reeling after Smash World Tour was canceled at the request of Nintendo. But the competitive scene got even more heated when Panda Global's former CEO blamed Smash World Tour for the situation.
A few days ago, former CEO Dr. Alan Bunney released a cryptic tweet that promised to show proof of Smash World Tour being at fault and Beyond the Summit putting the community "in jeopardy." The Smash community was already frustrated with the tweet since it came out during the Melee Top 8 at Mainstage.
Now, a few days later, Dr. Alan has released a document with more than 30 pages discussing what he claims went down between Panda, Dr. Alan, and the Smash World Tour.
The statement on Medium argued against some of the allegations made by Smash World Tour. He explained that SWT kicked off without obtaining a commercial license from Nintendo, bypassing "years of negotiation." He claimed that SWT used social media to "threaten" Nintendo and create backlash as a way to pressure the company to give them a license. Dr. Alan even claimed that Smash World Tour purposefully got shut down and chose to cancel the Championship to become a "martyr" within the community.
"SWT Leadership had intimate knowledge that Nintendo was working on an officially licensed circuit with Panda months before launching. They were told to wait for approval but announced anyways, and knowingly did multiple things that has prevented Nintendo from issuing licenses to events before," Dr. Alan wrote.
He went to even claim that SWT shut down the Championship by choice to get sympathy and support. Dr. Alan claimed this was their plan all along, stating that the hotel SWT listed on their Discord for the event "did not have any pre-existing block or any expectation of large groups this weekend. There was no block canceled, it simply never existed."
On the other hand, Dr. Alan claimed that he and the rest of Panda didn't want Smash World Tour shut down themselves.
He explained: "Now in terms of motive: We have known since day 1 that the biggest risk to the Panda Cup would be if the SWT gets shut down. We’ve known if that ever happened then Panda would be caught in the explosion as a bystander, simply due to our partnership with Nintendo. Panda Cup has had incredible momentum this year with 5 major sponsors in 5 months, nearly every major NA Smash tournament joining the circuit from the time we launched, and successful metrics all around."
When it comes to Dr. Alan's part in the situation, he denied that he ever threatened other tournament organizers or broadcasters.
He wrote: "Does my conversation with Ken after our first call sound like I was threatening to have Nintendo attack them or get free broadcasting rights? Also as you can see, I directly connected Ken to Nintendo as well. Nintendo is not a weapon I can wield, they take their own actions and are their own company. Why people would think that a multi-trillion dollar global company would jump when I snap my fingers, I have no idea."
But previous Beyond the Summit creative director Ken Chen had screenshots of his own, stating that he experienced hostility from Dr. Alan. In fact, one of the reasons Chen left BTS was because he "never wanted to deal with Panda or Alan again."
Dr. Alan ended his long statement by saying he "looked the other way" when he heard Ken was allegedly trying to get TOs to turn on Panda. He "turned the other cheek" when he learned BTS was "threatening" to allegedly pull Papa John's sponsorship from events that also worked with Panda. He claimed that, despite all of this, he tried to work with Smash World Tour.
The reaction from the Smash community, however, was largely negative. Many in the competitive scene felt that Dr. Alan was showing selective parts of conversations and accused him of contradicting himself throughout the Medium blog.
For now, the Smash community is struggling with the ongoing drama. Many are wondering what will happen next now that both circuits are in jeopardy.
Editor | Twitter @y05h1eggz
Olivia Richman is a seasoned esports writer and editor who enjoys creating unique content about Smash, Apex Legends, Halo, Rainbow Six Extraction, Call of Duty, and basically every other game! Olivia enjoys the Pokemon TCG, Kirby, and being a persuasive thief in Fallout and Outer Worlds.