With Panda’s help Nintendo breaks with tradition by greenlighting a Smash Bros. championship circuit

An officially sanctioned Smash Bros. championship circuit is headed to North America for the first time. The American branch of Nintendo and Panda Global esports organization have joined forces to announce competitions for Super Smash Bros, Melee, and Ultimate.

The interesting thing here is that Nintendo has, in the past, been less-than-thrilled about the Super Smash Bros. esports scene to the point where tournaments have received cease and desist notices. It goes without saying that, given such notices, Nintendo provided zero support, including both prizes and money, for those tournaments.

With Panda handling the logistics, Panda will bring North American fans sanctioned Super Smash action sometime next year.

While Canadian and Mexican will be allowed to participate in circuit play, that will be dependent on international travel requirements. Initially, then, American Smash players will use the online format for Smash Bros. There will also be offline qualifiers while the world waits for in-person events to return on a large scale.

At some point Smash Bros. fans can look forward a grand finals spectacle. What that spectacle will look like is, at the moment, still anyone’s guess.

In a release, Nintendo America spokesman Bill Trinen said ““This partnership with Panda Global is the next step in Nintendo’s efforts to create a more consistent, fun, and welcoming competitive environment for our players and fans. We are proud to stand with an organization like Panda Global to celebrate and support the ever-growing competitive Super Smash Bros. community, and create a space where all players can test and hone their competitive skills.”

Nintendo also took to Twitter to announce the change in attitude towards Super Smash Bros. tournaments. The company tweeted: “Confirmed. Ready your A-game, Super #SmashBros competitors. We’ve partnered with @PandaGlobal to launch the first officially licensed Super Smash Bros. championship circuit in North America, coming 2022!”

That said, the news was greeted somewhat suspiciously by Twitter users.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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