Update #2 [Tue 6th Dec, 2022 04:05 GMT]: Panda Global has now released its own statement - revealing Alan Bunney is no longer CEO. Panda's Cup Finale has also been postponed due to security concerns for staff and contractors. You can see the full statement below:
Update [Fri 2nd Dec, 2022 11:30 GMT]: We heard earlier this week that the unofficial Smash Bros. championships and upcoming tour would be cancelled with immediate effect after receiving a cease and desist notice from Nintendo.
This was expected to cost the tournament a huge amount of money in cancellation fees and seemed to be something of a U-turn for the brand which had previously operated under good terms with Nintendo's licenses.
Today, in a statement to IGN, Nintendo has offered some explanation of why it chose to withdraw SWT's license and bring an end to the event. While the statement focuses around Nintendo's "evaluation of [SWT's] unlicensed activities", it also states that this was not a last minute decision, claiming to have previously notified the organisers that the license would be withdrawn.
Perhaps most importantly, however, the statement suggests that Nintendo never asked for the 2022 Championships to be shut down, citing "the impact it would have on players." Therefore, the statement claims, "the decision to cancel the SWT 2022 was, and still is, their own choice."
These claims can be found in the following extract:
Nintendo’s decision was solely based on our assessment of the proposals submitted by the SWT and our evaluation of their unlicensed activities. This decision was not influenced by any external parties such as Panda Global. Any partner that we grant a license to has to meet the high standards we require when it comes to the health and safety of our fans. It’s also important that a partner adheres to brand and IP guidelines and conducts itself according to professional and organizational best practices. We use this same approach to independently assess all partners. If we discover that a partner is doing something inappropriate, we will work to correct it.
When we notified the SWT that we would not license their 2022 or 2023 activities, we also let them know verbally that we were not requiring they cancel the 2022 finals event because of the impact it would have on players. Thus, the decision to cancel the SWT 2022 was, and still is, their own choice.
Nintendo's statement can be read in full over on IGN, detailing the company's decision to continue to work with the tournament's official host, Panda Global, after SWT claimed to have previously been threatened by its CEO.
We will be sure to keep you all updated as and when another statement is made.
Original article [Wed 30th Nov, 2022 00:45 GMT]: The unofficial Super Smash Bros. series 'Smash World Tour' has announced the cancellation of "both the upcoming Smash World Tour Championships" as well as the 2023 tour. This event is best-known for having the "largest prize pool in Smash history at over $250,000" and was planned to have a prize pool of "over $350,000" next year.
After seemingly positive talks with Nintendo, Smash World Tour allegedly received notice from the video game company that it could "no longer operate" future events without an official license. The event organiser goes on to claim it will lose "hundreds and thousands of dollar's due to Nintendo's actions" but is "open to continuing the conversation".
"Without any warning, we received notice the night before Thanksgiving from Nintendo that we could no longer operate. This was especially shocking given our discourse with Nintendo the past twelve months. Since then, we have been working around the clock to take the proper steps logistically, as well as to prepare this statement with proper legal guidance."
"...last Wednesday evening (November 23rd), we had our most recent call with Nintendo. Our Nintendo rep opened by letting us know that they are being asked to deliver the news that going forward, Nintendo expects us to only operate with a commercial license, and that we would not be granted one for the upcoming Championships, or any activity in 2023. We received this in writing as well."
"...It felt as though Nintendo simply did not want the Smash World Tour to continue to exist. At this point, we now felt we had been strung along this entire time."
In the same statement, Smash World Tour detailed its history with Panda Global (the officially licensed Smash tournament host) and how Panda's CEO (who was "under evaluation" by Nintendo) allegedly told other organisers about SWT "getting shut down" while threatening these same events with shut downs if they didn't "join Panda Cup".
You can read Smash World Tour's lengthy statement in the link below: