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Controversial Smash Bros tournament organiser Panda boots out boss following fan allegations

As pro players quit tour in their droves.

Panda, the eSports organisation at the centre of a high-profile row between Super Smash Bros. fans and Nintendo, has ditched its controversial CEO following complaints about his behaviour.

In a statement issued this morning via Twitter, Panda confirmed it had "heard the concerns of the Smash community" and booted out its boss Alan Bunney. The company will now work with "outside advisors to form a temporary interim management committee" as players quit the company's events in their dozens.

It follows a week of bad press for Bunney and his company, as it emerged Nintendo was shutting down a fan-run Smash Bros. tournament and continuing to partner with Panda.

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Last week, fans behind the popular Smash World Tour Championships issued a lengthy statement on the situation, and alleged that they stood to lose "hundreds of thousands of dollars" due to Nintendo's last-minute decision that they could "no longer operate" Smash Bros events.

The Smash World Tour Championships organisers accused Panda, and Bunney in particular, of actively attempting to "sabotage" its attempts to run its tour - telling individual events that the fan-run tour was being shut down, and forcing them to pick a side in the ongoing feud.

Nintendo issued a lengthy statement on the drama late last week, attempting to explain its decision not to support the Smash World Tour going forward (due to "the high standards we require when it comes to the health and safety of our fans" rather than any influence from Panda).

That statement also noted, without naming names, that Nintendo expected organisations it partnered with to conduct themselves "according to professional and organisational best practices" - which could be read as a warning for Panda itself to shape up.

As the dust settled, the vast majority of high-profile Smash eSports competitors resigned from playing at Panda events in protest. An earlier report from EventHubs estimated that "over 80 percent" of Panda's sponsored players had quit.

The upcoming Panda Cup Finale was due to take place later this month on 16th to 18th December, but has since been "postponed". After this weekend's wave of resignations, it was unclear whether there were any players still signed on to take part.

"Panda is committed to demonstrating our dedication to the community, and everyone who shares our passion," the company wrote today. "Panda is committed to do our part to move the competitive Smash community above and beyond the current situation, starting with an internal restructure and a rededication to our values as members of this community."

So, what's next? Popular Smash Bros. YouTuber and esports player Ludwig has announced his own tournament with $50k up for grabs to keep the scene ticking over.

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Tom Phillips

Deputy Editor

Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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