Super Smash Bros will have an official tournament recognized by Nintendo - the first time in nearly 20 years

After six months of silence Panda Global, the first event organizer to have signed a partnership with Nintendo to create an official Super Smash Bros circuit, has confirmed that the Panda Cup will begin in July. The Panda Cup will be the first officially licensed Super Smash Bros circuit and will include events for both Melee and Ultimate. It’s unclear what the existence of this circuit will mean for unlicensed Smash tournaments. Panda CEO Alan Bunney did not comment on the nature of Panda’s partnership with Nintendo before this article was published.

More than $ 100,000 will be up for grabs for the circuit’s final, which will take place in Los Angeles, California, December 16-18. The prize pool will be split equally between the Melee and Ultimate brackets with 32 finalists per circuit.

Similar to the Smash World Tour, the Panda Cup will partner with community-run events and expect a certain number of players to qualify for the final from each event. The tournament schedule is as follows:

Community Effort Orlando 2022June 24-26, three players qualified for Melee and Ultimate
Get On My Level 2022July 1-3, two players qualified for Melee and Ultimate
Smash Factor 9July 29-31, two players qualified for Melee and Ultimate
Lost Tech CitySeptember 30-October 2, three players qualified for Melee and Ultimate
The Big House 10October 7-9, three players qualified for Melee and Ultimate
Let’s Make Moves: Miami, October 28-30, Ultimate Qualifier
Saving Mr. Lombardi 3November 12-13, a player qualified for Melee
DreamHack Atlanta 2022November 18-20, two players qualified for Melee and Ultimate
Last Chance QualifierDecember 15, two players qualified for Melee and Ultimate
Three of these events – GOML, Smash Factor and Let’s Make Moves: Miami – are also Smash World Tour events, confirming that the two circuits are not mutually exclusive.

Additionally, there will be two other ways for players to earn a spot in the Circuit Finals. There will be a series of online qualifiers in which eight Ultimate players from eight regions of North America will secure a spot in the final. However, there will be no online qualifiers for Melee. Finally, there will be a panel of community experts who will select the best players from each game who did not qualify for the final. This panel will determine six slots for the final round of Ultimate and 14 slots for the final round of Melee.

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