North American esports organisation Panda Global has released a myriad of details surrounding its NA Super Smash Bros. circuit, with the competition set to commence in June 2022.
Dubbed the Panda Cup, the announcement highlights that qualifiers will take place at live events and online. The finale will feature a $100,000 (~£79,400) prize pool and is set to take place in Los Angeles in December.
In total, there will be seven ‘Community Stops’ where players can qualify for its Super Smash Bros. Ultimate & Super Smash Bros. Melee finale.
The first of these stops will be at the CEO Fighting Game Championships, commencing June 24th. The event will feature three qualification places for both Ultimate and Melee. Other notable offline qualifier events include Lost Tech City in Texas (September) and The Big House 10, taking place in Michigan (October).
For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate competitors there will also be online Panda Cup tournaments, in which eight players will qualify for the finale. These online events are set to take place in July. Finally, both Melee and Ultimate will have last chance qualifiers and an ‘expert community panel’ will invite select players who haven’t qualified for the finals.
This is the first time since November 2021 that details have been shared regarding the North American circuit, which was created following a collaboration between Nintendo and Panda Global. According to Panda Cup’s Twitter account, the series will be operated by Panda Global.
Earlier this year, it was also announced that Super Smash Bros would not be featured at EVO 2022, one of the fighting game community’s premier esports events.
Esports Insider says: It’s finally good to see more details become available for Panda Global’s Super Smash Bros. series. There is a lot of hype and expectation going into this collaboration, especially given that Smash will not have a presence at EVO. This is the first licensed circuit for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Melee in North America, so it’ll be interesting to see how it unfolds and what commercial partners the competition garners.