In the aftermath of the scandal in December last year, Panda is now a playerless organization, following the recent departure of Smash player ESAM and now Marss. How things will continue for the players and the organization is not yet clear.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate player Tyler “Marss” Martins announced on Tuesday, January 17 that he is no longer part of the Panda esports organization. He was the last remaining Smash player on Panda’s pro team after ESAM had recently departed.
“It was an incredible experience while it lasted. I appreciate all the people I’ve met and the opportunities they’ve given me. I’m optimistic about the future and looking forward to bigger and better things.”
Panda’s Scandal feat. CEO Alan Bunney
Panda has been embroiled in controversy since the 2022 Smash World Tour Championships were canceled in November. Circuit organizers have accused then-Panda CEO Alan Bunney of attempting to force Smash tournament organizers to add their events to Nintendo’s Panda Cup. Shortly thereafter, the organization separated from the CEO, who even afterward did not want to take any responsibility for the situation.
Today is the end of my 7.5 years at @PandaGlobal. This was not my decision, but I am now a free agent looking for new esports and content teams.
I’ll give an explanation what’s happening later because right now I’m focusing on Genesis.
— ESAM (@imESAM) January 15, 2023
Players and staff leave organization
After the allegations, numerous players, streamers, and employees left the organization – the reputation was already badly damaged at the time. In the end, only Marss and Eric “ESAM” Lew remained, who wanted to stay with the organization at the time. But they didn’t last long and are now both free agents.
ESAM announced on Sunday that he was leaving Panda, noting it was not his own decision. Now Marss has gone too and it looks like it might be the end of the organization as they don’t have a single player left and the scandal has taken their reputation pretty bad, although the CEO is no longer employed there.
Sadly today I announce that I am no longer with @PandaGlobal. It was an amazing ride while it lasted, appreciate all the people I met and opportunities I was given thanks to them 💚. I'm optimistic about the future, and looking forward to bigger and better things.
— 🍥 Marss (@Marss_NE) January 16, 2023
Since Genesis 3, where Marss first made the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U top 8 as an 18-year-old, he has been the top Zero Suit Samus player in both Smash 4 and Ultimate. More than three years after his national breakthrough, Marss joined Panda in March four years ago, having some great success with the org.
Now that Marss and the other Smash Pros have left the organization, it’s unclear if Panda will continue to exist at all in the future.