Throughout Smash’s years of existence, many advocated for the game to become an esports. Panda Esports has been a force of proposition and innovation for Smash, going into 2022.
They’ve started picking up pro players in the early days of Super Smash Bros 4 and kept doing it throughout the Melee and Ultimate competitive seasons. Now, Panda is teaming up with Nintendo to provide official tournaments and even create a modern Gamecube Controller.
On November 18, Panda announced its partnership with Nintendo. Both of them worked on creating the first officially licensed Smash tournament circuit. For Nintendo, this is an unprecedented move. After all, the Japanese firm used to be very apprehensive about creating official circuits of any kind. In the past, all Smash Bros. tournaments came from fans and grassroots. But opinions change and points of view evolve.
This official Smash Bros. circuit features not only Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, but Super Smash Bros. Melee as well. Depending on COVID restrictions, the circuit series, which includes qualifiers and pre-qualifiers, could shift from an in-tournament format to an online one. Then, players will continue through the circuit to win higher prizes. More details about this official circuit will be available soon and the series should start sometime in 2022.
Soon, Panda is going to launch its new Gamecube controller that has been completely modernized. Panda worked with professional players, casual players, and controller mod makers to make what they are arguing to be the best Gamecube controller to be ever made. At the very least, the Smash Bros. community believes in it because the controller nearly raised $2 million on Kickstarter.
The controller is highly customizable and has several updates compared to the original Gamecube Controller released 20 years ago. There are now four shoulder buttons with adjustable heights for maximum comfort and response. The face buttons on the right-hand side of the controller are smoothed down so players can more easily transition from one button to the other, making combos a lot easier. On the controller grips, there are two additional buttons on each grip where a player’s hand would naturally sit. All of these updates on the controller are customizable and mappable as well, so players have full control over their gameplay.
Creating a brand new updated Gamecube controller on top of joining Nintendo to make an official tournament circuit shows how much Panda plans on supporting the competitive Super Smash Bros. scene. Professional and casual Super Smash Bros. players have a lot to look forward to in 2022 thanks to Panda global pushing the boundaries of Smash esports.
Written by Daniel Borjas
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