Panda Global has been one of several organizations to have players tied to every iteration of Super Smash Bros. But earlier today, the team parted ways with two of its players, Melee player Zain Naghmi and Ultimate player Brian “Cosmos” Kalu.
This comes at an extremely odd time for Zain, who he is ranked as the sixth-best Melee player in the world. The Cosmos news doesn’t come as a huge surprise, however, since his Major placements have been trending south since season two of Ultimate began.
PG also moved out of Starcraft 2 by dropping Diego “Kelazhur” Schwimer. In a video, CEO Alan Bunney shared a brief history of each player’s time with PG and wished them well.
“Parting with players is always bittersweet for us here at PG,” Bunney said. “While we are sad to see them going, we are also really proud of where they have gotten and who they have become while they were with us. We know that all three of these guys are going to go onto to do amazing things and we wish them nothing but the best.”
According to SmashBrosInsider, an account that has correctly predicted dozens of moves within the Smash scene over the last year, reported in October that “growing frustrations between Cosmos and Panda Global” were going to result in his release before December.
One of Cosmos’ roommates, commentator Richard “Keitaro” King, initially responded to the report by saying that PG had “no plans to drop Cosmos.” After today’s announcement, he responded again.
“The term “dropped” means the team did not want the player anymore and was let go,” Keitaro said. “Cosmos was not dropped. He left because he wanted to. The reasons why I don’t discuss. That is all.”
That leaves PG with only Justin “Plup” McGrath in Melee, while its Smash Ultimate roster is now made up of Marss and Eric “ESAM” Lew. There is also a good chance that both Zain and Cosmos will be signed in the very near future considering their high-profile play and results, which makes them prime targets in a thin free agent market.