As the new year kicks off, it’s with a heavy heart that Panda Global announces that we are parting ways with three members of our roster: Trela and SS in Smash 4, and Scar in Mortal Kombat XL.
Shane “SS” Bruce was one of the original Smash 4 players on the team. The rising star of Arizona was present when Panda Global first became an idea so he was a natural choice for one of our first team members. Since that day, PG has undergone significant changes and expansion -- including a move to Miami along the way. While Shane will always hold a special place in the history of the team and stay a good friend, the time has come for us to take our separate paths and allow him to continue to grow his Smash career on his own. We still firmly believe that Shane has what it takes to be one of the best Smash players in the world and will continue to cheer him on!
The breakout Ryu main Alberto “Trela” Miliziano has had a tumultuous time with Panda Global. Despite a rocky start, he landed 9th at EVO 2016 and proved that he's still a threat to the best players in the world. But shortly after he found that the esports lifestyle of travel and training, were not something he was looking for. Despite assuring him that winning was not everything to us, the stress of wanting to perform had him questioning whether or not he should continue as a professional player. While Panda Global supported him through this difficult period, including bringing in sports psychologist Brian Sakovits to help him find his goals, Trela found he just simply wasn't enjoying Smash anymore. Now that he's slowly finding his way back to the scene, we both felt it was best to part ways so he could take Smash at his own unique pace this time. We wish this wandering warrior the best in his journey ahead -- but no matter where he ends up we will always think of him when we hear “Shoryuken.”
Brad “Scar” Vaughn has been one of the hardest working players on the Panda crew -- an undeniable fan favorite, and a favorite of ours. Scar's growth has been second to none, and watching him grow from a player to a fierce competitor was one of our highlights of 2016. After an impressive year with placing third at EVO, followed by his victory over SonicFox at SCR 2016, Scar's talent has been recognized by many people in the NRS esports world. Because of his incredible efforts, Scar has received another opportunity and he will be taking off the black and white. Scar has a permanent place in the hearts of the Pandas and he will always be part of our family. He will be dearly missed, but we are regardless excited to see what he has in store for the coming year.
So what are Panda Global's goals? We're not done with the NRS scene or Smash yet, but you'll have to keep your eyes peeled! There are amazing things coming on the horizon for Panda Global, 2017 will be a monumental year.
We ask everyone to join us in wishing these three outstanding players the best in all future endeavors and applauding their past accomplishments.