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Cody “iBDW” Schwab has joined Panda Global as the organization’s newest Super Smash Bros. Melee player. He joins a high-profile lineup including Justin “Plup” McGrath, Tyler “Marss” Martins, Eric “ESAM” Lew, and Daniel “SuPeRbOoMfAn” Hoyt.
Panda Global announced that iBDW would join its ranks in a tweet on May 5. The announcement video includes clips of iBDW facing players like Jack “Crush” Hoyt, Johnny “S2J” Kim, and Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma. It also notes how iBDW made the fastest rise to top 10 of any player in Melee history.
The Panda fam just got bigger.
— Panda (@PandaGlobal) May 5, 2020
Previously, iBDW had been sponsored by Mentality Esports and Polar Ace. He joined Mentality Esports in September 2018, then departed when the organization closed its doors in March 2019. Afterward, he was a member of Polar Ace until late August 2018. Then iBDW remained a free agent for over eight months.
In addition to iBDW, Panda Global announced other additions to its FGC roster on May 5. Victor “Punk” Woodley rejoined Panda Global, while Keenan “Kizzie Kay” Kizzie signed with the organization for the first time.
Besides the new esports competitors, Panda Global has greatly expanded its staff. New members include Zak “Coney” Zeeks as Creative Lead, Robin “Juggleguy” Harn as Project Manager, Jack “Jackie Peanuts” Moore as PGstats Director, Christina “Chia” Korsak as SEO Specialist, Brandon “EveryDamnDay” Brady as a photographer, “Bien” as Director of Engineering, and Deyanira “Koi” Mares and Trevor “Kantrip” Lukas as members of the social media team.
More about Panda Global’s iBDW
As noted in Panda Global’s announcement video, iBDW has had a meteoric rise to the top of Melee’s rankings. iBDW began competing in Super Smash Bros. Melee near the end of 2015. At the end of 2017, he debuted on the SSBMRank as No. 84 in the world.
Throughout 2018, iBDW’s results greatly improved, allowing him to climb up to No. 34 in the world. His 2019 season began even better, as he placed 1st at a handful of regional tournaments. These included NYXL Pop-Up!, Phantom 2019, and The Scarlet Classic V.
However, iBDW’s biggest major breakout came midway through the year at Smash Summit 8. After a disappointing performance in pools, iBDW made a huge losers run to 4th place. Along the way, he beat S2J, Kurtis “moky” Pratt, Joseph “Mang0” Marquez, Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto, and Hungrybox.
iBDW closed out 2019 ranked No. 9 in the world. To start out 2020, he placed 13th at Genesis 7 and 5th at Smash Summit 9. This year, he’s beaten players like William “Leffen” Hjelte, Justin “Wizzrobe” Hallett, Aziz “Hax” Al-Yami, and Armand “ARMY” Del Duca. While he has entered few online tournaments, Panda Global’s iBDW will undoubtedly make a strong return to offline events eventually.
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.