Premier esports organization Panda Global announced today the signing of Albert "Trela" Miliziano, considered Texas' best Super Smash Bros. for Wii U player, ahead of Community Effort Orlando this weekend. Trela is known across the community for popularizing Street Fighter character Ryu, who made his debut in Smash for Wii U.
Trela will be the fourth Smash for Wii U player on the team's lineup, alongside the likes of Eric "ESAM" Lew, Jestise "MVD" Negron, and Shane "SS" Bruce, who have represented the team since its inception last year. This will be Trela's second competitive sponsorship in his career, as he was previously a member of Smash United.
"I've known most of [the Panda Global team] for a long time now, so I know they're going to make me feel right at home," Trela tells ESPN.com about the signing. "I will have the privilege of fighting for another family I get to know and love on not just a competitive level, but on a personal level, too."
Trela switched to competing with Ryu starting with the Dallas-Fort Worth tournament Low Tier City 3 last summer, and this change led to top 16 finishes at major tournaments such as Paragon Los Angeles and The Big House 5. At both events, Trela placed ninth alongside the likes of notable players ESAM, Larry "Larry Lurr" Holland, Eric "Tyrant" Legesse, and Joseph "Seagull Joe" Raucher. He then took third at charity event Smash the Record, after falling to Counter Logic Gaming's Tyrell "Nakat" Coleman and Team Liquid's Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada.
"Trela is a competitor with a bright future, a diamond in the rough that is starting to shine," Panda Global CEO Alan Bunney tells ESPN.com. "The potential he holds to be at the top of the Smash 4 scene is second to none and we're proud to be with him on his road to success."
Trela recently took first at the Texas Gaming Championships 8, cementing his title as the best Smash for Wii U player in Texas. Bunney explains that while Trela is not considered a top 10 player internationally, he believes that Trela will "break through" into the top 10 in the coming months.
Panda Global will look to provide Trela with the support he needs to rise to the challenge, especially given the organization's experience in fighting games. In addition to its Smash for Wii U crew, Panda Global also houses two world-class Super Smash Bros. Melee players, Justin "Plup" McGarth and Robert "Wobbles" Wright, as well as top Street Fighter player Ryan "Filipino Champ" Ramirez. It also has players in Mortal Kombat X, Guilty Gear Xrd, Pokken Tournament, and Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
The majority of Panda Global's team will compete this weekend at Community Effort Orlando, which is one of the fighting game scene's biggest annual events. The tournament begins Friday at the Wyndham Resort in Orlando, Florida, and will feature more than 2,000 players competing in various games.