ASI switches on ‘Super Smash Bros.’ for esports tournament

By Alexander Osornio, Mar. 22, 2022

Fighting game fans from across the campus community gathered at the Games Room on Friday, March 18, for a friendly yet vigorous tournament of “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.”

Seven players gathered to duke it out for the chance to win $25 in Bronco Bucks. Electrical engineering student Alvaro Martinez, who was not aware of the tournament until the day of, took home the championship title. He had played previous entries in the “Super Smash Bros.” series casually and participated in other on-campus tournaments, although he had no tournament victories to his name.

After a brief warm-up period, the tournament commenced in a style known as “round robin,” in which every player competes against every other player, guaranteeing everyone a minimum of six matches.

Among the gathering of players and spectators, friendly banter was exchanged with both casual and competitive players engaging in friendly competition. For mathematics student Patrick Lex Lumanglas, this was another opportunity to hone his skills.

“I played a little bit at school… but I was really bad,” he said. “I bought a Switch just to learn how to play ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.’”

Once every matchup ended, the top players competed in a “best of three” series of matches to determine the winner. The top two players were Martinez and computer science student Andrew Gravino.

Gravino had played “Super Smash Bros.” competitively since the ninth grade but went on a hiatus at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He jumped on the opportunity to participate in this tournament for the chance to make friends and engage with the campus community.

“I’m a sophomore, but this is my first semester here on campus,” said Gravino. “So, it’s my chance to get to be social with all kinds of people. Seeing that there all these events that are my interests and a lot of other people’s interests, it’s like, ‘oh, we can get something really good going on.’”

Spectators and other competitors gathered around the two finalists with bated breath. Martinez and Gravino remained neck-and-neck throughout their fights with no clear winner in sight until the very end. After two intense matches with plenty of close recoveries from both players, Martinez came through as the winner with two consecutive wins.

“My heart was beating really fast,” Martinez said. “I was struggling, but I was surprised that I won.”

Having never won a tournament before, he described finally being able to come out of one on top as “exhilarating.”

Agon Abazi, competitive sports manager of ASI Campus Recreation, affirmed the team’s commitment to “provide programming for students with all types of interests,” including nontraditional recreational activities like esports.

Abazi explained that games chosen for tournaments are chosen off student feedback with “Super Smash Bros.” being a consistent request. With the popularity of recreational and intramural esports on campus, he said that these competitions will continue into the future.

“We’ve done these in the past, and we’re going to continue to offer things like this just because we want people to participate in and be a part of this community,” he said.

To learn more about upcoming Campus Recreation events, visit its website and follow its Instagram.

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