By Oscar Huerta, April 25, 2023
Students put their kart racing skills to the test and competed against one another in a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Tournament hosted by ASI March 10 in the Games Room.
Twelve students with varying levels of Mario Kart experience entered the two-hour-long tournament free of charge and competed in a single-elimination bracket for a chance at winning $25 in Bronco Bucks.
Tourney participants rotated in groups of three to four on one console and raced on four randomly chosen courses with normal items. The players who won first and second overall for that set of races progressed from the beginning round.
In later rounds, only the player in first would move on to the next round. The tournament progressed until two people remained in the grand finals, where they raced each other in a final set of four races to determine the undisputed winner.
After a close set of races and a near tie, the winner of the tournament was Nicholas Condray, a fifth year computer engineering student and a returning champion from the previous Mario Kart 8 tournaments.
Condray attributed his win to a lucky toss of a green shell that bounced off the wall at a perfect angle to hit his opponent, William Carrillo, and throw him off for the remainder of the race.
Condray enjoyed his time at the tournament, but he had a few critiques that he wished could be addressed for future tournaments, suggesting that previous rulesets be merged together with the current one.
“It was fun,” Condray said. “I liked some of the new rules that were implemented, like no CPUs, but I do think the tournament could be improved if they actually made the finale high stakes, because every single round was identical whether it was the starting round or the grand finale.”
Condray’s first time entering a Mario Kart tournament hosted by ASI happened on a whim in 2018 after he saw a banner advertising the tournament on the day it was happening and decided to join.
From there, Condray won nearly every single Mario Kart tournament that ASI held, with only two exceptions where he placed second or was not able to show up. This tournament marked his final win before he leaves CPP next semester.
Another tourney participant was Omar Flores, a third year student in computer engineering, who decided to come to the tournament after seeing it listed on the MyCPP website.
“I’ve played Mario Kart before, why not?” Flores said.
Flores ended up being eliminated in the first round, but he decided to stick around and watch the rest of the tournament anyway.
“Even though I lost, it was fun to come around and talk to people because I’m normally a shy person,” Flores said. “It’s pretty relaxing.”
DJ Netherly, competitive sports manager for ASI Campus Recreation, stated that the main goal of these esports tournaments are to serve as an opportunity for students to connect and have fun with their fellow colleagues through friendly gaming competition.
“The reason why I’m in this role is based on sports and the connections that are made through sports, and I feel like esports is one of those terms that is coming up more prolifically,” Netherly said. “With that, it’s just another platform for students to engage with one another and get out of their personal space and make new friends and make connections not only with playing video games but also with personal connections that can benefit them through the long run.”
Netherly said that ASI tries to hold at least three esports tournaments each semester with other games, such as Super Smash Bros. and various EA Sports titles like FIFA and Madden.
Recent changes make the tournaments more inclusive and appealing, like making tournaments free to enter and providing more incentives and rewards to win such as specialized T-shirts and Bronco Bucks.
According to Netherly, ASI is always open to suggestions for esports tournaments as they wish to be as inclusive as possible and change things up whenever it can to cater to students’ interests.
Students interested in future ASI Campus Recreation events and announcements can find more information on their website’s event calendar or on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.
Feature image by Oscar Huerta
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