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ESPORTS: Students compete for glory in campus Smash Bros. tournament

ESPORTS: Students compete for glory in campus Smash Bros. tournament

By Juan Reyes
Bridge Staff Writer

Published Friday, Feb. 4, 2022

As the interest in esports continues to grow and thrive at TAMIU, as well as the rest of the nation, tournaments create a big draw.

From 1 to 5 p.m. Friday Nov. 12 at the TAMIU Student Center Ballroom, students gathered to take part in a TAMIU Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament. Hosted by the TAMIU Smash Club and OIT, players from across TAMIU attended and participated in this decades-old event to see who wins the bragging rights as the best Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players at TAMIU.

TAMIU’s OIT partnered with the TAMIU Smash Club to host a TAMIU-only Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament as a special way to finish off OIT’s Learning Week and a celebration of the end of the Fall 2021 semester. OIT provided space for the event and equipment, such as monitors and projectors to display ongoing matches. Fellow students and Smash Bros. Club members provided additional monitors, spare controllers and Nintendo Switch consoles with Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The event itself lasted four hours, split into two separate brackets. These included: an amateur bracket for students with some or no experience playing Super Smash Bros Ultimate competitively and a competitive bracket for students looking for a serious challenge.

Students signed up to take part in this event for free, either beforehand online on the Blackboard page, or in person at the event by scanning a QR code. The top-three winners for both brackets won Dusty Dollars and first place for both brackets also won a trophy. More than 60 TAMIU students signed up to participate; more attended as spectators for the event itself.

TAMIU Smash Club representative Ruben Reyes competed in the amateur bracket.

“People here, who signed up for the amateur bracket, think that they’re bad,” Reyes said. “But some people in the bracket are pretty good. They just don’t play.”

He said the final match in the amateur bracket ended up being a great watch and a crazy fight. He explained that a Donkey Kong player and a Kazuya player went for a best-of-five to decide the winner of the bracket. The Donkey Kong player ended up triumphant.

Reyes also said this was the club’s first big event since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The last major event the club organized at TAMIU was called “hidden flame” with up to 200 participants signing up. People from not only across Laredo, but even outside of Laredo, came for this event. He said some came from as far as Arkansas just to compete.

TAMIU Smash Club representative Luis Arriaga took first place in the competitive bracket for the tournament.

He said that due to COVID-19, managing this event was more challenging compared to previous ones since membership declined–due to either students graduating or losing interest during online learning; however, the tournament met his expectations and ran smoothly despite starting 15 minutes later than intended.

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