UAF students get ‘smashed’

Molly Putman / Layout Editor

More than 60 students gathered in the Hess Recreation Center on Friday to digitally fight each other in the video game tournament UAF Up Smash Throw Down. The event coordinators collected canned food donations for the Wood Center Food Pantry in exchange for raffle tickets.

A joint event between SAO and the UAF e-Sports gaming club, the tournament is part of an effort to bring UAF groups with similar interests together, Student Activities Assistant Brandon Blum said. The tournament featured the fighting games “Super Smash Bros. Melee” and “Super Smash Bros. 4.” During the event Blum managed the “Super Smash Bros. 4” tournament and the raffle. 

“All the gaming communities are kind of separated,” Blum said.  “The e-sports club, they have about 15-20 people regularly show up on Fridays. Not really as outreaching as I think it could have been, and so as the new student activities organizer, the new kid on the block, I kinda wanted to make it my goal to make clubs talk to each other, and make bigger, cohesive events,” Blum said. “Hey we’re out here, let’s find other people who game and let’s make this a better experience for everybody.”

While many students participated in the tournaments, many were spectating and talking with others who shared a similar interest in the gaming community.

“I think [video games] are pretty freaking awesome,” Jacob Cororan, an attendee at the event, said. “Basically they’re the cat’s pajamas”.

Jacob Corcoran and e-Sports club president Jay Santiago play Street Fighter V during the UAF Up Smash Throw Down event. "Video games suck," Santiago said. "As president of the e-Sports Gaming Club I say fuck games." - Molly Putman / Sun Star

Jacob Corcoran and e-Sports club president Jay Santiago play “Street Fighter V” during the UAF Up Smash Throw Down event. “Video games suck,” Santiago said. “As president of the e-Sports Gaming Club I say fuck games.” – Molly Putman / Sun Star

 

“[Video games] are absolutely fantastic and anyone who doesn’t play them is missing out on a very large and very important aspect of being alive,” said Isaac Firesmith, e-sports member. Firesmith spent the night managing and participating in the “Super Smash Bros. Melee” tournament. Firesmith went on to win the melee tournament. In second and third place were Jonah Jeffries and Ian Hendren.

Both winners and losers at the event seemed to have positive attitudes about the outcomes. Participant Dustin Rabe lost to Firesmith in the “Super Smash Bros. 4” tournament, but stresses that the goal is to have fun.

Dustin Kabe plays against Issac Firesmith in the Super Smash Bros 4 tournament. Like many participants at the event, Kabe and Firesmith participated in both tournaments. - Molly Putman / Sun Star

Dustin Rabe plays against Isaac Firesmith in the “Super Smash Bros. 4” tournament. Like many participants at the event, Rabe and Firesmith participated in both tournaments. – Molly Putman / Sun Star

“It was a good match. I don’t really expect to win, I just wanna have a good time,” Rabe said. “I fight for fun!”

Both game tournaments were double-elimination style, with players only leaving the competition after losing two rounds. Each match consists of three games. Winning two out of three is necessary to progress in the tournament. Competitive play is also different from regular “Super Smash Bros.” gameplay in that all extra in-game items and power-ups are turned off and all matches are one vs. one.

Student activities assistant Brandon Blum wins a Street Fighter V match against Ian Hendren. Street Fighter V wasn't part of the game tournament but was set up for casual play. Molly Putman / Sun Star

Student activities assistant Brandon Blum wins a “Street Fighter V” match against Ian Hendren. “Street Fighter V” wasn’t part of the game tournament on but was set up for casual play for the duration of the event. – Molly Putman / Sun Star

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