Students bond over “Super Smash Bros.” brawls

In Features, Gaming and Tech, Lifestyle, Top Stories
Gabe Gandara / Daily Titan

Beyond their shared interest in Nintendo characters like Mario, Donkey Kong and Pikachu, gamers in the Smash Club of Cal State Fullerton have another reason to gather around GameCubes and tube-screened televisions to engage in battle every week — community.  

These devout players come together at the Titan Student Union Underground, not to see who can be the best, but to bond through virtual combat.

“It’s kind of cool that we all have this one hobby. So, I guess that’s what made me passionate about wanting to get more involved into the game,” said Joseph Badal, Smash Club event coordinator.

Packed with over 20 gamers waiting for a chance to play, Smash Club (a club based around the fighting video game, “Super Smash Bros.”)  kicked off its weekly tournaments on Tuesday night.

The double-elimination tournament will continue every Tuesday of the semester from 5 to 10 p.m. It provides club members and students another opportunity and place to play outside of Wednesday meetings, which not everybody can always attend.

“People have fluctuating schedules, they have work, they’ve got classes,” said Adrian Nieto, president of the Smash Club.  “It’s been working out for the people that can’t make it to one but are able to make it to the other.”

The tournament featured two brackets: one for “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U,” followed by another for the classic “Super Smash Bros. Melee.”  

Gabe Gandara / Daily Titan

After five hours of up-and-down smash attacking, club members Austin Killough and Paul Lee came out victorious in “Smash for Wii U” and “Melee” respectively, winning prizes provided by the TSU which included a hat, lanyards, pens and notebooks.

Despite its intense, competitive start in spring 2017, the tournament has become a place for students to refine their craft rather than beat their fellow competitors.

Killough went undefeated in the 24-player bracket.  

For him, the tournament is a place to enjoy the game in a more casual setting because he often attends larger-scale tournaments at venues like the Esports Arena in Santa Ana, where some of the top players in the world compete.

Nieto also considers the weekly free-for-all as a place for gamers of all skill levels.

“It’s friendly competition. It’s not too serious. This is kind of good training ground, I’d say, for people who want to get started,” Nieto said.

Badal found his passion for the series because it brings people together. He’s made some unexpected relationships with total strangers.

“I just love going out and seeing how myself and all these other people, people I’ve never met, that we all have an interest and it’s this,” Badal said.

Where games like “Overwatch” and “League of Legends” have players sit in front of a computer screen and talk to each other through headsets, “Smash” requires players to sit right next to each other and talk in real life.

“It is very intimate. That experience isn’t something that we have a lot nowadays,” Nieto said.

The Tuesday tournament still ignited the intensity and the natural competitive nature was very much present.  

But these tournaments are more than just playing a video game.  It’s a community-driven series, one that is a staple in many of the club members’ lives.

“It’s kind of like this weird part of my life now, but it’s awesome, I definitely enjoy it,” Nieto said.

If you liked this story, sign up for our weekly newsletter with our top stories of the week.

You may also read!

CSUF men's basketball defense kept the No. 2 best offense in the Big West, Long Beach State, at bay.

CSUF men’s basketball looks to defend four-game win streak

With both teams on winning streaks, only one team will be able to keep their streak intact when Cal

Read More...
Fullerton College men's basketball defeated Copper Mountain on Wednesday.

Fullerton College men’s basketball continues dominance

Fullerton College men’s basketball team is now one step closer to capturing the Orange Empire Conference title after defeating

Read More...
Kelsie Whitmore practices swinging her bat for CSUF softball before going up to the home plate at a home game against Cal State University, San Diego State on Feb. 20, 2019.

Sophie Frost powers CSUF softball through the rain

After winning three out of five games in the Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson, the CSUF softball team returned home

Read More...

Mobile Sliding Menu