eSports Club Hosts Super Smash Events, Gaming Community Emerges
Over the past few weeks, Skidmore’s eSports club has held biweekly events that have given players the opportunity to play games from the Super Smash Bros. series in a tournament or casual setting. The eSports club has held events for other competitive games, such as League of Legends, but the attendance for Super Smash Bros. events continues to amaze the organizers in the eSports club.
For those who are unfamiliar with the game, Super Smash Bros., often referred to as “Smash,” is a series of fighting games that feature characters from franchises established on Nintendo systems. Since the release of the first game in 1999, this popular, competitive eSport has received three sequels, as well as a fan made modification. Skidmore’s eSports club president, Jay Sobel ’17, has decided to use Smash as a way to improve the club’s on-campus presence “because it’s such a great party game…[and] a strong competitive scene.” The club’s Smash organizer, Shane Kuo ‘17, also explains that “eSports on a competitive level tend to be mostly computer games that are hard to create events for because there is just too much distance between the players… Smash seemed like the best way to bring members of eSports closer together and really gain a community feeling, instead of [players] being in front of their computers at home all the time.”
Both Sobel and Kuo like how well-attended the club’s Smash events are; some people come to participate in different games in the series, while others spectate the matches. With regard to their first event, Kuo commented that, “we knew we would get a good amount of people to come, but we had no idea attendance would reach even close to forty [players].” Sobel is encouraged by the popularity of the event and says, “The great numbers have encouraged us to invest even more into the Smash scene and to start looking beyond Skidmore at inter-collegiate Smash crew-battles.”
It is not only the eSports club members that have enjoyed the success of the events; those who come to play casually have equally enjoyed the tournaments. When asked what he thought about a recent tournament hosted by the eSports club,, Schuyler Fohrhaltz-Burbank ‘18 said, “It’s definitely interesting to see who comes out and who is there and seeing… the amount of time they dedicated towards learning…and becoming good at [the game].” However, he wishes the club would hold tournaments that featured the other games in the series.
Due to how well received these events have been, the eSports club will continue to use their biweekly Smash tournaments as a way to promote a sense of community among its players.