‘Smash Bros.’ club brings friendly competition to old school game lovers

Graham Shapley

Northern Colorado residents have been duking it out with peers for years, but not in the ways you may think. This modern-day Fight Club would seem horrifying if it weren’t for one thing: the violence is all virtual.

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Players playing Super Smash Brothers in tournament.
Tournaments are set up through an online website. Players are split by experience to make it fair for all players. (Nathan Tran | Collegian)

In actuality, fighters of the Super Smash Bros. Club are sitting down with a game console playing “Super Smash Bros.,” a long-running and well-loved game series from Nintendo. There have been four releases since its release in 1999 and is gearing up for the release of a fifth “ultimate” edition later this year.

“It really gets the adrenaline pumping,” said Elliot Cullen, a Colorado State University economics graduate after being eliminated from a bracket. “The reason I enjoy [Smash Bros.] is that it’s a game where you can make your own combos. It’s nice to be able to play such a free-form game, compared to other fighting games which have built-in combos.”

Starting on Wednesday 5:30 p.m and stretching well after 9:00 p.m., competitors put money into a pot and sign up to play for a shot to show off their Super Smash skills. Competitors play and practice for dozens of hours to become the best, and this club is their proving ground.

“We try to have the motto that we’re here for fun, not necessarily to win. It can get pretty competitive in here, and we don’t want to drive people away.” -Aaron David Evans, Smash Bros. competitor

Four tournaments are run during each weekly meeting of the Super Smash Bros. Club. There are doubles tournament, where teams of two will fight one another, and the singles, where fighters face off one-on-one. Each tournament is further divided by game.

Two games are played at the club: “Super Smash Bros. Melee” and “Super Smash Bros. 4”, which is as the name would suggest, the fourth in the series. Most fighters are specialized in one of the two games, though some fight in multiple tournaments across each game.

Fighters are ranked by the “Smash” community on a tier list from G-tier to A-tier depending on how likely they are to win a game in high-level play.

Super Smash Club CSU meets on Wednesdays starting at 5:30 p.m in Behavioral Science Building room 104.

Aaron David Evans, a competitor who goes by the name “NotAaron” for the tournament, doesn’t see the competition as the main point but rather a place to have fun. Depending on the week and amount of competition, some meetings are more casual than others. 

“I feel like today’s going to be a low tier day,” Evans said, referring to the character choices of some fighters. “We’re just here to have fun.”

Players playing Super Smash Brothers in tournament.
Tournaments are set up through an online website. Players are split by experience to make it fair for all players. (Nathan Tran | Collegian)

It’s hard not to get caught up in the thrill of a close game. Spectators will circle around the television set-up and the players. They cheer at good plays, get excited as the battle wears on, and will make idle chat with one another about who they think is going to win. 

Of course, a loss can bring frustration but is usually accompanied by a show of sportsmanship. A quick “good game” and a handshake is appropriate or at the very least a fist-bump.

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“Sometimes people are nervous to come into the club and play video games with strangers,” Evans said. “It’s like ‘what kind of people are these?’ That’s why we try to have the motto that we’re here for fun, not necessarily to win. It can get pretty competitive in here, and we don’t want to drive people away.”

The once-per-semester tournament Battery Basement 10, was held in Lory Student Center earlier this semester and attracted fighters from all around Colorado. The general goal seemed to mostly be a chance to blow off some steam. Attendance was on the low end, being a bit above thirty people, but Cullen assures that usually, it gets busier.

 

Super Smash Club CSU meets on Wednesdays starting at 5:30 p.m. in Behavioral Science Building room 104. Entering a tournament is two dollars to get a name on the list, or one dollar if you bring a set-up to play on. Players are encouraged to bring their own controllers.

Graham Shapley can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @shapleygraham.