Super Smash Bros. tournament supports gaming community

Jacob WaringOpinions & Features Editor

Norman Whitney, a political science major and freshman, won the Anime Society’s annual Super Smash Bros. Tournament Fundraiser after getting it on like Donkey Kong.

“I don’t want to be like, over confident or anything. I kinda went into it, thinking that I was gonna win because I play this game non-stop,” said Whitney. “I actually got a run for my money. They are pretty good people.”

Whitney had strictly played Donkey Kong for the duration of the Tournament. He took inspiration from Dkwill, a twitch streamer who mains as Donkey Kong and is a self-described “veteran Super Smash Bros. player.” During the competition, Whitney was sporting a sweater with Dkwill’s Donkey Kong logo.

“I was trying to harness his essence, his energy and kind of like, pull it into me and play well,” he said.

Whitney describes his own playstyle as “obnoxious” and focused on mainly having a good time. A popular maneuver he utilized was having Donkey Kong grab his opponent’s character, leap off the stage, and throw them before springing up as his opponent tumbled away.

His strategy stumbled a bit when he squared off against a player who used the character Villager from Animal Crossing to frustrate Whitney. Those in the room were captivated by the intense and close matchup.

“That was so stressful,” said Whitney. “I couldn’t play all gimmicky and fun. I had to like, buckle down, [especially] after losing the first game.”

According to the Anime Society’s vice president Lourdes Rivera, a junior and art history major, the tournament rules were watches with three sticks, a match time of seven minutes, no items and all characters were allowed usage.

This was not an official Smash Bros. tournament, which mean the rules were flexible according to Rivera.

“Tournament rules, since it is an unofficial [tournament], obviously there’s going to be some lax rules sometimes,” Rivera said.

Nick Palazzo, a senior and communication disorders major who was eliminated in the first round, utilized the Pokémon Trainer character.

The character can rotate from Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard within battle, and Palazzo’s preference out of the three was Ivysaur.

Music major Tom Pelton, a senior, said he has been playing Smash Bros. since Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He was eliminated from the tournament by Whitney, the eventual winner. Pelton said it was humbling to lose because as he says, “maybe you’re the best in your friend’s group, you can get kind of a tunnel vision with how good you are.”

He struggled against Whitney’s Donkey Kong as he switched from Joker, the newest character in the series, to Ganondorf.

His rational in the switch is that despite the speedster nature of Joker, Ganondorf’s move set literally packs a punch and he was hedging his bet on making Whitney’s Donkey Kong soar off the stage.

He acknowledged that he played into Whitney’s gimmicky strategy as Ganondorf was grabbed by Donkey Kong, who leaped off the stage with the Hyrulean villain, threw him and then back onto the stage. Pelton tried to uppercut himself back to the stage but missed his mark which led him to losing a stick or “life.” It had shifted the momentum within the match.

Starting off the series of matches with the newest member of the roster instead of a more familiar character was part of Pelton’s strategy to throw off his asuspecting opponents.

“This is a new character. People don’t yet exactly know how to play him. I already put 15 hours into him online,” said Pelton.

“The thought process was that I’m solid enough with him to where I can compete. But that people may not know the match-up, then I might be able to out maneuver them.”

President of Anime Society and studio art major Taylor “TJ” Thomas, a sophomore, felt that this tournament was more of a success than she had expected. “I liked the turnout.

“I liked that people had fun. Even if they were sitting around and just watching the games and talk,” she said. “It was very casual and cozy, if you will.”

Photo Credit: Jacob Waring

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