By Arts & Entertainment Sawyer Pollitt
On October 27, the UMass Dartmouth Super Smash Bros. Club was a competitor in the Collegiate Star League (CSL). This intercollegiate league is open to all colleges in North America. After competing against 32 teams of five players, UMass Dartmouth’s Smash Club was able to secure a 2nd place ranking, cementing their place as one of the best teams in the region.
For those who may not be familiar with the game, Super Smash Bros., or just Smash for short, is a game that pits players against each other using a roster of memorable Nintendo, Sega, and other well-known video game characters such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Sonic, or Ryu.
The basic mechanics of the game consist of two or more players duking it out using attacks and special moves unique to their characters on stages that are pulled right from their game-worlds. Players are given “stocks” which act as lives. They lose a stock when their damage reaches a high percentage and they are knocked off of the stage. The last player with at least one “stock” remaining is the winner.
In the CSL tournament this past October, the name of the game was crewbattles. This style of competition consists of two, five player teams going head-to-head against each other. Each team shares 15 stocks between them, and characters are declared before the battle begins, but the order in which they appear is unknown to the opposing team. In this style of fight, every stock counts.
UMass Smash Club went up against many teams to reach the finals, but once teams were narrowed down to the top performers, UMass Smash Club went against four teams, winning three and losing one. First, going up against MIT, UMass’ team won by one stock. Going up against Southern New Hampshire University, UMass won by seven stock. Against Northeastern University, UMass won by three stock. The final battle between UMass Dartmouth and Suffolk University was lost by five stock.
The Torch sat down with Smash Club president Stefan Bruendl who spoke about the significance of this tournament. “There are a wide variety of benefits coming from this placement… it establishes us as one of the strongest Smash Bros. campuses in Massachusetts”. However, the 2nd place ranking in the tournament wasn’t achieved without a fair deal of close calls and stressful situations.
Bruendl also talked about some of the more tense moments of the tournament “Our round one opponent was MIT and we went to a last player situation. three stocks vs. three stocks, one vs. one. We were in a stock deficit before this match happened and our last player needed to take those three stocks and one before then.” Although to some it may be just a video game, it clearly means a lot to not only the members of Smash Club but for the 31 other teams who competed in the CSL tournament.
When asked what this placement means for the day-to-day operations of the club, Bruendl stated “Having better players calls for higher attendance at events and for peaked interest. Our club has off-campus competitors come to our club almost every week, with some being retired tournament organizers to sponsored players to friends of students that go here.”
According to Bruendl, Smash Club seems to be on an upward trajectory and this tournament placement is only going to help propel them forward. “This community has been growing by club-goers going to tournaments in the area and familiarizing themselves with the scene while potentially advertising for our club. This doesn’t happen often, but word does get out and we see new faces almost every week.”
If you’re interested in Super Smash Bros. Club, they have meetings on Thursdays at 6:00PM in LIB 206. Also, if you’re interested in seeing some clips from the CSL tournament, they are available on Twitch. As monumental as this event was for Smash Club they aren’t done yet. They have plans to have more events as the semester winds down!