Gamers huddled around screens in the darkness of Clemente on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the first ever Florida Tech esport tournament, Super Smash Bros.
“A lot of students have asked about having esports on campus, and our job is to give the students what they want,” said Aaliyah Thomas, the Office of Student Life’s coordinator.
According to Thomas, over 200 students came to the tournament.
Among them were 80 players who signed up to compete against each other in Super Smash Bros Ultimate on Nintendo Switches.
“We decided to do a Smash tournament because it is a very widely known game and a very easy game to get into competitively,” said Erik Olsen, the tournament organizer. “It is also one of the few competitive games that actually encourages people to get together and have fun.”
Although there were only four gaming setups for all the players to use, the tournament went relatively smoothly with few interruptions.
“The flow of the tournament went really well despite the limitations,” Olsen said. “I think that the entire experience would be better and more efficient if we have more people who had experience with being in or running a tournament.”
After nearly three hours of heated but entertaining one-on-one battles, Bryan Portieles, a senior, was able to emerge among the crowd and claim the title of winner, as well as a brand new Nintendo Switch as the prize.
“I had a great time,” Portieles said. “Being able to sit down with anybody and just play with them was a lot of fun, and everybody had a very positive energy going. People were friendly and respectful to each other even if they lost.”
After the tournament ended, a number of students stayed and provided feedback to the tournament staff.
Many stated that they would come back for more, according to Olsen.
“I think introducing the Florida Tech students to this big community is a step in the right direction,” Olsen said.