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Gamers Club members say ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ tournaments on hold due to pandemic

A Nintendo Switch console, controller and "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" Switch game.

The BYU–Hawaii Gamers Club organized a club tournament, which featured the best-selling video game “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.” The club continued its ongoing tournament that started at the beginning of the 2020 Winter Semester with 24 people in attendance. Since the COVID-19 outbreak and the closures associated with the pandemic, the tournament will continue at a later date.

Students who participated said the “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” Tournament helped them improve their gaming skills and alleviate stress from school.

According digitaltrends.com, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” for the Nintendo Switch smashed its way into the record books, earning the title as the best-selling fighting game of all time.

“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” overtook “Super Mario Odyssey,” in terms of sales, with 15.38 million copies sold, and “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” with 14.54 million copies sold, to become the second best-selling game for the Nintendo Switch. The fighting game, however, is behind “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” which has sold 19.01 million copies as the best-selling title on the console, according to digitaltrends.com.

Tanner Sharek, a senior from Idaho studying accounting, serves as the Gamers Club vice president. According to him, “Last semester, there was a group of people who liked the game a lot and wanted to get involved with other people who also liked the game a lot. So, they formed a club called Super Smash Bros. North Shore Fight Club. We wanted to introduce it to new students and people, so we brought it to campus.

“We wanted to get those people who are kind of shy and in their corner … in a general area where they can play the game and also get to know new people.”

With the restrictions of being a school club, Sharek said they are not allowed to host money matches, but with the off-campus club, they can.

“The money matches are more for those people who are looking to get more competitive because throughout the world it is this huge club and has a huge fanbase. So, people want to continue to get better and keep going to larger tournaments.”

Summer Haslam, a sophomore majoring in graphic design from California, shared how she joined the club and talked about her impression after participating in the event.

“Back home, I have a bunch of friends who played [“Super Smash Bros.”] and some of them are super competitive. One of them plays regionals … My friends really wanted me to play, but I was super intimidated.”

She said she signed up for the Gamers Club at Club Fest and said she saw a chance to refine her skills at the game.

“At first it was a little bit intimidating. There are all these people. They’re so skilled, and I’m here, haven’t played [“Super Smash Bros.] since elementary school, and I have no clue what’s going on.

“It is a pretty fun experience so far,” she added. “I made a few friends and played a couple of battles.” Haslam also said it was a relief from the stress of schoolwork.

According to Sharek, “This club is just really for students who want to do something fun for their pastime and get to know people who are like them.

“We also want to continue to foster an environment where players can continually get better at the game. I mean, it’s kind of the whole purpose, to get better at the game together. We also just want to find passion in it.

Sharek said before the COVID-19 pandemic the Gamers Club had a tournament every single week. “Anybody and everybody is welcome … Anybody from people who are really little or older. It’s a very open environment, and people are just super friendly, extremely friendly. You don’t even have to know how to play the game, you are just welcome to come to join us. It’s a very charismatic, fun, caring group of people.

“We do have our regular people, but we are always willing to bring in new people and to get to know new people. So, it’s a very friendly environment, and everyone is welcome.”

Logan Bitter, a sophomore from California majoring in computer science, said, “It’s a fun thing. I’m really glad we have it. There are a lot of people from Japan, America and probably other places who really like the game. It’s very popular.

“It is something a lot of people like because there are a lot of characters in it who appeal to different people. It’s a game you play with other people, so it’s like a party thing.”

Bitter said his favorite part about the tournaments was practicing his skills. “I think it’s very fun because just about anyone can pick it up and play their favorite Nintendo character. I can play as Sonic or as Mario, and you can have fun trying to beat up the other person in the game.”

Yuya Toshimitsu, a junior from Japan majoring in accounting, said “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is his favorite game because he gets to practice techniques to keep the opponent away.

Looking toward the future of the club, Sharek said he would like for the club to continue even after the original creators are gone. “We already have people looking into the future for it. The club outside of the school directly correlates with helping to continue the club on this side of the island and with the school.

“We’ve already started taking steps to continue the club long after I am gone and far after the main, original people who started the club are gone. The club can continue to go on and continue to support and foster new players and new students.”