For some, gaming is a form of entertainment. For others, it can be a community.
That’s the case for nutrition senior Susanna Yu, who helped found SLO Smash Community — a club dedicated to playing Nintendo’s original Super Smash Bros. She’s played the game competitively since 2008, and started hosting tournaments as a freshman at Cal Poly in 2012. The club meets at SLO Donut Company once a month and weekly at the Bonderson Engineering Center (building 197).
“This community gives me a comfortable environment to connect with a bunch of other people who enjoy the same hobby,” Yu said. “We’ve established friendships within this community that transcend the game.”
The club gives those who like to play Super Smash Bros. a friendly community to game with as well as a community of supportive friends.
Anyone who is interested in the game is allowed to join, no matter their skill level or major, physics senior and SLO Smash Community President Umar Sohi said. Members range from computer science to economics to architectural engineering.
“The community is also really exciting to watch,” Sohi said. “The professional players have cool backstories, and the rivalries at major tournaments are exciting to watch.”
Yu began hosting tournaments, which are held in double-bracket or round robin formats, at an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers meeting. Tournaments are now held at a variety of players’ homes, residence halls and apartments.
For the double-bracket format, there is a winner’s bracket, which everyone starts in, and a loser’s bracket, to play a second rival if the first round is lost. If players lose to two people, they are disqualified completely.
Round robin is played by separating the players into pools. Then, the winners of each pool play each other until an ultimate winner is found.
“The game is also incredibly intricate and has a lot of depth,” Sohi said. “Hard work is quickly rewarded and creativity is highly encouraged in every Smash game.”
With plenty of characters and varying combos, Super Smash Bros. requires quick thinking and a lot of practice.
Super Smash Bros. can be played on a variety of consoles, ranging from the GameCube to the newer Wii U. Each console, as well as each game, offers a different experience.
While competition is the foundation of this community, members get together for friendly games and hangouts.
“This club is my family away from home,” mechanical engineering junior Adrian Corona said. “Almost all of the friends I have in school I met playing this game.”
Some may argue that video games are unproductive, but these players have found a sense of community and support in playing together.
To learn more about how to get involved in tournaments and the community, visit the SLO Smash Community Facebook page.