On Saturday September 5, hundreds of people from around the Capital Region gathered in the McNeil Room of the Rensselaer Union for the Super Smash Brothers tournament “Black Fish.” Over 130 participants came not only from RPI, but also from colleges such as Siena College, State University of New York Albany, Hamilton College, and Vassar College to compete in tournaments held in the various games of the Super Smash Brothers series. A total of $1670 was at stake in the prize pools, with Eric “Manalord” Garb winning over $500 in prize money.
The tournaments were split up among three games in the Super Smash Brothers series. Wii U is the most recent entry, featuring the largest list of playable characters and stages. Melee was the 2nd game in the series, but is still considered by many players to be the best game of the series. Project M is a player-made mod of Brawl, the 3rd game in the series. It has the same characters and stages, but the physics and mechanics have been changed to feel more like Melee. Most of these games also had both singles and doubles tournaments, with singles matches consisting of 1 vs. 1 games and doubles matches consisting of 2 vs. 2. In total, this made for five tournament brackets: Project M singles, Wii U doubles, Wii U singles, Melee doubles, and Melee singles.
“It’s nice to meet up with people who like the same things you like,” said Rob Fagan, a competitor who drove all the way out to the tournament from Southern Vermont, and who took 3rd in Project M and 3rd in Melee singles. He says he likes the competition and he doesn’t know many people who play in Vermont, so he enjoyed coming to spend time with people who also like to analyze the game on such a deep level.
The organizers of the event would like to thank “Claim to Fame Entertainment” for donating a prize bonus of $200, free Monster drinks for the players, and running a raffle at the event. They would also like to thank “Pastime Legends” for providing the majority of the equipment, including over 50 game setups with consoles, TVs, and copies of Smash, as well as https://twitch.tv/pastimelegends, and recordings of this event can be watched at https://www.youtube.com/user/pastimelegends.
The Smash Club is always trying to improve the quality with each tournament, making each one bigger and better. Their current goal is to get storage space in the Union, which would allow them for easier setup and cleanup.
“These things are so self-fulfilling,” says Erik “Mana” Garb (who took 1st in Melee singles, 1st in Project M singles, 1st in Melee doubles, 2nd in Wii U doubles, and 4th in Wii U singles), “I’ve practiced really hard, and it’s payed off. I think that can be said for anything, if you work hard and practice, it’s very fulfilling. It’s also the camaraderie, friendship, and competition.”
Anyone interested in participating in future Smash events should join “Capital Region Smash Brothers” Facebook group, where events such as this will be posted. The next large tournament, “Blue Fish,” will be held on November 7 of this year in the Union McNeil Room.