Penland game tournament proves successful match

Mario Cutout-front FTWBy Jeffrey Swindoll

Students from the fourth floor of Penland Residence Hall, also known as the McLane House, hosted a video game tournament involving nearly 50 students from all over campus on Friday night. The video game of choice for this tournament was Nintendo Wii’s “Super Smash Bros. Brawl.”

“Everybody loves Smash Bros., and I thought it would be a great way to get the everybody together and bonding with each other,” said Hood River, Ore., senior Elijah Maletz and the tournament’s organizer.

Maletz said the tournament was a first for the McLane House, and it was an experiment as to whether the tournament would succeed or not.

“I think that it was a success,” Maletz said. “I thought just the people from this hall were going to show up, so I was surprised to see that about half the people that showed up were from other places.”

The tournament system used was a single elimination tournament bracket, much like March Madness. Each match had four players in a free-for-all match, and the top two players from each match would move on to the next round.

Eventually, the top two players were determined, and the one-on-one final was set. That is when Miami, Fla., freshman Spencer Swindoll emerged victorious and was named champion.

“It was a surreal moment,” Swindoll said. “I felt like I was on top of the world because I’m a newcomer from an outside place, but I felt one with the people, and I really felt like a champion.”

Nederland freshman Jake Shipman said the tournament was not only a time for friendly competition, but it was also an opportunity to mingle with fellow gamers.

“It was a great way to meet new friends and to have fun playing Super Smash together,” Shipman said.
Maletz said the tournament was put together for the sake of fun and enjoyment, but more specifically, it was organized to help the students be more active and relational on campus.

“I think the more people get involved on campus, the better their experiences will be, and the better they’ll be academically and emotionally,” Maletz said. “When people take initiative to go do things, they’re almost always glad that they did it.”

Swindoll said this tournament was an example of a simple event that can bring students together during the journey of college.

“I know more people now, and I’m friends with people that I wouldn’t have been friends with if I didn’t come to this tournament,” Swindoll said.

Some students were already demanding another tournament to be organized as soon as Friday night’s tournament had ended. Maletz added there would be more “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” battles as well as other hall events.

“For the next tournament, we’ll have a more organized bracket, and we’ll be more organized on when things are happening,” Maletz said.