Last Friday, Chapman University’s eSports club held their inaugural Fall Smash Bash, an open tournament for Nintendo’s fighter Super Smash Bros. Melee and Blizzard’s flagship shooter Overwatch. Over 100 people attended the TeSPA and PizzaPress sponsored event, including a handful of non-Chapman students. Among the competitors, Chapman’s official Overwatch team entered the 3v3 tournament. Chapman eSports president, Ovilee May, headed the event which took place inside the university’s student union, alongside club members who mostly served as tournament organizers. Additional help was provided by CSUF eSports and Gaming president, Jeremy Wan.
“I’m just another guy from the community [who] wants to help out. Other schools around SoCal should help each other out in any way that we can,” Wan stated. “We’re a tight-knit community. We have to do what we can to support each other.”
Every attendee received a raffle ticket and was awarded more by TOs if they looked like they were having fun. Prizes, provided by Blizzard through TeSPA, were raffled off throughout the night. Local restaurant Pizza Press sponsored a casual Super Smash Bros. for Wii U doubles tournament that allowed teams to earn two free pizza vouchers for winning designated matches every half hour.
The youngest attendee of the night was an 11-year-old girl named Allyson who competed in Overwatch with her sister Elizabeth who currently attends Chapman. Allyson impressed me with her ability to use the character Zenyatta, a hero that requires strong prioritization and precision skills to use effectively. The sisters shared that they play Overwatch together frequently at home, down the hall from each other, communicating through Discord.
“Gaming is such a colorful culture,” says Wan. “Once you have different games, you’ll have different people.” There are perhaps no better games than Smash Bros. and Overwatch, both games that I’ve invested my time in on a competitive level, to draw large crowds. The Fall Smash Bash, by all accounts, succeeded in offering a fun and inviting competitive gaming experience to Chapman students. This is a win for Chapman’s budding eSports scene and it’s developing community as well.