ETSU students look to win national Super Smash Bros. competition

Brandon Paykamian • Mar 3, 2019 at 7:11 PM

As competitive video gaming, often called “e-sports,” becomes increasingly popular, colleges and universities are putting teams together to compete — sometimes for big money. 

E-sports is a general term for video game competitions viewed much like sporting events. 

On Feb. 23, the Super Smash Bros. Club at East Tennessee State University, which has been an official campus club since only December, competed in the Tennessee Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Collegiate State League Local Qualifier at Vanderbilt University against nine teams from eight universities.

ETSU came out on top against favorites from Belmont University, Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University to take first place. 

ETSU's team was led by President Will Beaudry, a computer science major and music minor at ETSU. Even after a lot of practice, he said the team wasn’t sure they’d even make it past the first round. 

“We went there not really expecting to win,” he said. 

But after taking first place there, the team has been feeling good about its next competition at the Southeastern Ultimate Divisional Qualifier, where ETSU will face Florida University, Atlantic South University, Texas University and Louisiana University. The competition will take place between May and June, with the specific date and time to be announced later. 

“I feel pretty good about it. I don’t know how good the other teams are, but Middle Tennessee was considered a better team overall, and we still defeated them, so I think we can do well,” Vice President Logan Fossett, also a computer science major, said of going into the next competition. 

The winners of this competition will face off against other divisional qualifier winners at the Ultimate National Qualifier in Boston, where the top four teams will split a $15,000 prize. 

“We surprised everyone when we took it,” Beaudry said of the competition that advanced them to the Ultimate Divisional, where alternate players also participated. 

“I’m pretty happy with how we did, and I think we have a real shot of doing well.”

Team members include Austin Jones, a computer science major, and digital media majors Ransom Barnes and Dustin Howard. Jake Maynard, an undeclared major, and Brenna Naish are the alternates. 

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