Marshall Smashers tournaments promote friendly competition among students, locals


Douglas Harding

Marshall Smashers meets Mondays at 7 p.m. in Harris Hall Room 102 to compete in playing various video games.

Marshall University students and community members bonded through gaming competition during the Marshall Smashers Super Smash Bros. Tournament Sept. 17.

“Tonight we played doubles brackets,” Austin Gaal, president of Marshall Smashers and senior accounting major, said. “Sam Aliff and I won the Melee bracket.”

Gaal said he has been playing Super Smash Bros. on his GameCube since he was 8 years old. He took over as club president last fall.

The competition included both tournament and noncompetition matches of Super Smash Bros., Melee and Super Smash Bros. Four on GameCube and Wii U.

“We use the standard format for organizing our tournaments,” Gaal said. “For most fighting games, this means a seeded bracket with a winners and a losers side.”

Gaal said the idea of this format is to rank players roughly based on skill and experience and then to fill in the bracket accordingly to avoid mismatches.

“Having two brackets allows players a second chance,” Gaal said. “So even if you lose one match you still have a chance to play again and win the whole tournament.”

In addition to a two-versus-two tournament format, students and locals participated in exhibition and friendly matches for both entertainment and practice.

“Any time before matches start or when there’s a gap between matches, people are always playing friendlies with each other,” Gaal said.

Austin Falk, a first-year computer science major, attended Marshall Smashers for the first time Sept. 17 and said he learned a lot about the game while there.

“I think it’s important for events like this to be available on campus for students to meet new people and make friends with similar interests,” Falk said.

Falk said he had played four matches and lost all but one of them, but that is not what was most important to him.

“This has been a really fun time with some really good people,” he said.

Falk said he would certainly be attending as many events like this on campus as he could find.

“If anyone enjoys playing Super Smash Bros., or even if you’re just looking for a challenging new hobby, these tournaments would be perfect for you,” Falk said.

Gaal said Marshall Smashers have tournaments at 7 p.m. every Monday in Harris Hall Room 102.

“We typically play singles, but occasionally we play doubles or some other less serious event for the week,” Gaal said.

Marshall Smashers is composed primarily of undergraduate students at Marshall, but several frequent participants come from areas such as Morgantown, Charleston and Ashland and do not attend Marshall, Gaal said.

Anyone looking for updates on the club or its events can find their Marshall Smashers Facebook page, or just show up one Monday to get an idea of what it is like, Gaal said.

Gaal said he and the other members always try their best to help new members become acquainted as smoothly as possible.

“I try my best to greet and talk with any unfamiliar faces,” he said. “It’s good to get to know them and help them get plugged in with the group.”

Douglas Harding can be contacted at [email protected]