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eSports team fails to advance in first Smash event

Nathaniel Marksman, Sports Reporter

Jumping into the second term of the semester, Humber’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate eSports team failed to advance in their first event of the year at Up Smash.

Two of Humber’s Smash players Roger Nguyen-Phan, who goes by the alias Guts, and Kevin Witaszek were invited to this event to play against other Super Smash Bros. players from across Ontario.

Although this event was different from the average tournament style setting with one champion coming out on top of the rest, the objective of this event was to see which players could make it into the top eight for the final showdown on Jan. 25.

The game settings were based on the official Canadian Smash Rule set that includes three lives, eight minutes on the clock, no items, and final smashes were prohibited. The player to win two matches moves up their bracket.

A total of 40 players entered the Jan. 19 preliminary round but only 32 could qualify for the chance to enter the tournament. Both Nguyen-Phan and Witaszek made it into the round of 32, however Witaszek lost his first match after that to a player from the GTA.

“I am not frustrated by any means but I find this tournament to be a wakeup call to take my practice a bit more seriously and fix my bad habits,” Witaszek said.

Roger Nguyen-Phan, who plays under the alias Guts, says he hoped to make it into the top eight but will take this loss as a learning experience. Nathaniel Marksman)

Nguyen-Phan, using his favourite character Joker, was able to make it to the round of the top 16 best players of the tournament when he lost to a formidable King Dedede player. Prior to this Nguyen-Phan had not lost a single match, defeat- ing all of his opponents in 2-0 victories.

He said his “matchup inexperience,” his lack of knowledge on the game Super Smash Bros. 4, made it difficult for him to understand and adjust to characters he had never played against before.

“Pikachu and Pichu are my worst matchups, low profile targets with little lag on their moves which makes it very hard for Joker to punish them,” he said.

Coach of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate team Michael Wilson also attended the event in order to see how his players faired in this new type of tournament setting.

Wilson was formerly the team’s assistant coach before taking over the role when previous coach Vivek Nath a first-year student in game programming stepped down.

“I’m at these tournaments mostly to be supportive, I know the players know what they need to work on and I leave that to them” Wilson said.

The team is now looking forward to the next tournament, which will be hosted at Humber College, on Wednesday.

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