by TANNER GLASCOCK
On Thursday Oct. 12, UMW’s Esports Super Smash Brothers blue team had a tense match against Campbellsville University in Harrodsburg, losing 2–0 in the best out of three. It was an incredibly close match, with the first round’s last fight beginning with both players having three lives. While UMW did not end up victorious, every player had moments where they were able to stand out and make impressive plays.
“They’ve been doing really, really well. I’m super happy that they’re here because they are just phenomenal players,” said Jack Yatsko, a junior English: creative writing major and captain of the Smash Brothers Teams. “Everyone’s just been playing a really good game tonight, and I’m super happy with how they’ve gone in contention with Campbellsville.”
In Smash Brothers competitive team play, each team possesses twelve points, which means that each of the four players have three points. Every time a player is defeated, they lose a point. After losing three points, they lose the round and their teammate comes up next. Both teams subtract the amount of points lost in the match from their total.
In the second round of the first set of twelve, Brandon Howar, a sophomore computer science major who was playing his first Smash Brothers game of the season, had a decisive victory against his opponent.
Howar has been a member of the UMW Esports Valorant team for around a year and recently decided to join the Smash Brothers team as well. In his debut match, he decided to play as the Wii Fit Trainer, an unconventional character that may have been key to his victory.
After he played, Howar commented on his strategy for the game.
“My game plan was pretty much to just stay as far away from [my opponent] as possible because any attack he would hit me with would probably kill me,” he said. “So I just planned to zone them out with my utility.” Utilizing the stage—the physical space that the match takes place in game itself—was key to Howar’s victory, launching his opponent against it to secure his win.
In the third round of the first set of 12, freshman Chance Walker impressed spectators with a game-changing set of matches which brought UMW closer to the win. Walker managed to take out two opponents, which brought the last round of the first set to 1–3 with Campbellsville in the lead.
In his fights, he had viewers completely starstruck as they watched the stream on UMW’s Twitch channel.
Jake Lipinski, a sophmore with an undecided major, was one of the hosts for the UMW Twitch channel’s coverage of the event. He described some of the technical aspects of Super Smash Brothers, such as reading an opponent’s moves, which pertains to looking at their patterns and tendencies in their gameplay.
“There’s reading in the game because if they ever do a special thing, usually rolling or smart dodging or something … if it’s a spot dodge, it gives you invincibility to stand still,” Lipinski said. “And so they’re able to read it like that, where they were going and [Walker] was able to follow whatever was in there and to keep the combo going. And I just think that’s such a it’s such a cool thing to see, especially with online Smash Bros.”
The Smash Brothers online competitive play scene is not without its issues however, according to Yatsko.
“Offline, there is no input delay from where you click the button to when that input happens,” he said. “Online, there are five milliseconds of delay and since it goes by frames, it’s five over 60. So there is one-eighth of a second of delay from when you press the button to when it happens, which isn’t a lot when you think about it, but when feeling it there are some moves that come out in one-sixtieth of a second, which feels super sluggish online.”
When practicing in the esports lounge, the team does not have to take into account this delay, which can be challenging on game days.
The next scheduled match for the UMW Smash Brothers blue team will be on Nov. 9 at 7:00 p.m. against the University of Kentucky.