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SUGP Hosted Inaugural Golden Gaming Tournament

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SUGP Hosted Inaugural Golden Gaming Tournament


A gaming tournament for Southwestern students complete with food, prizes, and competition happened on February 24th from 5:00 – 8:00 PM in the McCombs Ballroom! It was hosted by the SU Golden Pirates, a student organization for casual video gaming, e-sports practice, and Dungeons and Dragons. In hosting this event, the SUGP aimed to raise awareness of its activities and presence on campus. There is a need for more community spirit now more than ever post-COVID-19, which can be gained through campus activities. Jon Smart, President of the SUGP,  agreed to be interviewed by the Megaphone about the rise of the Golden Pirates as an active group on campus. Jon said that SUGP “really fills a niche at Southwestern University. There aren’t a lot of spaces for gaming here on campus… [SUGP is] a place for people who might not fit into the social norm to come together. I like it because gaming has a low barrier to entry… with gaming, anyone can pick it up and be good at it.”

The event was funded by the Community Chest, which provides opportunities for registered student organizations to do campus-wide programs. There were trophies for those who placed in the top three of a game, and prizes for those who placed first. The lineup of games selected by SUGP included Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Ultimate Chicken Horse. While Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are more mainstream from Nintendo (being fighter and racing games respectively) Ultimate Chicken Horse is a more niche selection which is a competitive platformer. Prizes for first place in each game included an 8BitDo 2 Pro Bluetooth gaming controller, Gamer Monopoly, and Shrek on Blu-ray DVD.

The SUGP hopes that this can become a new tradition on campus, to be held every semester with varying prizes and potentially different sets of games. Jon said to us, “I know for a fact that Golden Pirates provides a home for a lot of people… it helps people get outside their rooms and it has really helped them grow as people… and given them a family and group of friends.”

For this tournament, the rules were outlined as follows:

  • In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU), competitors chose their characters and got into one-on-one brackets with other standard rules applied.
  • In Super Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (SMK8DX), competitors raced in 150cc with no teams, normal items, normal computers, and all vehicles (with no smart steering and auto acceleration). With up to four players, each player will have their choice of map, including from the recently added tracks. Players were ranked based on their final score at the end of 4 races. If there was a tie, a tiebreaker with blue shell-only item boxes would have occurred; however, there was no tie, sparing the players.
  • And in Ultimate Chicken Horse (UCH), competitors chose a stage with a base of 10 points for automatic victory, a time limit of 5 minutes, a placement timer of 20 seconds, and a run time of 60 seconds per round. For point weighting it was decided to have: 
  • goals worth 1 point
  • solo goals worth 3/5ths of a point
  • postmortem goals worth 1 point
  • trap kills worth 2/5ths of a point
  • coins worth 2/5ths of a point and are always awarded
  • first to the goal got 2/5ths of a point
  • and second to the goal got 1/5th of a point.
    • Players were eliminated in placement order, with the top of each four-player grouping being judged overall in the tournament for their cumulative points in all rounds.

The event was a good social environment for attendees to enjoy one another’s company. While having the tournament as the main focus, many also played casual games, such as Mario Party or Jackbox, while also spectating the ongoing competitions to see who won. In the end, the rankings for the competitive aspect were as follows: in SSBU Jolene won first with Marlon in second place and Jon in third place, in MK8DX Marlon won first with Sera in second place and Riley in third place, and in UCH Jon won first with Riley in second place and Aria in third place.

This campus activity comes a month before the SUGP head down to San Antonio for the SCAC e-sports conference. At the conference, competition will occur in various games including Valorant, League of Legends, Rocket League, Apex Legends, and Smash Ultimate. Other schools competing and associated with the league include Austin College, Colorado College, Concordia University, Hendrix College, Schreiner University, McMurry College, Trinity University, and the defending champion the University of St. Thomas. Leading up to it, the Valorant and Rocket League teams have streamed their season games on Mondays at 7:00 PM via twitch.tv/gooby2moms. Valorant is a first-person tactical shooter game and Rocket League is sport based soccer game with cars.

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