With a crowd of students and gamers alike, the UTK Esports program hosted their first LAN gaming tournament of the semester on the last Friday of January. The club’s event featured tournaments for popular fighting game titles like “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate”, “Tekken”, and “Blazblue: Crosstag Battle”.
The UTK Esports club hosts each of their monthly meetings with new tournaments and games, with their “Smash Bash” series being the most popular according to attendance. The club also hosts multiple “fight nights” and livestreaming nights for other games like “Street Fighter”, “League of Legends” and “Minecraft”.
While the entrants lined up to register for their game of choice, tournament organizer and club official Matthew Maynard was behind the scenes making sure all events ran smoothly. Building the streaming setup, organizing staff for the event, seeding tournament participants, and communicating with other club officials are just a few of the jobs that a tournament organizer like Maynard might be responsible for. “I need to be able to be ready for literally anything that might go wrong, or be ready to do anything to make sure that the tournament runs smoothly. I like to communicate with other tournament organizers and competitors so I can get a good idea of what might need to be adjusted,” Maynard said.
Communicating with any competitor that might have a question, Maynard and a small group of tournament organizers were able to run multiple tournaments in less than five hours that evening, with over 100 people in attendance. Creating waves of pools for the tournament, Maynard was able to progress through the tournament in a timely fashion, with many attendees leaving satisfied. One attendee in particular, Andrew “float” Houston was extremely satisfied with the event. “This is the first Smash Bash that I’ve been to, and it went by really well and I met a lot of new faces I haven’t seen in the community before. I definitely will be back,” Houston said. Along with the monthly tournament series that UTK Esports hosts called “Smash Bash”, Maynard is already making plans for the club’s next major tournament event in March.