Love video games? Well, there are a ton of students at Kean University who love to play video games, especially the most iconic games in the Super Smash Bros. series. Kean Smash at Kean University is a non-funded student organization that hosts meetings every Friday at the Nathan Weiss Graduate College student lounge, room 203. Their meetings are not just any other club's regular meetings -- they play Super Smash Bros. from 4 to 10 p.m., sometimes even longer!
The group came together in spring 2017 after Luis Rojas, junior informational technology major and vice president of the group, saw Wilmond Vano, junior computer science major and president of the group, in the game room playing Super Smash Bros. Melee on his laptop with his friends. Rojas came up to them and asked to join in, which brought Vano to introduce his group of friends to Rojas. Eventually, they all started to hang out with each other and play the game. Over time, they met more people playing the game in the game room and other students who wanted to come join the game. It then led to Vano, Rojas and couple of their other friends to come together and make the club.
Other colleges like Union County College (UCC) and Rutgers University (RU) have their own Super Smash Bros. club, so the idea stemmed to having a Super Smash Bros. club at Kean University. Just as most video game clubs, the members bring in their own controllers, monitors, and hard-drive.
If there is no event being hosted in the graduate student lounge of the Nathan Weiss Graduate College, students can find Kean Smash playing Super Smash Bros. Melee or Super Smash Bros. Wii U on a Friday afternoon. Until 7:30 p.m., students will either be playing friendly matches, warming up or practicing for the tournament. After 7:30 p.m., tournaments start and live gameplay gets posted on Twitch, a livestreaming video platform.
"We pretty much just host tournaments for the video game Super Smash Bros. We run brackets for the GameCube version, Melee, and the newest one for the Wii U. It’s like a training event for our players. We have a lot of attendees that frequent at local and major tournaments around NJ and the states, so we host free tournaments to help those players get better. We stream the tournament on the video game streaming site Twitch.tv and that’s cool since players can go back and watch and study their matches to help them improve, as well as get accustomed to the pressure of having others watching them play," said Vano.
Twitch is a live streaming video platform which is familiar to most video game streamers or gamers who actively watch other gamers play. Just like how YouTube can monetize their videos and get paid for the amount of views they receive, Twitch does the same by opening commissions for viewers. Twitch also posts videos of streams so whenever people want to re-watch a game, they can. Kean Smash's Twitch channel is MMTTournament and they usually have a range of viewers that come in after 7:30 p.m. once they start streaming.
Also, around this time, students from RU, UCC, and New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) come to Kean University and join in on the tournaments. There can be as small as 15 to 20 players to as large as 40 to 50 people.
"We help people get the idea how a tournament is ran and how the pressure feels while playing," said Rojas. "It helps those who wanna become better and enter actual tournaments outside of Kean."
Of course, students can always just come by to play the game, even if they are not planning to join in the tournament. Next semester, Kean Smash is thinking of adding more games for their group to play, especially since a good amount of them are interested in playing fighting games such as Dragon Ball Fighterz.
It does not matter if students dorm or commute, because there is room and time to come in and participate.
To check when and where Kean Smash will be playing, students can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their Facebook page.