Ragin’ Cajun eSports hosted a “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” charity tournament Sunday, Dec. 9, in Judice-Rickels Hall, with all money raised donated to Miles Perret Cancer Services.
Hunter “Venator” London, Incineroar player and senior informatics major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette won the tournament 8-1 after getting a reset against one of the highest ranked “Smash 4” players in Louisiana, Zie Hebert.
“My game plan was, essentially, to just hit (Hebert) once and just follow his disadvantage, wherever he goes, and try to capitalize on his disadvantage,” London said. “I feel like as Incineroar you have to accept the fact that you’re going to take damage … Another thing about (Incineroar) is that I always feel like he can win no matter how badly you’re doing.”
London said he has been playing “Smash” for four years, splitting his attention between “Melee,” the game that he enjoyed the most and “Smash 4,” the game most of his friends played. London said with “Ultimate,” he looks forward to being able to put all of his focus into one game.
“Ultimate” came out only two days before the tournament, making this one of the first tournaments for the game in Lafayette. As such, the metagame, or the optimal strategy for competitive play is still developing.
London said he compared “Ultimate” to its predecessors in terms of its “neutral,” or when neither character has stage control, and “punish game,” or when one player overextends and starts getting comboed because of it.
“I feel like with ‘Ultimate’ there’s a true balance between punish game and actual neutral,” London said. “There’s no super strong defensive options for every character ... shield was broken in ‘Smash 4,’ but now it’s fine; it’s perfect how it is.”
London added he believes that the game will be balanced well, and that later on it will become more focused on “zoning,” or using projectiles to keep the opponent in a certain zone that is advantageous to you.
Not every competitor at the tournament was as active in the “Smash” community as London before “Ultimate,” came out. David Vanbergen, a 16-year-old Inkling main, played “Smash 4” and popular fan made mods for “Brawl” and “Project M” up until he dropped both games for “Splatoon” three years ago.
“(Competing) felt just really, not casual, but just inviting,” Vanbergen said. “Everyone is here together just trying to learn this game, it’s brand-new, a lot of things are open, everyone is kind of learning things from each other. It just felt like it was a great opportunity.”
Vanbergen went 1-2 in bracket and said he enjoyed competing, and that all of his sets felt close; neither player was dominating the other. Vanbergen described it as “pretty all right,” adding he felt pretty equal with everyone else who is learning how to play.
The tournament raised $125 for Miles Perret Cancer Services. All of the streamed matches can be found on Cajun eSports’ official Twitch or Youtube pages.