KU Smash Tournament Paves Way For Lesser-Known Players

(rodrigomullercwb / pixabay)

Last Saturday, Sept. 21,  KU Smash refrained from holding their regular tournament on Sunday to hold a unique competition on Saturday: the Jayhawk Arcadian.

This year marks the third installment of the Jayhawk Arcadian, a special kind of tournament where the best players in the region are not allowed to enter. Due to this unique stipulation, the Jayhawk Arcadian draws players from as far as Kansas City and Independence, Missouri in addition to the regular Lawrence competitors.

The tournaments run by KU Smash always feature two games: Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The smaller Melee tournaments are usually dominated by ranked players such as Daniel “dansdaman” Coppock and the player known as “GuardKnight,” while the larger Ultimate tournaments are won by GuardKnight or Isaiah “Toffee” Bellinger.  As these players aren’t allowed to compete, the door is opened for lesser-realized talent to take the gold.

“It’s just a good time because it’s a tournament that feels a little bit more manageable if you’re a newer player,” Carter “woozy” Trout, a KU sophomore, said. “You don’t have all these people who you know are insane at the game and will just destroy you if you face them.”

The competition for the Ultimate tournament was fierce, with several players having a claim to the first place spot in the double elimination tournament. While the tournament ended up being won by Adam “Murabito” Shafton, a Palutena player and the second seed at the event, his road to first place did not go as planned. The tournament was filled with upsets on the winner’s side of the bracket, with Murabito losing in winner’s quarterfinals to KU student Omar “HWANGDDD” Raheel and the first seed, Asa “Tron Bonne” Ortega losing in winner’s semifinals to sixth seed Nicholas “Selah” D’Angelo. 

Murabito ran his way through the loser’s bracket, winning sets against the higher-seeded Tron Bonne and getting his revenge on HWANGDDD. Many of these sets ended with well-timed up smashes from Murabito’s Palutena as his opponents attempted to recover to the stage.

After beating Lawrence Ken player Rylan “stop_dodging” Hoffman in a clean 3-0 sweep, Murabito was lined up to play against Selah in grand finals, needing to win two consecutive sets in order to take the tournament. While Selah’s Shulk seemed dominant in the first two games, Murabito was able to make the necessary adjustments in his play to win the next three games back-to-back, resetting the bracket and then beating Selah 3-1 to claim first place out of 38 listed attendees.

On the Melee side things went a little smoother, with the tournament being won by first seed Gregory “Absolute Garbage” Wilkinson without too much trouble. Sixth seed “Arc Tangent” had a great performance, landing at second place out of 13 entrants.

While KU’s Smash tournaments are usually dominated by a few players, the results of lower-seeded players such as Selah, stop_dodging and Arc Tangent prove that talent runs far deeper than only the ranked players in the Kansas Smash community.