This year, Van Nuys High School’s Journalism class hosted its very first Video Game Tournament. It was held in the small gym on Jan. 26, 27, and 28. The tournament saw great success; so much that it was extended by two more school days. 32 contestants signed up to compete in this “Super Smash Bros. Melee” tournament, which was set up as a double elimination bracket. The grand prize was a $50 gift card.
Each player had the ability to pick from a selection of 26 unique characters, each with their own moves and abilities, and would play against another competitor. The first to take the opponent’s four “stocks,” or lives, in the fighting game was the victor and would advance. The gym was filled with over 50 spectators surrounding the six set ups, which consisted of a GameCube and a CRT television. The games were filled with excitement and riled the crowds up when long combos, comebacks, and power moves were made.
The first two days dwindled down the winner’s bracket and the third day was spent going through the loser’s bracket. The final day was spent finishing the semi-finals matches. The games were extended from one round to best of three. The matches were between Ronald Lorenzo and Oscar Guerra, who played Fox and Jigglypuff, respectively. Ronald took the set 2-0 and advanced to play against Vahe Abgaryan. In the finals, Matthew Maravilla took it, a Peach player who was waiting in the winner’s bracket for his last match. Abgaryan took down Maravilla 3-0, causing a bracket reset, but in the end, Maravilla won with a clutch 3-2 set to take the tournament.
The journalism class was excited and nervous about the outcome of this tournament. The turnout was greater than expected, and they hope to run more events with a wider range of games and genres.
“Since it was the first time we did something of this nature, we struggled to get things running smoothly. By the second day, we got the hang of things and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves,’’ said Shayda Shevidi, one of the members who helped organize the event.
–Vahe Abgaryan and Oscar Guerra