By Gabriel Talley, Podcast producer
The Montevallo Esports team used Farmer Hall as the space for their first public event of the year: their “Falcon Freeze” tournament on Feb. 1. The second edition of the yearly event centers around “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate,” a popular platforming fighting game known for including characters from other gaming franchises.
Thirty-two participants pushed the event well into the night in matches against each other. Difficulties arose surrounding admission to the event, as several spots claimed by participants days before were left vacant once the tournament began despite a strong in-person showing.
Tournament organizer Sasha Doyle was happy to see such a strong turnout, saying, “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate is a game that’s very near and dear to my heart, so seeing a tournament like this come together was really great.”
The brackets functioned as double elimination, with competitors receiving byes due to disqualifications and a single loss pushing a player into the loser’s bracket, with a winner from each side ultimately deciding the final in a best-of-five series.
The tournament drew in participation from outside of the university, as both finalists are known competitors elsewhere for “Smash Bros.” The eventual winner “NL_zook” has been a consistent winning presence in tournaments throughout Alabama. They finished the event with a clean sheet of six wins and zero losses, beating “DDC Jesse” in the finals.
Coordinators were elated with the turnout: a diverse crowd of participants, interested spectators and supportive friends and family. Junior and even participant Blaine Richardson said, “It was an incredibly fun event and I enjoyed hanging out and talking with everyone there, even those I fought against. I hope more people come out next time.”
Students spent time between individual matches cheering each other on and walking between the individual stands, watching interesting matchups.
The event contained three distinct stations – all smaller televisions, including one connected to a projector for widespread viewing. Additionally, the Esports team provided extra controllers and information to anyone unfamiliar with the competitive event’s ruleset and mechanics.
With the success of Falcon Freeze in back-to-back years, the Esports team hopes to continue hosting events in this format with another later into the spring term, although no dates have been confirmed. The team now looks forward to a slew of competitions in February across “League of Legends” and “Overwatch.”