The first esports event in University of Nebraska-Lincoln history will take place in the basement of Andersen Hall on March 13. Super Smash Showdown is a free, open-bracket, single-elimination tournament of the Nintendo fighting game “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.”
There will be the main stage with two Nintendo switches, a third stage set up nearby in case of overflow and a fourth stage for casual games, or friendlies.
Adam Wagler, an advertising and public relations assistant professor, is one of the brains behind the tournament. He said the event will be a learning experience for both students and faculty to experiment and develop knowledge on esports.
“A lot of us don’t know much about esports and live-streaming,” Wagler said. “We, as faculty, need to develop more knowledge in it.”
Students in Wagler’s Design and Layout course have been creating graphics for the tournament. College of Journalism and Mass Communications assistant professor Jennifer Sheppard will also have her students participate in the event. Her students will gain practice of live coverage and sports writing by covering the Super Smash Showdown.
Students of the pop-up class “Streaming and Broadcasting for Esports,” taught by CoJMC assistant professors Kaci Richter and Alan Eno, will be involved in several aspects of the event. Some are broadcasting live gameplay to Twitch at a control center, while others will be doing live play-by-play analysis, similar to all other esports broadcasts.
Anyone can view the live-stream on the CoJMC’s Twitch channel.
“This fits surprisingly well with sports communications,” Eno said, ”and advertising is everywhere.”
“We want to have a larger esports presence on campus,” Richter said. “This needs to be something the College of Mass Communications and Journalism [claims] as its own because no one else is doing it.”
The Super Smash Bros. tournament may draw the biggest crowd, but there will be a few other exciting gaming activities and opportunities available as well. Members of the UNL Game Development Club will showcase demos of games they have created. In addition, virtual reality headsets will be available in Room 37. To round out the night, there will be free T-shirts and food for anyone attending the tournament.
Super Smash Showdown is just the beginning of esports at UNL. According to Eno, he wants to continue hosting esports events on campus with hopes to incorporate esports into the CoJMC curriculum.
Registration to play closes March 11, and anyone is able to come and watch.