By Nathan King
On Saturday 3rd November Glasgow Caledonian University held a countrywide student tournament for popular Nintendo fighting game Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. The conversation around eSports are always around whether or not they can be considered a true competitive sport, but through this tournament alone, Scotland has shown that they should be taken seriously no matter the game.
The tournament run in Glasgow is part of the Super Smash Brothers Ultimate University Championships set up by National Student eSports (NSE) which has been running across UK universities since October. Each university in England has its own tournament, but Scotland has the disadvantage of only having one representative. The winner of each tournament eventually moves onto the grand finals at the British University Esports Championship on 6th December 2019.
Helping with the running of the tournament was the eSports society at Glasgow Caledonian University. Run by president Calum McDonald, the society provides a platform in which students from Glasgow Caledonian can come together as a team and compete against other universities at games in which they excel.
With a lot of eSports, the main interaction that a player has is usually with their own team. The great part about Super Smash Brothers is that it’s yourself against another opponent on the same screen, which brings in a social aspect that not many other games do.
Alex Percival, an Esports advocate and competitor on the day, from Edinburgh said:
“It has equal opportunity as a platform, as a sport and a competitive scene. It’s inherently about being social, you have to be there in person, you meet everyone you’re playing against and as a competitive game, nothing comes close”.
Alex himself competes across Scotland in many different formats, whether that be in eSports such as Super Smash Brothers or whether that be in trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering. By competing in within different areas, Alex has come across many players across a wide range of skill level and ability.
On this, he said: “Scotland has a really underrated Esports scene. There are huge shroffs of really good players, numbers of players that compete at a national level and as a small society that’s really impressive”.
Super Smash Brothers is also one of the most diverse eSports due to its character roster. Players have a range of over 70 characters to choose from, each with their own range of abilities and skillsets that can be used in a number of ways. It remains to be seen how Mo, Scotland’s eventual winner, will fair in London. Mo is someone that has played against Alex on a personal and competitive level.
Alex said: “If anything, they are going to be a massive underdog and they are going to play out of their skin effectively. No one expects some random person from Scotland to be as good as they are. As a country we are underrated”.
Super Smash Brothers can and should be, considered as Scotland’s most underrated Esport.
NSE Website: https://www.nse.gg/
Glasgow Caledonian Esports Society Socials: