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COD Clubs Host Fifth “Smashing Hunger” Event

The Sci-Fi/Fantasy & Gaming Club and E-Sports Club jointly organized a gaming tournament to support COD’s Fuel Pantry.
Kate Stuck

On an unassuming Monday night, the SRC fishbowl was turned into the ultimate gaming oasis, with six full-screen televisions placed throughout the perimeter of the space, a myriad of controllers, and even a real-time Twitch stream for interested viewers. It was the Sci-Fi/Fantasy & Gaming Club and eSports Club hosting their 5th annual “Smashing Hunger” event to raise money for the COD Fuel Pantry. 

Participants competed against one another in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, a popular Nintendo dueling game. The objective of the game is to stay on a narrow platform while your opponent tries to throw you off of it. Your opponent will try to weaken you so that your character can no longer jump back on the platform, indicated by a percentage on the button of the screen.

Student Jacob Mudrack, one of the organizers of the event and a cofounder of the eSports Club, says that Smash Bros is a deceptively intricate game. To become a good player, you must familiarize yourself with these complexities. 

For example, each character has specialized attack and defensive maneuvers. In addition, the arena layout that you choose can also have catastrophic effects on gameplay. For this reason, certain characters and layouts are deemed illegal in competition as it gives an unfair advantage. 

Those who were interested paid a $10 admission fee to compete. The players were then put into a double-elimination bracket, where players who lost two rounds were disqualified. These proceeds were then split evenly between the food pantry and prize money for the top three contestants. 

Nineteen players in total competed, and $110 was raised for the College of DuPage’s own Fuel Pantry. This service provides completely free foodstuffs and hygiene products for any student, staff or faculty in need. English professor Jim Allen, the faculty advisor of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy & Gaming Club, has helped organize the event since 2018 and says the proceeds have always gone to the Fuel Pantry. 

The top three winners of the tournament (Kate Stuck)

“We support the Fuel Pantry because there are many students on campus who need the support; it’s just one way that we can give back,” Allen says. 

The Sci-Fi/Fantasy & Gaming Club was started in 1994 and will soon be celebrating its thirtieth anniversary. If you are interested in joining or attending any future events, the Sci-Fi/Fantasy & Gaming Club meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month in BIC 2523 from 3 pm to 6 pm. In addition, Professor Allen is also teaching ENGLI 1156: Science Fiction in the Spring 2024 semester.

COD’s eSports Club has been a much more recent development, initially starting in 2019 with a post-COVID resurgence in 2022. Student Willow Zavala runs the Smash Team, a competitive team of seven who exclusively compete in Super Smash Bros.

 Members compete weekly in their own four vs. four crew battles, while also competing against nationwide gamers at tournaments hosted by the National Association of College Esports. The team live streams their own events on Twitch and Discord and have around 300 viewers, most of which are COD students. 

“Our goal is to promote a competitive aspect to video games similar to baseball and football,” Zavala said. 

If you would like to join the server, check out their Discord through their page. 

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  • Linda KozlowskiNov 20, 2023 at 8:15 pm

    A big thank you to all participants from the Fuel Pantry. Your generous donation is making a real difference to other COD students!