By DAVID ALMEDA
A group of students at Kennesaw State University are looking to formally join a massive community of competitive gaming, centered on Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Melee video game.
The recent startup, titled “Kennesaw State Smash”, is currently jumping through the necessary hoops to become a formally recognized student organization on KSU’s campus. It would join the ranks of at least two current gaming centered clubs at Georgia’s third largest university. The group would provide a centralized place for players in the area to compete in friendlies and would also host tournaments.
“Georgia Tech does tournaments and a lot of other schools do them,” said Ken Chong, one of the founders of the group. “It’s a growing game. It’s exciting for us to have here.”
The need to become an official student organization became necessary in recent weeks, after substantial growth had exceeded expectations. Since starting a Facebook group for the club last month, the roster of avid gamers has grown from 10 people to about 40 to 50. Playing in the game room of KSU’s Carmichael Student Center during regular hours is now limited to two console setups.
“We got really big, up to around five setups,” early group member Austin Leake said. “We moved all the tables and chairs around. All you could hear was the clicking of controllers. We were kind of taking over the game room and we could see the impatience of the game room staff.”
As an official organization, KSU Smash would receive funding for electrical equipment, food and setups. It would also allow the game room to be rented out after normal hours.
“The establishment of the group is going to enable us to accommodate 20 to 50 people and get as many TVs and consoles we need,” Leake said. “It will also allow us to get funding, even though this is such a grassroot, low maintenance group.”
Starting a student organization carries certain stipulations, including paperwork, a presentation and the drafting of a constitution. It is also required to have a faculty advisor, which has been the group’s main hurdle so far.
“We want someone who is very active and dedicated to the group, who cares more than a little bit about some random game club that they see,” Leake said. They don’t have to play, but we want them to have a sense of community within our group as well.”
Once they become a more grounded group, KSU Smash plans to take on similar groups from all over the area. The main target that currently comes to mind for them is just down the road in Atlanta.
“Our first target is Georgia Tech, just to take them over and beat them because they’re a very established and well known community and they’re really good,” Leake said.
Besides the budding competition that is bound to happen in a tournament setting, other members see other benefits as well. The social aspect of the group is one that member Adam Zolan is excited about.
“It provides a lot better motivation to get better at the game,” he said. “I have the opportunity to play with more people than just this one person I play with. I had no idea who these people were before I joined, and now they’re really good friends of mine.”