Profile: Winona Super Smash Brothers Club

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Joseph Eichele

Super Smash Bros. is a popular Nintendo video game series that pits a wide variety of characters from different franchises against each other. Players can select a fighter and compete against other players to be victorious.

Gabriel Hathaway, features editor

The Winona Super Smash Brothers Club has relieved the competitive and casual Super Smashing itch for students across campus since 2017. The club remains a great entry point for anyone looking to play Super Smash Brothers and make friends at Winona State University.

For those who may be unaware of what Super Smash Brothers is, here is a brief rundown: Super Smash Brothers, often colloquially called “Super Smash Bros.”, “Smash Bros.” or even “Smash”, is a series of video games created by Masahiro Sakurai and published by Nintendo. Smash Bros. plays as a platform fighter with a wide cast of characters from all different video games, some recognizable like Mario and some not so much, like Palutena for example. There are currently five Super Smash Bros. games, with the most recent one being Super Smash Brothers Ultimate (2018) for the Nintendo Switch, which has 89 playable fighters.

Nick Austad, 2021 Winona State alumni, creator of the Winona Super Smash Brothers Club and previous club president, explained he started the club with a friend because they both loved competitive Super Smash Bros. but found there were no opportunities in the area.

“Smash Brothers is a very special game to me just because it is so incredibly easy to start playing… but it’s actually an incredibly deep game that takes a lot of hours to master,” Austad said. “With the nature of Smash being like that, while you’re building your skill in the game, you’re building relationships with people along the way.”

The Winona Super Smash Brothers Club is open to all students on campus. Kai Dixon, a third-year student, Yoshi main and the club’s treasurer, commented that everyone in the club is very friendly. He described the club as a bunch of friends getting together to play a game they all love.

“I think Winona State is a very social community at least from my understanding, and everyone just wants to connect, find their group, find their clique and it is just nice to know that there’s always a community out there, especially here at Winona,” Dixon said.

Pictured from left to right: Loic-Andre Boyogueno (Fourth-year student, club vice president), Timothy Petersen (Fourth-year student, president) and Nick Austad (2021 Alumni, previous club president). Students who want to join or participate in the WSU Super Smash Bros. Club can meet in the Warrior Esports Lounge located in the Student Activity Center of Kryzsko Hall.
Pictured from left to right: Loic-Andre Boyogueno (Fourth-year student, club vice president), Timothy Petersen (Fourth-year student, president) and Nick Austad (2021 Alumni, previous club president). Students who want to join or participate in the WSU Super Smash Bros. Club can meet in the Warrior Esports Lounge located in the Student Activity Center of Kryzsko Hall. (Joseph Eichele)

Loic-Andre Boyogueno, fourth-year student and Roy/Zelda main, commented that initially he had no intention to join clubs at Winona State–that is until he noticed the Winona Super Smash Brothers Club. Boyogueno is currently the vice president of the club.

When the Winona Super Smash Brothers Club was first beginning in 2017 it was a struggle to conduct meetings because of all the hardware that was required; TVs, game systems, controllers, wires, all had to be found and transported to meetings to play.

“[Winona Super Smash Brothers Club] started completely just me, I was bringing all my own TVs, I was going on the streets and looking for CRTs that had been abandoned on the side of the road; I own like seven of them still,” Austad said. “…So it was looking for TVs on the streets, then calling in favors with my friends who I knew owned a Wii-U from all over the state, just like, ‘Please bring one,’ because nobody had one.”

There was also the struggle of finding a location for the club to meet. The Winona Super Smash Brothers Club used to meet in the Student Activity Center on main campus which drew the attention from students passing through. This helped grow the club, but it also put the club in a bit of hot water with the university, according to Austad.  

To help alleviate these issues, Austad pushed for a space for the club to meet and even helped design it. This led to the creation of the Warrior Esports Lounge. The Winona Super Smash Brothers Club currently meets in the esports lounge every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. 

“The setups, everything there at the esports lounge just makes it so much easier, it’s fluid, it’s plug-and-play,” Dixon said. “I don’t have to lug the entire monitor setup in a backpack to play.” 

Timothy Petersen, fourth-year student, club president and Link main, has been working to continue to grow and engage the Winona Super Smash Brothers Club. Petersen commented that they were one of only a few clubs that remained active during COVID-19. This can be attributed  to online play, communication through Discord and the club members’ passion for Smash Bros.   

Petersen also said they are planning recurring monthly or bi-monthly Smash Bros. tournaments in the future with cash prizes.

For any questions regarding tournaments, meetings, or to join the club, students can email [email protected] Petersen said they are always looking for more members to join in and have a fun time.

Whether you are looking for a competitive or casual smashing experience and are looking to make friends, the Winona Super Smash Brothers Club has got you covered.