They came not just to win, but to connect with friends. Friendship over competition, the players said.
This weekend, players from Richmond and around the world gather in UBC’s 8,700 square foot Great Hall to compete in Western Canada’s largest Super Smash Brothers tournament – the battle of BC 4.
The most exciting matches on stage are broadcast live on large screens, while dozens of matches are played simultaneously in the crowd.
Even with headphones or dual noise canceling headphones, gamers can still hear the cheers and screams that shake the ground around them, adding intensity and thrill to the air.
The tournament was supposed to take place in 2020, but it was postponed for two years due to COVID-19.
“We are really happy to host this event after two years of delay,” said Kevin Dhir, BC Region Chief Tournament Organizer.
“This is the first post-pandemic major tournament in Canada. So it’s really exciting. People are really hungry and excited to compete.
Not only is it an exciting competition for participating players, but it’s also their long-awaited chance to meet and connect with friends.
Richmond-based player Martin Simon Dy, who has been playing the game for nine years, said online competition “is no substitute” for being in the same room to compete.
“The spirit and energy is so great, like the crowd cheering, saying silly stuff about the game with your friends, and meeting like-minded, passionate people. I love this community and it really got me makes you laugh today,” he explained.
Another Richmond player is Kobe Ng, who is expected to make the top 50 in this tournament. Ng told the News it was his last tournament before leaving Vancouver this month.
“It’s a good place to hang out with old friends who I don’t see regularly, but I will see them at the tournament,” he said.
Like many other gamers, Ng started playing Super Smash Bros. in high school and made many friends through the game. Participating in this tournament brings back fond memories for him.
The Battle of BC has grown from a grassroots event organized entirely by passionate fans of the game to a full-scale international tournament. This year the event has over 1000 attendees including some of the best players from around the world. Around 300,000 viewers are watching the live stream online.
“It’s truly an honor to have these people in our backyard and we get to interact and play with all kinds of amazing players both locally and internationally,” Dy said.