IB and Gaming Club host Super Smash Bros Tournament


Photo By: Samara Penny

It’s down to two players, but only one can win.

The challenge… Super Smash Bros: Ultimate. 

Saturday, December 3, 2022, the second annual Judson High IB Smash Tournament was held in the cafeteria from 5-8. The tournament was held for the students of the community and district, grades eight and up. 

 This event was a collaboration between the International Baccalaureate Program and the Gamer Club, sponsored by Judson Alumni, CO’ 01, Chris Saenz, the YMCA E-Gaming Director and owner of Texas Gaming Empire.

International Baccalaureate is a college preparatory program, run by Mrs. McJilton. The program allows students to plan and execute community service projects, and things they’re interested in. This program is open to all students of the 11th and 12th-grade years. 

The idea of a gaming tournament began as a simple thought, however thanks to senior Jabari Wells, the vision was put into motion. 

“Me and my friend Leo were sitting in one of our IB meetings one day and were thinking of a way to not only bring more people to IB, but Gamer’s Club as well,” said Wells. “He pitched the idea to me, but he didn’t have the resources to get it started, so I took it in my hands. I talked to some people, and Mr. Aguilar got me in contact with Chris because he conducts gaming tournaments all over the city. There’s been gaming tournaments throughout the district as well, so I thought, why not get Judson involved.” 

When the idea was presented to Ms. McJilton and our Gamer’s Club foreseer Mr. Coerh, the two were immediately on board. 

“I like for the kids to have an outlet to do something special,” said Mr. Coerh. “We have all sorts of sports activities for the kids to do, but we don’t really have much for the techies around here to do.”

With the help of Mr. Saenz loaning Judson the gaming consoles and equipment, the vision was able to come to life. 

“I’ve been doing ESports for eight years now, and building a high school league is a passion of mine,” Seanz said. “I went to Judson, so I definitely want to see Judson succeed in ESports, and leave that legacy. It’s a new industry and there’s many career opportunities surrounding gaming, even if you aren’t the best gamer.”

 The tournament was set up bracket style, allowing one player to play against the other, until there was a winner in each bracket. The players would then move on to the next brackets until there were two players left. 

The atmosphere was very positive, allowing each player from different schools across the district to compete while still having fun. 

“I’ve been playing games since I was little and I loved being in this tournament,” junior John Salgado said. “I recommend finding time to be here because it allows you to get to know people and have a good time. It’s interesting to see Judson do something like this.”

The final round was finally here. The heat was on, and only two players were left. John Salgado and junior Isaiah Jones. 

The winner… Isaiah Jones. 

“It feels really great to be the two time winner of this tournament. I was able to prove my skill and the final was the hardest set,” said Jones. “Gaming has opened a lot of opportunities for me and made me meet lots of people. Everyone who plays video games needs to be here.”

The top winners were awarded with prizes presented by GameStop, including gift cards, hats and a massive poster. This tournament is looking to still continue next year, even after Wells’ graduation in the spring.