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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Caden Sierra
Caden Sierra
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Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

A comeback for the eSports club

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament held every Wednesday.
EYES+LOCKED+%E2%80%94+Students+have+their+eyes+on+the+prize+of+cash+winnings+for+the+tournament.+Photo+courtesy+of+Ethan+Vadnais
EYES LOCKED — Students have their eyes on the prize of cash winnings for the tournament. Photo courtesy of Ethan Vadnais

Tucked away in the Cybersecurity Lab in the back of the Lydia M. Olson library, the eSports club can be found every Wednesday at 7 p.m. holding a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament. They play singles, with four people playing across two different stations while the other members of the club watch, chat and stream the winner’s bracket on Twitch.

“We just started a few weeks ago,” said Ethan Vadnais, a fourth-year cyber defense student and president of the eSports club. “Even when we had to rebuild this semester, we saw a lot of new faces and it looks like we are improving. With improvement, there’s always room for expansion, and we would love for more people to come.”

During these tournaments they use the standard Michigan-wide rule set, which is three stocks, seven minutes, no items and a specific set of stages. Using this rule set allows them to connect their players to the Michigan-wide ranking system, which in turn allows for their tournaments to be advertised state-wide.

“We have a big opportunity coming up,” Vadnais said. “On Nov. 11 there is a tournament called The North’s Strongest 2. A tournament organizer reached out to me personally and said that tournament organizers know about the scene in the Upper Peninsula, but the players downstate don’t. They are offering to pay our gas to travel downstate and compete in one of their tournaments.”

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The club is accepting of players of all skill levels and encourages new players to join. Not only do they hold the weekly tournaments, but they also hold bigger events. For example, they are hosting their Halloween event on Oct. 28 where they host not only singles matches but doubles as well.

The eSports team is not just about competing, but emphasizes community building as well.

“My favorite part has been the newcomers,” said Edward Shifflett, a fourth-year psychology student and vice president of the eSports club. “The new people coming in and bringing a change of pace for the scene. I think that’s always good to see, especially when you’ve been in the scene long enough to see people come and go.”

According to Shifflett, each tournament is a money tournament. Three dollars are put into the pool per person, and cash prizes are awarded to the first, second and third place winners. With enough people, however, this can branch out to fourth and fifth place, and so on. Not only do students participate in these tournaments, but people in the Super Smash Bros. community from around Marquette do as well, including David Liimatta, an alum of the cybersecurity program.

“I play Roy,” Liimatta said. “What I like about Roy is that he’s very hard to play in a very passive way. It forces me into a mode that’s very confrontational which is something that in the past I’ve struggled with, but it’s helped me kind of force myself into that kind of mentality and it’s helped me in social situations and just life in general.”

People who are interested in the eSports Club or have questions can contact Ethan Vadnais at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Willow Rasch
Willow Rasch, Features Writer
When I was around seven or eight I saw a movie that was based off of a book, which my mother helpfully informed me of. During this she also told me that the book had lot more details then the movie. In an effort to prove her wrong I picked up books, and never put them down. Writing came quite easily after that, though purely in creative writing. Being apart of the North Wind is an amazing opportunity to expand my writing skills, among others.