SWFL students compete for scholarship at Super Smash Bros tournament

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Southwest Florida students got the chance to compete for thousands of scholarship dollars playing Super Smash Bros as part of Tech Fest 2022 at Dunbar High School.

Full Sail University hosted the event, where students who signed up in advance competed for a scholarship of up to $15,000 at Full Sail. Students at Dunbar High swarmed around their peers and cheered them on in the gymnasium.

“They’ve got a crowd for the first time watching them, right? So, it’s just really cool to see their eyes light up, and just to feel appreciated,” said Andrew Duncan with Full Sail University. “To see their peers taking them seriously.”

Dunbar High’s IT program manager says this is a great opportunity for them.

“Maybe they’re not the superstar athlete, but they are a superstar with technology,” said ____ Spence. “Being able to bring something like this and having them compete at a tournament level is actually exceptional.”

Leonardo Garcia became a finalist at Tech Fest.

“I haven’t played Smash Bros in a while, so this… I didn’t have any training,” Garcia said. “This was really lucky for me.”

Players participating in a video game competition at Tech Fest. CREDIT: WINK News

These kids can make a large sum of money by sitting in their rooms playing video games.

“It’s gonna be stressful,” Garcia said. “I’m gonna have to start playing a lot more Smash Bros. Preparation, but I think I’ll be ready.”

Duncan says that preparation leads to long-term success in fields outside of video games, too.

“It’s one thing to be teaching math and STEM-related courses, but we wanted to try to come alongside them and help connect the dots,” Duncan said. “So, ‘Hey, if you focus in these courses, if you do well, these are the types of careers that you could potentially lead to as a result.'”

The Tech Fest winners are not done yet: Garcia and all of the other finalists will compete for the scholarship at Full Sail’s Esports Invitational.

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