7 UH Campuses Compete In Super Smash Bros Collegiate Tournament

Last weekend the biggest anime and gaming convention in Hawai’i, Kawaii Kon, took place at the Hawai’i Convention Center from March 29th through 31st, 2024. During the three-day event which gathered over twenty-thousand attendees, the University of Hawaiʻi Esports program ran multiple Super Smash Bros tournaments, which were open to anyone from casual fans to professional players.  

The highlight of the event was the UHE Smash Tournament, involving participants from seven University of Hawaiʻi campuses, including UH West Oʻahu, Leeward CC, UH Hilo, Kapiʻolani CC, Windward CC, UH Manoa, and Kaua’i CC. 

Leeward CC Player (Photo credit: Kathryn Ivanov)

Sponsored by Southwest Airlines, Aloha Federal Credit Union, and Bank of Hawaii, the tournament had numerous eventful matches, running over two days with a semi-final round on Friday and a final round on Saturday. The two UH Mānoa teams came out on top with first and second-place finishes and UH West Oʻahu took third.

“Our yearly UH Esports Collegiate Smash Tournament at Kawaii Kon is our keystone event for esports across the system. Last year was the first year, but this year, we saw significant interest from students, faculty, and even chancellors,” said Sky Kauweloa, Director of UHEsports. “The tournament provides students with opportunities to connect across our campuses, allows teams to meet face-to-face, and share in the collective pride building a network of gamers that is now a core part of UH’s future.” 

UH West Oʻahu’s Club President Garret Lau added, “This year’s UHEsports Tournament was a great success in my opinion. Really proud to represent UH West Oʻahu for another year and also to see more schools participating. I really hope all the UH schools can compete next year as this event is a great opportunity for the players to meet and connect with one another.”

The winning team consisted of Noah Raths, June Zolmer, Yasu Ragasa, Nick Sinclair, Felipe Kauwe-Daguro, Anthony Gimbelluca, and Nico Levy, all current students at UH Mānoa. All the teams received trophies which were 3D printed by the Bank of Hawaiʻi with the winners also receiving a grand prize of $3,000 worth of scholarships, courtesy of Aloha Federal Credit Union.

Iazyiah Goze, a student from Leeward shared, “The collegiate tournament presents an opportunity to grow interest for esports in the UH system and strengthen relations with other campuses through competition. WIth Leeward being a part of this endeavor, the attention and prevent this event set will bring opportunities to grow Leeward’s gaming and esports community.”

Group photo (Photo credit: Alec Tuason)

Chris Lee, Founder and Director of ACM System said “Just as ACM System started at UH Mānoa and now supports programs on all ten UH campuses, my discussions about funding ESports with President Lassner six years ago always had the goal of rolling this out to every UH campus that wants to participate. I am very grateful to President Lassner who brought on Sky Kauweloa and his team to grow UHESports to the global powerhouse it is today, and even more proud to see so many of our campuses and students engaging through Esports,” 

UHEsports has started discussions on hosting a similar intramural event in the Fall on a UH Campus. 

ACM System is a major funder of UH Esports.

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