Hundreds of fans gathered to celebrate all things video games and anime culture in downtown Fresno on Saturday, Sept. 28.
The conference room in the Radisson Hotel was home to the first-ever Super Smash Fest, a one day celebration for anime and video game fans.
Fans crowded the conference room looking at artist, clothing and merchandise booths of all kinds. TV monitors were spread throughout the room with consoles for attendees to immediately pick up and play.
A small crowd gathered in the room to discuss their favorite TV shows and video games, while others played their favorite card games.
The highlight of the festival was a “Super Smash Bros.” tournament held with more than 200 competitors, competing for a grand prize of $4,000.
“The main goal for this event was to bring together a community,” said Quincy Adams, the coordinator of the event and President of R3 Gaming and Media.
Adams said nothing was quite as popular as the game “Super Smash Bros.” because of the way it brought people together.
“I really wanted to give back to the community,” Adams said. “This is the Central Valley. No one is ever going to hold a $1,000 prize pool here, so we decided to do it ourselves. The community is all that matters when it comes to ‘[Super] Smash [Bros.]’ It’s why we do what we do.”
Competitors were put into a bracket system tournament and competed in team double matches, which later dwindled into one-on-one matches.
One competitor, Teddy Bui, came dressed as his favorite character, Banjo Kazooie, saying it was for good luck. Bui said that he comes to these different competitions in Fresno often and loves the people he meets.
“Personally, competing teaches me a lot, and there is always great energy and enthusiasm,” Bui said. “The people here are always great. I think of them as family.”
The “Super Smash Bros.” competition started at 11 a.m. on Saturday and began coming to a close around midnight as the top eight fighters battled it out.
At 1 in the morning, a winner was finally decided, Antony Hoo, an out-of-town participant from Florida. Hoo defeated opponent Spencer Garner in the final match.
Hoo had traveled across the country just to compete in the Super Smash Fest held in Fresno.
Adams also said that he believed that the festival was a great way to get people away from their everyday lives and relax for a day.
“Everyone has bad stuff in their lives from their 9 to 5 [jobs],” Adams said. “It’s nice to forget about it for a few hours and play some games with friends. To forget about life and just be happy with people you like being around, that’s what life’s about.”