Cal Poly Pomona’s Smash 4 esports team advanced to the Collegiate Star League Western Division Championships as the No. 1 seed after beating UC Irvine in the California Regional event in April.
In the regionals, the Pomona Smash 4 team also bested teams from UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis and San Francisco State.
The victory against UCI in the regional was particularly meaningful given that university’s national reputation in esports and UCI’s victory over Pomona in the local qualifier. In the regional matchup, Cal Poly Pomona won convincingly with a “7-stock” victory. (Stocks are lives in Smash 4.)
In the Western Division Championship, the Bronco team won rounds against the University of Washington Bothell and the University of Washington Seattle, which left UCI standing in their way. In the best of three series, the Pomona team won one match and UCI two, leaving the Broncos tied for fifth in the nation and UCI advancing to the finals.
Sam “Arkistor” Weinger, a sophomore computer science major and team captain, attributed their success to emphasizing practice of the crew battle format. “To match the unpredictable circumstances in a real CSL bracket, we experimented with three stocks.”
Other members of the Bronco team include Quinton “ImHip” Goodman, an organizational communications major, who plays the extremely rare Duck hunt and Olimar at a very high level. A former honoree on the Southern California Power Rankings, he is a veteran of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and provides moral support, coaching and matchup experience. In the regional matchup, Goodman, supplemented Olimar with top tier Bayonetta and topped the singles bracket.
Ken “ShiNe” Huang, an electrical engineering major from Taiwan, has played against the highest ranked player in Taiwan and their games were “dead even.” He may have a claim on the No. 1 title for that country.
Jordan “Kanye” Rodgers-Slayton, a senior majoring in management and human resources, has upset the highest-ranked North American Olimar, largely due to practice against Goodman.
Rounding out the team are Alan “Toasty” Miller, a philosophy major; Lou “SD_GOD” Rios, a geography major; and Enrique “Nano” Garcia, a computer information systems major.
Unfortunately, the team success ended at the Western Division Championship with a loss to UC Irvine. Only the top team from each of the division championships advanced to the national finals.
For more information on Bronco Esports, visit their Facebook, Instagram and twitter accounts @cppesports.