Towers promotes charity, fighting game fortitude with “Super Smash Bros.” tournament


October 25, 2013 by Kevin M. Duvall

"Super Smash Bros." was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1999. Image from Giant Bomb.

“Super Smash Bros.” was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1999. Image from Giant Bomb.

WVU gamers have a chance to put their head-to-head combat skills to the test in the classic 64-bit arena this Saturday while helping raise money for cancer research.

Lyon Tower will hold its 5th annual Super Smash Bros. (the Nintendo 64 version) tournament tomorrow to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life initiative.

64 teams (or more, depending on how many sign up) will compete in 2-on-2 team battles until only one remains as champion.

The tournament is part of the WVU residence halls’ annual competition to see which dorm can raise the most money for the organization.

Third-year resident assistant Casey Norville, one of the organizers of this year’s tournament and past contests, recalled the first Super Smash Bros. tournament at Towers in 2009.

“When I was a freshman back in 2009 a RA from Bennett Tower went room to room, floor to floor, tower to tower advertising for his Super Smash Bros. tournament,” Norville said. “I had started playing a bunch with a very good friend of mine, and we both were becoming increasingly better at the game. The tournament was set up as a charity as well (though I cannot remember which one specifically), and I saw how much of a turnout there was for the game. That combination made me want Smash to come around every year.”

Towers: WVU residence halls and virtual Thunderdomes. Image from West Virginia University.

Towers: WVU residence halls and virtual Thunderdomes. Image from West Virginia University.

The competition has grown since then, bringing in 32 teams in 2011 and 55 in 2012. The 2012 tournament raised $255.

Towers has held other video game tournaments for charity, including Halo, Madden NFL, FIFA and NBA 2K12 and 2K13.

Bennett Tower is currently planning a tournament of Super Smash Bros. Melee, the sequel to the Nintendo 64 original released for the Nintendo Gamecube in 2001.

The dorms’ Relay For Life fundraising competition begins on move-in day of the fall semester and ends with the annual Relay For Life event in the Shell Building, WVU’s track and field facility, in the spring semester.

The 2014 Relay For Life of WVU will take place on April 18. Participants can sign up now.

Honors Hall is the defending champion in the contest, and Lyon Tower won in 2011-12.

The tournament will begin at 3 p.m. in the Towers Blue & Gold Room. The entry fee is $5 for a team or $3 for an individual. Participants can sign up at the Bennett/Lyon desk at Towers.

Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place. More importantly, bragging rights will belong to the victors.

For more information, contact Norville at or Charles Richardson at


9 thoughts on “Towers promotes charity, fighting game fortitude with “Super Smash Bros.” tournament

  1. ebuchman5 says:

    I love this idea! I can remember playing Super Mario Bros. when I was growing up, and I think it’s a great idea to combine something so easy with a great cause for a fundraising effort. Being in a college town, I think it’s a great way to reach out and create a fundraising effort that piques a college student’s interest. I think the Relay for Life initiative will have much more success with this as the years go on if they continue to market this idea. I personally had no idea about it (I don’t live in a residence hall either, for that matter), but maybe the university and Relay for Life could reach out to apartment complexes in the area to do something similar to raise even more money. One thing I might suggest to them is raising the price by $5, because if you split that between the two members, it’s still affordable for college students, and it would also increase the profits for Relay for Life.

  2. ryanglaspell says:

    Great article! I love the vintage Super Smash Bros. commercial. I always see stuff like this advertised in the Honors dorm, but this is massive. 55 teams in 2012 is crazy! The fact that it’s been growing and going strong for five years is also impressive. I also like how this article is full of information. I can’t go a few sentences without reading something useful.

  3. samanthacart says:

    Once again, let me me just say that I love how you are catering your blog to men. The blog name and tagline crack me up on a regular basis.

    Great job on your post. I work in Arnold Hall, and this post got me wondering if a tournament like this would work for us as a fundraiser. Each hall has its own environment, and Towers definitely has a large audience to pull from. I especially like how you are giving information on three topics and bring them together into one coherent post. You linked the tournament (and its history), Relay for Life and the hall competition for raising money very well. I enjoyed reading it.

  4. Such a good idea! As an RA at Boreman, I’m always looking for programs like this that really grab attention, get kids excited and it really pretty easy to hold.
    Good article, too. Easy to read, interesting and informative.

  5. kevinmduvall says:

    Thank you for the positive feedback, guys.

    I think video game tournaments are a good idea for any residence hall fundraiser. I lived in Arnold for two years and it held game tournaments for fundraisers; and even though it’s one of the smaller dorms, the contests still had pretty good turnouts. Plus, the low cost of holding a video game tournament makes it a good fundraising option even if the turnout isn’t great (the dorm would only have to pay for snacks and drinks if some RA’s and residents already have the game, system, and controllers).

    I think doing an older game is a good move too, because it could attract participants who don’t play video games regularly anymore but would want to play one of their old favorites again. Of course, picking a popular new game with a strong fanbase like Halo or Madden is a good choice as well.

  6. cricha18 says:

    This was a great post about the Smash tournament along with great information about the game itself and previous tournaments. I was in charge, along with Casey Norville, of running the event and we had 64 teams show up for the event (128 participants). I also thought having the actual commercial was a nice touch to your post.

  7. frostedtsaar says:

    Jeez, 55 teams? I knew this was happening, but not the enormity of it. I would have come if it was Melee, but I’m not very good at the 64 version. I remember in Honors hall freshman year, we were always have mini-tournaments in the lounges; wonder why they weren’t combined with this?

  8. rachelwvu says:

    A Relay for Life for couch potatoes! No offense, of course. Running for cancer research may not appeal to everyone. Gaming tourneys like this appeal to a certain crowd, so it is less advertised. I had no clue something like this goes on in Morgantown, but I think it’s a great idea. Good job at informing a lot of people and contributing to the cause!

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